Catherine Thornhill

Catherine Thornhill

Catherine Thornhill studied History at the University’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall. Since graduating in 2014 she has been President of Community and Welfare at FXU (the student guild at the Cornwall Campus). Catherine has worked tirelessly to improve the well-being of all students. She makes time for every student who needs advice or help and if a problem is brought to her attention, she will go out of her way to find a way to solve it. One such example is the highly successful 'Mind Your Head' campaign which offers advice and support to students suffering from mental illness.

Being elected into her position at FXU was Catherine’s proudest professional moment. ‘It was a hectic week of campaigning and talking to more people than I’ve ever imagined, standing up for what I believe in and putting myself on the line - open for criticism and welcoming of debate. I grew so much during the election and to have my campaign validated by so many people is a moment I will never forget.’ She explains.

Catherine is fully supportive of the theme of International Women’s Day 2015 ‘equality for women is progress for all’.
‘The problem with sexism, racism, homophobia and all other forms of discrimination is that they create divides where they shouldn’t exist.’ She says.
‘There’s a reason that the Romans used divide and conquer as a tactic for defeat, it’s because as a society it makes us weaker. Equality for women will unify us and make us stronger. Intersectionality in feminism is the next step - making sure that no fight for equality allows for other marginalised groups to be left behind.’

Catherine’s role models are from close to home – the females in her family.
‘I’m from a big family with lots of strong women who constantly inspire me. Apart from my mother - who constantly amazes me with her compassion and strength - I would say my little sister is my biggest female role model. From an early age it was quite clear that we were very different, I was bookish and a bit geeky and she was cool and sporty. She competed at a national level in gymnastics from about the age of 10 and showed a level of determination hitherto unknown to me; through injuries, the bureaucracy of National Sporting Bodies, funding problems, GCSEs and A Levels she always kept her head and never let her team down. After leaving school she applied to the National Centre for Circus Arts and has completely blossomed following her heart into a rather unconventional area. Always putting others before herself while being fiercely strong - both physically and mentally - she defies most stereotypes surrounding women. She’s a beacon for me that if I put my mind, body and heart into something, it will happen.

Catherine’s advice to others is short and sweet ‘Be yourself and never let anyone else define you!’ she says.

And it’s the simple things in life which make her happy: ‘Laughter, the pursuit of knowledge and the company of good people bring me joy’.