ED&I Fellows 2022-2023
Please see below the profiles of the 2022-2023 year cohort of MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Fellows who have helped advance ED&I work within the Division.
This is the third year of running the ED&I Fellowship scheme with representation from across our departments.
Department of Physics
I am a 3rd year DPhil student in Atomic and Laser Physics, where I work on novel particle accelerators. Through involvement with the COMPOS program to tutor state school students, I was reminded of the extreme difficulties that students can face when applying to university. I would love to learn more about how these hurdles might be overcome to improve diversity and inclusion here at Oxford. As someone who joined during the pandemic, I'm acutely aware of the effect that isolation in a university environment can have on mental health and well-being. I would love to improve this for future generations of students and staff at all levels.
Maria Elena Castellani
Chemistry Research Laboratory
Hey everyone, my name is Elena and I am an Italian postdoctoral researcher in Experimental Physical Chemistry, specifically mass spectrometry, time-resolved imaging and reaction dynamics. As an immigrant from Southern Europe and a woman working in STEM, I can empathize with other underrepresented categories in the MPLS environment. I am elated to be serving as an ED&I representative and intend on doing my best in making the MPLS and, particularly, the Chemistry community, a safe space where LGBTQ+, POC, neurodivergent and disabled people can finally thrive, as science can only gain from becoming truly democratic.
Department of Chemistry
I am a postdoctoral researcher in organic synthesis where I work on catalytic approaches to making new compounds and processes that can be used in pharmaceutical research. I have been keenly interested in promoting ED&I issues since my involvement in the Athena Swan application of the chemistry department during my PhD at University College Dublin. As the president of Oxford Women in Chemistry and now as an ED&I fellow at MPLS Oxford, I am excited to help the MPLS team enact real, tangible change that will be felt in the day to day lives of everyone in the division, with a particular aim to ensure that those from underrepresented communities feel embraced and supported by their departments.
Department of Computer Science
I’m Gunshi, a first year D.Phil student in CS/Machine Learning from New Delhi, India. As an incoming ED&I fellow I’m excited to share experiences with the cohort, identify common goals and contribute on two fronts: Making STEM a place where BIPOC students and individuals with neuro-divergences can thrive. I hope to apply my experience being a gender and racial minority in different Robotics/CS labs to help inform policy-making for fostering inclusivity in these spaces, especially in a way that doesn’t try to always overlook people’s cultural backgrounds but instead celebrates and appreciates it.
Department of Materials
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Materials Department and as a first-generation university student and a woman in STEM, I have developed a strong sense of commitment into improving the culture within STEM subjects from personal experiences as well as those of my peers. During my PhD I pioneered events on mental health and Women in Materials Science which I hope to carry on at Oxford. As well as this I hope to learn about the inequalities faced by my fellow colleagues that I do not face personally and being the best ally that I can be.
I am based in the Rex Richards building and am more than happy if anyone wants to come by for a chat about any ED&I issues!
Department of Engineering Science
Hello! I’m Munib, a 1st year DPhil student at Jesus College in Engineering with the CDT in Health Data Science generously supported by the Rhodes Trust. My work is focused on building interpretable AI systems for predicting heart attack and looks at both diagnoses and treatment effects. I originally come from Bosnia and have been involved with advocacy in the disability community for years. As part of the ED&I Fellowship team, I hope to provide constructive ideas and support for implementing a thorough action plan in the division. I am quite excited to work on the active dismemberment of barriers and systems of injustice preventing equitable access to education, research, and career progression across the board, but especially for people with disabilities.
I am the Event Manager at the Mathematical Institute, and I have been with the Department for 5 years. I have been on the Departmental EDIC and been involved with a few EDI events and initiatives. I am also a part of the University's LGBT Role Model programme. In my role at Maths, I also work with the External Relations Manager to showcase our mathematicians' work via social media. I hope to continue this work by running EDI events that bring together academic and support staff, and working on a project highlighting diversity in our Department and Division.
Department of Biology
Hello, my name is Wulan and I am a fourth-year DPhil student in the Biology Department. My research focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to species conservation in Indonesia, where I combine ecological and social perspectives. As an ED&I fellow, I will attempt to represent the voices of global south female scientists and parents in higher education discourse. Decolonizing science and nature conservation are the zeitgeist, and I want to make sure that scientists like me, who come from areas where exploration and exploitation occur, have a seat at the table in order to foster a collaborative relationship based on trust and fairness.
Department of Physics
I'm Cheng, a PhD student in the Physics department. I study geophysical instabilities and their roles in climate physics. I would like to experiment on how an individual can participate, contribute, and learn through ED&I activities. I believe sharing knowledge can spark ideas and curiosities and thus open the doors for more people with diverse backgrounds to benefit from lifelong educations with improving wellbeing. It is a learning process for me to be a MPLS ED&I Fellow and I am looking forward to meeting more people to talk and act for a shared ED&I value.
Department of Statistics
Hi! My name is Mariagrazia and I work as a Statistical Consultant for the Department of Statistics. I currently take care of the group of PostDocs and Early Career Researchers in Stats. I am grateful for this role and I look forward to a great year of positive changes!
To paraphrase the Buddhist mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, I strongly believe that people who have the great fortune to have their voices heard, should take responsibility, and make strenuous efforts to allow everyone to be part of the dialogue.
As an ED&I fellow, I would like to take an active role in ensuring that nobody is left behind.