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Oriel Women’s Network Steering Group

Meet the members
Laura Ashley-Timms (1985)

Laura Ashley-Timms (nee Goldsmith) came to Oriel to read Geography in 1985 and was one of just nineteen women in the college in its inaugural year, and was the first Oriel woman to be awarded a full blue.
Laura started her career in retail (buying), living and working in London and New York, and travelling to Asia as manufacturing moved overseas. She left large corporates to transfer into TV production and brand management, spending four years having fun with ‘The Teletubbies’ (Ragdoll Productions) before finally growing up and co-founding Notion in 2000, a management performance consultancy, with a global client base.
Laura co-designed the unique behavioural change management coaching model, STAR® and the multi award-winning STAR® Manager programme. In recent years her work has been independently evaluated by London School of Economics on behalf of UK Government to see if STAR® can help drive UK productivity, which it has been found to. Laura and Notion are now on a mission to develop one Million STAR® Managers to transform workplaces globally. Following their work with LSE, they are also working with Harvard Business School on a new global academic study.
Laura lives in Leamington Spa with her husband Dominic (with whom she co-founded Notion) and their three teenagers. As for hobbies, she’s looking forward to these in retirement, but they will feature champagne and whisky!

Colleen Cumbers (2015)

Colleen Cumbers matriculated at Oriel in 2015 to read French and German. She graduated with a First in 2020, and is currently studying for an MA Law at the University of Law. Colleen is a member of the Inner Temple, and hopes to become a barrister. Colleen really enjoyed her time at Oriel, and was involved in various societies, as well as the JCR and MCR Committees. She is delighted to be able to continue her involvement with and connection to the College through the Oriel Women’s Network.

Astra Emir (1987)

Astra Emir was in the third year of women at Oriel (and at the time, as a cox, was the only woman in the men’s boat club). It was a very different place then to what it is now, but she believes very strongly that it is a family to which all Orielenses belong. She attends as many college events as she can, and has maintained contact with many of her contemporaries, as well as enjoying meeting those from other years. For more than ten years she interviewed prospective law candidates for the college, providing a female perspective on the then all-male interview panel.
After leaving Oxford Astra was called to the Bar and practises as a barrister. She initially specialised in crime and family law for some years then, after completing a masters’ degree in employment law and human rights, she also now teaches at various institutions and writes legal text books on employment law and transport law.

Michele Hare (1985)

Michele Hare matriculated in 1985 as one of first intake of women at Oriel. She read Classics and therefore had the benefit of spending 4 years at Oriel and seeing the women’s community grow during those early years.
After Oxford Michele trained in management and then, together with husband Robin Greenwood (1983), spent 3 years in Mozambique working with returning refugees. This involved partnering with the Mozambican government, UNHCR and the EU and local villagers. On returning to the UK she developed her career in the not-for-profit sector, mainly working with charities and in the public sector. She has lived in Cambridge for nearly 25 years where she is a currently an academic Research Administration professional at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

Emma Hollis (2002)

Profile coming soon!

Lucy Inskip (2016)

Lucy Inskip is a first-generation, state-educated graduate. She matriculated in 2016 and read History at Oriel. Lucy spent over a year volunteering, interning and working in the heritage sector before taking on a new challenge as SEO Strategist (now Content & SEO Manager) at Third Space Learning, an EdTech start-up committed to closing the maths attainment gap. Outside of work, she is a Trustee at The Hinchingbrooke Foundation and Regional Representative for the Art Deco Society UK.

Anna Kotova (2008)

Anna Kotova matriculated in 2008 to read Law (graduating with a First) and stayed straight through to the completion of her DPhil in Criminology. She now teaches and researches at the University of Birmingham. Her research is heavily focused on social justice, inclusion and prisons. During her time at Oriel she was an active cox, taught Criminal Law tutorials and assisted in Law admissions. Having retired from rowing, she now enjoys good coffee and lie-ins.

Fiona Lovatt (1991)

Fiona Lovatt matriculated in 1991 to read Classics & Modern Languages. Fiona has spent her career working in marketing, brand strategy and innovation, in both client businesses such as Diageo and Twinings, as well as agencies such as Kantar. Fiona, jointly with her fellow 1991 alumna, Sarah Stafford, was the first JCR Women’s Officer, successfully getting the position elected to the JCR Committee in 1992. Fiona is delighted to continue her association with the college and is particularly passionate about supporting the Women’s Network to help provide meaningful mentoring, connections and experiences for all alumnae.

Liv Smith (1994)

Profile coming soon!

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