Cath Brislane

Subject Lead/ Undergraduate Scholar, University of York
Bethany White

Writer, Producer and Sound Designer, Dark Avenue Film Ltd

Bethany is a practising screenwriter and film producer who was a Laidlaw Scholar in the University of York's first cohort in 2017-18. She set up a production company with her partner Patrick the Isle of Man, where they now produce films and write screenplays. Their first short documentary, MERA, premiered at Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Brittany in August 2019 and their short drama, The Lost Wife, is in postproduction. Their scripts have placed in multiple international screenwriting competitions. Bethany is passionate about helping others to develop, especially those considering writing or the film industry as a career path.
Molly Gould

student, Tufts University

I am an undergraduate student at Tufts University pursuing a degree in International Relations and Civic Studies, with a concentration in culture and identity systems. One of my greatest passions is participating in social activism initiatives and finding productive and creative ways to combat pressing issues and work toward positive global change. Through my experience as a researcher, I have been able to explore how various socially-constructed systems of oppression and privilege interlock and affect one another to create concrete patterns that impact people’s lived experiences and shape their worldviews. Every day, I continue to learn more about how to be a productive activist and ally in my community, and I am always open to new experiences and challenges. I absolutely love working with people, and in my life, I hope to have the opportunity to continue learning more about the world and its inhabitants.
Mikayla Barreiro

Student, Tufts University

I am a rising senior at Tufts University studying History and Classical Studies. My research for Laidlaw focuses on the English Investiture Controversy, a 12th century conflict between English King Henry I and Pope Paschal II, and an important predecessor to the English Reformation. I'm passionate about the way historical politics and diplomacy can inform modern policy, and also the way power is created, cemented, and used by ruling elite. I also have a deep interest in broadening the scope of history. Instead of focusing on one time and place, I want to develop broad connections across cultures to understand both the human condition and the trends of human civilization. No historical event was inevitable, and comparative history is essential to understanding how and why certain cultures have come to dominate others. This, in turn, is essential to dismantling the power structures which remain today, and creating a more equitable world.
Farida Augustine

Undergraduate Researcher , University of Leeds

Hello! I am a penultimate year French and Politics student at the University of Leeds with the drive and tenacity to effect positive change on a global scale. My research focuses on identifying West African resistance fighters in the Second World War. I have also developed a keen interest in the Francophone world, French philosophy and Post-colonial Feminist security studies.
Jerome Pek

Student, University of York

I am a Film and Television Production undergraduate from the University of York. Prior to undergraduate studies, I took a gap year as an intern for a TV production house for national broadcast in Singapore. I aspire to use my post-production skills to tell stories that make a positive impact.
Deborah Sofia Moreno Ornelas

Laidlaw Scholar, Columbia University

Rising sophomore at Columbia University pursuing a double major in Economics and Art History. Proud Latin American with a passion for celebrating Latinx culture and exploring the social, political, and economic issues that surround the region. I'm deeply interested in the arts and culture, but also in business and economics. This summer I'll be researching contemporary Latin American art.
Sam Thurman

Student, University of York

Hi, 1st year student at the University of York, studying PPE. I am interested in a bunch of things. Interested in development economics, particularly the idea of chartered cities, also interested in the role culture plays in economics and politics. Finally, I am majorly interested in China: culture and politics. Currently trying to learn mandarin, so if anyone can help that'd be great!
Maria Valenstain

Student Researcher, University of York

I am an undergraduate Laidlaw Scholar studying Philosophy and Politics at the University of York. I am very interested in the climate change debate and the politics associated with it. Specifically, my research project investigates the discourse of individual responsibility presented as a way to halt climate change and whether this discourse helps slow or accelerate the fight against it.
Bethan King

Student , University of York

Ezri Mannion

Student, University of York

Sukriti Mathur

Student, The University of Hong Kong

I am a Year 3 student at The University of Hong Kong and I am pursuing Biomedical Science as my major and Genetics as my minor. I like to keep up with the latest innovations and research in the biomedical field and aspire to be a researcher in the near future myself. As a Laidlaw Scholar, my research project will be focusing on developing a new cancer therapy delivery system by synthesizing and employing use of photosensitive, drug-carrying nanoparticles which can be triggered by light irradiation to accumulate in the esophageal tumor cells and release cancer drugs such as docetaxel. Prior to this project, I have had experience in working in a Neuromodulation Laboratory where I was part of a projecting testing the effects of hippocampal Deep Brain Stimulation and methionine drug administration on depression, anxiety and memory using animal models.
Stefan Elekes

Medical Student , Trinity College Dublin

I am a 3rd year medical student at Trinity College Dublin interested in infectious disease at the level of an individual through immunology and microbiology but also at a population level through public health studies. In light of how infections can get out of control in epidemic and pandemics, the need for research in infectious disease agents and cellular immunotherapies has only become more urgent. This, along with the complexity of pathogen-host interactions is what drives my interest to the field.
Susanna Kempe (she/her)

CEO, Laidlaw Foundation

A graduate of Cambridge University, Susanna’s professional experience includes over 15 years in senior leadership roles in international B2B and learning businesses. Susanna began her career at the Institute for International Research (IIR) where she first worked with Lord Laidlaw, rising to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). When IIR, which was the world’s largest organiser of commercial conferences, was acquired by Informa plc in 2005 Susanna was appointed CMO of the enlarged group and also led the public company’s investor relations programmes. She subsequently joined Emap Ltd as Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and CEO of Emap Networks, that group’s conferences business. Later she became CEO of the fashion industry forecaster WGSN and was latterly Group Content and Marketing Partner of the leading strategy consultancy Brunswick Group. A German-American raised and educated in the UK and a committed internationalist, Susanna has been involved in globally trading businesses throughout her career, directing activity in the Americas, across continental Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Susanna has been extensively involved with education and professional development over many years. She was Head of Group Training and led the commercial acquisition and integration of a portfolio of corporate training businesses whilst at IIR; and created learning academies at both Informa and Emap. She believes experiencing and appreciating different cultures promotes better global understanding, creativity and leadership. She is passionate about the power of education to transform lives; and believes that we need to develop a new generation of diverse leaders who are curious, bold and devoted to decency, truthfulness, and innovation. Susanna is committed to diversity not only as a societal imperative but as a critical component of commercial success. As an advisor to the trustees of the Foundation, Susanna first learnt about its purpose and programmes before becoming its Chief Executive responsible for the Laidlaw Schools Trust, the Laidlaw Scholars and its other education programmes. Susanna read English and Philosophy at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has five half blues in swimming and water polo; and played netball and rowed for Newnham.
Reuben Morris-Dyer

Art History and Film Undergraduate, The University of St Andrews

Hello! I'm Reuben, an Art History and Film student researching 'The Sonic Body: Technology, Embodiment, Gender' with the University of St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin. I am also a student filmmaker and illustrator, and host 'The Theory of Everything Podcast' for StAR Radio.
Giammarco (he/him)

Student, Durham University

I think that happiness is about being committed to something that helps and supports others, and this is why I am so fascinated by research and leadership. They give us the opportunity and responsibility to support and protect our people, especially the most vulnerable. I began my journey in children's homes back in Rome, in Italy. Since then I have been volunteering with children and young people trying to facilitate resilience and recovery from early adversities as my main focus point. My Laidlaw Scholarship research project is all about our social identities and the way they interact with our possible selves to drive our self-control and school attachment. The ultimate aim is to be able to design, implement, and evaluate an effective intervention to enhance the academic achievements of children growing up in alternative care, and conclusively reduce the achievement gap between them and other children. If you have any questions about my project, if you think that your research and mine somehow overlap or are committed to solving similar issues through different disciplines, or if you just want to chat, please drop me a message! :)
James Samuel

Student, University of St Andrews

I am a third year Medieval History and Art History student at the University of St Andrews. My areas of interest vary but fields that have interested me in the past have included: late medieval and early modern religious history in western Europe; social and labour history in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century; and the history of early modern art and architecture in northern Europe. My research project is under the supervision of Drs Amy Blakeway and Jacqueline Rose. Titled 'History, religion and community in North East Fife', I am going to investigate the history of Kingsbarns church, close to St Andrews. This will mean investigating the large collection of archival material held both in St Andrews and Kingsbarns. I hope to use these records to understand a wider social history of the village across three centuries, with a focus on how local communities reacted to the religious and political turbulence of the period. It is important to widen our perspective on these events, which have for too long been over-saturated with the powerful voices at the expense of ordinary people. In my second summer, I hope to disseminate these findings among the community. One of the most popular forms of history in society today is the tracing of family histories and ancestry. I hope to create a 'Who Do You Think You Are?' style conversation amongst local people in Kingsbarns to aid their knowledge of their community and engage more people in the study of history and the past.
Sophie Catherine McNally

Student, University of York

Hi there! I'm a University of York undergraduate studying History. I'm really passionate about anything to do with History or Politics, and I love to learn about others' backgrounds, cultures and ways of life! I speak French to an intermediate level, and I compete in both rowing and other sports and societies like Model UN. I'm really easy going though so I'd be interested in whatever anyone else has to say/is passionate about :)) My research project is looking into whether popular culture divides or unites peoples and societies.
Ailsa Nice

Student, University of York

Third year at York, studying French and Spanish. Currently on my year abroad. My research project used post-structural feminist theory to explore female agency in Le Morte Darthur.
Jude Hanlon (he/him)

Research Scholar , Durham university

Hey! I'm a first-year scholar and psychology student at Durham university. My research will investigate transgender identity narratives, gender stereotyping, and wellbeing. Outside research I like to draw, travel, and listen to podcasts and audiobooks; and I'm always working on a side project. My work experience background is in mental health care and education. I'm so excited and honoured to have been given this opportunity and I'd love to get to know other scholars to learn more about you and your research. Feel free to get in touch at
Luke Andrews

Student , University of Leeds

I am a first year scholar and undergraduate student at the University of Leeds studying towards a BA in Politics and Sociology. My research aims to draw on the experiences of UoL students with a focal point on widening participation students in order to gain a deeper understanding of what inclusive learning spaces are and how they can be achieved. Outside of my research I really enjoy reading, cooking and baking, listening to music and spending time with my friends and family.