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Who's Who

Here at Aidan’s we have various staff who have a wide range of experience, skills and bring fundamental inputs to our College environment. Each member is important to our community and its development and with them our community strives to break barriers and enhance community cohesion. All of our staff are dedicated to our community which enhance our College ethos in the shape of a rainbow.

College Officers'/ College Office (COs/Co)

Dr Susan Frenk, College Principal @ s.f.frenk@durham.ac.uk

Susan is Scottish but has also roamed the world and retains strong links in Latin America. Formerly a lecturer in MLAC, her research interests now focus on multi-disciplinary approaches to sex, gender and sexuality,Dr Frenk, College Principal contemporary Jewish Studies and refugee/diaspora experiences. Community building to promote social justice and an understanding of our shared humanity is her primary goal. Aidan’s is a community within communities, manifested in our relationship with Durham Pride, Durham City of Sanctuary, our Enterprise Forum (SIEF) and international networks like Women’s Economic Imperative. If you are interested in expanding our local and international community relationships, drop by her office or arrange to meet.  Everyone can make a difference.

 

Major Helen De Montes, Vice Principal @ Helen.de-montes@durham.ac.uk

Helen joined St Aidan’s College as Vice Principal in September ’21. During a 20- year military career, she attended Sandhurst, Major Helen De Montes, Vice Principalwhich equipped her with leadership skills based on respect, trust, and an ethos of service to others. Insights into mental health and resilience from leading a team of healthcare professionals at the British Military Hospital (Basra, Iraq) in 2007 and work on creating more inclusive cultures, resonate with Aidan’s ethos and aspirations.

Helen’s Spanish and South American heritage make her gravitate towards any form of social gathering around food and performing arts. She also has a strong interest in geopolitics and twentieth century history. Helen enjoys playing and supporting all team sports, especially Basketball. Her home team, Richmond Vikings Ladies Basketball Team, introduces girls and young women to the sport as a way of building their confidence and communication skills. Helen’s strong sense of social justice and caring nature is reflected in her advocacy skills as a qualified lawyer and registered nurse.  With a leadership style based on inclusivity, kindness and respect, Helen aims to build on the success of St Aidan’s College community, by fostering an environment where students of all ages and profiles can grow and feel valued. 

Mr Shane McHugh, College Administration Co-ordinator and Co-Chair of Durham University LGBT+ Staff and Postgraduate Network @ Shane.A.McHugh@durham.ac.uk

Shane has been at Aidan's since 2019 where he took on the role of Student Support Administrator. From his past experience Shane McHughin the private accommodation industry and youth provision, Shane has a wide range of experience, interpersonal skills and knowledge surrounding student issues and how to overcome them. Shane has won and been nominated for various awards from the National Youth Agency, by the age of 19 Shane founded a regional young people's charity partnership, which collected gift packages. Within its foundation year over 19,000 gift packages where made and donated to young people across the region. The scheme is still successfully running today! With these skills he has been able to break barriers within communities, implement change and ensure every young person/ student has the opportunity to shine at Aidan's and in the wider world.   

Shane looks after the key student administrative functions of student support and offers personal advice and guidance to our students. He also is the Co-Chair of the LGBT+ Staff and Postgraduate network and is involved in empowering staff and students at a University level. If you need a chat, want some advice or want to run a project Shane's your guy. 

Student Support Team (SST)

Mrs Sukanya Miles-Watson, Assistant Principal @ s.b.miles-watson@durham.ac.uk

Sukanya is originally from India and brings with her a wide range of experience having lived and worked in different places over Sukanya Miles-Watson, Assistant Principalthe world (Scotland, Estonia, US). With a background in academia which has involved both teaching and research, she arrived in Durham in 2012 from Luther College & is currently Assistant Principal. She is mainly responsible for student support within college and is here to help support students who feel unable to engage properly with their studies or the wider college experience due to any short term or long-term issues.  

She also uses her skills in community building organising events and working collaboratively with student leaders and the common rooms on various projects. If you are interested in setting up creative initiatives within college (creative writing, visual arts, cross-cultural initiatives) then do drop in to see her in her office on B straight!  

 

Dr Christopher Jones, Assistant Principal @ Christopher.c.jones@durham.ac.uk 

Christopher Jones is a Black African (who happens to be American) from Houston, Texas. His activism is underpinned by being aDr Jones, Assistant Principal Pan-African and anti-discriminatory scholar-activist. He was a scholarship student-athlete at Durham University from 2014-2022, being a coach/player for Durham University Men’s basketball team. He has recently completed his PhD at Durham University in the Department of Sociology (Summer 2022). 

His research is predominantly around race/ethnic inequalities in education - intersected with other personal characteristics (e.g., class and gender). His thesis explored student perceptions and attitudes on race, racism (e.g., explicit and implicit), and racial inclusiveness within Higher Education Institutions and its subsequent influence on their wider student experience. Currently, he is employed as an Assistant Principal for St Aidan’s college at Durham University to support and improve the wider student experience for university students. 

College Operations (COO)

Name

Position

Contact

John Hutchinson

Community Operations Team Leader

john.hutchinson@durham.ac.uk

Lesley Peak

Community Operations Manager

l.p.peak@durham.ac.uk

Diane Walker

Food & Beverages Manager

d.p.walker@durham.ac.uk

Beverly Garett 

Finance Assistant

aidans.finance@durham.ac.uk 

Carolyn Barker

Receptionist

carolyn.barker@durham.ac.uk

Una Elsy

Receptionist

una.elsy@durham.ac.uk

Joe Eaton

JCR President

aidans.president@durham.ac.uk

 

JCR Treasurer

treasurer@st-aidans.com

Jyotsana Khowal

Subhalakshmi Dey

SCR Presidents

st-aidans.scr@durham.ac.uk