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Good news from Girton - Michaelmas Edition

Image with 'Good News' spelled out in colourful letters

This Michaelmas Term edition of 'Good News from Girton' is packed with awards, achievements, and celebratory moments – congratulations to all Girtonians involved. If you have any news to share with the College please email – I would be delighted to hear from you.

Dr Elisabeth Kendall, Mistress


BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Disc logoProfessor Dame Lesley Regan, former Fellow and the first Women’s Health Ambassador for England, joined presenter Lauren Laverne on a recent edition of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. We are delighted that Professor Regan is due to be admitted as an Honorary Fellow at Girton in the New Year.


We are delighted to share the news that in June of this year the Mistress received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow 'in recognition of her great distinction in the field of Arabic Studies'. In September the Senior Tutor, Professor Toni Williams, received an Honorary Doctorate from University College London 'in celebration of her distinguished contribution to Law'.

Dr Elisabeth Kendall                                                               Professor Toni Williams, right (Photo credit: UCL)

Nabil KhabipourLaw Corner, a pro bono legal advice organisation founded by alumnus Nabil Khabirpour (Law, 2008), has entered into an exciting partnership with the Cambridge Law Faculty. The partnership will make a vital impact on ensuring access to the legal system is more widely available, while enabling current students to gain invaluable pro bono work experience.


Ben GlassbergCongratulations to alumnus Ben Glassberg (Music, 2012) who has been appointed as Music Director of the Volksoper Orchestra, Vienna. Ben will begin his new role in January 2024.



Screen shot of Naxos Top Ten chartOur stunning College Chapel Choir's albums occupy not one, but TWO spots in the Naxos Top Ten chart in Sweden!


Maggie FaultlessGirton Bye-Fellow and co-leader of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Professor Margaret Faultless, has been made an Honorary Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge.



Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan stands in front of the John Marks Sports Pavilion in the grounds of Girton CollegeEnterprise Fellow, Dr Sabesan Sithamparanathan, has been elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Engineering. Dr Sithamparanathan is the founder and president of PervasID who have just launched their ground-breaking TrackMaster technology which enables retailers to track the location of goods in their retail stores or warehouses, with an exceptionally high degree of accuracy, using RFID tags and replacing costly manual handheld scanning.

Sandi ToksvigHonorary Fellow and alumna, Sandi Toksvig, is set to return to Cambridge after being awarded the inaugural Qantabrigian Fellowship for 2023–24, by the LGBTQ+ research programme in Cambridge University’s Department of Sociology.


Dr Emma BrownleeBeneath our Feet: Archaeology of the Cambridge Region, the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology's wonderful exhibition, includes objects from Girton's museum, the Lawrence Room, and fascinating research by Girton Fellow, Dr Emma Brownlee. The exhibition runs until 24 April 2024 so do visit!

Dr Caroline ShentonGirton's Secretary to Council, Dr Caroline Shenton, has been appointed to The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest. The committee advises the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) whether a cultural object intended for export is a national treasure.

Dr Claire WhiteDr Claire White, the Brenda Stacey Fellow in Modern and Medieval Languages, is a contributor to the newly-published volume accompanying the current exhibition on Edgar Degas at The Cleveland Museum of Art. The exhibition runs from 8 October 2023 to January 14 2024.


Ain BaileyAin Bailey, the 2022–23 Cavendish Arts Science Fellow at Girton, features in a podcast talking with Gemma Bale, assistant professor of Medical Therapeutics at the University of Cambridge and head of the Neuro Optics Lab about the intersection of sound, science and music.


Carenza LewisProfessor Carenza Lewis (Archaeology and Anthropology, 1982), alumna and distinguished archaeologists, has been awarded the British Academy Landscape Archaeology Medal 2023 in recognition of her contribution to the field and her lasting impact on social sciences. 


Cevanne Horrocks-HopayianCevanne Horrocks-Hopayian (Music, 2004), alumna and Mary Amelia Cummins Harvey Visiting Fellow Commoner 2019–20, has been nominated for an Ivor Novello Award. The nomination is for a multi-media project Cevanne contributed to, as part of a duo Crewsdon and Cevanne, which included an installation, EP and augmented-reality book inspired by folklore and the waterways of Coventry.


Books Galore!

Book coversOkechukwu Nzelu (English, 2007) and Seán Hewitt (English, 2009) have both been shortlisted for a Polari Book Prize this year. Seán has been nominated for his captivating memoir on love and loss, All Down Darkness Wide. Okechukwu has been nominated for his second novel Here Again Now, a spellbinding story about lovers, fathers and sons. The Polari Prize is the UK and Ireland’s only dedicated LGBTQ+ book prize, founded by author and activist, Paul Burston.

The Princess Book CoverWendy Holden (English, 1983) has published a the final book in her Windsor Women trilogy. The Princess is a moving new novel about the young Diana.


My Friends book coverPulitzer Prize-winning author and Mary Amelia Cummins Harvey Visiting Fellow Commoner 2008, Hisham Matar is set to publish his new novel, My Friends, in January 2024. It is described as 'A masterful, intensely moving novel about three friends living in political exile and the emotional homeland that deep friendships can provide.'

The cover of Light to those in Darkness: ‘Total Pain’ and the Body of ChristJohn Marks Fellow in Medicine and Praelector, Rev'd Dr Charlie Bell's latest book is titled Light to those in Darkness: ‘Total Pain’ and the Body of Christ. As a clinician and theologian Dr Bell reflects on the ways that the doctrine of ‘the communion of saints’, might be used to help the church understand how it can address “total pain” within individuals, and collective trauma within the wider community. 

Cover of Playing Britannia: How I Became Her ExcellencyJuliet Campbell, former Mistress of Girton and distinguished diplomat, launched her fascinating memoir this term. Playing Britannia: How I Became Her Excellency is an absorbing account of Juliet's early life and her pioneering career in the British Diplomatic Service.

Cover of Girton TimeA stunning new coffee table book, Girton Time, is now available. It is a conversation in artwork and poems about Girton College. The book features stunning artwork by Dr Carol Adlam, Mary Amelia Cummins Harvey Visiting Fellow Commoner 2021–22, and beautiful poems by Dr James Wade, Jane Elizabeth Martin Fellow in English, and Dr Adam Crothers (English, 2002).


And Finally...

Photo of Dr Kendall in Sanaa, YemenIn case you missed it – in 2017 the Mistress, Dr Elisabeth Kendall spoke to the BBC's Alex Marshall about why she became a jihadist poetry critic.