Student Champions

Equate Student Champions are ambassadors for the network within their college or university, they are recruited by their university or college and are currently studying a STEM subject. All the student champions are supported by Equate Scotland and given skills and training to help them in their role.

The role of a student champion involves contributing new ideas and giving feedback for the development of Equate Student Network, engaging students at their university or college in the network, organising women in STEM activities on campus and working with their university or college to influence women into STEM initiatives or projects.

If you are interested in attending an event or getting involved in your local Equate Student Group please contact your Student Champion.

The 2019/20 Equate Student Network Champions are:

University of Strathclyde
Hannah Houston

My name is Hannah Houston, and I am a 4th year mechanical engineering student at Strathclyde University. I love my degree: I love using maths to solve problems, and I love how social engineering can be. In my spare time, I am a part of a society at university who build wind turbines, and I am involved in feminist activism within Lanarkshire, where I am from. Studying STEM is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and the reward of my degree is much more than I ever could have imagined. I am really excited to see where being a Student Champion will take me in the coming year, and where becoming an engineer will take me in later life!

Sarah Johnston

Edinburgh Napier University 

Hi I’m Sarah

I am studying a BEng Civil engineering at Edinburgh Napier University. Going into my fourth year. I am a keen rugby player and play for my university team. I am also part of the civil engineering society. I have been involved with the Equate network since 1st year. Learning a STEM subject was always interesting to me as I have always been good at maths and physics. I would like to share my passion with the younger generation. Equate network has allowed me to make friends and become a confident individual within a professional atmosphere.

Celina McTavish

Edinburgh Napier University 

Celina McTavish is in her 4th year of Digital Media and Interactive Design. She has a Norwegian, Scottish and Japanese background. In the summer of 2019, Celina was a Junior Consultant UX Designer Intern at Evry in Oslo, Norway.  She has actively been involved in various extracurricular activities whilst studying. She believes the future benefits from having more equality within STEM, by giving women more opportunities to grow!

Sarah Horgan

Edinburgh Napier University 

Hello, my name is Sarah and I’m a first year toxicology PhD student. Previously, I did a traineeship at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in Lisbon and worked as a Regulatory Consultant in Edinburgh. I wanted to be a scientist from a very early age and now that I can call myself one- I feel very passionately about ensuring there is equality within the sector.

University of Glasgow

Penny Morton

I am 5th year Meng Product Design Engineering student at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art. I love solving problems creatively. The journey from being given a problem to applying the maths and physics learned in lectures, to researching new technologies, to sketching ideas, to making prototypes until you have designed and engineered an innovative product, is a challenging journey but one that excites me to work in engineering.

I am President of FemEng – GU’s Female Engineering society which involves organising network, outreach, mentoring and social events. The favourite part of my role is visiting schools and engaging with pupils to hopefully inspire them into a career in STEM.

University of St Andrews

Alexandra Chapman

My name is Alexandra Chapman, and I’m a 2nd year undergraduate at the University of St Andrews studying for a BSc in Cell Biology. I’m very excited to work with EQUATE, and in my time as the Student Champion at St Andrews I hope to initiate conversations about the gender gap in scientific industries, while providing opportunities for women to build their confidence about their futures in STEM.

City of Glasgow College

Mary-Jane McNicol

Hi, I’m Mary-Jane McNicol and I am a 2nd year Building Surveying student. I find my course engaging and love that there are many different areas of construction that I have the opportunity to go in to.

In my spare time I run the STEM Girls society at college and hope to build and improve on the foundations laid down last year.

Becoming an Equate Champion will allow me to meet other women and students in STEM from different backgrounds.

Robert Gordon University

Sam Thiesen

Hi, my name is Sam and I’m in my third year of studying Computer Science. I enjoy my degree a lot and I’m currently the president of my university’s Computing Society – it’s very rewarding to encourage students to engage with computing outside of their degree. Over the years I’ve become frustrated with the gender imbalance in STEM and constantly being one of the few or even the only woman in the room. Attending the Equate Student Network Conference and hearing about the amazing things the Equate Student Champions and Women in STEM groups are achieving inspired me to start RGU’s own Women in STEM network. I think being part of a positive community can have a huge impact and so I hope the network will provide a space for women to grow, connect and feel represented. I am excited to share my passion for STEM and make it a more inclusive space!


Martina Bali

Robert Gordon University

Hi! My name is Martina Bali, I am currently pursuing a degree in Electronic and Electrical engineering at Robert Gordon University. I love my course, even though I sometimes struggled being the only girl in my class during the first few years, it inspired me to lead other women, alongside showing how interesting and valuable engineering could be in today’s world! This year, I was thrilled to co-found  ‘RGU Women in STEM’, a community that supports girls and inspire younger women who share the same passion for science, technology and all other STEM related subjects. Reading about Equate enlightened me to stand up for gender equality and encourage women to speak up as loud as men even if present in a minority. I am so pleased to be part of Equate as a Student Champion and hope to spread my spark along the way !

Emily Mason

Heriot Watt University

Hi, I’m Emily.

I’m currently in my fourth year studying for a Master’s in Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. I recently got involved with Athena Swan at my university, after one of my female lecturers supported me to complete a research project as a scholar in summer 2018. Since then I have visited primary schools spreading STEM awareness and recently founded Watt Women in STEM at Heriot Watt in September 2019. We have put on events including career workshops, socials and event had some exclusive videoing at the university! At Heriot-Watt there is a contrast in the number of females in STEM; so, it was a natural decision to become an Equate Student Champion and I hope to continue inspiring women and girls to study STEM subjects.

Nika Teran

University of Edinburgh

Hi! My name is Nika and I am a first year Chemistry student at the University of Edinburgh. I have never wanted to listen to suggestions that I might not be able to accomplish something especially if it was because I am a girl. When I see a woman being recognised for something she accomplished it makes me proud to be one. As I am starting to get involved in the world of STEM, which I am very excited about, I want to make sure that that world is as accessible to women as it is to men. I hope someday women will have the courage to speak just as loud, be proud of their success and not be ashamed of their mistakes. One day I would like to be someone who inspires others and I am sure my involvement with Equate Scotland is the best possible starting point.

Emma Gunn

North Highland College, University of the Highlands and Islands

Hiya, my name is Emma Gunn and I am a Mechanical Engineering student at the North Highland College, University of the Highlands and Islands. I completed my Mechanical Design Modern Apprenticeship with Nuvia Ltd in Summer 2019. I am now doing my degree full time whilst working full time for Nuvia. Throughout the year I attend numerous STEM events, trying to encourage others to pursue a STEM career path. These events are so important, it is such an effective method to show students first hand that STEM subjects are for both men and woman equally. I really look forward to working with EQUATE to take this one step further. ”

Bibi Aldrick

Moray College, UHI

Hi my name is Bibi Aldrick. I am an Applied Science degree student at Moray College UHI currently in my 2nd year. Before this amazing opportunity to work with equate opened up I had never even heard of STEM before. I would love to spread the word so others who have also not heard, can get involved and we can balance the scales of equality within STEM.

Kirstie Miller

Perth College

Hi, my name is Kirstie and I am in my third year of BSc Computing. My favourite aspect of the course is databases, but I love programming too! I am one of very few women on my course, and I would like to be involved in encouraging more women to pursue careers in STEM.

When not studying, I enjoy group cycling classes at my campus, and I am a qualified nail technician.

Bryony Beck

Lews Castle College

My name is Bryony Beck and I am studying a masters in Rural Sustainable Development. Previous to this, I studied Geography at undergrad level. Gender equality is one of the Sustainable development goals for 2030 so I am very interested in working with Equate to recognise women in science roles and working towards this goal. I am currently an associate trainer with Sparqs, training class reps across Scotland, I was a class rep for three years while studying Geography.

Chloe Rodgers

An Lochran, University of the Highlands & Islands

My name is Chloe Rodgers and I am a third year PhD student at the University of the Highlands & Islands. My research is focussed on the role of the immune response to melanoma. I enjoy working in the laboratory and love the creativity involved in doing research, all the more helped by being in the prettiness of the Highlands. I am looking forward to working with EQUATE Scotland to learn about the barriers women may come across when pursuing a STEM career, but also to celebrate all the great things women do in STEM already. Girl Power!

Ruth Carey

SAMS, University of the Highlands and Islands

Hi there! I am Ruth Carey; I am a third-year student studying Marine Science at SAMS! a campus in Oban which is joined to the University of the Highlands and Islands. I absolutely love my degree and love that I’m not doing just one science but instead I’m learning about Chemistry, biology, physics, geology, statistics and even a bit of social science! I am so excited to work with EQUATE and hope to help women within the STEM community.

Leia Christine

West Lothian College

My name is Leia Christine, I am a student at West Lothian College and I study cyber security. This is my second year studying at West Lothian, before cyber security I done a foundation apprenticeship for computer software. If you can’t tell by now I am a fanatic when it comes to computing, I love the subject. And I seem to be quite good at it which is always a plus, I struggled with being the only female in my course and I hope that by being a student champion I can help support and encourage young woman to take the jump into computing, and other STEM subjects. Outside of school I am pretty much never in the house, I wouldn’t call myself a social butterfly but I enjoy going out and being with friends, and I may or may not play way too many video games

Ramona Petrig

Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), UHI

Hi, my name is Ramona and I am a 2nd year undergraduate student of Marine Science. With a background in Psychology from a landlocked country, studying at SAMS now enables me to pursue my love for the ocean. As a former snowboard athlete, I have always circulated in a male-dominated environment. It is important to me to overcome gender bias and encourage women (and men) to chase their dreams. Initially, I engaged as a voluntary coach on female snowboard and skateboard workshops. Now, being active in science education, I am very excited to be part of the Equate programme to support and inspire each other to pursue our passions in STEM.