The Team

The AHS is run by student volunteers, and consists of two groupings: the Executive, who are elected during the AGM, and in who in turn appoint Officers. Below are the current holders of each position – we also have the previous position-holders.

Executive

President

Richard Acton

Richard Acton

The president is the overall head of the AHS and is the first point of contact if there is some sort of emergency at your society with which the AHS might be able to help, or if your inquiry does not seem to fall under the remit of any of the other officers.

e-mail: president@ahsstudents.org.uk

Richard has just graduated from Nottingham University with an MSci in Biochemistry and Genetics and is undertaking a second master’s degree at Birkbeck University of London next year, because – you know – you might need a spare.

He intends to specialise in ageing research, because clearly there is a great deal that needs fixing and he won’t have time to do it if he’s dead. Religion was essentially irrelevant to Richard's upbringing. He attended a total of 7 different schools in 3 different countries: one of which was a vaguely CofE primary school, at which he was more likely to be made to sing Beatles songs than hymns.

Richard read The God Delusion in his early teens and decided something had to be done about this religion stuff. He was president of UNASH for 2 years. Richard professes himself a jack of all trades (except dance) and master of none, as of yet. He enjoys wildlife photography, cooking, listening to audiobooks and wearing 3 piece suits all the time. He is purported to be setting in motion many schemes for the betterment of The AHS.

Secretary

Caitlin Greenwood

10574341_10202994243230952_4506485430398953303_n

The AHS secretary keeps the exec organised and is the first point of contact for quires about the AHS's organisation and structure

e-mail: secretary@ahsstudents.org.uk

Caitlin is about to start her PhD in archaeology at the University of Bristol, having previously graduated from the University of Bristol and the University of Oxford, in Archaeology and Ancient History; and Roman History, respectively. As you can tell from the previous sentence, she has also studied just enough Latin to want to stack clauses in English, but not enough to know better. She is very happy to listen to any and all questions you might have about the Romans in Britain, and will politely explain to you why these are the wrong questions. She hopes to make a career out of this ability.

Caitlin attended Catholic school ages 11-18, and like most Catholic school attendees, she was a firm atheist by the age of 14. She joined the Atheist Agnostic and Secular Society at Bristol Students Union, and was vice president in her final year of undergrad.

Caitlin’s hobbies include: sewing, knitting, cooking, folk singing, metal music, church architecture, and Viking re-enactment.

Treasurer

Stephen Hawkins

The AHS treasurer has responsibility for the AHS's finances and is the first point of contact for grant applications and expense claims.

e-mail: treasurer@ahsstudents.org.uk

Officers

Charity and Campaigns Officer

Alexa Robertson

The Charity and campaigns officer overseas the AHS's campaigns efforts and our charitable fundraising, primarily through our annual charity week Non-prophet week.

e-mail: campaigns@ahsstudents.org.uk

External Communications

Caroline Haigh

The external communications officer manages the AHS Twitter account and external media.

e-mail: externalcomms@ahsstudents.org.uk

Head of Membership

Adam Carnall

10588704_10204204638379932_1166542462_n

The head of membership leads the membership team and is the first point of contact for administrative issues with your society, intersocietal collaborations and organising regional conventions

e-mail: membership@ahsstudents.org.uk

As well as his responsibilities with the AHS, Adam is the current president of Durham Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society. As a fourth year Astrophysics student, Adam has been an atheist for several years, having been forced to confront the big questions of the Universe every day whilst studying for his degree! He believes secular politics and a sceptical, freethinking worldview are absolutely vital to our progress as a species and that with them we can achieve amazing things which transcend the problems we face today as a society.

He hopes to study for a PhD on completion of his degree, and so will hopefully be involved in the AHS for a few years to come. In his rapidly diminishing spare time, Adam enjoys distance running, rowing and reading science fiction, as well as occasionally dabbling in folk dancing when pressed by his somewhat obsessed housemates.

Education

Sylvia Broeckx

10589649_10152195401851576_1474444172_n

The AHS education officer overseas the AHS resources such as the guides and speakers directory.

e-mail: education@ahsstudents.org.uk

Originally from Belgium, where she studied Art History at the Catholic University of Leuven, Sylvia came to the UK in 1999 to study Film at Sheffield Hallam University. After working for 11 years as a freelance filmmaker, which included being the director of the documentary Hug an Atheist, she went back to university in 2014 to do an MA in American History at the University of Sheffield. Her dissertation will focus on atheist activism in the USA after 1945. Sylvia is currently the president of the Secular and Atheist Society at the university. When she isn’t occupied with anything related to history, atheism or film, she’s likes to spend her time cooking and baking, binge watching TV series or travelling, and she’s a self-confessed Disneyholic.

Web Officer

Sam Whitehall

599788_10151292687731526_905559311_n

e-mail:

Since starting university in Southampton, Sam has started saying he comes from "near Manchester", as only fans of Joy Division or football have heard of Macclesfield – and he only hangs out with the former. His earliest memory of questioning religion was challenging a reverend's literal interpretation of The Feeding of the 5000 in primary school, by calculating the per capita volume of bread.

He was President of the University of Southampton Atheist Society from 2013-2014, whilst studying Computer Science. He has since graduated, and is working in Oxford. When not working, can be found reading (too much), drinking tea (too often) and running (not enough). As well as speaking "computer", Sam can also speak German, because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Internal Communications

Cloe Ansari

10543822_10204164053999153_1272855302_n

The internal communications officer handle's the AHS's Facebook presence and edits the AHS newsletter.

e-mail: internalcomms@ahsstudents.org.uk

Cloe is the founder and ex-president of London South Bank University's Atheist society. After a shaky start, the society went on to win two awards at the 2014 AHS conference. She has a deep and profound love of both Christopher Hitchens and whisky – on a good day, mixing them. Cloe also has started to blog for Atheist Republic and believes it's essential to spread secular speech.

Recently gaining her English degree, she hopes to put more time into writing and supporting atheism. You may see her wearing parrot glasses and frightening Anjem Choudary, or making people very uncomfortable with pasta posters. She enjoys cycling and stroking stranger's dogs in the street.

Design Officer

This position is currently vacant.

e-mail:

Lead Researcher

Russell Byford-Harding

Mr Mormon

e-mail:

Contrary to the seemingly entrenched view that being an atheist is a part-time job, Russell takes the opposite approach, making this a full-time thing.

Co-founding a Humanist society at his Sixth Form, he has been involved in secular activities for quite some time. Now a proud member of the University of Nottingham’s Secular society, he spends more time on being a thorn in the side of religion (amongst other things), as opposed to actually doing his degree – which is plain old history if anybody should ask.  (Martin would never approve of this description, mind you!)

Besides being an unabashed critic of all things authoritarian, censorious, regressive and bossy (a portfolio which all religions fit), Russell likes to spend his free time riding his motorcycle, or on a boat chillin like a villain.

When not out for a spin or a float, he may not be too hard to find; usually in a room ranting about something political or maybe even economic (if the conversation is tropical enough). He resides either in Nottingham, or his home of South-East Cambridgeshire - where there tends to be a lot of tractors, but little more exciting than that.

Board

Richard Acton

Richard Acton

The president is the overall head of the AHS and is the first point of contact if there is some sort of emergency at your society with which the AHS might be able to help, or if your inquiry does not seem to fall under the remit of any of the other officers.

e-mail: president@ahsstudents.org.uk

Richard has just graduated from Nottingham University with an MSci in Biochemistry and Genetics and is undertaking a second master’s degree at Birkbeck University of London next year, because – you know – you might need a spare.

He intends to specialise in ageing research, because clearly there is a great deal that needs fixing and he won’t have time to do it if he’s dead. Religion was essentially irrelevant to Richard's upbringing. He attended a total of 7 different schools in 3 different countries: one of which was a vaguely CofE primary school, at which he was more likely to be made to sing Beatles songs than hymns.

Richard read The God Delusion in his early teens and decided something had to be done about this religion stuff. He was president of UNASH for 2 years. Richard professes himself a jack of all trades (except dance) and master of none, as of yet. He enjoys wildlife photography, cooking, listening to audiobooks and wearing 3 piece suits all the time. He is purported to be setting in motion many schemes for the betterment of The AHS.

Andrew Copson

644107_10152225315300858_1836318756_n

e-mail:

Andrew Copson became Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association in January 2010 after five years coordinating the BHA's education and public affairs work. He is a former director of the European Humanist Federation (EHF) and is currently a Vice President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), where he leads on strategic alliances and is a member of the growth and development committee. Andrew has supported the activities of the AHS since inception and was a member of the AHS's old Board of Trustees, before the AHS was reconstituted at the 2010 AGM.

Ruth Haydock

ruthhaydoc

Chair of the Board

e-mail:

Chair of the Board

Ruth was the Publicity Officer of The University of St Andrews Atheist Society 2012/2013 and had been active in helping the society win two awards at the AHS convention in March 2013. In December 2012 she was appointed Press Officer and then in July 2013 she was elected the AHS Secretary.  Christianity had a massively negative influence on Ruth’s life and as a result, she is incredibly passionate about promoting humanism as a valid way of life, one which is free of guilt and fear. In April 2013, Ruth set up the first Recovering From Religion group in Scotland, which helped those who are in the process of giving up on a belief in a higher power but also those who are still dealing with the emotional scars from believing in a god.

Rory Fenton

rory

e-mail:

Rory Fenton is an MSc Epidemiology student at Imperial College London. He volunteers for the British Humanist Association as Dialogue Officer, building positive relationships between religious and non- religious people. He has written on humanism for the New Humanist and Guardian and is currently learning to unicycle and salsa but not yet at the same time.

Jenny Bartle

417732_10150972610304121_844019515_n (1)

e-mail:

As with any good whirlwind romance, Jenny went from attending her first AHS event to hosting the AGM only 3 months later. Since then she has fulfilled several roles: President, Head of Education, and presently Board Member.

Living in Bristol, she still frequents the student society she helped to run so many years ago. She works as a software engineer and can usually be recognised at Humanist events by her elaborate dresses.

Mike Paynter

unnamed-2

e-mail:

Mike was the Secretary for the AHS, having been the Head of Membership and South-West RDO, and both Academic Secretary and Treasurer of the University of Bristol Atheist, Agnostic and Secular Society (AASS). He has helped Bristol join the AHS, have its first Reason Week and build connections with the local Humanist, Secularist and Skeptics groups.

Mike has finished a PhD in Communications Engineering at the University of Bristol. He loves cycling and cooking, but has not been able to combine them ... yet.

This position is currently vacant.

e-mail:

This position is currently vacant.

e-mail: