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!

University of Abertay
Ailsa Howie
My name is Ailsa Howie and I am in my 4th year of studying Civil Engineering at the University of Abertay, Dundee. I am passionate about encouraging and inspiring women to get into STEM and explaining how perceptions have changed which has resulted in more women pursuing careers within the sector. I attend events to give Women the chance to hear first-hand, the opportunities available to them within STEM careers and to reinforce that jobs within STEM are ‘not just for boys’.
I have had some fantastic opportunities already and this is something I want to share with others and continue to show my support for women in ALL STEM subjects. I will continue to share my own experiences and influence women into different initiatives.
In my spare time, I love traveling, playing the Bagpipes and I am also a keen football supporter of my local team.

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.

City of Glasgow College

Amie Thomson

Hi, I’m Amie an HND Web Development student studying at City of Glasgow College.  I love my course and really appreciate that through it I have been able to connect with Equate, the other Student Champions and get the chance to explore the issues surrounding equality and women in STEM.

I am so proud that, along with the other Equate Student Champions at City of Glasgow we are working to establish a society at the College which aims to support female students studying STEM who may feel isolated in their male dominated classes, as well as promoting opportunities  and creating strong networks of females helping females, and which will hopefully benefit students for years to come.

City of Glasgow College

Karolina Kedziora

My name is Karolina Kedziora and I am at the 2nd year of Computing Game Development course at City of Glasgow College. Since I remember I always wanted to be a Game Designer. From the moment when I got my first controller, that was all I wanted to be. Today my dream comes true. I would love to encourage other girls and show them, that we should simply do what we want despite the pressure and expectations of the society, even if we need to break the social stereotypes.

As an Equate Student Champion, I wanted to support the younger generation of ladies and help them to become who they truly want to be. Work on their confidence and help them to stay in the STEM.

In my spare time, I am a climber, motorcyclist and traveller.

University of Edinburgh

Charlie Simms

Hi, I’m Charlie.

I am currently in my fourth year studying for a Master’s in Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. I have always loved Chemistry since I was young, and my Grandad put on experiments for me to do over the summer holidays. In the near future, I am excited to start my final year project and hopefully go on to do a PhD after completing my undergraduate studies.

I am currently the Secretary for the University of Edinburgh Women in STEM society, in which my main aim is to allow for more equal opportunities for women studying STEM subjects. I hope as an Equate student champion that I can create a wider network of supportive women for all who study STEM subjects at the University of Edinburgh.

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!


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.

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.