Secretariat Team

The Secretariat is the hub of Universitas 21, co-ordinating and overseeing activity across the network.
Jane Usherwood
Secretary General

Reporting to the network chair, Jane is provides strategic leadership and policy advice regarding U21 activities. read more

Lavinia Winegar Gott
Deputy Secretary General

Lavinia has primary responsibility for the administration of the Educational Innovation cluster and also assists with the efficient and effective running of the network more generally. read more

Clare Noakes
Administration Manager

Clare is responsible for U21’s communications and publicity, planning major meetings and all the general administration required to keep the network running. read more

Gemma Marakas
Researcher Development Manager

Gemma works with members to develop opportunities for the development of emerging researchers at all levels, in particular those in the first 8 years of their academic career. read more

Tarlok Singh
Financial Controller

Tarlok is U21’s Financial Controller, responsible for everything to do with the network’s funds, from paying invoices to producing the annual statutory accounts – and everything in between. read more

Sue Dengate
Student Experience Manager

Sue has responsibility for international student engagement across the network, evaluating, developing and implementing programmes which contribute to the learning experiences of U21 students. read more

Caroline Voisine
Executive Officer, U21 Health Sciences

Caroline has day-to-day responsibilities for the U21 Health Sciences Group, including implementing the group’s goals and initiatives, in accordance with U21’s overall strategic focus. read more

Location: Birmingham, UK
E: jane.usherwood@universitas21.com
T: +44 121 415 8872
F: +44 121 415 8873
Contact for: Leadership & management, membership
Jane Usherwood
Secretary General

Reporting to the network chair, Jane provides strategic leadership and policy advice regarding U21 activities. Responsible for all operational matters, she also advises Presidents on strategic matters.

Jane has been Secretary General of Universitas 21 since 2005, overseeing a 40% increase in the size of the network. A career in HR in the UK across a variety of industries culminated in the position as Director of Human Resources at the University of Birmingham, a post she held for 6 years. Her international experience includes working in Germany and Australia including time selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door in Berlin, which she considers the low point of her career. Out of work, Jane is renovating a historic home and attempting to hide her ignorance of technology from her son

Location: Virginia, USA
E: lavinia.winegar-gott@universitas21.com
T: +1 434 227 9516
F: +1 434 924 7536
Contact for: Educational Innovation Enquiries
Lavinia Winegar Gott
Deputy Secretary General

Lavinia has primary responsibility for the administration of the Educational Innovation cluster and also assists with the efficient and effective running of the network more generally.

Lavinia has been a member of the U21 Secretariat team since 2004, wearing a variety of hats. Prior to joining U21, she spent 16 years in administration at one of the network’s member universities and six years in marketing for a company which engineered and designed marine interiors. Her previous work experience provided her with the skills necessary to successfully navigate the U21 landscape – administrative skills, marketing skills, and the ability to stay calmly afloat, while paddling like crazy beneath the surface!

She is an avid reader, enjoys writing and loves to spoil her many pets. At home in the US, she volunteers with a literacy advocacy group for disadvantaged youth. Travelling, meeting new people and learning about different cultures, as well as being a part of a network of people bringing innovative approaches to teaching and learning to our students, keeps her happily engaged.

Location: Birmingham, UK
E: clare.noakes@universitas21.com
T: +44 121 415 8870
F: +44 121 415 8873
Contact for: General Enquiries
Clare Noakes
Administration Manager

Clare is responsible for U21’s communications and publicity, planning major meetings and all the general administration required to keep the network running.

A graduate in music and German from Lancaster University, Clare worked in corporate design and classical music management in London before moving to Birmingham in 2005 to run the Stratford on Avon Music Festival for a year. She then spent six months as Office Manager for a high-profile department of Birmingham City Council before joining Universitas 21 in March 2006. Away from work she enjoys singing, playing cricket and football and spending time with her two young sons.

Location: Birmingham, UK
E: gemma.marakas@universitas21.com
T: +44 121 414 4786
F: +44 121 415 8873
Contact for: Researcher Engagement
Gemma Marakas
Researcher Development Manager

Gemma works with members to develop opportunities for the development of emerging researchers at all levels, in particular those in the first 8 years of their academic career.

Before joining the U21 team, Gemma studied at the University of Birmingham, gaining a PhD in Greek Archaeology in 2009. During her studies she spent periods of time researching in Greece and also taught at Birmingham. Gemma has worked at Universitas 21 since 2010, now to develop network-wide initiatives and activities for those in the early stages of their academic career. Outside work Gemma loves cooking and everything associated with food and wine and, when the season’s right, golfing and snowboarding. A passion for travel, cultures and ancient history also comes with the territory of having a Greek father!

Location: Birmingham, UK
E: tarlok.singh@universitas21.com
T: +44 121 415 8232
F: +44 121 415 8873
Contact for: Financial enquiries
Tarlok Singh
Financial Controller

Tarlok is U21’s Financial Controller, responsible for everything to do with the network’s funds, from paying invoices to producing the annual statutory accounts – and everything in between.

Tarlok is an experienced accountant whose financial career began as an Assistant Accountant in the 1970s. His career has enabled him to take up opportunities in both the public and private sector dealing with queries from petty cash to final statutory accounts, with cash flow forecasts and budgets mastered along the way. 18 years’ experience of working in the manufacturing industry has taught him all about balance sheets and making profits with both limited and public limited companies. A change of environment in 1992 from the manufacturing world took Tarlok into the world of education and working for companies with charitable status. He has been U21’s Financial Controller since 2007. Outside work Tarlok is interested in most sports with football and cricket at the top of the tree. He has two children at university, both studying Dentistry.

Location: Queensland, Australia
E: sue.dengate@universitas21.com
Contact for: Student experience enquiries
Sue Dengate
Student Experience Manager

Sue has responsibility for international student engagement across the U21 network. This involves evaluating, developing and implementing a range of activities and programmes which will contribute to the learning experiences of undergraduate and graduate students across the network.

Sue joined the U21 Secretariat team in 2012, having worked in the international arena at the University of Queensland, for the past 10 years, with roles ranging from developing the student experience through student exchange and study abroad, international business development, student recruitment, and international institutional liaison. Sue has travelled extensively, and has recently returned from Hong Kong, where she was working off-shore for UQ in the role of Regional Manager, North Asia.

Sue loves outdoor pursuits and can often be found surfing at the beaches on the Sunshine Coast (north of Brisbane) or out cycling in the countryside. Sue also loves travelling and engaging with people from different cultures, experiencing their way of life and different food experiences. Sue has a great interest in meeting students and discussing the different aspects of student life, including what keeps them ‘interested and happy’.

Location: Vancouver, Canada
E: caroline.voisine@ubc.ca
T: +1 604 822 7393
Contact for: U21 Health Sciences group enquiries
Caroline Voisine
Executive Officer, U21 Health Sciences

Caroline has day-to-day responsibilities for the U21 Health Sciences Group, including implementing the group’s goals and initiatives, in accordance with U21’s overall strategic focus.

Caroline joined the U21 Health Sciences Group in July 2010. Before then, she worked for five years for the Paris International Liaison Office of Tecnológico de Monterrey on academic international cooperation and for the OECD, supporting its Higher Education in Regional and City Development project. A French national, Caroline enjoys foreign languages and cultures and has gathered experience as translator, especially during her studies. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education Sciences with focus on International Cooperation in Education from the University Paris Descartes and a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpreting from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Caroline enjoys music and singing, and can never get enough of travelling to new destinations!