Freedom of Oxford for Catz Alumnus

Alumnus and Honorary Fellow Professor Christopher Brown (1966, Modern History), Director of the Ashmolean Museum, has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Oxford to mark his retirement - one of just a small number of people to have been awarded this honour

The Lord Mayor of Oxford presented him with a ceremonial scroll at a ceremony held in Oxford Town Hall on 2 July 2014. The Freedom of the City of Oxford is awarded under two categories – persons of distinction or persons who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services to the city.

Catz Student Wins 2014 IRB Junior World Championship

Catz undergraduate Gus Jones (2012, Biological Sciences) has competed in a victorious England U20 squad in the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship. The IRB Junior World Championship was held in Auckland, New Zealand, from 2 to 20 June 2014.

The England squad began their campaign against Italy, before going on to face Australia, Argentina, Ireland and then meeting South Africa in the final. They successfully defended their title with a 21-20 win over South Africa, winning the Championship for the second year in a row.

Catz Staff Win 2014 OUSU Awards

St Catherine's would like to congratulate Catz Academic Registrar and Fellow, Cressida Chappell, and Catz Scout, Julie Smith, on their recent success in the 2014 Oxford University Student Union Teaching Awards. Both Cressida and Julie won an award in the Best Support Staff category in recognition of their outstanding contribution to College and student life.


Where did you study before coming to Oxford?

I studied Classics in Urbino (Italy), where I come from, at the University of Urbino 'Carlo Bo'.

What are you studying/researching at Oxford?

I am a second year DPhil student in Comparative Literature (looking at Greco-Roman legacy in Italian literature).

Why did you choose St Catherine’s?

I did not choose St Catherine's College in the first place, but I was assigned to it when St Catherine's kindly offered me a scholarship.

What is academic life like at St Catherine’s?

Academic life is very stimulating as Catz is very active in organising a range of activities and inviting outstanding speakers to share their life experience with students.

What is the social life like at St Catherine’s?

Catz is a very lively college, offering a variety of events organised in a very friendly and chilled out environment. 

What do you like most about St Catherine’s?

The fact that is very open and there is a relaxed atmosphere.

What is a typical day like?

As a DPhil student my typical day involves many hours of studying in the library as well as attending seminars and lectures. I teach for the department, which I find a stimulating and rewarding experience, so some time of the day is devoted to prepare materials and lesson planning. I try to do some exercise at least everyday to keep my mind clear, and I practice yoga once a week. When I have some spare time, and the weather is clement, I like to go for walks.  

Is there anything else you’d like prospective applicants to know?

My experience in College has been so far incredibly positive. College was very welcoming when I arrived, and greatly help in a number of ways. People are kind, friendly and intellectually very stimulating. Thanks to Catz I met two friends whom I think will be for lifetime.


Where did you study before coming to Oxford?

I attended Pusan National University in South Korea as an undergraduate and undertook an industrial placement in the UK with Rolls-Royce plc. I was a member of St Edmund Hall, Oxford during the early stages of my doctorate and migrated to St Catherine's College to take up the Overseas Scholarship.

What are you studying/researching at Oxford?

I am a DPhil candidate in Engineering Science, looking at relatively new way to improve the efficiency of the gas turbine by actively managing the tip clearance between turbine case and high speed rotating blades. The work has the potential for much greater improvement in engine performance and thus a reduction in fuel burn, particularly as employed in aero-engines.

Why did you choose St Catherine’s? 

St Catherine's is well known for its large graduate community and its strength in many branches of Engineering. The wide community of international and home students, reputation for looking after the interests of research students and the recognition associated with the scholarships all make it attractive as a college to apply to.

What do you like most about St Catherine’s?

St Catherine's provides a range of funding opportunities to help our graduate study with great support of the academic staffs. The various graduate scholarships and research expenses funds are open to all members throughout the year. For your successful graduate research, it would be wrong to suggest that the additional funding would not be very welcome.

What is a typical day like?

My daily routine begins with facing peaceful ducks and geese on the way to my office walking along the Thames Path. Such a pleasant environment helps me feel fresh and set my mind in the right direction every morning. I spend most of my time in the lab, analysing experimental and numerical data, collaborating with an industrial partner and working on papers.  A plurality of fascinating seminars and talks by distinguished external speakers in the department and college are always waiting around the corner. 

Anniken Huitfeldt delivers Women in Politics Lecture

We were delighted to welcome Anniken Huitfeldt, a member of the Norwegian Labour Party, to Catz on Monday 12 May 2014. Anniken represents the Labour Party in Norway and has held a number of different senior positions within the Party including Minister of Children and Equality, Minister of Culture and, most recently, Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion. She is an alumnus of the University of Oslo and London School of Economics.

Catz Music Society

Daniel Shao (2013, Music) and Makoto Nakata (2012, Music) perform Faure's Apres un reve... and Monti's Czardas - listen to the recording here.


Where did you study before coming to Oxford?

I did my undergraduate degree in Ghent (Belgium) which included a year at the University of Iceland. After that, I decided to do my Master's degree in Cambridge.

What are you studying/researching at Oxford?

My research is in Number Theory, a vibrant and fascinating branch of pure mathematics. Number theory is the study of primes and deeper arithmetic structures underlying the integers, and is mainly applied in internet security protocols, coding theory and even theoretical physics. 

Why did you choose St Catherine’s?

I chose St. Catherine's because it looked like a lively, diverse and very open-minded community. Sure enough, I was not disappointed! The College is everything I expected it to be, and more. It's a large college, so you'll get the opportunity to meet so many people from various backgrounds that are often really interestingly different from your own. 

What is the social life like at St Catherine’s?

The College has a really active MCR, with activities ranging from academic seminars, through music nights and Friday dinners, all the way to the most spectacular parties in our very own common room. There is really something on offer for everyone! I've had a lot of fun being involved with the MCR, and I can only recommend you to do the same.

 Photo (left): Dancing at the MCR Garden Party



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