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Our people

Nadia Benstead Philanthropy Officer

As a Philanthropy Officer, I develop long-lasting relationships with alumni and supporters of Newcastle University, who are interested in giving back, whether that be with time or financial support. I aim to offer exceptional service to those individuals by sharing exciting projects and developments that align with their philanthropic goals and helping them feel inspired to give.  

My proudest moments are when I share with our kind donors the incredible impact their support has had on our staff, students, and research.

Zainab Djavanroodi Donor Relations Officer

I am the Donor Relations Officer, stewarding philanthropic donations from alumni and friends of the University. I help put together and implement plans for donor engagement through thanking, recognition and impact reporting. 

My colleagues are always willing to help me work through a problem, offer support and feedback and celebrate when we do well!

Ellie Lythe Digital Marketing Officer

As the Digital Marketing Officer for NU Advancement, I have the privilege of celebrating the Newcastle University community online.

I manage our social media channels, websites, and email campaigns to keep our 250,000-strong graduate community connected to each other and the University, letting them know about the latest news, opportunities, and events for them.

I also support our philanthropy team in launching online fundraising campaigns to support our student community and the life-changing research happening on campus.

As a member of the alumni community myself, being one of the first to hear about the amazing things my fellow graduates are achieving around the world, and then getting to shout this from the rooftops, is an honour.

Peter Kelly Philanthropy Manager

I advise individual and corporate supporters who are considering making a donation to Newcastle University. This can be for scholarship funding for students, donations towards our research programmes, or contributions to the development of our campus.

I do this by using the great work of my research colleagues to develop relationships with prospective donors and partners, and to engage them in an area of our work that best fits their interests.

It is very much a team sport, and I work closely with my academic and professional services colleagues to plan events, approaches and visits.

 ‘Prestigious not pretentious’ is what makes Newcastle University so special. Colleagues are incredibly friendly and there is a strong sense that we are all pulling in the same direction to improve the experience for all of our students.

Jeremy Pidgeon Alumni Programmes Manager

My role is to oversee the methods, channels, and programmes through which alumni can stay engaged and active with the university and its communities. Essentially, I look after volunteering, career talks, mentoring etc. all those ways that alumni can make a difference to other alumni and students.

 Also, in my spare time I coach the Women’s Lacrosse Club here at Newcastle as well (can’t get enough it seems!)

Newcastle’s student body brings a vibrancy to the campus and city that I’ve not seen elsewhere.