Meet the team

Mary Haworth

Director of Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni

+44 (0)1904 322090

+44 (0)7919 293185

About Mary…

Mary came to York to take up the role of Director of Philanthropic Partnerships and Alumni in 2011. Prior to York, Mary was Deputy Director of Development at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and before that Development Manager for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Newcastle. Mary’s role is to lead the team and direct the development and implementation of York’s philanthropic fundraising strategy and engagement programmes in order to encourage and facilitate philanthropic support from charities, individual donors, alumni and businesses. Mary has an MSc in Charity Marketing and Fundraising from Cass Business School, and is a fully certified member of the Institute of Fundraising Management.

Aiko Mizumori Hirst

Department Administrator

+44 (0)1904 324467

About Aiko…

After completing a degree in Social Anthropology at University of Manchester, Aiko worked in Japan for Global Marketing team in Nissan HQ and for University of Leeds where she worked with Japan-based prospective students and alumni. She moved back to the UK in 2016 and joined OPPA as Department Administrator in November 2017. She is responsible for answering general enquiries, processing invoices and orders and ensuring smooth running of the office.

Naomi Wood

Campaign for York Project Manager


Institutional Philanthropy

Paul Tyack

Associate Director and Head of Institutional Philanthropy 

+44 (0)1904 324486

About Paul…

Paul graduated from York in 1997 following three fantastic years studying and performing at the Department of Music. Building on a successful career in charity fundraising, most recently as Head of Development at the Anne Frank Trust, he returned to York to lead the University’s major gift fundraising activities. Paul started as a Development Manager in OPPA and took up his current position in January 2017, focusing on institutional philanthropy. 

Sharon Godwin 

Acting Philanthropy Manager (Institutions)

+44 (0)1904 323275

About Sharon…

Sharon moved to York in 2009 to study a Masters in English Literature. After graduating she worked in publishing before moving into the charity sector. She has four years’ experience working for national charities in institutional fundraising, campaigning and event management, most recently at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Edward Joyner

Philanthropy Officer (Institutions)

+44 (0)1904 324389

About Edward…

Edward graduated from the University of Adelaide (Australia) with a degree in English and Linguistics. He moved to the UK in 2011 to take up a singing position at Lincoln Cathedral and has subsequently worked at the University of Lincoln and the Diocese of Lincoln. In addition to working at the University of York, Edward works at Southwell Minster as a singer. In Australia he worked in arts management, as South Australian Manager of Musica Viva Australia and managing Adelaide Chamber Singers.

Roz Walton

Philanthropy Officer (Institutions)

+44 (0)1904 324228

About Roz…

Roz graduated from the University of York this year with a degree in BA English in Education and started working in OPPA in September. During University, she was heavily involved with Student Fundraising and was RAG Chair for her final year.


Individual Philanthropy

Sarah Sylvester

Associate Director and Head of Individual Philanthropy

+44 (0)1904 324555

About Sarah…

After graduating with a degree in Chemistry, Sarah worked as a Brand Manager at Unilever marketing Persil washing powder. Sarah spent several years living in Madagascar working for a charity before joining the University in 2006. Sarah started as a Development Officer in 2009 and became Head of Individual Giving in March 2017. She works with Departments to raise funds for key projects, developing relationships with alumni, charitable trusts and companies. She is also responsible for developing the University’s philanthropically funded scholarships.

Sarah Disney

Philanthropy Manager

+44 (0)1904 322097

About Sarah…

After graduating with a BA (Hons) in International Relations, Sarah spent 12 years working in international development, developing funding programmes for ActionAid, WaterAid and International Service, before taking up development roles at Macmillan Cancer Support and the University of Leeds. She joined the team in April 2018 and works with departments to raise funds for key projects, through developing relationships with alumni and friends of the University.

Kalli Keramari

Philanthropy Officer (Legacies)

+44 (0)1904 324379

About Kalli…

Kalli holds a BA(Hons) in Applied Arts from the University of Wales and an MA in Industrial and Product Design from Middlesex University. Glass artist and designer by studies, skilled in sales, marketing, management, retail and hospitality by profession, fundraiser by all means: you might have seen her through her volunteering or running the streets of York to fundraise for the causes she feels passionate about. Kalli joined the team in September 2017 to develop and lead the University’s fundraising through giving in a Will (a Legacy).


Operations and Experience

Chris Barnes

Head of Operations and Experience

+44 (0)1904 3222099

About Chris…

Chris read Politics at the University of York and graduated in 2014. Before that, he worked as a website manager for education and careers services in Norfolk. Chris started working at OPPA in 2014 as a marketing officer; he now leads the Operations and Experience Team, which is responsible for alumni and supporter communications, supporter relations, customer care and information. 

Communications and Digital

Thea Windsor

Communications Officer

+44 (0)1904 322326

About Thea…

Thea graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2012 and has worked across various marketing and communications roles in a variety of industries, including retail and manufacturing. Thea joined the team in July 2017 and is responsible for publication production and design, event marketing and support, e-newsletters and web developement for each department within OPPA, but also, departments and colleges around the university. 

Hannah Bungard

Information and Communications Assistant 

+44 (0)1904 324388

About Hannah…

Hannah joined the database team in March, 2015 and works part time, having previously worked as a note-taker for students at the university. She studied Theatre, Film and Television at York St. John and enjoys filmmaking, working in The Golden Ball pub, and studying British Sign Language in her time away from the office. Hannah works with our alumni database and sends our e-communications.

Jen Massey

Information and Communications Assistant 

+44 (0)1904 324388

About Jen…

After graduating from Wye College (University of London) with a degree in Rural Environment Studies, Jen worked for the Nature Conservancy Council/English Nature (now Natural England) until moving to York where she worked as departmental assistant for the science department of a local secondary school. Jen joined OPPA in 2015 as Database Assistant (part-time) and is responsible for keeping the alumni database up-to-date, for sending our e-communications and assisting with mailings and other alumni communications.

Supporter Relations

Emily Jones

Supporter Relations Manager 

+44 (0)1904 324392

About Emily…

After graduating from Bristol University with a degree in English Literature, Emily worked in publishing in London for a short while before joining the University of Oxford where she spent six years working in development, marketing and alumni relations. Emily is responsible for thanking and looking after all those who make a gift to the University of York.

Tierney Holloway

Supporter Relations Officer

+44 (0)1904 324423

About Tierney…

Tierney graduated from the University of York with a degree in English Literature in 2018. After working for OPPA part-time throughout her university degree, working various roles in fundraising, events, and operations, she joins us in a full-time position. Tierney helps to thank all those who make a gift, and to support those students applying for and receiving scholarships at the University.

Operations and Information

Eszter Palotai

Data Analyst

+44 (0)1904 324422

About Eszter…

Eszter came to York from Hungary in 2012 to pursue a BA in Politics and International Relations. Having been admitted to the Erasmus Mundus MA in Public Policy, she studied in Budapest for a year before coming back to the University of York, where she worked on several quantitative research projects. Eszter joined the OPPA team in August 2017 to manage and support data analysis and reporting for University fundraising and alumni relations.

Vicky Patteson

Funds Officer 

+44 (0)1904 324391

About Vicky…

After studying Accountancy and Finance at university, Vicky spent eight years working at Norwich Union and a local software company before joining the database team in 2009. She is our gift administrator and is responsible for processing all our donations, setting up Direct Debits, claiming Gift Aid and supports the YuCall student fundraising team.

Hannah Droop

Information Officer 

+44 (0)1904 322623

About Hannah…

Hannah graduated from the University of York in 2005 with a degree in Environment, Ecology and Economics and joined the OPPA team in 2007. Hannah helps with the administration and maintenance of the alumni and friends database, and provides support and training for other database users throughout the University.

Dr Brad Kirkland

Research Officer

+44 (0)1904 324390

About Brad…

Brad Kirkland came to York from Canada in 2009: initially as a graduate student, then as a PhD student, and then as a member of staff. Before moving into OPPA, he taught at the University, worked within the College system, and in several roles in the University’s Accommodation and Space Management departments. He holds certifications in financial management, and is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and is responsible for supporting the wide range of work done by the Office.


Fundraising Programmes

Tom Piercy

Head of Fundraising Programmes

+44 (0)1904 324794

About Tom

Tom graduated from Northumbria University in 2011 and has since worked across various charity fundraising roles for the likes of Prostate Cancer UK and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. He joined us in 2018 to lead the University’s fundraising programme team, focusing on raising awareness of philanthropy and the role of the alumni community via multi-channel marketing appeals.

Sophie Blyth-Bristow

Philanthropy Officer (Fundraising Programmes)

+44 (0)1904 324463

About Sophie

After graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in History and Politics, Sophie moved to Manchester to study for her MSc. Having returned to her hometown of York, Sophie worked at YUSU coordinating the Volunteering and RAG (Raising and Giving) programmes. With both professional and voluntary fundraising experience, Sophie has recently joined the Participation Giving team at OPPA, with a remit for managing the bi-annual YuCall telethon and team of student callers.

Matthew Ingram

Student and Young Alumni Officer

+44 (0)1904 324394

About Matthew

Matthew graduated from York with a degree in English Literature in 2017, and worked with the Students' Union and OPPA throughout his time as a student. He's now responsible for managing the running and development of YuStart, York's crowdfunding platform, as well as providing support to students who wish to benefit from philanthropy and inspiring recent graduates to support current students. Matt is always keen to hear from York students and recent graduates all over the world.


Volunteering and Alumni Programmes

Kyla Holt

Head of Volunteering and Alumni Programmes

+44 (0)1904 322033

About Kyla…

Kyla joined OPPA in October 2016 to manage the alumni engagement programme for the University; leading on alumni events and promoting volunteer activity among the graduate community. You can contact Kyla if you have a query about alumni events, volunteering or have a general query about alumni relations.

Nat Smallpage-Hurst

Volunteering and Alumni Officer

+44 (0)1904 322083

About Nat…

Nat joined us in September 2017 and she has a strong background of working within the third sector for national charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, and most recently within the development team at the University of Birmingham. You can contact Nat if you have a query about alumni events, alumni social media or for any general query about alumni relations.