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Looking back at 2017/18

Written by Eleanor Sanger, posted on Friday, June 15, 2018

It's the last day of the last week of the last term in the Oxford calendar, which can only mean one thing – it’s the end of the academic year! And what a year it’s been…

This is a time when many of our students will be looking back over both the past year and the rest of their time in college and reminiscing about their experiences during that time – and we hope that everyone has some good memories of the years they’ve spent here.

We thought we’d take a look back over the past year as well, going over some of the news stories from the 2017/18 academic year to see what exciting things have happened at Christ Church since last October!



Recently we were honoured to welcome Madame Monica Geingos, First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, to college, after she was invited by Namibian Christ Church student Andreas Elombo. In December we also hosted a fundraising dinner for the wonderful organisation Shakespeare Schools, a cultural education charity that works to promote educational attainment, especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts. We’ve celebrated a very wide range of things, including holding our stunning Diwali Dinner last October, joining in with buildings across Oxford in celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage back in February, and thanking the students and staff involved in Access and Outreach at our Ambassadors’ Dinner in May. The Cathedral Choir recently performed the UK premiere of a new work by composer Howard Goodall, who is also a Christ Church alumnus! We’ve also been involved in raising money for charities, through the James Trickey Run in memory of a former student, and with various initiatives to help the homeless in Michaelmas Term.


Our students have been involved in some amazing things over the past year, including winning awards, being involved in sporting events, and taking part in competitions! This year we welcomed our very first cohort of Computer Science students, who also met our Research Student (Research Fellow) Sir Tim Berners-Lee when they began their studies back in October. A number of our students have won awards – Peter Tellouche won a national undergraduate essay prize; Lawrence Yu Ho Wing was presented with a Global Study Award; and Olivia Grant was presented with the Scientific Exploration Society Rivers Foundation Award. Victoria Gill was a finalist in the Oxfordshire Concerto Competition, and Lisa Thalheimer was selected to be a Global Youth Climate Ambassador. Two of our students, Dan Moor and Patricia Metcalfe-Jones, played for Oxford in the 2017 Varsity Rugby Matches, and we had a huge number of successful rowers – including 7 rowing in the Cancer Research UK Boat Races, and 2 rowing for Oxford’s lightweight crews in their races against Cambridge.


We also published news stories about some of the achievements of our academic and research staff, who have received plenty of awards and honours this year! Professor Guy Wilkinson was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society; Dr Patricia Lockwood won the ESCAN Young Scientist Award, and was awarded the Frith Prize by the Experimental Psychology Society; Dr Jena Meinecke was presented with an Early Career Researchers MPLS Impact Award; Dr Kerri Donaldson Hanna was awarded the Winton Capital Prize by the Royal Astronomical Society; Dr Robin Thompson won the 2017 PLOS Computational Biology Research Prize; Dr Carissa Veliz was awarded a BSS-Santander Universities Scholarship; Professor Martin McLaughlin was awarded the Serena Medal for Italian Literature; Dr Timothy Littlewood was appointed interim Director of Clinical Studies at the University of Oxford Medical School, and Vice-President of the Royal College of Pathologists; and Professor Gunnar Martinsson was awarded the 2017 Germund Dahlquist Prize.

It’s not just about the prizes – our academic staff have also amassed an impressive collection of other achievements, including publications, and we welcomed a number of new academic staff back in October 2017 at the start of the academic year. Natalie Clein performed in the ‘Cello Unwrapped’ series at Kings Place, and we were also treated to a fascinating talk on galaxies and black holes given by Professor Roger Davies at the Michaelmas 2017 Christ Church Time event. Dr Sam Ferguson published ‘Diaries Real and Fictional in Twentieth-Century French Writing’, Professor Alexander Vasudevan published ‘The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting’, and Dr Gabrielle Watson had ‘Respect and Criminal Justice’, her first book, accepted for publication. Dr Belinda Jack had a paper published in The Lancet, Professor Petr Sedlacek had a paper published in the American Economic Review, and Dr Fabian Schneider was the lead author on a paper revealing an overabundance of massive stars in a neighbouring galaxy!


Many of our students go on to do impressive things after they leave Christ Church, as some of our alumni news items from the past year have shown. Back in January, two of our alumni were recognised in the 2018 New Year’s Honours – a brilliant achievement! Eugene Birman was awarded a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, and also had a composition premiered at the music festival Bard Music West. Dr Miranda Kaufmann published ‘Black Tudors: The Untold Story’, which was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize. We unveiled a portrait of Sir John Gurdon in the Hall, and a portrait of Jan Morris featured in the Bodleian exhibition ‘The Full Picture’.


Although these are just a small number of the many events and celebrations that have been a part of the past academic year at Christ Church, they demonstrate the hard work and determination of our students, staff and alumni, and some of the many ways in which they are all working to make a difference. We are very proud of all of their achievements, and look forward to seeing what successes the next year will bring!