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Our People

Professor Sonia Virdee - Principal Sonia - New Students









Dr Peter Swift - Vice-Principal

Peter Swift studied Mathematics and Physics here at Grey College, before200 px version completing a PhD with Prof. Martyn Chamberlain, a former Master of the College. Following various research and teaching posts within the University, Peter became the then Vice-Master of Grey College in 2014, which he combines with post of Associate Professor (Education) in the Department of Physics with a particular interest in Physics Education and Pedagogy. During 2021-2023 Academic years he was the Acting Master of the College. 

Now back in the role of Vice-Principal, Peter is responsible for Student Experience at Grey College, in the broadest sense. He has previously developed and now has oversight of the Opportunities programme, whilst also taking the lead on the college’s provision for Postgraduate Students. Through these activities he hopes to ensure that students at Grey College get the broadest possible education whilst here, to broaden and enhance their degree studies. Peter also sits ex officio on the College Trust and undertakes alumni relations, as well as acting as Treasurer for the Senior Common Room (SCR).

Outside of work, Peter is a keen cricketer, playing for Durham City, captaining their second team, and the University staff team: he much enjoys playing for the staff in the student league. He is also a church organist and choral singer.


Dr Judith Barbaro-Brown - Assistant Principal

I have been in the role of Assistant Principal at Grey College since January 2021 200 px versionand feel both privileged and lucky to be part of the Grey family.

I originally worked clinically in the NHS before moving into education and have lectured in HE since 1996. I first worked at Durham University in 2007, based at Queen’s Campus with the Medicine programme. After some time at York St John University leading the Health CPD team I returned to help set up the Durham International Study Centre as Head of Curriculum and Progression.  After this I was part of the team setting up the new medical school in Sunderland before returning again to Durham University and joining the Grey community. I’m an alumnus of Cardiff & Durham Universities from my PG/Doctoral studies and have specific interests in student support and wellbeing, student transition to university, and academic self-concept.

I was born in Durham City and continue to live just outside the city with my family as well as multiple dogs and cats. My dogs regularly come into college to spend time with students in the JCR and go for walks with them around Durham – they are honorary members of the Grey Welfare Team and love coming into college! I enjoy cooking and baking, eating chocolate, Argentine tango, collecting shoes, going to the theatre and cinema, and travelling - my favourite destination being the Alhambra in Granada. 

As Assistant Principal I lead the college student support team, working to provide a welcoming and supportive home from home for all our students so they can enjoy their time at the university, and especially here as part of our Grey extended family. 



Kellie Stephenson - College Administration Coordinator

Laura Collin - Assistant Student Support Officer (Part time: Wed pm - Fri)

Antonina Martinelli - Student Support Administrator

Peter Dunn - College Operations Manager

David Matthews - College Operations Team Leader

Glenda Reed - Receptionist

Nicola Gittins - Food and Beverages Services Manager

Vince Muir - Head Chef