Athena Swan at SoSS

Athena Swan SAT Members

The School of Social Sciences Athena Swan self-assessment team was established in August 2017. The team consists of members of staff and students from across the School representing both the academic and professional services sectors. The team consists of male and female representatives and both full and part time staff members. 

The SAT team is lead by Dasha Grajfoner and Jemina Napier, and they aim to meet every 6 weeks, the SAT team reports directly to the Head of School. 

We have created some short profiles of the SAT members – please see below. 

Self Assessment Team

Dasha Grajfoner

Dasha (Assistant Professor) works on coaching psychology, leadership and animal assisted interventions. She joined Heriot Watt University as a Lecturer in 2012, after working for a few years as a practitioner psychologist with leaders and LGBT organisations on using coaching interventions to advance personal and professional development, wellbeing and mental health. Dasha's research interests are around diversity and gender equality in leadership and how coaching interventions can help in developing diverse leadership at workplace.

Jemina Napier

Jemina Napier (Professor) is an expert in intercultural communication, particularly sign language interpreting. She is a Head of Department so brings the experience of being a senior manager to the SAT, as well as being a working mother in a dual career relationship. Due to her personal experience of growing up in the Deaf community, her involvement in the LGBT community, and professional experience of and working with deaf sign language users, Jemina has a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusivity, intersectionality and social justice in all areas of life.

Tom Farrington

Tom is an Assistant Professor in the Business Management Department, which is part of the School of Social Sciences. His interest in Athena SWAN stems from his research into the politics of aesthetics in literatures and cultures, and from his personal commitment to feminism. He is a feminist and believes that addressing gender inequality is a vital part of being a responsible member of (at least) the society in which he lives, and that academics and the institutions with which they work must lead by example. He hopes that his perspective as an early career researcher will offer some insight into the pressures facing those in a similar, often precarious, stage of academia.

Marc Quinn

Marc A Quinn is the Acting Director of Administration and since 2014 has been the Administrative Manager for Learning and Teaching matters in the School, supporting all academic and professional services colleagues in such matters. Prior to that, Marc was the School’s Director of External Programmes, responsible for managing a number of Undergraduate programmes worldwide via the School’s Approved Learning Partner Network (from the Caribbean to China, and, Bangladesh to South Africa) and supporting a diverse range of students, as well as giving those students (many of whom were female) the opportunity to study for a Heriot-Watt University degree whilst managing their own work-life (and family) balances. Marc originally joined HWU in 1998 as an academic member of staff, after working as a Research Assistant at Glasgow Caledonian, where he also obtained his Undergraduate degree. Marc strongly believes that everyone, no matter their background or where they live, should be merited on their ability and not their gender (or race). As Adichie wrote “We should all be feminists”. 

Emma Guion Akdağ

Emma is an Assistant Professor within Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS), part of the School of Social Sciences. Emma joined HWU in 2003 and since then has consistently helped to develop the English section’s activities, most recently within the area of in-sessional academic skills support for postgraduate students across the University. As a part-time PhD candidate (University of Stirling) researching into the ethics and effects of internationalisation, Emma brings to the SAT an understanding of the student experience but also the challenges of maintaining a work/life balance. Outside of work, Emma has caring responsibilities for an elderly parent and has an interest in public perceptions of mental health illnesses.

Olugbenga Abraham Babajide 

Abraham is currently a PhD Student in the School of Social Sciences. He obtained his BSc (Hons) in Psychology and MSc in Business Psychology with Human Resources Management at Heriot-Watt University. His PhD programme focused on Disability Inclusion for disabled researchers. Abraham is working under the supervision of Kate Sang, Professor of Gender and Employment, and James Richards, Associate Professor and Lecturer in Human Resources Management (and Vice President of University and College Union), both at Heriot-Watt, alongside the Disability Inclusive Science Careers (DISC) project, led by Prof. Sang. The DISC project aims to enhance the recruitment, retention and progression of postdoctoral disabled scientists through participatory action research designed to support employers with disability inclusion.  

Dan Hale


Dan Hale is an assistant professor in psychology. As a father of a young son, and the husband of a full-time working mother, Dan has a particular interest in balancing the competing roles of parenthood and work. His research has a strong focus on social inequalities including the role of ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status in health and life chances.

Jordan Fenlon

Jordan is an Assistant Professor of British Sign Language (BSL) within the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies which is part of the School of Social Science. He obtained his PhD from University College London in 2010 and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago before moving to Edinburgh in 2014. Jordan is profoundly deaf and uses BSL to communicate at Heriot-Watt. He is involved in both teaching and research here at Heriot-Watt within the field of sign language and linguistics. Jordan brings to the SAT team his perspective as a deaf early career researcher working in academia.

Monica Tamariz

Monica joined Heriot-Watt University in 2016 as an Assistant Professor in Psychology. Before that, she was a post-doctoral researcher and teaching fellow at Edinburgh University’s Centre for Language Evolution. Both in her academic work and in her social life she seeks to understand cultural transmission. In particular, she is interested in the idea that the behaviours we observe, learn and produce are key to explain how attitudes and values emerge in individuals and persist over generations. She has two teenage children and is married to an academic. She believes that equal opportunities and equal recognition should be fundamental values in any enterprise, and is delighted to have the opportunity to promote them in academia.

Evelyn Karlsberg

Evelyn joined Heriot-Watt in 2006 and her work has been mainly project-based. She started as the Administrator for the BP Project (an SoSS/EGIS team collaborating with BP Plc in the compilation of their annually published Statistical Review of World Energy). Her search for an additional challenge (the BP review is ongoing) in 2012 coincided with the start of the SoSS Alignment Project, whose aim was to align all Years 1-3 UG courses –in content and format-- in ALPs, Dubai and Malaysia. Her tasks included proofreading 40-plus courses and securing e-books from publishers for the ALP students. In 2015 she became formally part of the Learning and Teaching Quality Enhancement team. In 2016 she undertook the overhaul and updating of SoSS's Staff Learning and Teaching Handbook, and given that Alignment work had largely slowed down, in late 2017 was tasked with work involving the School Executive.

Rebecca Stirzaker

Dr Rebecca Stirzaker is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. She has an MA in Management from the University of Aberdeen, an MSc in International Business Management from Heriot-Watt University and a PhD in Entrepreneurship from Heriot-Watt University. Her research interests focus on peripherality both regionally and demographically, including examination of minority entrepreneurship and the role of enterprise in reducing social and economic barriers

Andrea Eross

Andrea is an Assistant Professor of Finance in the Accountancy, Economics and Finance Department within the School of Social Sciences. Andrea joined Heriot-Watt University in May 2016 prior to receiving a PhD in Finance from the University of Southampton, UK in 2015. Her research focuses primarily on liquidity risk contagion, endogenous risk, financial crises and the effectiveness of the Basel regulations. Being an early career researcher, Andrea is particularly interested in advancing gender equality and removal of progression barriers of women in academia. 

Arturs Praulins 

Arturs Praulins is an Assistant Professor in Accountancy. Arturs is particularly interested in the sociology of the accounting profession, a critical analysis of accounting field and its structure in the post-Soviet countries. Using a theoretical framework developed by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, Arturs explores the feminisation of accounting and its relationship with low professional prestige and remuneration, differences between career paths pursued by female and male accountants, the role of masculine domination and phenomena of invisible “glass escalator” and “glass ceiling” that most accounting professionals encounter while moving up the corporate career ladder. Arturs brings to the Self-Assessment Team his perspectives as a critical qualitative researcher with skills and experience in conducting interviews, coding and analysing transcripts.       

Panagiota-Penny Karanasiou

Penny is an independent researcher and a business owner. Her PhD thesis was on intercultural communication and more specifically on Business Negotiation Interpreting and the role of the interpreter. She graduated from Heriot-Watt University in 2017. She is involved with both teaching and research in various Universities and runs 16 translation and interpreting agencies across two countries.  As a entrepreneur, academic, mother and wife, she understands the challenges of women in the workplace and the multifaceted roles that women take. She is committed to gender equality and believes that the world would be a better place with equal opportunities for all.