The Learna Team

Board

Prof Steve Davies

Prof Steve Davies

Founding Director

Prof Davies is a Consultant Endocrinologist at the University Hospital Wales. He has an established reputation in medical education particularly in online learning, having been the founder of OnExamination.com and setting up a number of diploma courses. He has also been involved in establishing training courses for weight management in community pharmacy. His clinical interests include hypogonadism, growth hormone deficiency and obesity. He has published over 100 peer reviewed publications and his research interests include the application of novel technologies in delivering medical education.

Courtenay Probert

Courtenay Probert

Chief Operating Officer

Courtenay is a company founder, technologist, business analyst, systems architect and project manager with extensive hands-on expertise. After graduating with a first-class honours degree in Business Information Management, Courtenay established a web-application development company, MAWR Ltd, specializing in risk assessment management software. After disposing of his concern in MAWR Ltd, he was appointed as C.T.O. at 'OnExamination'. As the key decision maker for the planning, design and development of OnExamination's technical infrastructure, Courtenay was instrumental in revitalising their failing computer infrastructure. These factors allowed OnExamination to evolve from a small speculative business to a larger one that was then integrated within the BMJ Group when it was acquired in 2007. Quickly promoted within the BMJ Group to the role of CIO/Deputy Managing Director, Courtenay was directly responsible for delivering 60% growth in sales while maintaining a 40% margin. Today Courtenay is the C.O.O. of Diploma MSc. He is responsible for the organisational operations/staffing, sales and marketing, technical infrastructure, and business strategy.

Dr Ruth Davis

Dr Ruth Davis

Academic Director

Ruth has spent her career in nursing and education. She has worked clinically in Torquay, Southampton and Cardiff, developing a specialist expertise in diabetes. She has lectured in Cardiff and at the University of Glamorgan, eventually becoming Head of Care Sciences at the University of South Wales (USW). In 2010, while at USW, she facilitated the development of a partnership between the USW and Learna and became a consultant Academic Director at Learna, overseeing the development and quality of courses. Her research and publications have been mainly in the areas of diabetes and role development. She is currently a member of Nursing Now(Cymru/ Wales) and heads up a Welsh Government sponsored nursing leadership development programme in Uganda. She is involved in various faith - based charities in the UK and Uganda, and enjoys gardening, cooking and ornithology.

Partners and Programmes

Rachel Probert

Rachel Probert

Chief Commercial Officer

Rachel has over 20 years’ experience managing marketing and commercial departments across a variety of industry sectors including business, web development, marketing, publishing, e-learning, and medicine. Rachel is energetic, entrepreneurial, and instinctively commercially focused. As the commercial manager of Learna, she has successfully created and worked with an international network of educational institutes and providers to design and develop a number postgraduate level programmes, courses, CPD, and exam preparation material. Currently, Rachel’s focus is to grow a range of postgraduate programmes and resources across a variety of professions. She's always on the lookout for commercial partners, new project ideas, and content authors/editors. Rachel has travelled extensively and grew her previous online education company while travelling and raising a family 'on the road' around Europe, prior to its sale in 2019. Rachel loves change, challenges and adventures. In her spare time, she likes travelling and trying new foods.

Sila Yookwan

Sila Yookwan

Business Development Executive

Born in Thailand, Sila moved to the UK in 2003 to get away from the heat. He's still trying to get used to the cold. Outside of work he enjoys art, football, going to the gym and catching up with friends and family.

Jack Poulton

Jack Poulton

Programme and Partners Assistant

Joining us from Cardiff University, Jack is a Business management student, who will be completing his placement year with us, as Programmes & Partners Assistant. Outside of work, Jack fills his time playing sports, having fun with friends, and singing in the shower.

Marketing

Kirsty McCaig

Kirsty McCaig

Head of Marketing

Kirsty joined Learna in 2020 after spending 10 years working in Marketing in a variety of sectors including time spent at the BMJ and Ty Hafan followed by 5 years in working Higher Education for Cardiff University. Responsible for all aspects of marketing for Diploma MSc and Learna Business School, Kirsty has a passion for marketing strategy, branding and digital innovation along with specialist knowledge of the Higher Education and Healthcare sectors. Results driven, focused and creative, Kirsty is excited to share the benefits of our innovative and world leading postgraduate programmes far and wide. Outside of work Kirsty is a real foodie enjoying both cooking and eating out. She loves interiors and decorating her home, which is often quickly destroyed by her very busy toddler.

Jodie Pride

Jodie Pride

Senior Marketing Executive

As our resident Content Marketer, Jodie is responsible for blogs, website content, journalism, emails and all things wordy. She also dabbles in the fine art of SEO. Before joining Learna she worked as a freelance copywriter in the tech industry. After discovering the solitary life of working from home wasn’t for her, she wanted to become part of a busy, sociable team. Attracted to the idea of working in healthcare and education, she found Learna. Outside of work Jodie enjoys arts and crafts, ice hockey, and gaming(both board and digital). She is a lover of dogs and the outdoors, and can often be found adventuring around the Welsh countryside.

Sion Jones

Sion Jones

PPC Executive

Sion is our resident PPC guru. When he’s not listening to podcasts, reading books, or watching videos on anything and everything marketing-related, Sion’s favourite pastimes are whittling Welsh lovespoons from driftwood, writing Lord of the Rings fanfiction, and watching reality TV (his current favourites are Love Island and RuPaul’s Drag Race).

Shannon Meyler

Shannon Meyler

Marketing Assistant

Shannon joined the Learna team in 2020, a year after graduating with a degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies. While studying, Shannon found a love for marketing through developing an online fashion accessories brand. After working in retail for almost two years, Shannon craved a change in career path and decided to pursue a career in Marketing, specifically focusing on Content. As our Marketing Assistant, Shannon is responsible for planning, implementing, managing and monitoring Learna’s social media accounts and blog, as well as any other tasks the marketing team needs assistance with. Outside of work, Shannon loves interior design and fashion styling, and enjoys exploring new places.

Admissions

 Lynsey Liscombe

Lynsey Liscombe

Head of Admissions

Lynsey has been working at Learna since December 2015 and is the Admissions Manager. Lynsey’s role is to ensure the smooth running of the Admissions Team who are the first point of contact for all queries regarding the courses. The team provide assistance to potential students during the application process to ensure the experience is stress-free. The majority of our students are international which keeps her job very interesting as she gets to speak with people from all over the world on a daily basis and from various backgrounds. Lynsey is proud to be part of such a wonderful and caring team. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and is kept very busy by her children.

Tom Rees

Tom Rees

Applications Officer

Tom joined Learna in June 2018 as an Applications Officer, where he ensures student applications are processed smoothly and quickly. Tom is currently studying Law with International Relations at the University of Portsmouth, and enjoys watching and playing football in his spare time.

Libby Allerton

Libby Allerton

Admissions Officer

Libby is a 2nd year student at University of South Wales currently studying Popular and Commercial Music. She plays drums and hopes to be a rockstar one day. Her other loves include cats, gaming and music.

Rowena Williams

Rowena Williams

Admissions Officer

Rowena joined the Learna team in March 2021 as an Admissions Officer. She moved to Wales in December 2019 from Cape Town, South Africa. Rowena worked within the Hospitality Industry from 2005 until 2015 when she decided to make a change. For almost 5 years she worked at an Independent School. Rowena enjoys hiking, tennis, netball and a great spinning class. Watching rugby and photography are also something she very much enjoys.

Operations

Sarah Younger

Sarah Younger

Operations Manager

Sarah joined Learna in June 2018. Before joining us she worked in administration in the Paediatrics Department for Powys, based at Brecon War Memorial Hospital, where she developed a high regard for the many HCPs involved in comprehensive care. As our Operations Manager, Sarah ensures the smooth running of departments and enjoys looking after her teams. In her spare time Sarah reads and reads and reads, most particularly SF.

Quality

Catherine Wildblood

Catherine Wildblood

Quality Assurance Manager

Catherine has worked for Learna since 2014 and has recently moved from her role as Student Support Manager to Quality Assurance Manager. Catherine responsibilities include orchestrating student results and Award Boards at the University of South Wales, Student Remediation and Continuous Monitoring/ Annual Reporting for our collaborative partners. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys music, reading, and socialising with her friends and family.

Anna Evans

Anna Evans

Quality Assurance Assistant

Anna joined Learna in January 2021 and thrives in her role. Outside of work she enjoys keeping active and going to the gym - although at the moment her little girl is the one keeping her fit! Anna also thoroughly enjoys musicals.

Programme Management

Catherine Southgate

Catherine Southgate

Head of Programme Management

Catherine began working at Learna in January 2015 and heads up the Editorial Team - working with authors to provide course and resource content for both the Learna and StudyPRN platforms. Catherine really enjoys working in a busy friendly team and relishes the challenge of helping to bring our courses to life and feels it's a fulfilling role to be part of a company that aims to improve the knowledge of medical professionals worldwide. Like most of the team, her highlight to date has been winning 'Best Online Distance Learning Programme' at the e-learning awards. Catherine's day to day work is very varied and she loves the opportunity of working alongside authors from a range of medical specialties and backgrounds. In her spare time Catherine loves to go running and to spend time with her family and friends.

Josh Curtis

Josh Curtis

Senior Editor

Josh joined the Learna team in June 2018 and soon became part of the family with his quick wit and kind nature. Having rapidly proven himself a crucial part of the team, Josh made the leap from Business Development to our Editorial Team. As Senior Editor, Josh reviews and commissions our course material. His keen eye for detail and hard- working attitude saw his new team welcome him with open arms. The office certainly wouldn't be the same without him!

Tracey Rees

Tracey Rees

Senior Editor

Tracey joined the Programme Management Team at Diploma Msc in 2020 to focus on her love of writing and proofreading, having previously worked for Lloyd's Banking Group for 6 years and marketing roles prior to this. Tracey says that joining the team during a global pandemic was made easy by the warmth and optimism of everyone in her team and the extended Learna family. She loves the challenges and diversity of working in Programme Management, and thrives on the opportunity to collaborate with authors and medical professionals. In her spare time Tracey loves spending time with friends, family, and her 2 cats. She also enjoys running, going to gigs, watching horror movies, and creative writing.

Dr Chellaram Hathiramani

Dr Chellaram Hathiramani

Senior Lecturer

Dr Chellaram Hathiramani originally trained in General Practice and is now a clinical fellow working in diabetes at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Wales. She holds an MBA and has significant interests in teaching and learning, with particular emphasis on medical education, diabetes and obesity management. She is originally from Gibraltar and is keen to foster links with the MBA programme that is hosted at its university.

Hollie Janaway

Hollie Janaway

Editorial Assistant

Having joined the Learna Editorial Team in 2019, Hollie quickly settled in with both her team and her role. From commissioning and editing the course materials to building relationships with authors, no two days are the same and she enjoys every minute of it. In Hollie’s spare time she writes creatively, dreams of starring on the West End and drinks a lot of coffee(although she does the latter during work hours, too).

Alex Thompson

Alex Thompson

Global Recruitment Manager

Alex joined the company in 2020 to manage the recruitment for the business. He has extensive experience in recruitment and has been in the industry for over 8 years. Alex's role is to recruit tutors and authors for both current and new courses. In Alex's spare time he plays and watches football, enjoys watching rugby and cricket and socialising with friends.

Teaching and Learning

 Jason Cortese

Jason Cortese

Head of Teaching & Learning

Jason joined Learna in September 2019 as a Tutor Resource Officer. Jason quickly settled into his new role, and is now managing and supporting tutors through their teaching journey. Before Jason joined Learna he was a science teacher, but he decided to try something new. In working within tutor resources, Jason can still be part of the education sector, while bringing a unique perspective of prior teaching experience to the team! Outside of work he enjoys running, hiking and going to the gym.

Amber Swain

Amber Swain

Teaching and Learning Officer

Amber joined the Learna team in 2020 following a relocation to Devon and back! She graduated from Cardiff University in 2018 after studying English Language and Communication and decided she wanted to focus on her favourite aspect of the course - teaching and learning. She thoroughly enjoys working in a very friendly team and loves training all of the tutors! Outside of work, Amber spends her time doing 3 things - creating products and content for her small crochet business, adventuring with her dog and partner, and cuddling their 3 black cats.

Edward Sims

Edward Sims

Teaching and Learning Officer

Edward joined the Teaching and Learning team in 2020 having taken a career break to live in France. He loves to use his extensive prior teaching experience to support our busy tutors in delivering outstanding results. Outside of work, he enjoys anything to do with the Visual Arts and has an unhealthy obsession with studying the labels of wine bottles.

Student Services

Robyn-Tahnee Moss

Robyn-Tahnee Moss

Head of Student Services

Robyn joined Learna in early 2019 as a Student Support Administrator. After thriving in her role, Robyn was recently made the team's manager. She is responsible for managing her team and ensuring that each student is supported throughout their learning journey.

Benjamin Sully

Benjamin Sully

Student Services Senior Officer

Ben has a BA in English and Drama and an NVQ L4 in Retail Management. His previous roles have been in the travel, hospitality and customer service sector where he developed a love of working with customers from all over the world. He loves his role at Learna because it is immersive, allowing him to work with the students on an international level - not one day is the same! Ben also enjoys socialising, keeping fit, hiking and travelling.

Emma Knight

Emma Knight

Student Services Senior Officer

Emma studied Chemistry in the University of Southampton. She has previously run her own IT business and uses these skills in her current role to assist students to the best of her ability. She likes rambling in the Welsh countryside, admiring art in local galleries and looking after the office plants!

Oliver Portillo

Oliver Portillo

Student Support Administrator

Oliver joined Learna in July 2019 as a Student Support Administrator. Quickly becoming immersed in his role, he is always keen to assist and advise students with their concerns and the situations they may face. He thoroughly enjoys working at Learna, feeling welcomed by his friendly team and other departments. Oliver has a BA and MA in English Literature, has several poems published, and hopes one day to publish a novel. In his free time, he likes to socialise with friends, explore museums and art galleries, with most of his time being taken up with his two dogs.

Alessia Evans

Alessia Evans

Student Services Officer

Alessia joined Learna in September 2020 after attending the University of South Wales where she graduated in June 2020 with a First Class Honours Degree in Psychology; she was awarded the Welsh Branch British Psychological Society Prize for Best Dissertation. In her free time Alessia enjoys participating in courses and seminars related to Mindfulness Practice, Yoga and Life Coaching and currently co-runs a Facebook Page to raise Mental Health awareness and enhance Mental Wellbeing.

Jazz Probert

Jazz Probert

Student Support Administrator

Jazz joined the team in September 2019. She enjoys her role as a Student Support Administrator and looks forward to corresponding with Students. Jazz has recently begun her BA degree in Popular and Commercial Music at the University of South Wales. Once she finishes her degree she hopes to continue performing with her band. In her spare time, Jazz enjoys socialising with her friends, meeting new people, and performing at local venues.

StudyPRN

Katie Lowe

Katie Lowe

Business Manager for StudyPRN

Katie first joined the Learna team in 2013 and for 5 years worked within the Diploma MSc team. After a 2 year career change, where she worked for a large commercial media owner, she has returned as Business Manager of StudyPRN. With her experience in business development, sales and project management, Katie’s focus is to develop and grow StudyPRN. Outside of work, she loves keeping active whether that’s the gym, cycling, walking etc. She loves to socialise with friends and family, especially when food is involved. She is also a proud mum of Harry.

Rachel Davies

Rachel Davies

Marketing & Sales Executive

Rachel joined Diploma MSc in early 2019 as a Marketing Assistant. After quickly making her mark, Rachel was promoted to StudyPRN Brand Manager, where she is responsible for direct sales, marketing and management of the website. Rachel was born and raised in Wales, and speaks fluent Welsh. She’s a prolific globetrotter, and has visited over 25 countries so far!

Helen Brown

Helen Brown

Service and Commissioning Editor for StudyPRN

Helen has over 10 years experience as an editor within the e-learning industry. Helen previously worked for Learna during 2017 and has re joined the team in 2020. Helen is responsible for the commission and all aspects of editorial handling of new learning material for the StudyPRN website, as well as handling customer support queries. Outside of work, Helen is a road and trail running fanatic, a keen cook and a mum to a very busy 4 year old. Helen also loves to travel and experience different cultures.

Alan Viirna

Alan Viirna

Front End Developer

Alan graduated from the University of South Wales in 2018, with a Bachelor of Science in ICT. Previously, Alan worked freelance as a web-developer with a self-established skill-set in different development languages and graphical design. With Learna, Alan uses his IT skills to help him to maximise the efficiency of his tasks and delivery of projects. He is also in charge of making sure that all the informational and technological needs of the company are satisfied. In his free time Alan enjoys digital music production, graphical design, animals and several outdoor activities.

Ruth Hawkins

Ruth Hawkins

Student Support & Applications Officer

Ruth joined the StudyPRN team in April 2021 as our Student Support and Applications officer. Before that, Ruth has worked as an Administrator in a Primary School and a SEN School. She has held administrative and customer support/service roles for over 10 years and loves to be super organised about everything! She has also been the Project Manager for a charity close to her heart, Starfish Alliance, setting up and managing the Virtual Mentoring for children in foster care/at risk children linked with the charity. She has 2 beautiful children, Willow (8) and Paisley (3) and has been happily married to Chris for 10 years. In her spare time, Ruth loves to spend time with close friends and have fun days out with her family.

Accreditation

Sarah Wiley

Sarah Wiley

Head of Business Development

Sarah has much experience working in business, after completing her Maths degree she established a career in Investment Banking and Management Consultancy before moving on to Medical Education. With On-Examination, she project managed the launch of the Cardiff University Diabetes Diploma then launched the University of South Wales Postgraduate Diplomas and MScs in 2010. Sarah now heads up the Business development department for the business. Sarah thrives in establishing and developing new projects and is always looking for the next educational opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals. In her spare time she enjoys dancing Ceroc.

Finance

Emra Durgun

Emra Durgun

Finance Officer

Emra has recently joined Learna as a Finance Officer, and now supports our students with any financial queries they may have. Initially studying marketing at university, she has been working within finance for over 13 years, and is currently studying to become a qualified accountant. Born in Turkey, Emra has been living in the UK for almost 20 years, where she is kept busy by her young twin boys!

Gayatri Desai

Gayatri Desai

Finance Officer

Gayatri has worked in Finance for over 15 years. She lived in Manchester for nearly 10 years before moving back to Cardiff in May 2019. Her previous role was working with International Baccalaureate, an education provider for children aged 3 to 19 years. In her spare time, Gayatri loves baking, spending time outdoors with her two children and hosting dinner parties.

Technology

Josh Ellis

Josh Ellis

Head of IT

Josh joined Learna in November 2017 as a university work experience placement. He quickly earned himself the role of IT Technician before moving into the role of Junior Software Developer where he started the development of new bespoke systems for the company. Most recently, Josh is our new Head of IT and his role involves overseeing the maintenance and development of Learna's IT systems. His calming and organised nature makes him a perfect fit for the role and no job is too big or too small. In his spare time, Josh also enjoys PC gaming and is a music enthusiast. He enjoys playing the drums which he had opportunities to in brass bands, orchestras and while jamming with friends.

Alun Davies

Alun Davies

Senior Developer

Alun is an experienced back-end developer, having graduated from Imperial College London in 2003 with a Masters degree in Computing. He has worked in a variety of industries including publishing, retail and online gaming. He joined the Learna team in early 2021. In his spare time Alun enjoys writing, watching pretty much any sport, and taking part in triathlons.

Osian Barr-Franco

Osian Barr-Franco

IT Support Technician & Moodle Course Administrator

Osian has been working at Learna since October 2018. Initially working within our Student Support Team, Osian recently made the move to our tech team. He prepares and quality checks our online learning platform, and provides technical assistance to the organisation. He has found a role that challenges him and has allowed him to develop both professionally and personally. Osian enjoys watching and playing football. He is an avid Cardiff City supporter. He also enjoys road cycling and occasionally plays online multiplayer games

Rochan Rochan

Rochan Rochan

Junior Developer

Rochan is pursuing an MSc in Computing (with Placement) from Cardiff University; she is currently completing her placement year at Learna as a Junior Developer. This is Rochan's second Master's degree, having already studied a BSc and an MSc in Forensic Science. She hoping to specialise in Cybersecurity in the near future. In her spare time, Rochan likes to read and cook.