Committee 2021

The MCR committee is the elected body that handles the affairs of the MCR. Responsibilities of the MCR include planning and organizing events, mediating between students and acting as a liaison between the MCR and college. Meetings of MCR members and the committee are held at least twice termly.

The new committee is elected in Hilary term, with the previous committee members staying on in an advisory role until Summer. Details about the roles of each position can be found in the MCR constitution.

MCR President

Jeffrey Martin

MCR Vice President

Shreya Dua

MCR Secretary

Simon Koopman

MCR Treasurer

Siobhan Tobin

DPhil in Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems CDT

I’m Siobhan, the MCR Treasurer. I moved to Oxford from Australia to undertake a DPhil in condensed matter physics. I am motivated by tasty food, and can happily say that the Somerville MCR has delivered on that front. I enjoy endurance sports – at the moment that’s running and rowing.

As treasurer, I manage the finances of the MCR: preparing budgets, handling reimbursements, awarding grants etc. I work closely with other members of the committee aiming to deliver good value for money!

The treasurer is responsible for the finances of the MCR.

MCR Welfare Officers

The welfare team is chaired by one or two Welfare Officers and is responsible for attending to the graduate students’ welfare needs and for referring students to the suitable college and university resources where appropriate.  They also attend welfare training events organized by the University and maintain regular contact with college staff.

Bahar Kashef Hamadani 

DPhil Clinical Medicine

I’m Bahar, the current MCR Welfare Officer. I have enjoyed getting to know many of you over the past year and a half at Somerville. I grew up moving around the US (except for four years living in the UK in between there), and usually just claim California as my hometown as I lived there the longest. I did my undergraduate degree in California and my master’s degree in Colorado before moving to India for six months to work for International Committee of the Red Cross. I then moved to Oxford and started my DPhil in Clinical Medicine, estimating the burden of antimicrobial resistance and creating geospatial maps with the data. Instead of spending my Wednesday evenings at the very much missed welfare tea, Gaurav and I are still committed to holding a space to see and catch up with friends, now in the form of the Quarantine Talk Show. I am still in Oxford and can be found spending most of my free time outdoors staying active and keeping in touch with family and friends. It is my job to organize welfare events and attend to the welfare needs of members by being available to you and directing you to any resources you are looking for. Keep an eye out for emails coming from me as we do have some exciting welfare things coming your way this term. Please drop me a message or email me anytime if you need anything or just to chat. I would love to hear from you!

Ashrakat Elshehawy

MCR Social Secretaries

The social secretaries plan the majority of social events that go on in the MCR, including exchange dinners with other colleges. 

Joel Pollatschek

MCR House Chair

Pratishtha Deveshwar

Other Non-Executive Committee members

Women’s Rep: VACANT

International Students Rep: Mohen Zhang

I am Mohen, an DPhil student majoring in Experimental Psychology. I’m an easy-going and open-minded person. I like art, music, animals and food.

Before Dphil, I obtained my MSc and MPhil from Oxford and Cambridge, respectively, and did my undergraduate study at Tsinghua University, China. As an ethnic minority student in the UK, I am sensitive to the challenges that minorities face. I would love to share my experience, and I’m committed to promoting diversity and inclusion.

Somerville is like a family with an amazing, inclusive and fun group of people. I hope you enjoy your life here as much as I do! It is in my heart to care about others because I was supported and helped much.

Oxford SU Rep: Gaurav Dubey

Chief Returning Officer: Fergus Cooper

Environmental Rep: Banashree Thapa

Sports Rep: Gregory Sulley

Hi everyone! I’m Greg and I’m the MCR Sports Rep. I came to Oxford around 3 years ago and am now finishing off (read procrastinating writing a thesis for) a PhD in inorganic chemistry. When not confined to the lab or my thesis-writing cave, I can be found barking orders in true drill sergeant fashion during a gruelling warm-up for the MCR football team, or sinking absolute screamers into top bins from 30 yards out. If you’re looking to get involved with any aspect of college sport but unsure who to contact then please get in touch with me! I’ll be organising a whole variety of sports related fun for you all, including sports day, casual kickabouts in the park, poker nights, and beer pong tournaments. If you’ve got ideas for other events then I’d love to hear them, so feel free to drop me an email anytime! Last but not least, there is an MCR sports/arts (sparts) fund that may (or may not – check Ts & Cs please) be able to provide some reimbursement for sparts-related expenses. More details on applying for this can be found on the website. Also, don’t forget to shoe the tabs. #FTT #UpTheVille

Catering Rep: Gauri Chandra

Hello! I am Gauri Chandra, the MCR Catering Rep. I started my DPhil in Public Policy at Blavatnik last year in October, and it’s been lovely to get to know so many of you over the last 6 months. I grew up in Delhi, and moved to London nearly five years ago, where I did my post-graduate studies and worked for a couple of years. I am trained in economics and am interested in the application of behavioural economics to policy-making to improve development outcomes. 

My role as the Catering Rep includes communicating all your concerns regarding the hall food, and your dietary requirements to the college catering manager. Now, of course, due to COVID the hall has shut down altogether. But we are figuring out some food delivery options for those of you who are still in college, and planning some online events to make home cooking/baking more fun! Feel free to write to me if you have any ideas:

Students with Disabilities Rep: Shelley Castle

Hello everyone! I’m Shelley Castle your re-elected MCR Disabled Students Rep, I’ve very excited to be working with you for another year! I was born in Hammersmith, north London but moved so a village near Aldershot, Surrey as a small child but the accent has largely stuck around!  I’m a second year DPhil in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology on the Banbury Road and George Street sites. Where I research the social, military and medical implications of chemical warfare used in the First World War into the late 20th century, so 1915 to the 1980s. I’m also involved with the History Faculty through Oxford History Graduate Network as it’s present Social Secretary and it’s associated role as a member of the JGCC. 

I’m also a left-sided hemiplegic cerebral palsy so you’ll often see me around in a green coat with a VERY noisy walking cane. I have it on good authority that you’ll hear me well before you see me! Or you’ll find it left in various places around the MCR!  My role as your ‘Students with Disabilities Rep’ involves supporting access to MCR events by working with our amazing executive committee to facilitate this such as, with paid taxis for away dinners and pub trips! I also work with college, the other members of the committee and JCR to ensure that you have the information and access you need to make the most of your time here so that’s everything from advice on college accommodation (see the MCR website) and living in Oxford to special access to areas of the historic college site. So feel free to email me with questions or issues at any time and we’ll do our best to help! 

Library Rep: Ellie Newman

Hi everyone! I’m Ellie, I’m an MSt Classical Archaeology student and I am your new Library Rep! I previously studied for my undergrad in Classical Civilisation at the University of Nottingham where I fell in love with the study of ancient Greek and Roman art. Next year, I have been accepted onto a DPhil programme here at Somerville where I hope to be researching the portrayal of different races in ancient art and critiquing potentially racist readings in earlier scholarship. As a humanities student, I understand how important it is to have access to the right books and, given the current situation, how hard it is to have that access taken away. It is my job to communicate any feedback the MCR has about the library service at Somerville and to meet with the library committee on a regular basis to keep updated with changes etc. If you ever have any queries or questions about the library service then feel free to get in contact with me so I can point you in the right direction. If not, then you will see me posting regularly on the MCR Somerville pages or sending you emails about the library. Best wishes and stay safe!

Minority Ethnic Groups Rep: Gabriella Cook Francis

Hey y’all! My name is Gabriella (Gabby) Cook Francis, and I am the MCR Minority Ethnic Group representative. I’m currently pursuing an MPhil in Comparative Government as a 2019 Marshall Scholar. I am passionate about foreign policy, human rights, and international relations, and my graduate research focuses on autocratic regimes and democratic institutional collapse. Specifically, I focus on autocratic regime behaviour in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). My undergraduate research, at CUNY Hunter College, focused on women’s participation in social movements during the Arab Spring. Prior to starting my degree at Oxford, I worked for the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute and interned with the Clinton Foundation, International Rescue Committee, Manhattan Borough President’s Office, and Institute of Shipboard Education. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona and lived in New York City for 6 and a half years before moving to the UK. In my free time, I love to travel, dance, cook, and garden.

Education Rep: VACANT

Chapel Rep: VACANT

Associate Members Rep: VACANT

IT Rep: Vacant

LBTQ Reps: Katie Bastiman and Isaac Walton

Please contact the MCR President ( if interested in filling a vacant representative role.