Meet the new Diversity & Inclusion team!
Sarah Guerra – Director of Diversity & Inclusion
Vision 2029 sets out clearly that King’s wants to provide an extraordinary student experience and be an employer of choice. Ensuring we access the widest range of talent and create an environment where all can thrive is a key part of that.
Since arriving in February I have been working across the King’s community to see how we build on our achievements and progress forwards. That has meant reviewing the what work we are doing and how we organise ourselves.
I am very excited to be introducing you to our new Diversity & Inclusion team! To enable us to work on staff and student experience better than we have done in the past I'm so excited that we have a group of amazing individuals from all over the sector, each bringing a unique set of skills and experience to meet the growing demand of equality, diversity and inclusion across Higher Education.
They each introduce themselves below. Please continue to get in touch with us if needed and do come and say hi to the new team!
Helena Mattingley – Head of Diversity & Inclusion
Hello, I’d like to introduce myself. After being at King’s for a little while, I might already be familiar to you – perhaps through my year working in Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, or my 18 months in the Arts & Sciences? Whether you’ve already met me or not, I’m very excited to be seeing King’s from a different perspective, this time from within HR.
I have had the privilege of working with fantastic colleagues across King’s, and have learnt from the very best – my knowledge on the Equality Act has been informed by the Dickson Poon School of Law, my ideas around qualitative research have taken inspiration from Social Science & Public Policy, my data analyses have been influenced by expertise by Natural & Mathematical Sciences, and my analysis, interpretation and critical thinking have been infused by ideas from Arts & Humanities! I can only imagine what I will learn from the Strategy, Planning and Assurance directorate, External Relations, Finance…! I’m also excited about reconnecting to the Health Faculties, and learning from my colleagues there.
My role has been newly created – I’m the Head of Diversity & Inclusion. I see this role as translating the strategy and institutional D&I objectives into programmes and work-streams, and working with the D&I team to deliver this. My key focus is going to be on the D&I team – these are the real agents to deliver D&I programmes within King’s, and it’s my job to make sure they see how their work aligns with Vision 2029 and our emerging D&I Strategy. Working alongside Sarah Guerra and this new, ambitious team is going to be very exciting.
London has been my home for the last three years, and was a big change from the small county of Cornwall. Since moving, no-one asks ‘where is that’, I’m yet to be held up by sheep in the road, and rarely hear the promise to do a task ‘dreckly’. Instead, I’m part of an internationally renowned university in the most interconnected, fast paced city in the world. I can’t wait to begin.
Samina Zaman – Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Hey! My name is Samina Zaman and I joined King’s in September 2016. Just as I started, we were preparing to submit our institutional Athena SWAN Silver Submission, which meant I had to hit the ground running. The past nine months have been a really busy time for D&I, allowing me to work on a range of institution-wide D&I initiatives which has meant no one day has ever been the same! This includes running the university’s first Diversity Mentoring Scheme for female, trans, non-binary, and BME staff, the Unconscious Bias training programme and Inclusive Working workshops. I have also enjoyed coordinating activities to celebrate Black History Month and International Women’s Day.
I am a born and bred Londoner, which meant that while growing up I was exposed to everyday inequalities that continue to affect minority groups in our society. I studied BSc Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, and that led me to begin working in the education sector, including a sixth form in east London, which I really enjoyed!
Prior to King’s, I worked as Education Officer at the British Ecological Society, where I designed and delivered outreach programmes for A-level students, career-related initiatives for people interested and working in academia. This included running an international Women in Ecology Mentoring scheme, webinar series for PhD students/post-docs, designing grant-writing workshops for early mid-career ecologists, and a weeklong residential Summer School for undergraduate students. I was also a member of the BES’ first ever Equality and Diversity Working Group tasked with carrying out research on sector-wide diversity and inclusion practises.
With the launch of Vision 2029, I believe this is a really exciting time to be a staff/student (or both) at King’s, and a great opportunity for us to work together to deliver the D&I agenda. As D&I Consultant, I look forward to working with staff and students to facilitate change that is co-created and co-owned by each and every person in our vibrant community!
Alex Prestage – Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Hi Hello, I’m Alex; I’m excited to be joining King’s Diversity & Inclusion Team as a Diversity & Inclusion Consultant. I’ve been asked to share a little about myself prior to my start on the 5 July. So, here goes, a whistle stop tour:
My journey thus far has taken me to various corners of the UK: Originally born and raised in Northamptonshire, a student in West Lancashire, recently establishing my career in Sheffield, and now onto the bright lights of London.
During my time at Edge Hill University I completed degrees in English Language, BA (Hons) and MRes, with a particular interest in sociolinguistics - the research of language and society. Through my study of language, identity, and community I fostered and explored my passion for diversity and inclusion. Beyond the classroom, I engaged with the Students’ Union. It was here I began to develop a practical understanding of liberation, equality, diversity, and inclusion in Higher Education.
Following my four years in Lancashire, it was only right to spend some time in Yorkshire. And for the last year and nine months I have worked at Sheffield Students’ Union as the organisation’s first ever Equality & Liberation Coordinator. In this role I developed an entirely new area of work, supporting student officers, committees, and internal departments with equality and liberation projects and policy. I worked on a wide variety of projects across both the union and partner institution, The University of Sheffield, from HEFCE funded projects to combat sexual violence and harassment, to designing and developing methods of measuring and evaluating equality and diversity.
This brings us to the present day. I’m thrilled to be joining the Diversity & Inclusion Team at such an exciting time. I’ll be looking to apply my experience designing and developing strategy to the forthcoming Diversity & Inclusion strategy, and working on strategic projects as part of Vision 2029. Having studied at a ‘92 university and having made the transition to staff at a Russell Group institution, I’m excited to see the challenges and opportunities a research intensive university with the reputation King’s does will present!
Nicole Walsh – Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Hey everyone! I’m Nicole and I will be joining the Diversity & Inclusion team as a consultant. I describe myself as the product of perseverance, good mentors, and incredible opportunities. It is those kinds of opportunities that I wish to pass on through my work. I have experienced first-hand how successful inclusion initiatives can combat barriers and expand possibilities. During my time as a BA Liberal Arts Student at King’s I was one of 10 students who visited the University of Delhi for the King’s Connect to India disability programme. I was later elected as the first Disabled Students’ Association Lead Officer and nominated for a Community Impact Award for my work on inclusive education.
Starting out as a student staff member, I have spent the last three years at KCLSU (King’s College London Students’ Union). In my most recent role as a Liberation Development Coordinator, I was responsible for building intersectional, inclusive student communities at the Union. This involved designing and implementing an award-winning strategy to promote the representation, engagement and inclusion of students from Liberation groups.
Having watched D&I at King's evolve over the last few years, it is exciting to be coming into the new team at a time of so much significant change. My new role provides the opportunity to apply my experience in a range of new contexts, and I look forward to working with the new team.
Kalaiyashni Puvanendran – Diversity & Inclusion Assistant Consultant
It’s great to join the team as the new Diversity & Inclusion Assistant Consultant. I've joined King’s from the Wellcome Trust, a global health charity, where I helped set up the Diversity & Inclusion priority area. As the D&I Project Co-ordinator, I worked with the Head of D&I to develop a five-year strategy focussing on three main areas: making UK science and research more inclusive, engaging a wider range of people with science and health, and making Wellcome more inclusive. Separately to my work on D&I, I was on the Graduate Development Programme at Wellcome where I worked in the Policy, Education, and Public Engagement teams. I'm looking forward to getting started and contributing to the exciting D&I work at King's!
Sarah Mander – Communications & Engagement Officer
Hi there! I'm Sarah, the new Communications and Engagement Officer in the Diversity and Inclusion team.
A little about me... I was born and bred in the Australian capital, Canberra, before making the move to Melbourne, my home for about seven years. In 2015 I packed my bags and made the big trip over the pond to pursue an MA and some European adventures on the side. I have a BA in Sociology and English Literature and an Honours degree in Sociology/Gender Studies from Monash University and have recently graduated with an MA Gender, Media and Culture from Goldsmiths College.
I've been lucky enough to be working in the Diversity and Inclusion sector for around six years now. During my undergraduate studies, I worked as a Student Support Worker, taking notes in lectures and tutorials for students with disabilities and was later hired as a Project Officer in the Diversity and Inclusion department at Monash. There I headed the ‘LGBITQ at Monash’ program which included facilitating training for staff and students, running events and working across different academic departments and services to make the university a safe and inclusive space. I also ran the Disability Services Peer Mentoring Program and worked on cultural inclusion projects. After completing my MA, I was hired by Goldsmiths Students' Union to do research on underrepresented groups and make strategic recommendations on how the Union could better engage with and support these students. Alongside work, I’ve also volunteered for a range of organisations working with refugees, homelessness and LGBTIQ youth.
Outside of academia and work, I am happiest in or around the water, having grown up swimming, playing water polo and spending summers by the beach. According to my Instagram feed, my interests are mostly food and wine, dogs, feminist media, contemporary art, independent designers and cycling.
Susuana Abena Mefiwa Amoah – Diversity & Inclusion Project Officer
Hi! My name is Susuana Abena Mefiwa Amoah, I’m passionate about liberation, intersectionality, art, Netflix, pizza and cats. I was born and raised in North-West London but lived with my grandma for a couple of years in Ghana before returning to London start nursery. I currently live in sunny Brighton with my flat mate and my cat, Cosmo. I completed a degree in Media Arts at Royal Holloway where I was also president of the Feminism Society. I am currently half way through a part-time MA in Gender and Media at Sussex University.
I was the first and last full-time women’s officer at the University of London Union before it was turned into Student Central. During that time, I founded the ‘I Heart Consent Campaign’, wrote and developed the ‘Students’ Union Good Night Out’ training guide, and managed a pop up liberation gallery and family art room called The Play House. I was the NUS National Women’s Officer between 2014 and 2016 where I was chair of the National Lad Culture Strategy group and lead the campaign to replace the Zellick Guidelines.
I decided to apply for the KCL Project Officer role because I’ve always been geared towards roles where I could use learning and development as a method of creating liberation and have developed and facilitated lots of training over the past 5 years. I have a huge passion for diversity and education in the arts, so I'm hoping do the best job at making KCL a leading university and in this area of work and learning about different aspects of diversity and inclusion in the HE Sector.
India Jordan - Networks & Communities Coordinator
Hello! I’m India, the Communities and Networks Coordinator in the D&I Team. I started in January 2018 and my role is to support, develop and sustain staff networks and communities of practice at Kings. So far, that has meant developing a Parents and Carers Network, an Athena SWAN Network & a D&I Leads Community of Practice as well as providing support for our existing LGBTQ+ Network. I am also responsible for the D&I Mentoring Scheme (to be launched in the next academic year).
My passion for D&I was first put into practice at my time at KCLSU, where I was responsible for developing our activities support offer to ensure that it was inclusive. Through this, I built and delivered Inclusion Workshops to our student societies. Before then, I worked at Imperial College Union supporting student groups, and as an Entertainments Coordinator at Hull University Union.
I was born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire and studied Philosophy at the University of Hull. It was at Hull that I learnt to DJ, became the president of its DJ society and subsequently continued DJ’ing when moving to London. I now run a record label and daytime social, host radio shows and DJ across the UK. D&I extends into all facets of my life, so it is important for me to ensure that the music community I'm a part of is accessible and welcoming of everyone.