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Joe Bent
Events Manager & Executive Assistant to the Principal

Joe joined the staff team in August 2015 as Events Manager and Executive Assistant to the Principal. He spreads his time between overseeing the organization of the WTC residential, conferences and day events throughout the year, as well as assisting Lucy with communication to the students and supporters of WTC.

Joe was born in Cheltenham but lived in a small village in the Cotswolds. He studied Youth Work at the University of Gloucestershire, where he met his wife Kat. They married in 2014 and now live in Cheltenham.

Alison Blacklee Whittall
Study Skills Tutor

Alison joined the team in 2011 and her role is to support students with their essay writing by providing appropriate resources and advice. As a former WTC Graduate Diploma and MA student, she understands what students need. She is also the person to contact if you have, or suspect you have, a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia.

She grew up in North Lancashire and originally studied Art History with English at Glasgow University. She has been teaching for nearly 20 years, but would generally rather be making mosaics or careering through a forest on her mountain bike.

Sarah Burdett
Course Administrator and PA to the Academic Dean

Sarah joined WTC in 2016 as course administrator to help support the admin side of WTC which also includes looking after the purchasing for all the Hub libraries. Prior to working at WTC she spent 10 years as Church Administrator at Holy Apostles Church, Cheltenham where she still worships.

Sarah studied Genetics at UCL followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Statistics. She worked as a statistician in the Civil Service working in a number of different government departments. She is a devoted Radio 4 and 4 Extra listener, enjoys walking, activity filled holidays and cooking. Sarah is married to Steve and has two children who are both studying at the same university.

Alex Collishaw

Alex joined the WTC team in 2010 and her role includes overseeing student applications, registration, course administration and timetabling. She works closely with the University of Chester as well as the WTC Principal, Academic Dean and faculty to ensure delivery of the courses.

Alex was born in Polruan, Cornwall but lived much of her childhood in the Middle East (Ahwaz in Iran and Dubai). She has a BSc in Statistics and Operational Research and worked in the Civil Service in London as a statistician immediately after leaving university. She is an avid Manchester United fan, enjoys travel, being creative, playing netball and gardening. Alex lives in Cheltenham with her husband Ashley, their 3 children and golden retriever.

Pete Edwards
Operations Manager

Pete joined the WTC Staff team in November 2014 to work alongside the Director of Operations and the IT Manager in providing operational and IT support both within the Hubs and at the WTC central office. His role involves helping establish new Hubs, managing the online library system and generally trying to help make things easier for everyone.

He lives in Manchester with his wife and two teenage daughters. Pete’s background is in software development and he recently left permanent employment to pursue a variety of different directions. This has given him the opportunity to help different organisations using different skills and so far he loves it. As well as being part of the WTC staff team, Pete is the Hub Director for Manchester and also does software development for a client in the USA.

JaneyJaney Lawry-White
Director of Operations

Janey joined the staff as Director of Operations in summer 2018, having previously been a Trustee and as a current student with WTC. Her role involves working with Lucy and the rest of the Exec Team to provide strategic leadership for WTC, supporting the HDs, overseeing marketing and IT, and generally trying to ensure that all non-academic and finance areas of WTC function as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Janey was born in Kenya and grew up in Hong Kong and Cambridge. She has a degree in Geography and Anthropology from Durham and an MPhil from Cambridge in Social Anthropology. Her career has included living and working in Asia, Africa, North America and Europe on humanitarian and development issues; working with the BBC and setting up and running a number of SMEs. She enjoys music, walking, reading, theology and spending time with friends and family. She lives in Bristol with her husband, Simon. They have four adult children and a bernese mountain dog.

Carl Palmer
IT Manager

Carl has been with WTC since 2011 in the role of IT Manager. His role includes the support and development of all aspects of IT at WTC. He supports students, staff, Hubs and faculty in the delivery of the courses in the UK and Sweden.

Carl was born in Shropshire and attended University in Liverpool where he gained a BSc in Multimedia Systems. He has since worked in a number of fields. He is married to Jo, they have two daughters.

Joan Rivers
Finance Manager

Joan joined the WTC team in March 2014 to help with centralising the accounts in Cheltenham. She keeps records of all the invoices sent to students and payments made to WTC. She balances the bank accounts and prepares the payments for purchases, teaching fees and staff wages.

Joan was born in Alsager, near Crewe, but has lived in Cheltenham for most of her life. She has two sons, George and Nick. Joan has always worked in an accounts environment.

Juan Pedro Smit
Communications Manager

Pedro is the Communications (Marketing and Media) go-to person for WTC. His approach is one of ‘story’, which seeks to uncover the significance found in all the small stories that are part of God’s big story. He has a Higher Diploma in Sound Engineering, a BA(Hons) in Applied Theology in Intercultural Contexts and is currently busy with a part-time MA in European Mission at Redcliffe College.

He has spent two years on OM’s ship, the Logos II, where he met his wife and was leading the Audio/Visual Team. He subsequently worked at OM’s headquarters in Carlisle, Cumbria, as part of their media team, OMNIvision, doing various technical and creative jobs involving sound desks, editing studios, and travelling internationally, before beginning his theological studies. He was born and raised in South Africa, is married to a Brit from Bath, and has two lovely young children who were both born in Cumbria.

Christopher Tawney
Finance Director

Christopher Tawney read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has extensive Board level experience in both private and public companies and his functional expertise includes reporting, tax planning and compliance, treasury, mergers and acquisitions, change management, strategic planning, forecasting, evaluation of capital projects and investor relations. He is currently also on the board of and a shareholder in Algaecytes Limited which farms freshwater algae to produce Omega 3 oil and nutrient rich biomass.

Although mainly UK based throughout his career, he has also lived and worked in Germany, France and Monaco and travelled widely in Europe and further afield. He speaks French and German and lives with his wife in Wiltshire. He has three grown up sons.

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