LEO Board 2021

This year’s board consists of 8 members:

  • Jackie Ashkin (FSW, Chair and External Affairs)
  • Katie Saentaweesook (LIAS, External Affairs and Secretary)
  • Marina Gavryushkina (Archaeology, Treasurer)
  • Kaela Slavik (LIACS, Social Media)
  • Charles Moussa (LIACS, Secretary and Webmaster)
  • Sander van Nielen (CML, Events)
  • Laura van der Heijden (LUMC, Events)
  • Nelleke van der Weerd (LUMC, Events)

All members of the board can be reached at info@leoleiden.nl.

Jackie Ashkin

Hello, fellow PhD candidates! My name is Jackie, and this is now my second year as the chair of the LEO board. My first year on the board, as for some of my fellow board members, was (to say the least) rather unconventional due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and everything that came with it. As a result, LEO has changed gears a little in this past year, continuing to provide social opportunities but also following more closely the needs of Leiden’s PhD community.

I completed my M.A. in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews and I am now in my second year as a PhD researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSW). My research focuses on (e)valuation in and around ocean models in the Netherlands. As a social scientist, I know that a supportive community is one of the most important ingredients for surviving your doctoral research, and I look forward to meeting you soon!

Charles MOUSSA

Bonjour, my name is Charles and I am a first year PhD student at LIACS. The aim of my research is to study potential applications of Quantum Computing for the industry. This year, I am the webmaster and secretary for Leo. I made a decision to join the board to have more opportunities to meet other PhDs and supporting more actively the association that help us relax with wonderful events. Hopefully see you all in next events!

Marina Gavryushkina

Hello, I’m Marina and I am a first year Archaeology PhD. My research focuses on the use of 3D GIS and digital technologies for documenting and analyzing archaeological excavations. I also have a background in accounting and finance so this year, I am LEO’s Treasurer. I joined the board to meet PhD students from all over the University and to break out of the bubble that is my faculty. I’m excited to meet other students and organize events that will help other PhDs network and build a community here in Leiden.

Katie Saentaweesook

Hello, I’m Katie, a Thai/Brit external PhD candidate at LIAS. I did my BA in London and MA in Leiden. My background is in Southeast Asian studies and my current research is a comparative analysis of Thailand and Ethiopia’s experiences with regards to the supportive role of the state in the processes
of rural development and structural transformation. My position within LEO is external affairs, which connects us with other PhD associations internally and externally such as, PhDoc and PNN. I also
share secretarial responsibilities with Jackie and Clarisse and through LEO, I hope I can support your interest in the academic community.

Kaela Slavik

My name is Kaela and I am just heading into the second year of my PhD at Leiden University. Although I am officially part of LIACS, my PhD has nothing to do with mathematics or computing. My PhD is an ethnographic study of an international scientific network and contributes to a larger ERC-funded project. I am originally from Australia, although since graduating from high school, I have spent most of my time living and studying abroad.

When I first came to Leiden University in early 2020, I felt rather lost and alone – and this was pre-COVID. I’m joining the LEO board because I want to help new PhD students meet their fellow PhD students in a friendly, informal environment and feel connected to a wider support network of PhDs at Leiden University. I want to create a sense of solidarity and shared identity. I look forward to working with and for you on this new adventure.

Sander van Nielen

Hey, I am Sander, a second-year PhD at the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML). With a strong interest in sustainable technology, I investigate how recycling can make magnets more environmentally friendly. I’m always in for new and fun things to do, so this makes a good match with my role within the LEO board to organise events.

I like many sports, including surfing, sailing and hiking. On rainy days, chances are that you find me in the kitchen baking an apple pie.

Last year has taught me the importance of regularly taking a break and the need to stay in social contact. Since this is true for any PhD, I hope to create many opportunities for that this year!

Laura van der Heijden

Hi! I’m Laura and I am in the second year of my PhD at the medical decision making department of LUMC. My research focusses on the value of care delivered to patients with chronic limb threatening ischemia. It is a joint-PhD with UZ Leuven so when the restrictions for the pandemic are over, I will be in Leuven every now and then.

I joined the LEO board to meet people, gain new experiences and help other PhD candidates having a great time. We will continue organizing online-events in the upcoming period but I am even more excited to plan events in real life again. Hope to see you soon!

Nelleke van der Weerd

Hi, my name is Nelleke and I’m in the middle of my second PhD year at the LUMC. My project is about stroke and migraine in young women, where I combine a clinical MRI study with more fundamental research in the lab using a vessel-on-chip model. This year I joined the board of LEO to help organize some nice events so PhD’s from Leiden can meet each other. I decided to join the board for the opportunity to connect PhD’s across the university, to help find more social connection in these difficult times. Hope to see you all for the events to come, and who knows, maybe even in real life when the COVID crisis is over!