Furness students

Our People

People are at the heart of any community and Furness has a great team working behind the scenes to make your experience the best it can be.

All of the staff in Furness are dedicated to looking after our college alone. The Junior Common Room Executive of elected students works with them, and collectively they provide you with the best experience they can, from before you arrive to long after you graduate.

You can find out a bit more about our people here, and what they do.

College Principal

Dr James Mawdesley is the Principal of Furness and he leads the college team alongside his primary academic role as a Research Development Officer.

James is a big fan of cricket, Preston North End and the great outdoors and likes to go on holiday to the Lake District and Wales.

James Mawdesley

Vice Principal

Olga Gomez-Cash is the Vice-Principal of Furness, covering for James when necessary. Her primary role in the University is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Languages and Cultures Department within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Olga is the longest serving member of the Senior Team. Her affiliation with Furness started in 2003 with a stint as one of our Associate Deans, and subsequently serving as Dean and then as Vice Principal. She lists her home towns as both La Linea de la Conception in Spain and Birmingham in the UK.

Olga Gomez-Cash

JCR President

Rory O'Ceallaigh is the JCR President, leading a team of 12 student officers, each of whom have their own duties and responsibilities. These include welfare and educational support, as well as organising social and sporting events, maintaining communication with Furness students, and managing the JCR ffinances.

Rory is in his second year, studying Mechatronic Engineering. You can contact Rory at FurnessJCR@lancaster.ac.uk


College Manager

Jo Dickinson is the College Manager, and one of two key members of staff that are based in the college full time. You can see her about anything connected to college life in Furness.

Jo has worked for the University forever but joined the team in Furness early in 2018. She often walks dogs for the local animal sanctuary at weekends and has an affinity for cats as well.

Jo Dickinson

Senior Accommodation Manager

Andrew Gibson is the Senior Accommodation Manager responsible for Furness accommodation on behalf of the University. You can see him about anything accommodation related, or indeed anything else you like.

Outside of Furness Andrew is a photographer of landscapes and architecture, as well as abandoned places and buildings at risk. When not going to places he shouldn't with a camera he might be at a music gig, and says he's now seen most of the acts he wanted that are actually still alive.


Senior Advisor

Sam Cadwallader is the Senior Advisor, leading the College Advisor Team (CAT). If you have any concerns - either academic or personal - you can contact the team by emailing furnesswelfare@lancaster.ac.uk at any time and they will aim to reply within two working days.

You may see Sam around on campus in her other role as Engagement and Wellbeing Manager for Sports Lancaster.

Sam Cadwallader

Deputy Senior Advisor

Allie Clifton is the Deputy Senior Advisor for the College Advisor Team (CAT). As part of the role she works with the JCR Welfare Officer in overseeing the Furness First Year Reps scheme, and is a point of contact for the Reps. If you have any concerns – either academic or personal – you can contact the CAT team by emailing furnesswelfare@lancaster.ac.uk at any time and they will aim to reply within two working days.

Allie's substantive role at the University is as a Research Development Officer.

Allie Clifton

International Activities Coordinator

Lyndsey Spiers is the International Activities Coordinator, responsible for organising a range of events to help our international members to become fully integrated into College life.

Lyndsey recently completed her Masters in Professional Practice and Senior Leadership and has worked for the events team within recruitment for 4.5 years. Lyndsey used to work on cruise ships and the travel bug has never left! She loves football, is a big Burnley fan and is fiercely competitive when it comes to Fantasy Football! If you are interested in becoming an International Host Buddy, you can contact Lyndsey at furnessbuddies@lancaster.ac.uk

Lyndsey Spiers


Natalie Miller is the College Dean, responsible for maintaining discipline in Furness and upholding the rules. She is supported by a team of 3 postgraduate Assistant Deans that live within the accommodation.

Natalie is the Head of Consultancy in Research & Enterprise Services but outside of work she is an active volunteer within St John's Ambulance and enjoys singing. She is also related to the family responsible for arguably the best fish & chip empire in the south Lakeland region! You can contact Natalie at furnessdeanery@lancaster.ac.uk

Natalie Miller

Entrepreneur in Residence

Kevin Shaw is the Entrepeneur in Residence, who works closely with the JCR Welfare and Education Officer on Enterprise Week. Kevin is able to give advice on any aspect of running your own business.

Kevin was a student at Lancaster and a member of Furness, graduating in Economics in 1977. He was very honoured to become a Fellow of Furness in 2009.

Kevin Shaw


There are four Porters that work a 24/7 shift pattern during term time, as part of a wider Security presence on campus. They are Joanne Shaw, Sue Smith, Paul Davey and Mick Johnson, and you will get to know them from collecting your mail and parcels from them through the year.

You can contact the Porters at any time in person, or by calling 01524 593714 should you need. In their absence you can contact the Security Reception on 01524 594541.

Two Porters