Meet the Team

Our team are friendly and welcoming. We are here to help you improve your English language and academic study skills and to adjust to life in the UK. We are experienced in working with students in higher education.

We look forward to meeting you.

Dr Malgorzata (Gosia) Drewniok
Head of International College

I was born in Poland and people call me ‘Gosia’. I first came to the UK as an international student (BA, MA, PhD) so I draw on my own experience in my work. I’m passionate about working with international students. My team and I work very hard to support international students at Lincoln, offering courses, workshops, and one-to-one appointments tailored to your needs.

I have a PhD in Linguistics and I am interested in anything to do with language. I have been teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP), research, and study skills at UK universities since 2008. I have also taught modules in linguistics in the past. I joined the University of Lincoln in January 2019.

When I’m not working, I like to learn about languages and cultures, therefore I travel a lot. I also love to read and watch good quality TV dramas.

Gosia Drewniok

Andy Barker
Deputy Head of International College and Pre-sessional Programme Manager

I was born in Cambridgeshire and have been living in Lincolnshire since returning to the UK, following a period of 10 years overseas. My time abroad was spent in international education living and working in Vietnam, Malaysia (Sabah and Penang), and New Zealand.

Whilst overseas I learnt many things about different cultures, languages, food, and people. I was lucky enough to have a very rewarding time while collecting many fond memories of my experience in international education. I have seen first-hand the process of learning in a range of international settings and I always seek to further understand and learn more myself. Having lived in several countries I can empathise with students and the difficulties faced that being away from home can present.

Separate from my work in education I love being outdoors, photography, film, and reading. When not working I can often be found chasing my young son around the garden, or is he chasing me?!

Andy Barker

Wendy Whatmough
International College Administration Manager

I am originally from Lancashire and first moved to Lincoln in 2001. I have enjoyed being a part of the International College (formerly English Language Centre) team since June 2019.  Prior to this I supported admissions and HR processes in a local secondary school, and undertook roles providing information, advice and guidance in a wide range of settings, for example: the Ministry of Defence, careers services, training providers, the local authority and the NHS.  Providing an excellent customer service and diligent administration are of utmost importance to me whilst supporting students and colleagues. 

Having lived overseas in Ukraine, Cyprus, and Germany, I can empathise with students moving to a new country, away from family, with a different culture and language. Having completed the MSc Human Resource Management qualification in 2021, I understand the pressures and deadlines involved but I can only imagine what it must be like not to study in your native language.

In my spare time I like to walk and stay active, although I do like to watch the latest boxsets and cinema releases.  I‘ll watch and enjoy most things from period dramas to Sci-Fi.  I like to travel when I can; the excitement is as much in the planning as the trip itself!

Wendy Whatmough

 

Dr Chokri Ghezal
In-sessional Programme Manager

I was born and educated in Tunisia where I achieved a BA in English and Literature. After teaching EFL, ESOL, and EAP in three different countries, I decided to go back to university in the UK in 2012. I studied for an MA in Translation Studies and then a PhD in the same discipline at the University of Leicester. I have always been interested in languages and translation. I am particularly interested in style and how, through translation, one could either preserve the style of the original text or manipulate it in order to produce a text in another language that is more accessible to a non-specialist readership.

When I am not reading or translating, I like to cycle in the countryside if the weather is nice. If not, I stay in and bake cakes and biscuits inspired by ancient recipes. In my present role, I work with a dedicated team that is enthusiastic about supporting international students and helping them improve their academic English and study skills. I look forward to meeting all the students who take advantage of the courses we provide throughout the academic year.

 

Gemma Spink
International College Senior Officer

I am originally from South London and moved to Lincoln in 2006 having been tempted up here by the property prices, which were considerably lower than in London!

I have worked for the University since 2014 previously in the Lincoln International Business School administrating programmes such as the Postgraduate Master's programmes. Before joining the University I worked for Lincolnshire Police, largely recruiting staff for the force and the London Metropolitan (MET) Police in a Criminal Justice Unit.  I have also worked for the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

In my spare time, I like to play tennis at a local club. I love history and enjoy exploring other countries and cultures, especially on foot. I love Italy, especially the food, the culture, and the history.

Gemma Spink

 

Anne O'Brien
Pre-sessional Programme Coordinator

I’m originally from Ireland, though have also lived in Canada, Spain, and Brazil. I first came to work at the University of Lincoln in 2013 after several years studying and working abroad. I’ve been working on the University’s pre-sessional courses ever since, helping to prepare international students for their university studies.

My background is in languages, linguistics, and translation. I speak Spanish, French, and Portuguese, so I know what it is like to learn another language to an advanced level. It can be very challenging at times, but also very rewarding. I love languages because they open up a whole new way of seeing the world. I feel privileged to play a part in helping international students discover the possibilities that are open to them and supporting them in their own journey at university.

Outside of work, I spend a lot of time switching between languages as many of my friends don’t speak English as a first language. I find that it makes life more interesting and keeps my brain working! My favourite way to relax is to listen to music, play guitar, or walk in the woods near where I live.

 

Michelle Symonds
Pre-sessional Programme Coordinator

I was born and raised not too far from Lincoln (in Nottinghamshire, bordering Sherwood Forest) and educated at the universities of Newcastle and York.

I obtained my PhD in learning theory at York in 1995, after which I spent several years as a post-doctoral researcher. I had the privilege of spending much time overseas for teaching and research purposes (predominantly in Spain), which sparked my interest in helping non-native English speakers in academic settings, ultimately leading me to Lincoln in 2014. I have worked closely with various learner profiles — from undergraduates to heads of faculty — designing and delivering workshops, courses, and online masterclasses in writing, presentation and lecturing skills, and research methods.

I firmly believe that working with people from different cultural backgrounds can be an incredibly rewarding experience for all involved. I particularly relish the challenge of helping those students who are about to embark on their studies here at Lincoln.

Aside from my current role at International College, I serve as language editor for an international journal and ad hoc reviewer for several scientific publications. When not working, I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, and indulging my passion for music (I am an avid collector of vinyl records) while spending too much time pandering to the whims of two very pampered cats.

 

Carl Christopher
Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

Welcome to the UK, to Lincoln, to the university and – last but certainly not least – to the International College. I am looking forward to supporting our international students as they get stuck into their academic careers. I have lived and worked abroad for most of my married life, so I know how it feels to be far from home, friends, and family.

For most of my time abroad, I taught English at a university, and also took the opportunity to learn Arabic too. I love continuing to learn Arabic through the songs, films, and – most of all – the people of the Middle East. I am also a keen reader (of nearly anything!), and I love to walk and explore. Most of all though, my time and energy are invested into the greatest blessing in my life; my family.

Finally, you should probably know that although I am passionate about education, I could just as easily be a farmer.

Carl Christopher

Matthew Bayly
Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

I was born and raised in Lincolnshire and have been a member of the team since 2016. I have over seven years of experience working in education internationally as well as in the UK and lived and taught in Japan, Russia, and China. I was trained in educational practice at the Institute of Education, University College London and have a BA from the University of Leeds in English and History.

As Lincoln is my hometown, I am enthusiastic about helping students explore the city’s lively social life and its rich history and heritage. Lincoln has existed for over two thousand years, so you are joining a community with deep roots but also an exciting future! When not teaching, I am interested in pursuing my PhD in History, buying too many books, and exploring Lincolnshire’s vast number of historic churches.

Matthew Bayly

 

Karen Priestley
Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

I was born and grew up just over the River Trent in Nottinghamshire, the home of Robin Hood. After living and teaching English in Portugal for 22 years, I have recently returned to the same area. My love for Portugal, the Portuguese language, and the Portuguese people evolved as an Erasmus student at the University of Porto, Portugal, as part of my BA Joint Honours in French and Portuguese at the University of Leeds.

I joined the team in October 2019 and am passionate about teaching English together with meeting and supporting international students. Fortunately, I am able to draw on my own experience of studying, working, and living abroad, and remember exactly how it all feels! I also have an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and a Diploma in Translation.

In my free time, I enjoy reading and handicrafts such as baking and embroidery. I am also exploring and practising a newfound interest in gardening and vegetable growing.

Karen Priestley

 

Ben Green
Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

I am from Lincoln originally and have recently moved back here after teaching abroad for the last fifteen years in many diverse cultural environments including Japan, Colombia, Spain and Kazakhstan. This experience of living and working abroad has provided me with a valuable insight into both the challenges and rewards of being immersed in a foreign culture and all that entails.  I’m looking forward to meeting and supporting our international students and helping them in their endeavours to continuously improve their Academic English skills throughout their time at Lincoln University.

In terms of my own education and experience, I completed a BA in Business Studies and more recently an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  Over the last five years, I have mainly focused on teaching Business English and Academic English.

Away from work, I greatly enjoy travelling and activities in nature, such as hiking, wild camping and swimming; along with playing tennis and Scrabble (but not at the same time!) and supporting my local football team Lincoln City FC.  

Ben Green

 

 

Stephen Gildersleve
Senior English for Academic Purposes Tutor

Originating from rural Cambridgeshire, I originally studied Computer Science at University and worked as a computer programmer before becoming an English teacher in 2006, as a way to see the world. Since then, I have since taught in many amazing countries including Vietnam, Colombia, Turkey, and Myanmar. Through teaching, I have met so many wonderful students whose passion for learning and motivation inspire me everyday and maintain my passion for teaching and learning.

I started working for the International College in September 2022 and am looking forward to meeting international students from around the world and supporting them with their education needs.

In my free time, I enjoy running and going on long hikes through the countryside, hoping to discover what is around the next corner and then finding the way home. 

Steve Gildersleve

 

 

Anneka Holden
Student Progression Administrator

I was born in Canada and grew up in the Greater Toronto Area. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ottawa in 2009 and my Bachelor of Education in St Catherines in 2014 before moving to the UK to teach. Between my two degrees, I spent three years in South Korea teaching EAL.

I have lived in Lincoln since August 2021 and am excited to be working at the University of Lincoln helping international students on their journey. Being an international citizen myself, I understand and can empathise with all the difficulties that can arise when living, studying and working overseas.

Growing up in Canada, I learned French in school and can speak it fairly fluently. I also studied a little German and Japanese during my studies and picked up a bit of Korean in my time there. I love learning how languages and culture mix together. Outside of languages, I love spending time outdoors. I enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and kayaking; England has so many great places to explore. When the weather is poor, I’ll be at home crocheting and trying to get my cat to stop playing with yarn.

Anneka Holden

 

 

George Brownsell
International College Administrator

I’m George and I am an administrator for the International College.  My efforts are concentrated within the in-sessional courses as well as marketing. I grew up in Norfolk and studied there until I joined BA Politics and Social Policy at the University of Lincoln. I feel the fact that I had such a great student experience here in Lincoln will ensure that I endeavour to support students so that they can also have a fantastic time in Lincoln too.

George Brownsell

 

 

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