Blog posts

Simon Levey, Head of News and Media and Imperial 600 Co-chair, Communications Division

Simon Levey, Head of News and Media and Imperial 600 Co-chair, Communications Division

“For me, it’s always been important not to just turn up, do my job and leave, but to make a difference.”

My communications career began at the Science Media Centre, a charity that connects journalists with scientists to help communicate controversial topics responsibly to the public. I had just finished a degree in Biology at UCL, where I had taken a course in science and the media that sparked my interest in the field. Although, I clearly had a long way to go as I was turned down for a place on Imperial’s prestigious science communication Master’s. It was during my time at UCL that I also became involved with LGBT campaigning.

I started working at Imperial in 2010 as Research Media Officer for Natural Sciences, followed by a role as Research Events Manager. From there I became Communications Manager at the Grantham Institute. I’d always been interested in the environment and climate change and was known for encouraging others to think sustainably, often telling my previous long-suffering colleagues: “It’s my planet too”. One of the things I’m most proud of is introducing public engagement to the Grantham Institute and inspiring them to recognise the public as an important part of influencing policymakers or politicians. (more…)

Kyle Greenland, Research Postgraduate, Department of Surgery and Cancer

Kyle Greenland

“Growing up in a rural area and being the first in my immediate family to pursue higher education, it has become my personal mission to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators.”

My journey at Imperial began in 2017 when I joined the inaugural cohort of the new Medical Biosciences course. This program opened my eyes to a wealth of biological disciplines and the urgent need for research in areas like cancer. Since then, you could say that I caught the Imperial bug as I never left and have remained at Imperial while studying for a Master’s in Cancer Biology and now for a PhD. My current research focuses on using nanomedicines to target cancer therapy to tumours so that toxic side effects from medicines, such as chemotherapy, are limited. (more…)

Daniela Bultoc, Senior Organisational Development Consultant, People and Organisational Development

Daniela Bultoc

“My journey, from a tour guide in Transylvania to empowering individuals and universities, has been driven by a deep desire to make a positive difference.”

My fascination with human connection began at 14, guiding visitors through the historic birthplace of Dracula (yes, he was real!) in the heart of Transylvania in Romania. This sparked a passion for understanding and supporting diverse cultures, leading me to pursue a degree in social work and social policy followed by a Master’s in Human Rights.

However, it was in Higher Education that I truly found my calling: empowering individuals and teams to reach their full potential. Working in personal development for researchers and academics and supporting them in discovering their strengths and goals, ignited a deeper interest in how universities function as organisations. I fuelled this curiosity with a specialised MBA in Higher Education Management, further equipping myself to contribute to this unique sector and aiming to bridge the gap between the different areas and groups supporting a shared goal. (more…)

Aglaia Freccero, President’s PhD Scholar, Division of Psychiatry

Aglaia Freccero, President’s PhD Scholar, Division of Psychiatry

“Along with my studies, mental health activism has given me a sense of purpose as a means of personal and public empowerment.”

I am Aglaia, a first-year President’s Scholar in the Division of Psychiatry. I moved to London in 2017 to pursue my BSc at UCL. When my mental health started to decline, I had to interrupt my studies. In 2018, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but with the appropriate support, I eventually graduated. My mental health struggles fuelled my interest in psychiatry and public health. (more…)

Dana Whigan, Faculty of Medicine, Undergraduate

Dana Whigan

“Learning languages is something I have always liked to do on the side. Through British Sign Language Horizons modules, I have connected with the teaching staff and my fellow students and found a language I truly enjoy.”

I am currently in my second year of BSc Medical Biosciences and my second year of being the Student Rep for British Sign Language (BSL) Horizons modules. Within my role, I represent students that are learning British Sign Language Levels 1 and 2 and discuss their feedback to help shape how BSL is taught as part of the Horizons/I-Explore programme. (more…)

Aigun Gassanova, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

Aigun Gassanova, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

“Imperial has taught me that science is not just a subject; it’s a way of thinking.”

Approaching the final term of my Medical Biosciences course at Imperial, I reflect on the journey that brought me here and realise how Imperial has transformed my life.

I grew up in a culture where science was rarely discussed in daily life, and pursuing it out of curiosity was considered unconventional. My goal of studying at Imperial was deemed overly ambitious by everyone around me. However, in 2021, I joined Imperial as an international student, armed with a passion to grow beyond myself and a determination to learn. (more…)

Mateo Akel, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

Mateo Akel, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

“I believe technology has the potential to democratise healthcare, making it more accessible and effective for the wider population.”

My name is Mateo Akel, and I am in my third year studying BSc Medical Biosciences at Imperial. I’m originally from Lebanon. My journey to Imperial was fueled by two passions: a deep interest in the human body, and a keenness to explore how technology can transform our understanding and healthcare practices. This year for my third-year project, I seized an opportunity to work with the Medtech startup FundamentalVR, where I honed my skills in 3D VR modelling—a field that intrigued me, but I hadn’t explored before. This placement didn’t just broaden my grasp of VR’s potential in healthcare; it equipped me with valuable skills for my future endeavours. (more…)

Tianxu Hou, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

Tianxu Hou, Undergraduate, Faculty of Medicine

“Imperial’s BSc Medical Bioscience programme focuses on developing students’ experimental skills, which I think is the most special thing about this course.“ 

Early in the last decade, Craig Venter coined the famous phrase, “If the 20th century was the century of physics, the 21st century will be the century of biology.  

Maybe it was my curiosity about new technology, or maybe it was the hope that I could make a contribution to cure diseases like cancer which gradually led me to enter the field of oncology, as if it was my destiny.   (more…)

Dr Sanaz Talaifar, ‪Assistant Professor in Organisational Behaviour, Imperial College Business School

Dr Sanaz Talaifar, Assistant Professor in Organisational Behaviour

“It is always very gratifying when students tell me that what they have learned in my class is helping them directly in their lives and their careers.”

I received my PhD in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Before graduate school, I had been a bit confused about what topic and career to pursue because I was interested in so many different things! I found that many of my interests (identity, personality, wellbeing, politics, technology) were being studied by social and personality psychologists in super fascinating ways, and so by becoming a social-personality psychologist I was able to pursue these diverse interests simultaneously.

After graduating, I became a Postdoctoral Scholar in Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. My transition to a business school context made sense in many ways. I had done research during my PhD at Google and had worked in the private sector before graduate school. I also gravitated towards research that had real world implications and felt that many of society’s most pressing problems could not be solved without the involvement of business. (more…)

Travis Mager, Business School, Student Life Manager (Global)

Travis Mager
“Joining the Student Life team last year has been such a revelation for me – I’m very lucky to work with such passionate and respectful colleagues”

I studied History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, where upon graduation, I promptly decided I wanted to pursue other professional avenues. I’ve worn a fair few hats over the years: from working in arts fundraising, to a political ad agency back in my native Washington DC. Most recently I was working as a PA, and in marketing postgraduate programmes, in the Faculty of Medicine. I’m now in the Business School, where I’ve worked for the last year as the Student Life Manager.

I manage incoming and outgoing exchanges for postgraduate Business School students, working with over 25 partner Business Schools around the world to provide students with as much global experience as possible. I also work on other memory-making activities in the Business School including developing our overseas modules, and trip leading. Annually, we take over 600 Business School students on overseas trips, which create opportunities for students to increase their cultural fluency in the real world by immersing them in a country’s business and cultural scenes. More broadly, the Student Life team is also responsible for community engagement and experiences in the Business School, including Welcome Day, the Winter Party and Summer Ball. (more…)