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Welcome to Hughes Hall

We are delighted to announce recent College appointments.

It is our people who make our College such a special place and it is always a privilege to welcome individuals to Hughes Hall’s Senior Membership.

We have recently appointed new Governing Body Fellows, Dr Tabitha Mwangi and Dr Alexis Willett, who joined our Fellowship in June. Our Governing Body has overall responsibility for the College and is made up of around 50 Fellows; senior academics working at the University as well as early career researchers and non-academics.

We are also pleased to announce the appointment of Deputy Senior Tutors, Dr Joe Ellis and Dr Spencer Johnston, to two important student-facing roles, from September 2024. Newly appointed Co-Deans, Professor Bill Irish and Dr Sheheryar Banuri, take on responsibility for discipline within College, from July. And, we have been very pleased to host Visiting Fellows, Dr Yong Jia and Professor Tomoko Tamuraalso, during the course of this academic year.

Governing Body Fellows

Dr Tabitha Mwangi is Programme Director at the Mastercard Foundation Program. Hughes Hall has benefitted from a number of Mastercard scholars amongst our student body, and this appointment is particularly important for bringing outstanding scholars to Cambridge from the African continent.

Governing Body Fellows, from left, Dr Tabitha Mwangi and Dr Alexis Willett, who joined our Fellowship in June. 2024.

Tabitha joined the University of Cambridge in 2021 as the Programme Manager of Cambridge-Africa. Prior to that she was Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, (2017-2020) and Pwani University in Kilifi, Kenya (2013-2015).

Tabitha started her higher education at the University of Nairobi, earning a Bachelor’s in veterinary medicine and MSc in veterinary epidemiology. She worked as a research scientist for ten years at the Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust Program in Kilifi, where she completed her PhD in malaria epidemiology.

Dr Alexis Willett also joins us as Impact Director, and a Governing Body Fellow. For over ten years Alexis was an independent consultant advising health organisations across the UK and Europe, including medical royal colleges, leading health charities, membership networks and major research funders. She co-founded an online training company in communication and public engagement and has authored a diverse range of publications for health professionals, policy makers, academics and the public, including popular science books.

Prior to founding her consultancy, Alexis led the policy, education and involvement team at a national cancer charity, and previously worked at the Department of Health, Medical Research Council and Anglia Ruskin University. Alexis gained her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Cambridge and holds an MSc in Palaeoecology and BA in Archaeology from the University of York.

Senior Members with tutorial roles

From September 2024, Dr Spencer Johnston, left, will take up the role of Deputy Senior Tutor (Admissions), and Dr Joe Ellis will take up the role of Deputy Senior Tutor (Teaching and Outreach).

Dr Joe Ellis will take up the role of Deputy Senior Tutor (Teaching and Outreach) at Hughes in addition to his existing role as Director of Studies for Anthropology. He will have particular oversight of teaching activities and the strategic direction of outreach activities.

Joe is an Affiliated Lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology and the Sigrid Rausing Postdoctoral Fellow in the Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit. He came to Cambridge in 2013 to do a PhD in Social Anthropology based on two years of fieldwork in Mongolia.

Dr Spencer Johnston will take up the role of Deputy Senior Tutor (Admissions), also from September. Spencer is currently College Tutor and Director of Studies in Philosophy and Linguistics. He was previously a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Philosophy.

Spencer’s primary research area is the history and philosophy of logic, with a particular focus on modal and non-classical logics in the 13th and 14th centuries. He has broad interests in the historical interactions between logic, theology, and natural philosophy, as well as philosophy of language and the history of linguistics, and regularly lectures on a range of topics related to logic, for both the Philosophy Faculty and for Theoretical and Applied Linguistics.

College Deans

Two new Co-Deans, Professor Bill Irish and Dr Sheheryar Banuri, will take over responsibility for student discipline matters, from July 2024, following the service of Dr Martin Steinfeld until then, to the role.

Co-Deans, from left, Professor Bill Irish and Dr Sheheryar Banuri, take on responsibility for discipline within College, from July

Bill Irish is a long-serving Governing Body Fellow and College Tutor. He leads postgraduate medical education and oversees all educational placements for nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, dental and allied health profession students across the East of England.

Bill is the UK lead postgraduate dean for the specialities of general surgery, trauma and orthopaedic surgery and clinical genetics. He is the HEE dean for integrated academic and clinical training for doctors and dentists in partnership with NIHR and the English medical schools.

Sheheryar Banuri joined Hughes Hall earlier this year as a By-Fellow and Tutor, and is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of East Anglia. He is a pioneer in the field of behavioural development economics, and an expert in human motivation and incentive design.

Sheheryar’s work has provided policy guidance to government agencies across the world. He routinely consults with multilateral organisations such as the World Bank, the UN, and GIZ and his work is published in leading academic journals.

Visiting Fellows

We were joined earlier in 2024 by two international Visiting Fellows.

Visiting Fellows, Professor Tomoko Tamuraalso and Dr Yong Jia, joined us during 2023/24 academic year.

Yong Jia is an Associate Professor and an expert in mental health nursing at Jilin University in China. He is currently a visiting researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.
Yong’s research interests include enhancing the mental health and well-being of the general population, and designing and developing digital assessment and intervention tools to prevent depression in adolescents and older adults.

Professor Tomoko Tamuraalso joined Hughes Hall as a Visiting Fellow. Tomoko has been a faculty member at Osaka Kyoiku University since 2018, specialising in Curriculum Management. Her commitment to the enhancement of educational standards is evidenced through her involvement in a number of subcommittees under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology’s Central Council for Education in Japan. She is a project leader of the National Institute for School Teachers and Staff Development in Japan research project on in-school training of in-service teachers.

Tomoko’s current research interests include enhancing teacher agency, student agency and co-agency within curriculum management and exploring innovative approaches in lesson studies.

Further information