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Students and alumnae: International Women's Day 2019

Written by Eleanor Sanger, posted on Friday, March 8, 2019

It's International Women's Day, so here we're taking a look back at what some of our students and alumnae have achieved since the last IWD. From sporting successes to awards and prizes, read on for a celebration of some of our female students and alumnae who appeared on our news pages over the past year!


There have been some very successful sporting achievements for Christ Church teams, including W2 winning blades after a brilliant performance at Torpids, a successful Michaelmas term for a number of women’s teams including football, and Megan Wellens representing Oxford in the Varsity Rugby Match at Twickenham back in December! Find out more about all of our Michaelmas sporting successes in last term’s sports report.

Sara Kushma, studying for an MBA at the Said Business School, was our Christ Church representation in OUWBC in last year’s boat races against Cambridge! She rowed in the 6 seat of the women’s blue boat, providing ‘experience and power in the middle of the crew’. Find out more about Sara and the rest of the Christ Church rowers in last year’s boat races here.

Christ Church graduate student Naomi Holland represented Oxford rowing in the reserve boat for the Oxford Women’s Lightweight Rowing Club, the only crew to beat Cambridge in last year’s boat races! She was also among a team of 7 rowers representing the University of Oxford and Great Britain at the European Universities Games 2018 in Coimbra last July – you can find out how she got on here. And all this whilst also studying for a DPhil in Physics!

Third-year Biological Sciences student Olivia Grant was presented with the Scientific Exploration Rivers Foundation Award and was made an honorary member of the society! With the award of £5000, Olivia and fellow Christ Church student Annika Schlemm, joined by wildlife photographer and film maker Ben Cherry, set out on a conservation and documentary film expedition to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. Discover more about their expedition.

Lisa Thalheimer, studying for a DPhil in Geography and the Environment, was selected to be a Global Youth Climate Network (GYCN) Climate Ambassador, working with other ambassadors to develop and implement initiatives that raise awareness and mitigate climate change. She came up with some brilliant ideas for ways of encouraging the Christ Church community to get involved – learn more about what she had planned.

Our alumnae get up to some pretty incredible things too. Chloe Brooks, who matriculated in Biological Sciences in 2012, is taking on the gruelling 2019 Marathon des Sables, a 7 day 156-mile race through the Sahara Desert, raising money for the charity Hope for Children. With the race starting on 5th April there’s not long to go… Find out more about Chloe and how to sponsor her in our news story about the race.

Alumna Sophie Power hit the headlines back in September after she completed the 105-mile Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc only 3 months after giving birth – a truly impressive feat! Find out more about her amazing achievements here.