Sara KalimFellow and Director of Development
Sara Kalim read Classics at Somerville from 1990-94. She then spent 14 years in the media, working as Head of Development for two major television production companies. Her work included developing access and ideas, and fundraising for documentaries and current affairs programming.
Sara has most recently worked for the University of Oxford for three years at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Department of Politics and International Relations, where she held responsibility for financial and strategic planning, and played an instrumental role in securing journalism scholarships from a variety of funding sources.
As Director of Development, Sara oversees Somerville’s fundraising strategy and development, is responsible for fundraising campaigns (including for the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust and the Oxford India Centre), and heads up the Development Team. She is also a member of the College’s Management Team.
Sara has a long-standing family connection to India, with family coming from Patna, Bihar. She also studied at Somerville making her the perfect advocate to drive the further development of the Centre. Sara’s focus is on fundraising and profile-raising working with philanthropists and corporate partners.
If you are interested in making a gift, or are thinking about leaving a legacy, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Órla LaveryAccess and Inreach Support Officer
Órla is Somerville’s Access and Inreach Support Officer.
Órla read English Language and Literature at Somerville from 2019-22 before returning to Somerville in September as part of the access team. As Inreach Support Officer she is responsible for ensuring that our students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, feel supported throughout their time here at Somerville.
You can find Órla in the Access office upstairs in House, Mon-Fri, 9-5.
Yan LiTreasury Assistant (Purchase Ledger)
Amine M’CharrakJunior Dean
Hi, my name is Amine. I’m originally from Solingen, Germany, which means I get very excited whenever I meet someone who uses Zwilling kitchenware or when a new bakery opens in Oxford. I am a doctoral student in Computer Science. My research interests are in statistical and causal learning methods for healthcare. I try to understand how we can extract causal relations from observational data to support clinical decision making.
In my free time, you can find me learning Korean, running in Oxford, cycling near Oxfordshire, and reading a lot about cultures and societies around the world. I am happy to chat over a coffee with oat milk.
I have undertaken the following training for my role as Junior Dean:
- First Aid Training offer by St John’s Ambulance
- Junior Deans Training offered by the University Counselling Service
- Sexual Violence Awareness and Disclosures offered by the Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre
- Health and Safety Training – Somerville Lodge Porters
- Defibrillator Training – Somerville Lodge Porters
- Fire Evacuation Training – Somerville Lodge Porters
- Data Protection and Security Awareness Training – Information Services
- Welfare Policy and Procedures – Welfare Support and Policy Officer
- College Rules and Procedures – Decanal Officer
Alastair MallickHead Gardener
Alastair Mallick joined Somerville College as our new Head Gardener in 2022. With 15 years of horticultural experience behind him, across everything from organic farming to his most recent post as Head Gardener at Queen’s College (2017-22), Alastair is keen to build on Somerville’s legacy of sustainability, biodiversity and beauty.
Building on a life-long love for plants and the natural world, Alastair progressed into gardening through a passion for growing his own food. After volunteering on many organic farming projects around the world and spending many hours tending to my allotment, he realised that he loved the process of working with plants. A professional pathway soon followed: Alastair ran his own successful gardening business before, in 2017, previously taking the jump into the the world of the university as Head Gardener at Queen’s in 2017. Here, he found that he loved the Oxford college environment, and was therefore thrilled when our former Head Gardener Sophie Walwin suggested he consider taking on the excellent work she began during her time at Somerville.
Alastair has big plans for the Somerville gardens. Refeshing the borders, bringing in lots of beautiful and unusual plants to lift Sophie’s great existing planting, adding new structure to the rest of the garden through shrubs and trees – the list goes on. Alastair is also deeply involved in the conversations to create a new pond as a source of additional biodiversity (and potential research for our plant scientists!). Some other plans being considered are a new perennial meadow for the empty bed in front of the Maitland building and an alpine rock garden in front of Park. However, Alastair also has a continued focus on developing garden spaces that are resilient to the pressures of climate change and that work for local fauna as well as for us. This will be achieved through measures such as the pond, but also bird boxes, bee hotels and drought-resistant, locally-sourced planting.
Jessica MannixDirector, Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust and Campaign Director
As Director for the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust, Jessica oversees the financial aspects of the Trust and ensures that the objects of the charity are met. She works closely with the Director of the Thatcher Scholarship Programme, the Principal, Development Director, Trustees and Patrons in the execution of her role.
As we enter a new phase of fundraising to meet the College’s five-year strategy, Jessica has taken on the role of Campaign Director, working closely with the Development Director and Principal on the fundraising strategy, developing campaign messages, setting goals and developing the projects and tools that will allow the team to achieve the ambitious targets.
Jo OckwellWelfare Support and Policy Officer
I’m Jo Ockwell and I’m Somerville’s Welfare Officer and Disability Co-ordinator.
I lead the College’s welfare team who are here to help with life’s ups and downs. We’re all trained to support you in a non-judgemental way and will do our best to help. I’ve worked at Somerville for over ten years so have helped students with all sorts of problems. While I’m not an expert on every possible welfare concern you might have, I will definitely know someone who is!
Adjusting to university life at Oxford is exciting and fun, but it can be difficult too. Here at Somerville we are a supportive and caring community: we believe that seeking help is always the start of sorting out an issue, and never a sign of weakness. The whole welfare team, which includes me as well as our Junior Deans, college counsellor, and nurse, are here to support you to find the resources or methods that you need to manage any welfare concerns you have and for you to be in control of your own wellbeing.
Part of my role is to support our disabled students. If you have a disability, seen or unseen, please let me know so that we can put in place support to help you through your academic studies. I also co-ordinate examination adjustments, so if you have a disability or health condition that means you need adjustments for examinations, please let me know. There is more information about how we support disabled students here.
Some students understandably worry about confidentiality. I want to assure you now that all members of the Welfare Team at Somerville work within the same guidelines on when they should share any information that a student has told them in confidence. You can find out the detailed guidance on our website, but here it is in a nutshell; we don’t disclose anything that you have told us in confidence unless we are seriously concerned that you might harm yourself or someone else. That basic principle underlines how we work.
I am always pleased to chat to anyone who knocks on my office door (House 4, on the ground floor of House Building) who needs a confidential chat or advice/guidance on all manner of welfare or disability concerns.
My training includes:
|Level 3 in Counselling Studies||CPCAB|
|Mental Health First Aid||Mental Health First Aid England|
|Sexual Violence Awareness Training||Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre|
|Student Welfare Overview||DAC Beachcroft|
|Dealing with student complaints of sexual assault||Penningtons Manches|
|Relational and Restorative Processes||SynRJ|
|Generalist Safeguarding||Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board|
|Drug and Alcohol Awareness and the Treatment Journey||Turning Point, Oxford|
|ADHD Awareness||The ADHD Foundation|
|Suicide Awareness||Zero Suicide Alliance|
A note for parents: We would sometimes like to be able to speak to parents about our students if we are concerned about them. However, we are unable to do so without the student’s explicit consent unless there is an emergency situation and the parent is listed as the student’s trusted contact on their Oxford University student record.
Hannah PackAccess & Outreach Officer
Andrew ParkerTreasurer and Domestic Bursar
As Treasurer and Domestic Bursar, Andrew Parker is responsible for the College’s finances and investments including legacies, building projects and maintenance, and commercial property, as well as Human Resources, health and safety, the College gardens, and the Bursary.
Andrew, who is a qualified accountant, has had an extensive career in Finance and Administration. From 1988-2002 he was Finance Director of Oxford University Press, as well as Group Financial Controller and Interim Managing Director of OUP’s International Division. From 2003 to 2013 he was Director of Finance and Administration at the Royal Shakespeare Company, with responsibility for Finance, HR, IT, Estates and Health & Safety, as part of the senior executive team.
Matt PhippsCommunications Manager
Matt leads Somerville’s Communications team.
Along with Somerville’s Communications Officer Jack Evans, Matt manages Somerville’s social media presence and website, as well as working on the team’s regular publications and reporting on College life and research. Matt and Jack also deal with enquiries from the press.
They are available Mon-Fri for enquiries on the phone number and email address below.
Susan PurverAssistant Librarian
Susan has worked in Somerville Library for thirty years, and before that was an undergraduate at Somerville.
She deals with most of the day-to-day running of the Library, and with ordering books; she also has a long-term project to catalogue the College’s antiquarian and special collections. She is usually to be found in the main Library office, except when buried in the depths of the stacks. She has a cataloguing blog where you can follow her progress (or lack of it) in cataloguing.
Steve RaynerSenior Tutor, Tutor for Graduates and Tutor for Admissions
Steve Rayner oversees the College’s academic activities, including admissions and outreach, and supports Fellows and Students in their teaching and learning.
He is responsible for overseeing the work of the College Access and Outreach Team, including Somerville’s regional work as part of the Oxford South-East consortium of colleges (see Oxford for South East | University of Oxford) and is a trustee of Universify Education. As a native of Stoke-on-Trent and a season ticket holder at Stoke City Football club for over twenty years, until that particular mix of joy and suffering was rudely interrupted by the pandemic, he is also particularly interested in access and outreach in Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. As a result, Somerville is a member of the Uni Connect partnership Higher Horizons+ (see Higher Horizons+ – Part of the Uni Connect Programme).
As Senior Tutor, Steve is responsible for the work of the Academic Office, which supports graduate and undergraduate students, along with tutors and Fellows, in their academic activities. This includes supporting Somerville applicants and selectors through the undergraduate admissions process here at Oxford.
Steve’s background is in Physics, specifically Very High Energy Gamma Ray Astronomy research, but his work at Somerville encompasses all subjects studied by Somervillians.