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Who's Who

Principal - Professor N M Sempala-Ntege OBE MA

As Principal of John Snow College, Nathan is responsible for leadership, culture and values and the strategic direction of the college community.

He joined Durham University in 2023 after a 27-year career in the British Army.  As an officer in the Royal Artillery, he served on training exercises and military operations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Far East and Africa and in a variety of planning and policy jobs. His last role was Head of People Strategy for the Army, prior to which he was Deputy Commanding General of the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In Nathan’s secondary role as Associate Pro Vice Chancellor Colleges and Student Experience, he supports the development and delivery of an outstanding student experience for all Durham students.

He is married to Catriona and they have four children.

Ruth Wilson Staff Photo

Vice-Principal - Dr Ruth Wilson

Ruth oversees the overall management of the College and deputises for the Principal in his absence, as well as helping in strategic planning. She is directly responsible for matters relating to student enrichment, outreach and College events and is the College Officer link to the JCR for societies and the performing arts. 

Gini Bedford Staff Image

Assistant Principal (Student Support) - Gini Bedford

Gini’s role as Assistant Principal is primarily concerned with student support and well being. She has worked at Durham University for 25 years both in Departments, Operations and Colleges.

She can offer appointments and drop in for students who have concerns about anything in College life.




Assistant Student Support Officer - Dom Birch

Dom Birch is our Assistant Student Support Officer. Dom is part of the student support team, who you can contact if you need any support during your time at University. Dom finished a PhD in History from King’s College London in 2021, specialising in Early Modern British Social and Legal History.

Dom enjoys cooking, reading about obscure Soviet History and listening to hyperpop. Dom is non-binary, and happy to chat to students about LGBTQ+ issues.


JCR President- Ella Pierre

Ella is our JCR President for 2023/24 and it’s her job is to oversee and look after the undergraduate student body here at John Snow, which is also known as the Junior Common Room.

Your university experience is about so much more than just getting a degree. Being involved within our thriving college community is one way to ensure that you have the best possible experience of life at John Snow, whether that’s through sports, music, drama, outreach or welfare.

Ella is based in the JCR Office near reception.


Niamh Boyle Photo

JCR Vice-President- Niamh Boyle

Niamh is a 2nd year Geography student and Vice-President for 2023/2024. Her role is to work with mainly Ella and the rest of the JCR to help run everything smoothly. She is also in charge of organising all of the formals and stash sales. She is always around to be a friendly face.


Portrait photograph of Andrew Tinkler, College Chaplain

Chaplain - Andrew Tinkler

Andrew provides pastoral support for students, and can also give advice around matters related to faith and belief.  Andrew also helps develop our community projects and supports student volunteering too. He is in college on Thursdays so please introduce yourself or reach out as needed.

Andrew is passionate about social justice and is trustee with two charities in the North East. He is also a keen musician, playing bass guitar with several bands in his native North Tyneside.


College Administration Co-ordinator - Angela Lo 

As our College Administration Coordinator, Angela is responsible for key College administrative functions, and provides oversight of the day- to- day running of the College Office.

Angela spent her childhood in Hong Kong, and came to the UK in 2016 to study for her BA International Relations and MSc Human Resource Management degrees at Durham University. Angela is happy for International Students to reach out to her.

Angela enjoys making handicrafts, playing badminton with her friends, and playing dystopian future video games.


Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 0046

Rebecca Jacobs Staff Photo   Anna Casson Staff Photo

Student Support Administrator - Rebecca Jacobs (Monday-Wednesday) and Anna Casson (Thursday-Friday)

Rebecca and Anna provide support for the College allocation process for all incoming students. In addition, they are the initial administrative point of contact for College. They assist with College Events and also support Angela by providing general admin support for the college. 


Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 0046


Accommodation Facilitator - Sarah Urquhart (Tues, Weds, Thurs)

Sarah is the Accommodation Facilitator for both John Snow and South Colleges. She is your first point of contact for all things accommodation related and here for you for advice on all aspects of living in College.  In her spare time Sarah enjoys working in volunteer construction as a decorator and scaffolder.




Phil Smith

Food and Beverage Services Head - Phil Smith

Phil manages the College Bar (Igloo) and also Catering Services for John Snow College. 


Food Service Assistant Supervisor- Claire Robinson


Reception Helpdesk Assistant - Stacey Winn

Stacey provides reception cover and is first point of contact to students and visitors.  She manages the post, deliveries and key cards to student accommodation. 


Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 0888


Finance Assistant- Faye Lowe