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.

Caterina

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.

Myeonggeun

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.

Jan

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

 

Dilraj

Where did you study before coming to Oxford?

I was born and raised in Reading (exciting, I know!)

What are you studying/researching at Oxford?

I am in my fourth year of studying Medicine (the first of the clinical years). The first three years were focussed on Medical Sciences and all of the background knowledge required in Medicine. This year is a great contrast in that we are fully immersed in the hospital environment, getting involved wherever possible.

Why did you choose St Catherine’s?

I chose St Catherine’s having visited my older brother when he studied here. I felt a warmth in the college that I did not find elsewhere despite looking around on open days. I would choose Catz every time.

What is academic life like at St Catherine’s?

Academic life at St Catherine’s is well-balanced. Of course being at Oxford you are pushed hard but you always have the full support of your tutors who are there to call upon should you have any concerns. 

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

Social life at Catz is brilliant. We have the largest undergraduate intake of any college and postgraduate intake from all over the world (not to mention the biggest bar). I am always meeting new and interesting people at Catz.

What do you like most about St Catherine’s?

That it’s unique. Its modern architecture is completely unique in Oxford and everybody at Catz has a unique blend of academic expertise and extracurricular interests.

What do you like least about St Catherine’s?

It’s massive size! Walking from the new to the old quad can take a while and if I’m honest at times it put me off going to the gym. Then again, that’s just me being lazy!

What is a typical day like?

A typical day for me involves shadowing doctors doing their daily activities and helping out where I can. I go on ward rounds, do practical jobs that need doing and learn on the job by asking questions. Some days we have tutorials which hone in on a specific clinical topic. In a way, though, there are no typical days because every patient we see is different. A particularly good day would be capped off with dinner at Catz surrounded by friends.

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

If there is any part of you that wants to, apply. Everybody has their ideas and reservations about Oxford but Oxford (especially Catz) really does have something for everyone.

Jerome

Where did you study before coming to Oxford?

I studied Geography at Worcester College, Oxford as an undergraduate, and completed an MPhil in Polar Studies at the University of Cambridge.

What are you studying/researching at Oxford?

I’m a DPhil student at the School of Geography and the Environment, and I’m interested in the interactions between plants and wind in semi-arid deserts. Given that climate change and land-use pressure are set to increase over the 21st century, I’m hoping to develop a predictive computer model that will improve our understanding of desertification in socio-economically vulnerable regions around the world.

What do you like most about St Catherine’s?

There’s no denying it: Catz is different. In its look, in its size, in its philosophy. In fact, the Catz motto, Nova et Vetera, neatly summarises the intriguing mix of old and new that permeates college life. As a result, it’s quite unlike any of the other colleges at Oxford, and I think it’s this bold blend of tradition and modernity that makes Catz such a brilliant community to be part of.

What is a typical day like?

There is no typical postgraduate day, and being a DPhil, I’m very much my own boss in terms of time management. I tend to be in the department by 9am – the morning is usually reserved for meetings with my supervisors, learning how to use equipment for my fieldwork (I get to use a drone for geographical research!), and working on my model. In the afternoon, there is nearly always a talk or two in my department or around the university that I try to attend. Sadly there is never enough time to go to all the daily academic events on offer at Oxford! After a sport session in the evening, I cook dinner with friends, or sometimes go to Catz for a delicious (and plentiful) ‘formal dinner’. There are often concerts or plays being performed around the city, and these provide a welcome break from the day’s hard work!

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

Catz has incredible array of financial support for its postgraduate students, so make sure you thoroughly investigate all the options that are available to you when you apply. Also, watch out for the college soup spoons – they’ll confuse even the most seasoned user.

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