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Staff Spotlight – Serena Santona

A little thing we do, to help you get to know our staff that bit better.

Meet Serena.

Serena Santona is our Academic Registrar. As well as making up a third of the Senior Leadership Team here at the College, Serena also oversees our all-important policies as well as the key stages of a student’s journey. She is your academic go-to.

But how well do you know her? Well, you’re about to get to know her that little bit better in our next Staff Spotlight feature!

What two languages would you like to be fluent in?

I would like to speak English with a very posh English accent, can you imagine me speaking like the Queen?

Second language: Arabic. I am fascinated by the way their culture, history and traditions are all embedded in the way they speak. And yes, I get all this from the subtitles on Netflix.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

In order to answer this DIFFICULT question, I reached out to the people that know me best and I will give you the top “title” they came up with:

  • “A successful disaster”
  • “Only the brave”
  • “From shambles to shambles: how a disintegrated woman managed to make a difference”
  • “The flights of the eagle: living freely and unconditionally, achieving goals, with no limits to tomorrow. And when she falls, she gets back up in flight”

What’s the meaning of life?

The meaning of life is to show others (whether humans, animals, or plants – not sure about insects yet) that we care for them. Simple as that.

Give us the names of 3 objects or things you love most and why?

I love the kitchen: so much happens in there, and for me it is the core of the family. There is a quote that says “Cooking is love you can taste” and that’s it. Expressing your love in making and sharing food is something really special to me. Cooking is part of my “chillaxing” and creative time.

I love my noise-cancelling headphones: flying with those on my ears changed my life for the better.

A photo camera, even if at the moment I only use the phone, I love to immortalise moments, people, places.

If you could give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be and why?


What was the last song you sang along to?

Mr Sandman. Try to get that out of your mind now. 😊

Yes…thanks for that, Serena! What’s your “Back in my day, we…”?

“… listened to cassette tapes, we played in the middle of the street, we gave nicknames to everyone. Best one? Our religion teacher: Don Rambo”

Tell us one thing about yourself that may surprise us.

When I get home after work I like to put some music on and dance/jump the day off for a few minutes.

What always cheers you up when you think about it?

My “on the other side of the water”  WhatsApp group. Four girl pals that have been in each other’s life for at least 20 years now, and even though I have spent the last 15 years away from Italy, we manage to stay friends and support each other with a good laugh when needed. I am not sure how we can come up with some of the jokes at times… they are truly special to me. And I always look forward to getting together with them every time I go back to Italy.

What topic could you spend hours talking about?

How to change the world??

What is Newbold to you?

Newbold is the place that is making sense of my life journey so far. If I look back I cannot but see that there is a reason to the different experiences and skills that I learned, both in previous jobs and in my academic pathways.

Newbold is the place where I see the sum of my identity (professional + personal + spiritual). Newbold is the place where I experienced beautiful and meaningful encounters and where I believe I am forging friendship that will last for a life-time. Newbold is my calling, THE place I need to be now.

For anyone considering studying here, can you tell them why they should choose the College?

I would encourage anyone that is looking for a well-rounded academic experience to come to Newbold, whether they would choose to study Theology, Business, Humanities, or come to learn English as their second language.

The expectations are high because we believe that students should think for themselves, write proper academic assignments, communicate concepts and ideas in a professional manner. Yes, we are small, but this is our strength: we know all our students by name, and we are able to share their struggles and celebrate their successes in equal measure. At Newbold, its personal.

Introverts can find a safe space to come out of their shells and extroverts can freely lead in the many activities we provide for our students. If young people want to discover their strengths and be academically challenged, Newbold is the place for them.

We expect our students and staff members to be the best version of themselves so that we can truly provide the space for a life changing, faith affirming experience for the Newbold College community.