The MCR Committee

MCR President 2018-19: Tamzin Byrne

A scientist and a journalist by training, I’m taking a Masters in Social Innovation at the business school, to think about how we can solve some of the world’s wicked problems – climate change, food security, global health – by retooling as science communicators to create more impact from research.




MCR Vice-Presdient: Akhila Denduluri

Hello! I am Akhila, a first year PhD student in the department of Chemistry. I study the behaviour of proteins and protein aggregates in micro-scale environments, in order to understand more about neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Whether you live in the college, or drop by the college once in a while – we look forward to making it a space for you to meet, chat, discuss, celebrate and make memories during your time at Cambridge!


MCR Treasurer: Katie Piner                                                                                

Hello! I’m a MPhil student in Economic and Social History. My research looks at how writers during England’s Renaissance funded their writing. I’m specifically examining the role that female patronage played in the development of the literary marketplace.

My interest in money doesn’t stop in historical periods though; as Treasurer, I’m in charge of the MCR’s finances. Basically, I look over any and all money-related manners. If you feel so inclined, you are more than welcome to contact me with any MCR budgetary questions.

SecretaryTapoka Mkandawire

My name is Tapoka and I am a continuing member of the Murray Edwards Graduate Community and secretary. I have had a love for science since day one and after studying Molecular Biology at Manchester, I moved to Cambridge to work for the Wellcome Trust and pursue my postgraduate degree at the University. As secretary, I must effectively record information from the MCR committee and the wider university, and present this information to the members of the college in a timely manner. I will be doing this is done through writing up committee meeting minutes and the college bulletins. The other key role of the secretary is to coordinate the annual sweatshirt order, and I plan to secure us some gorgeous sweaters!

Social Secretaries

Social Secretary: Holly Fletcher

Hello! I’m a first year PhD student in Early Modern History. My research considers bodyweight and the silhouette in sixteenth-century Germany, and I’m particularly interested in the way representations and understandings of body-size and shape may have altered or developed throughout this period.

As one of the four social secretaries on the MCR, my role is to jointly organise social events in college such as the MCR bop, academic events including the graduate symposium, and intercollegiate socials like formal swaps. My aim is to continue the lively social life we enjoy here at Murray Edwards, ensuring a friendly community atmosphere in which everyone feels at home!

Social Secretary: Brittany Orton

Salve! My name is Brittany, and I am an MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. My research focuses on queenship, succession, and the political atmosphere during ninth-century Wessex, however, all things Medieval interest me! In my spare time I enjoy rowing for Murray Edwards row team, as well as weightlifting.

I can also be counted as one of your friendly MCR Social Secretaries. I really look forward to planning some exciting events over the next academic year.

Social Secretary: Sophie Wright

Hi, I’m Sophie and I’m doing a one year MPhil in Early Modern History. As one of the social secretaries, my role is to try to make the social experience of Medwards graduates as rewarding as possible. That mainly involves organising a range of events that will suit the various interests of our student body. Beyond this, I’m keen to foster links with non Hill colleges and also to collaborate with the welfare officer to provide opportunities for social confidence building and addressing social anxiety. For any social related enquiries or comments, please do get in touch!

Welfare Officer: Kanupriya Sharma                                                              

I am Kanupriya, a current MPhil student at the Institute of Criminology, looking at the intimate lives of of women prisoners in India and the myriad ways in which they resist, manipulate and negotiate the institutional norms to ensure their smooth survival outside prison. In doing so, I spend most of my time reading books on prison, crime and criminal behavior and the rest in watching reality TV series and thrillers.

A social worker by profession and now a budding criminologist, I understand ‘welfare’ to be everything that concerns your everyday life. So here I am to lend you an ear, minimize your stress and make the college environment more helpful, supportive and comfortable for you. I hope to do my best in this role and contribute to the growth of the committee in productive and meaningful ways!

LGBT+ Officer: Victoria Calderon                                                                                                                

My name is Victoria, and I’m an MPhil student studying International Relations and Politics! My research focuses on how critical feminist political theory can inform discussions around human trafficking and immigration policy.

Although I love academia, I often find myself procrastinating; and when  I procrastinate, I like to watch shows like The Office, volunteer, cuddle with animals, and play clarinet. In fact, I play clarinet for the Orchestra on the Hill here at Cambridge, and I’m also involved with various other Cambridge societies, such as the Women’s Campaign and LGBT+ Campaign. I have met a wonderful group of students through these campaigns, and because of the experiences I’ve had in LGBT+ spaces at the university so far, I want to bring queer communities from all the colleges together through my role as LGBT+ Officer.

Throughout the year, my role will include planning events for the queer members of Murray Edwards and educating the college on LGBT+ issues, but I want my role to extend beyond just that. I want to be available to everyone who is queer or questioning, whether you need someone to vent to or just want to be in the company of a fellow LGBT+ person. Please contact me if you need anything at all!

Green Officer: Freyja Yeatman Omarsdottir            

Hi, my name is Freyja and I am currently studying an MPhil in engineering for sustainable development at the department of engineering.

I am particularly excited to be your Green Officer this year as it sounds like a fun role and ties in well with my studies! I will be active in all green issues such as bringing awareness to recycling, energy and water use, supporting the edible garden and hosting the green formal during Lent term. In my spare time I like to stay active and explore nature!

General Member: Mansi Gupta                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Hello! I am Mansi and I am studying a Masters in Law. I am a lawyer enrolled at the Bar in India. I am interested in human rights, especially those relating to women and children. It is, thus, great to be associated with Murray Edwards, which takes pride in providing a platform for women who are seen as harbingers of bringing change in the society.

I am fond of trekking and going to unexplored places. And now, when I am not studying law, I go around on my bike exploring Cambridge on my own. As a general member, I am happy to assist anyone whosoever needs me. I will work as a constant supporting hand through and through. Joining as your general member feels great and I look forward


Outgoing members

Immediate Past President: Ellen Robertson 

I am a third year PhD student in social psychology. As a member of the Gender Development Research Centre, my dissertation focuses on a unique Albanian tradition where women may live as men. With my interest in gender it’s particularly exciting to be at Murray Edwards!

Immediate Past Vice-President: Pallavi Panda
Hello everyone! I’m Pallavi, a second-year PhD student at the Department of Genetics. For my PhD research, I am broadly interested in studying the regulation of cell division, with particular focus on centrioles and centrosomes, using fruit flies as a model organism.