Graeme Atherton

Dr Graeme Atherton

Director

Dr Graeme Atherton studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College Oxford and has been working in the field of education research and management since 1995. After 6 years leading Aimhigher work in London, he founded and now leads both AccessHE and NEON in the UK. Graeme holds Visiting Professorships at London Metropolitan University and Sunway University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is a member of the European Access Network (EAN) Board and has produced over 120 conference papers, and publications.

Steve Kendall

Steve Kendall

Chair of the NEON Executive Committee

Steve Kendall is the Chair of the Executive Committee of NEON, and has worked in widening access for more than thirty years, mainly at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. He now works independently to promote professional development, partnership and evidence-based practice among those working for wider participation in higher education.

Martin Webster

Martin Webster

Operations Manager

Martin Webster has been working within widening access since 2001. In 2011, he helped to establish NEON, and later became its Operations Manager. He has regularly presented at conferences and spoken at other widening access events.

Maria-Anna Petrou

Maria-Anna Petrou

Training and Events Officer

As NEON’s Training and Events Officer, Maria-Anna helps to organise the Summer Symposium, Awards, Access Academy Training and Summit events. Prior to this she worked at Willow Foundation, a charity dedicated to bringing special days to seriously ill people, as their Special Events Manager. For eight years, she worked at Stonewall, the largest LGBT equality charity in the UK, delivering conferences, gala fundraisers, seminars and residential training programmes during a time of significant change for LGBT equality in the UK and around the world.

Grace Imwensi

Grace Imwensi

Project Officer

A keen believer in the value of collaboration, Grace studied a joint English Language and Communications degree at the University of Hertfordshire. She currently draws on experience gained from various roles in market research, events and marketing to support the operations and communications function of NEON. Specifically, facilitating the running of NEON's Working Groups, managing NEON’s membership database and handling NEON’s social media presence and communications. Working to drive forward the widening participation agenda is of particular significance to Grace, having come from a widening participation background herself. She is enthusiastic about helping individuals, institutions and organisations in their endeavours to improve social mobility and better the outcomes for those across the student lifecycle.

Dr Tuba Mazhari

Policy and Research Officer

Tuba is a multi-disciplinary researcher with both quantitative and qualitative research skills and extensive experience of report writing and oral communication in academic and non-academic settings. She undertook a PhD in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London investigating the relationship between marital history and risk of cardiovascular disease, and the contribution of socio-demographic factors to this relationship.

Tuba has worked as a researcher for the Amy Winehouse Foundation, where she worked on the prevalence study. The prevalence study explores the prevalence of substance use among 11-18 year olds in attendance of mainstream schools, in England. Tuba led on quantitative analysis of this role. Other duties include reviewing literature; report-writing; supervising interns; recruiting schools for participation in the prevalence survey; and data collection.

Prior to her role with NEON, Tuba worked as a researcher for AccessHE. The post consists of working as a research lead for London NCOP (National Collaborative Outreach Project), conducting research to explore barriers to higher education and providing specialist support on evaluation of widening-participation outreach activities, to higher education institutions. Job duties include reviewing literature, report-writing, delivery and analysis of focus groups and assisting higher education institutions in research and survey design, ethics applications and data analyses.