We are delighted to have hundreds of Early Career Academics at the University of Oxford who are members of our network, covering subjects from Chemistry to Classics. Here are a few of our members and what they have been up to with schools outreach for Oxford:
Dr Oliver Cox (History)
“I am a Knowledge Exchange Fellow at TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) where I run the Thames Valley Country House Partnership linking expertise within the University with partners in the region’s heritage sector.
I read History as an undergraduate at University College, Oxford, where I also took my M.St. and my D.Phil. As an undergraduate I was heavily involved with college open days, which allowed me to share my passion for my college and my subject with potential students. Now as a member of staff, I have had the privilege to represent the History Faculty at the Oxford & Cambridge Student Conferences across England. These are fantastic events-taking Oxford out of Oxford and on the road-allowing us to inspire potential applicants who may never have considered applying to this university.
For Early Career Researchers, this is an excellent opportunity to practice new ways of communicating with non-specialist audiences.”
If you want to get involved with the Student Conferences project get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca Morgan (Geology and Geophysics)
“I am a D.Phil student in the Earth Sciences department, where I investigate the extension of continents, their breakup and the formation of new oceans. I have a particular focus on the South Atlantic, and have conducted fieldwork in Namibia. I did my undergraduate degree at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where I was the JCR Access and Academic Affairs Officer. Within this role, I organised college open days, school visits and summer residentials. Outside of college, I regularly visit primary and secondary schools to introduce topics in Earth Sciences and talk on what life is like at University, often to students who have never considered whether this route is for them. I thoroughly enjoy these opportunities to share my enthusiasm for the subject and to communicate science to a wider audience.”
Dr Alex Lloyd (German)
“In my role as Lecturer in German at St Edmund Hall and Magdalen College I teach undergraduate courses in literature, film, and translation. I research and write about depictions and memories of childhood in post-war German culture. I read German as an undergraduate at Wadham College, where I also completed a PGCE, a Master’s, and a Doctorate.
It’s been a real pleasure to be involved in outreach work for the university. I began helping with the UNIQ Summer School in 2010 and have taught on the German course every year since. It’s always a fantastic week and offers a great insight into life at Oxford. Since 2011, I’ve delivered academic taster sessions as part of the Modern Languages Faculty Open Days and the Oxford Pathways Programme, and even made it onto YouTube in our recent college video: ‘What have you learnt at Teddy Hall?’.
I’m also part of the team which runs the Oxford German Network, an initiative of the German department of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages. We run an annual national competition, the Oxford German Olympiad, as well as events with teachers, pupils, and student ambassadors. It’s been really encouraging to meet students considering and even applying to Oxford as a result of attending outreach events. For Early Career Researchers, getting involved in outreach is not just a way to give something back, it can also provide new and exciting ways of thinking about teaching and research.”
Dr Jennifer Rushworth (Italian)
“I am a Junior Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford, and a member of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages. I find outreach a fantastic way to meet people and to give back to a system from which I have benefited immensely, both as an undergraduate and as a postgraduate. My personal background (northern, state-school educated) makes me particularly keen to encourage people from diverse walks of life to apply to Oxford. I have represented Languages at the Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences and I co-ordinate the beginners’ Italian strand of the UNIQ summer schools. I also went to Brighton for a philosophy book club in a school last year – any excuse for an ice-cream on a beach! I am repeatedly amazed and delighted by the enthusiasm and new ideas that young people can bring to tutors in many subjects, through outreach events.”
Toby Young (Music)
“I am a non-stipendiary lecturer at Somerville College, teaching theoretical, analytical and philosophical aspects of music to undergraduates, as well as researching the aesthetics of communication through creative media. In addition to my research I am a composer, working both in the classical sphere (writing for groups like the London Symphony Orchestra and Choir of King’s College, Cambridge) as well as for pop artists (including Ellie Goulding, Chase&Status and the Rolling Stones). I also co-run an artist collective, working on interdisciplinary productions. I firmly believe that music can transcend boundaries, as can the study of it.
In the past I have been involved in a wide range of outreach projects, organising and leading workshops with schools in London, Malvern, Coventry and Sherborne, as well as the Prison and Probation service in London, and various homeless networks in Cambridge. I am always open to discussing new and interesting outreach projects involving music or any other creative medium. Please get in touch at email@example.com.”
Vaia Patta (Computer Science)
“I’m a third-year doctoral student in Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Before that, I did a Master’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
School outreach schemes have always interested me: I have strong feelings both about economic inequality and waste of talent, hence I’m enthusiastic about spotting, encouraging and offering opportunities to gifted students from poor backgrounds; furthermore, I enjoy working with young people. More broadly, I welcome opportunities to communicate my research to non-specialist audiences of any age.
During my studies in Oxford, I’ve done some outreach work as a STEM ambassador (mainly with young children) which I’ve greatly enjoyed and learned from. Recently I’ve also engaged in some research-related comedy with the Bright Club – feel free to look me up on youtube! 🙂
I have actively been seeking to broaden my outreach activities by applying to organisations such as The Brilliant Club and the University of Oxford UNIQ summer school. Don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re organising something and would like my help!”
Dr Michael Subialka (Modern Languages)
“I was the Powys Roberts Research Fellow in European Literature at St Hugh’s College, and I lectured in Modern Languages on topics in modern Italian literature and culture. I especially enjoy teaching undergraduate courses that relate different media (print, theatre, film) that overlap in the period of Italian modernism to philosophical thought. I did my MA and PhD at the University of Chicago, with the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; before that I studied at the University of Notre Dame.
As an early career researcher from abroad (I’m from Colorado), I have an interest in how outreach relates to the increasingly international character of major universities like Oxford. Coming from a state school background, I have also been eager to lead informational events for students from state schools. My involvement in efforts to widen participation in higher education is also reflected in my summer teaching at the University of Chicago, where I am an instructor/mentor in the Neubauer Summer Scholars program, which is designed to attract top students engaged in the Hispanic and Latino communities.”
Dr Jennifer Wallis (History of Medicine)
“I am a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on ‘Diseases of Modern Life’, a project investigating cultural, literary and medical responses to the problems of stress and ill health in the nineteenth century.
I did my undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of Leeds before undertaking a Wellcome Trust-funded PhD at Queen Mary, University of London. I joined the University of Oxford in 2014. My work in the history of medicine has offered me the opportunity to talk about my research not just to an academic audience, but also healthcare professionals and the wider public. In 2013 I took part in ‘The Carnival of Lost Emotions’, a play performed with fellow PhD students, and in 2014 performed at the Edinburgh Fringe as part of ‘Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge’.”