Dona McCullagh

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Dona McCullagh

Director of Marketing and Communications

As Ridley's Marketing and Communications Director, Dona manages the college's outward-facing print & online publications, advertising and social media platforms. Her role is cross-cutting, and she enjoys working with staff colleagues in all areas of the college, from Development and Admissions to the various teams responsible for our lay and ordained ministry courses.

Prospective students will likely first encounter her work through the college website, which she manages and maintains, and alumni will receive the annual college magazine and the termly Ridley Connection e-newsletter, which Dona compiles and designs. She also manages our profiles on twitter, facebook, instagram and youtube, and designs any print or digital materials as required, from college letterheads to pvc banners and magazine adverts.

With a background in Greek and Latin, Dona is self-taught in website, graphic design and publishing skills, and enjoys learning more every day through design blogs and videos, and regularly updating her knowledge through online courses.

Former roles at Ridley

Former roles at Ridley

After six years working as a sales and editorial assistant for the publishers Grove Books, whose basement office is located at the college, Dona moved to work part time on Reception and also became Ridley's webmaster, having previously designed a new website for the college.

She also became part-time Personal Assistant to Professor Jeremy Begbie, then Tutor in Christian Doctrine at Ridley and continued to work with him for some years after his move to Duke Divinity School, where he founded Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. The work gave her opportunities to discover and hone skills in a wide variety of areas, including publishing and event management.

Following a brief period working as Acting Admissions Officer, in 2009 Dona took up her current post as Director of Marketing and Communications, which which she now holds nearly full-time, working from her home office.

Editorial and publishing work

Editorial and publishing work

From time to time Dona works with Gilead Publishing, editing and typesetting manuscripts and designing book covers for Christian books, building on some of the publishing skills she gained during her time working at Grove Books.

She also provides occasional editorial and typesetting services for the Church of England, and specifically for the Ethical Investment Advisory Group and for Archbishops' Council.

Church roles

Church roles

Having stepped down as churchwarden to her local church due to ill health, Dona is now a committed member of an online Zoom church provided within the same team ministry.

She remains a member of her PCC at Caldecote Church, where she was instrumental in turning around her church’s financial position, launching the Plan for the Future of Caldecote Church to encourage regular giving, and helping to raise funds through open garden events and concerts.

In 2018 Dona began leading a monthly Morning Prayer service, and put together a series of 40 emails to introduce the congregation to different aspects of the service throughout Lent. The Caldecote Lent Challenge proved very popular and had a wide readership beyond Caldecote.

In the wider church, Dona has served on the Ely Diocesan Communications Advisory Group, Ely Diocesan Synod and Bourn Deanery Synod, and as Parish Giving Officer.

Personal interests

Personal interests

Although no longer able to go hiking due to chronic illness, Dona brings nature indoors through her growing collection of prayer plants and other houseplants.

She enjoys designing new practical or artistic elements for her home, and occasionally tries out new forms of art, from resin art to acrylics on canvas.

A fan of both Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff, she makes time to watch Formula 1 Grand Prix races, and is happy to be finally achieving her goal of getting back to playing the piano after thirty years!