School of Science

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

Women In Science blog

Our Women In Science Ambassador shares her experiences of life as a Loughborough science student.

June 2019: End of year round-up

Having the opportunity to be the first Women in Science Ambassador really represents the way Loughborough engages with and relies on its students to make it the place it is

My first year at Loughborough has been more than memorable, and having the opportunity to be the first Women in Science Ambassador really represents the way Loughborough engages with and relies on its students to make it the place it is.

While I was a bit apprehensive about taking on the role so early on in my time here, it has definitely come with nothing but benefits. The lecturers, staff, student and guest speakers (and even the Vice Chancellor himself) that I have had the chance to engage with and speak to has really pushed my boundaries but also helped to build my place in a community of support. I’m hoping to keep bridging and building connections as my role progresses to really make the most of it all.

I’ve been able to engage with all sorts of events throughout the year to recognise women in science, but also provided feedback on how to improve engagement from other students and work towards really implementing these events into student’s lives to make the best impact. Part of that experience has been sitting on the Athena Swan self-assessment team to crunch the numbers and make action plans for the following year and beyond. I’m really hoping to see the impact of this over my time in the School of Science.

Although all my friends have packed up and left Loughborough to go home for the summer, my year isn’t quite over yet. I will be working at the university open days on the 28th and 29th of June to meet students from all over the UK and help them decide if Loughborough is right for them. As part of this, I will be leading events and tours specifically for women interested in studying science here.It will be the first time running it, so I hope it will be both successful and a learning opportunity for us. Regardless, I’m excited to welcome so many people to our campus and share our experiences, and with all the applicant visit days I did earlier in the year I feel more than ready. At the open day I will also be promoting the Women in Science scholarship that will be offered to a first year student who will work alongside me next year (more to come about that then).

When I compare myself at the start of the year to now I can happily say that the biggest change is my confidence in what I’m doing, all while maintaining my passion for the subject. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the labs again next year and seeing familiar lecturers again. We’ve built up the foundations of chemistry throughout semester 1 and 2, and next year we’ll continue to expand on that learning. Even though we haven’t got our end of year exam results yet, I’m already thinking of all the things we’ll be doing next year and beyond. While it’s all a bit overwhelming, I still hold such an interest that I think you need to drive you through a degree. I’m really glad that through the whole year I’ve still got that, and I hope I can say the same thing at the end of my time here. And while I’m still processing that first year is actually over, it has definitely been a great start to my university journey.

I wish everyone a good summer break, and you’ll hear from me again in the autumn!

About Katrina

"My name is Katrina Cranfield and I am the Women in Science Ambassador. I’m half British half Portuguese, and spent the last 7 years living in Hong Kong.  I’ve now come to Loughborough to start my undergraduate degree in Chemistry, and as the Women in Science Ambassador I hope to evolve the way Loughborough welcomes women into STEM through my own student perspectives."

Katrina was selected to be the School of Science Women in Science Ambassador on the strength of her academic results, supporting statement and performance at interview. Over the coming year she will be blogging for us, as well as fulfilling her role representing women in science on our School social media channels, open days and other events. Katrina is interested in engaging with current students and prospective students who have any questions and concerns about being a female student in STEM at university. If you would like to ask her a question, please email her.  The best questions may form the basis of future blog posts, but they will be anonymised and we will seek permission first.