People — Staff, students, and alumni

Meet some of our staff, students and alumni - find out how they got into their industry, what they learned during their time at ARU, and what inspires their creativity.

Students & Alumni

Leila Khan
– Drama & English Literature

Leila Khan

Leila landed acting roles in Netlix’s Heartstopper series and the BBC’s Death in Paradise Christmas Special while studying on our BA (Hons) Drama & English Literature degree.

Sand and Erato working at a kitchen table (Photo by Luey Northern)
Students & Alumni

Nigel Sandridge and Erato Kallini
— Film Production.

Erato and Sand are graduates of ARU’s MA Film and Television Production course and together formed the company NoMargins Media, working with artists and creatives on a range of projects.

Kai Toktassyn Students & Alumni

Kai Toktassyn
— Drama.

Kai graduated from our BA (Hons) Drama degree in 2022, and since then has been building a career as a film actor and producer/ manager in his home country of Kazakhstan.

Meet Kai
Pippa singing onstage in Maleficent costume Staff

Pippa O’Brien
— Musical Theatre.

Pippa teaches on our BA (Hons) Musical Theatre, and is also an actress and singer with a prolific career of performances on both television and stage, including the Only Fools and Horses musical and Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge.

Meet Pippa
Nanette Hoogslag in Ruskin Building Staff

Dr Nanette Hoogslag
— Course Leader, MA Illustration

Nanette is Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for our MA Illustration degree, and a practising illustrator and organiser/curator. She is also Principal Editor of the Journal of Illustration.

Meet Nanette
Oliver Oxley Students & Alumni

Oliver Oxley
— Acting.

Oliver Oxley is one of the first cohort of students on our BA (Hons) Acting degree, which started in 2022-3. He also performs with various theatre troupes around Cambridge.

Meet Oliver
Rosie Ruoxi Students & Alumni

Rosie Ruoxi
— Fine Art.

Rosie graduated from our MA Fine Art in 2022 and is now establishing herself as a practising artist in China, as well as preparing for her PhD.

Meet Rosie
Trey Augustus sitting in Mumford Theatre Students & Alumni

Trey Augustus
— Acting.

Trey is a mature student on our BA (Hons) Acting course at ARU. Originally from California, after three years working in the UK he decided to concentrate on his acting, taking up roles with various troupes around Cambridge as well as joining our course.

Meet Trey
Megan Wiggins holding film reel case Students & Alumni

Megan Wiggins
— Film and Television Production.

Megan Wiggins came from Long Beach, California in the US to study on our MA Film and Television Production. She’s also a member of ARU’s volleyball team, and was awarded an athletic scholarship to play for the university.

Meet Megan
Jan Casey speaking at event Students & Alumni

Jan Casey
— Creative Writing.

Jan Casey graduated from our MA Creative Writing course in 2010, and has since established herself as an author of historical fiction, publishing four novels through Aria Fiction and now working on a fifth.

Meet Jan
Ian Wolter working on sculptures of people Students & Alumni

Ian Wolter
— Fine Art.

Ian Wolter graduated from our BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2015. Since then he has been awarded many high profile commissions and awards, including the Art Laguna Prize.

Meet Ian
Eleanor Penny in front of a laptop Students & Alumni

Eleanor Penny
— Interior Design.

Eleanor Penny graduated from our BA (Hons) Interior Design in 2020 and, following various roles in design-related companies, now works for Cambridge-based design studio Layrd Design.

Meet Eleanor
Josh Newman holding a camera Staff

Josh Newman
— Film Production.

Josh Newman is Senior Lecturer in Film Production at ARU. A filmmaker with 25 years of industry experience in TV, film, visitor attractions and online marketing, he has a broad interest in using video storytelling for education, communication and social justice.

Meet Josh
Michal Staniewski in front of pc Students & Alumni

Michal Staniewski
— Computer Games

Michal moved to the UK from Poland when he was about 8 years old. He graduated from our BSc Computer Games Technology with a first class honours, and is now a game developer at Jagex.

Meet Michal
Aliz standing next to plant Students & Alumni

Aliz Kovacs-Zoldi
— Photography.

Aliz graduated from our BA (Hons) Photography degree in 2022, and has been working freelance as a portrait photographer since then. She received the Student Photographer of the Year Award from Amateur Photographer magazine after their coverage of her major project work.

Meet Aliz
Students & Alumni

Gabi Kaziukonyte
— Film and Television Production.

Gabi graduated from our BA (Hons) Film and Television Production in 2020, and now works as Senior VFX Co-ordinator with Cambridge-based visual effects studio VineFX.

Meet Gabi
Rebecca and Madelaine working with clients Students & Alumni

Madelaine and Rebecca
— MA Dramatherapy Placement

Madelaine is a graduate of our MA Dramatherapy degree. During the course, she attended a placement under the mentorship of Rebecca at London Disability Network and now works as a registered Dramatherapist.

Meet Madelaine and Rebecca
Sam Millar reading book in library Students & Alumni

Sam Millar
— Writing and English Literature.

Sam Millar graduated from our BA (Hons) Writing and English Literature degree in 2019. His first poetry collection 'Retail Park' was published in 2022 by Querencia Press.

Meet Sam
Francesca Gagni with one of her artworks Students & Alumni

Francesca Gagni
— Fine Art.

Francesca Gagni is on the final year of our BA (Hons) Fine Art degree. An Italian national who emigrated to the UK in 1998, she is hoping to go on to teach fine art when she graduates.

Meet Francesca
Rachael Stalker standing next to tree Students & Alumni

Rachael Stalker
— Music Therapy.

Rachael Stalker graduated from our MA Music Therapy degree in 2022, and now works as a music therapist at a Special Needs School near Cambridge.

Meet Rachel
Lexi Curtis in Ruskin Building hallway Students & Alumni

Lexi Curtis
— MA Graphic Design.

Lexi Curtis is a student on our MA Graphic Design degree, as well as the Course Representative and President of the Z.A.M.P. (zines and mini publications) Society.

Meet Lexi
Agate sitting at a sound desk Students & Alumni

Agata Kazmierczak
— Film and TV Production.

Agata graduated from our BA (Hons) Film and Television Production degree in 2022. She currently works as a Technical Operator at BBC News in London, mostly mixing sound for live programmes and bulletins.

Meet Agata
Students & Alumni

Kristin Roskifte
— Children's Author & Illustrator.

Kristin Roskifte graduated from our BA Illustration in 1998. After studying for her MA, she returned to Norway to write and illustrate her own picturebooks. Her latest, 'Everybody Counts', was awarded the Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize 2019.

Meet Kristin
Caterina Dellabona and Ana Pessoa sat next to a piano Students & Alumni

Caterina and Ana
— MA Music Therapy Placement.

Caterina is a student on our MA Music Therapy. As part of the course she attended a clinical placement under the supervision of Ana at Hollanden Park Hospital, further developing the skills she learned on the course with real-world practice and patients.

Meet Cat and Ana
Mardiya Auranzeb Students & Alumni

Mardiya Aurangzeb
— Graphic Design.

Mardiya is a graduate of both our BA (Hons) Graphic Design and MA Graphic Design and Typography. She now works as a freelance Graphic Designer as well as teaching graphic design to FE students.

Meet Mardiya
Students & Alumni

Michael Bruce
— Writing and Film.

Michael is a BA (Hons) Writing and Film student from Macon, Georgia, in the US, who enjoys making horror films in particular.

Meet Michael
Blessing Raimi in front of red brick wall Students & Alumni

Blessing Raimi
— Graphic Design.

Blessing Raimi is a Digital Designer at award-winning media agency DTV Group, and a graduate of our BA (Hons) Graphic Design course.

Meet Blessing
Victoria Burrows in front of TV posters Students & Alumni

Victoria Burrows
— VFX Coordinator

Victoria is an alumni of our BA (Hons) Film and Television Production. After graduating, she worked as a runner for Technicolor, before becoming Production Coordinator and then Producer. She is now working as a VFX Coordinator for Scanline.

Meet Victoria

Monique Brown
— Technical Officer, Fashion Design

Monique Brown began her career as a costume designer for feature films, working on the likes of Luc Besson's 'The Fifth Element' and George Lucas' 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace'. She now works in our fashion studios, helping students and staff develop their creative process.

Meet Monique

Toby Venables
— Lecturer, Screenwriting.

Toby Venables teaches screenwriting modules at ARU. A professional screenwriter with a particular interest in horror, he has co-written a BAFTA-winning film, 'His House', for Netflix, and also published four novels.

Meet Toby
Aining Wen Students & Alumni

Aining Wen
— Children's Picturebook Author & Illustrator.

After graduating from our MA Children's Book Illustration, Aining returned to Beijing to work as a children's book editor with Daylight Publishing House. She has also published several picturebooks of her own, including 'Fairy Song', 'Secrets of Traditional Chinese Musical Instruments', 'Goodnight Baby', and the Bologna-shortlisted 'Cello Swan'.

Meet Aining
Musical Theatre lecturer Ryan Murphy leaning on a piano. The background shows stage lights. Staff

Ryan Murphy
— Musical Theatre

Ryan Murphy is a Senior Lecturer Practitioner and leads the BA Musical Theatre course. Teaching ensemble and solo singing as well as music theory, Ryan also musically directs every production on the course.

Meet Ryan
Graphic Design lecturer Nick Jeeves leaning against a shelf Staff

Nick Jeeves
— Graphic Designer

As well as teaching Graphic Design, Nick Jeeves produces books as editor for the Ruskin Arts Publications and The Public Domain Review. He also publishes small editions of original writing and revived historical texts through his own imprint Mulita Small Editions.

Meet Nick
Students & Alumni

Jamal J Glynn
— Music Therapist.

Jamal graduated in 2011 as the first MA music therapist to use the steelpan as primary instrument. After this, he returned home to Trinidad, and within three weeks was assigned to the Ministry of Health.

Meet Jamal
Chris Draper in the Ruskin building illustration studio Staff

Chris Draper
— Illustrator.

Chris Draper is Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Illustration at Cambridge School of Art and a freelance illustrator who has worked on editorials for the likes of New Scientist, GQ, and The Independent newspaper; book covers for major publishing houses; and advertising for BT, NatWest, Weetabix, E-Cover, and Patek Phillipe.

Meet Chris
Julia Johnson in the photography studio Staff

Julia Johnson
— Photographer.

Julia Johnson is Co-Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Photography programme at ARU. She runs a major first-year practice based module, and also oversees the contextual study element for a number of Cambridge School of Art courses.

Meet Julia
Megan Herdson in front of ARU Cambridge entrance Students & Alumni

Megan Herdson
— Writing.

Megan is a graduate of our BA (Hons) Writing and Film Studies and MA Creative Writing, and worked as Senior Campaign Officer at ARU until 2022.

Meet Megan
Bo Yang painting Students & Alumni

Bo Yang
— Children's Book Illustrator.

Bo Yang is a freelance illustrator in Beijing, and a graduate of ARU's MA Children's Book Illustration course.

Meet Bo
Rachel Ryder leaning on a bar in a pub Staff

Rachel Ryder
— Historical Sociologist.

Rachel Ryder is a historical sociologist, and Course Leader / Senior Lecturer for the BA (Hons) Sociology at ARU. The module she is best known for is 'Intoxicants and intoxication,' which takes in the broad field of alcohol studies, including production, consumption and distribution, globally and over time.

Meet Rachel
Idrees Rasouli holding up a honeycomb Staff

Dr Idrees Rasouli
— Associate Professor, Art & Design.

An award-winning designer, academic, and researcher of products, processes, and places, with a focus on innovation and transformation, Dr Idrees Rasouli is Deputy Head of Cambridge School of Art and Associate Professor of Art & Design, responsible for influencing and shaping the future of Art & Design education to deliver world-class teaching and research at the intersection between Art & Design practice.

Meet Idrees
Joe McCullagh standing on Ruskin Gallery Balcony Staff

Joe McCullagh
— Head of Cambridge School of Art.

Joe McCullagh leads on strategic and operational aspects of the school, to ensure it’s a fantastic environment for learning, research, creativity and development. He sees his role as being a pedagogic designer, developing environments that enable students and staff to meet their potential.

Meet Joe
Students & Alumni

Olivia Welsh
— Fashion Designer.

Olivia is a graduate of our BA (Hons) Fashion Design at Cambridge School of Art, ARU, and founder of the fashion brand Olivia Annabelle.

Meet Olivia
Jemima Willcox in front of a colourful wall mural Students & Alumni

Jemima Willcox
— Photographer / Videographer.

Jemima Willcox is cofounder of The Willcox Collective, a Cambridge-based visual content creation agency who consider themselves adventurers on a quest to deliver tech companies the best in visual content. She graduated from our BA (Hons) Photography in 2012.

Meet Jemima

David Ryan
— Artist.

David is an artist involved with painting, video and also music. At ARU he is an Associate Professor in Fine Art 0.2, mainly dealing with PhD students as a supervisor.

Meet David
Students & Alumni

Catherine Rowe
— Illustrator / Designer.

Catherine Rowe is a graduate of the BA (Hons) Illustration degree course at Cambridge School of Art, ARU, and founder of Catherine Rowe Designs.

Meet Catherine
Lecturer Emily Godden sitting at a desk in a computer lab Staff

Emily Godden
— Digital Media Production

Emily Godden splits her time between lecturing in Digital Media Production and running award-winning social enterprise Virtually There Studio, creating exhibitions, experiences and educational opportunities to benefit both the environment and personal wellbeing.

Meet Emily
Rosie Axon playing a bongo Students & Alumni

Rosie Axon
— Music Therapist.

After studying MA Music Therapy, Rosie Axon became Founder and Director at Chiltern Music Therapy, a not-for-profit organisation that provides music therapy to people of all ages across the UK.

Meet Rosie

Shelley Jackson
— Illustrator.

Shelley Ann Jackson is an author, illustrator and designer of children’s books, and at ARU she is Associate Professor and Course Leader for our MA Children’s Book Illustration. Even though she teaches illustration, she also gets to use her experience with writing and design on the course, because the three are inextricably linked in children’s books.

Meet Shelley
Students & Alumni

Jade Slaughter
— Creative Content Manager.

Jade Slaughter studied both BA English Literature and MA Creative Writing at ARU, and is now Creative Content Manager for Scouts, the UK’s largest co-educational youth movement. Leading a team of content producers, they collaborate with studios and freelancers to produce digital, print, social and film content for the charity.

Meet Jade

Mark Pickering
— Audio and Music Technical Officer.

Mark works at ARU as a Technical Officer and part-time lecturer for Audio Music Technology. Outside of ARU he works as a video director, and audio professional in both creative and technical capacities.

Meet Mark
James Ward in the film studio Staff

James Ward
— Head of Creative Industries.

James Ward is Head of School for Creative Industries at ARU. His main role is to strategically oversee the school in partnership with the Dean, and do anything that relates to management of the school in terms of education, learning and teaching, and attainment.

Meet James

John Williams
— Printmaking Technical Officer

John looks after the printmaking room and equipment at Cambridge School of Art, providing technical and practical support to students, staff, AA2A artists and other visiting artists.

Meet John