Meet the board
Sunita Goddard Patel – External Trustee and Deputy Chair of the Board
Sunita has worked in governance since 2012, starting in representation and democracy at the University Of Birmingham Guild Of Students where she facilitated the Guild's democratic structures. Through her work at the Guild, she developed a passion for Student Voice and HE, working with officers teams to ensure that students were listened to through effective democratic structures and engaging campaigns. She now works as Head of Governance for a Multi Academy Trust where she is responsible for overseeing academy governance structures at, training governors and overseeing the organisation's policy framework.
Whilst enjoying working with academies, Sunita wants to continue her involvement in the HE sector and is thrilled to have a position as a Trustee at Aston Students' Union. She is also a member of the Governance Sub Committee of the board.
Anton Schwarz – Alumni Trustee
Anton was President of the Students’ Union in 1978. He has some great memories of the SU and is keen to support the SU in his role of Alumni Trustee. After graduating from Aston in the late 70s, he and his best friend set Laser Expertise Ltd – a Fabrication and Laser Cutting business in Nottingham, which he remains the Managing Director of today.
James O-Neil – Student Trustee
James is a final year Mechanical Engineering student, and also Vice-Chair of the Hockey Club, and a member of the Student Activities Committee. As one of the first student trustees, James is keen that the Board have a broad understanding of the needs of students as well as ensuring the business of the SU is well run.
Anne Bennet – Student Trustee
I joined Aston University as an undergraduate student in September 2018 and was elected to the board in February 2019 and have been serving it ever since. I came to Aston to read for a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations and French. So far during my time at Aston I have made use of both the University at its Students’ Union; via extra module options, mentoring schemes, a committee member of a sports club and a member of a vast number of societies. Due to my involvement with life at Aston; I felt empowered to join this board, as a means of representing the views of students, in relation to overseeing their Student’s Union.
Saskia Loer Hansen – University-Appointed Trustee
Saskia Loer Hansen is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) at Aston University with responsibility for business and civic engagement, international and marketing, development and alumni relations, and for the University’s student support functions. Prior to this appointment, Saskia held the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor International at Aston for two years, and maintains a strong interest in the University’s internationalisation agenda.
Katy Baker – Alumni Trustee
Katy holds the role of Director of Services at Oaks Consultancy, helping organisations of all shapes and sizes across the sport, education, public and third sectors
The student officers are also on the board of trustees, to learn more about them check out these pages:
The Trustee Board currently has one vacancy for an independent/external trustee and will be recruiting for student trustees in 2020.