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Oxford-Canada Scholars

In addition to our current scholars, we are grateful that a number of our past scholars have allowed us to post notes on their academic and subsequent careers. While only a few of the over 100 scholars, whom the Foundation has sponsored since 1956, they give some insight into the wide range of disciplines and subsequent contributions of our alumni.

Current scholars

Rhiannon Ogden-Jones

Rhiannon Ogden-Jones

Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 2020

  • Research focus: Master of Law (LL.M.)
  • University: McGill University

In 2020, Ms Ogden-Jones completed her Oxford BA, in Jurisprudence. She is studying for an LLM at McGill, specializing in environmental and constitutional issues, with a focus on the role of legal history in these areas. Her passion for this field stems from a desire to understand the development of legal society and its role in relation to the state. In the future, Ms Ogden-Jones intends to pursue a PhD with a mind to a career in law reform either through academia or in legal policy work.

J Ockenden

J. Ockenden

Brasenose College, Oxford, 2019

  • Research focus: Master of Journalism
  • University: University of British Columbia

In 2018, Ms Ockenden completed her Oxford BA in French and Italian, with a congratulatory first. She is studying for a Master in Journalism at the University of British Columbia. She believes the program's theoretical training and hands on practical experience, across different journalistic media, will enrich her radio journalism experience. She hopes the degree will equip her to work anywhere in the world, in any medium, in any of her three languages. She intends to fight the spread of misinformation, focusing on women's and minority group interests, with the aim of promoting social diversity.

Shuranjeet Singh Takhar

Shuranjeet Singh Takhar

St. Anthony's College, Oxford 2018

  • Research focus: Masters in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
  • University: University of Toronto

Mr. Takhar graduated from Oxford with an MSc in Modern South Asian Studies. He is studying for a Masters in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on mental health educational tools and their level of suitability for migrant communities. His particular focus is the Punjabi community with outreach to other diasporas. While studying at Oxford, he founded an NGO to address mental health issues in expatriate communities, an endeavour he continues to supervise from Toronto.

Mr. Takhar is enjoying his time in Toronto, a city he finds incredibly diverse in foods, cultures, and communities. In addition to his studies, Mr. Takhar is working part-time as a research analyst and consultant, further developing his strengthes in health policy and research.

Past scholars

Rebecca Pearse

Rebecca Pearse

Queen's College, Oxford 2017

  • Research focus: Masters in Neuroscience
  • University: McGill University

Ms Pearse graduated from Oxford with a congratulatory first in Experimental Psychology. As the Oxford-Canada Scholar, she achieved first class grades at McGill University, with a Masters in Neuroscience. Her thesis explored individual differences in grey matter relating to language learning in adulthood. She feels immensely privileged for her time at McGill, with many formative experiences, academically and personally.

After graduating from McGill, Ms Pearse spent a year at Melbourne University, Australia, developing a framework to quantify the social impact of scientific research. Now, she has returned to the UK, where she is employed as an assistant psychologist, working on eating disorders. This will provide useful experience for training as a clinical psychologist. She is happy to help people at a time when mental health services are so critically needed.

Anna Seccombe

Anna Seccombe

Wadham College, Oxford 2017

  • Canadian Degree: Masters in History
  • University: University of Toronto

Ms Seccombe was awarded first-class honours for a joint degree in History and English, at Wadham College, Oxford. As the Oxford-Canada scholar, she obtained a Master’s degree in History at the University of Toronto, in 2018. Her research was on the politics of nationalism among Ukrainian immigrants to Canada. She appreciated the resources and global outlook of the University of Toronto. Ms Seccombe has returned to the UK, where she will complete a Graduate Diploma in Law and Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Subsequently, she will join the London law firm, Macfarlanes, on a training contract.

Prashant Pandey

Prashant Pandey

Brasenose College, Oxford 2016

  • Canadian Degree: MASc in Biomedical Engineering
  • University: University of British Columbia

Mr. Pandey graduated from Oxford with a Master's in Engineering, having obtained first class honours. He used his Oxford-Canada scholarship to study for an MASc in Biological Engineering, at the University of British Columbia. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD, there, in Biomedical Engineering. His research is in the field of medical imaging and computer vision, developing a surgical navigation system to guide doctors during pelvic fracture surgeries. Mr. Pandey chose UBC for his graduate studies because of its emphasis on collaborative training and research, where he as been able to work closely with surgeons on clinical problems. He is committed to solving real problems, to the benefit patients and clinicians alike.

Joe Cock

Joe Cock

St. Catherine's College, Oxford 2015

  • Canadian Degree: Masters in Public and International Affairs
  • University: University of Ottawa

Mr. Cock, graduated from Oxford with first class honours in French and Linguistics. As an Oxford-Canada scholar, in 2018, he was granted an MA in Public and International Affairs by the University of Ottawa. He returned to the UK, where he is employed as an analyst in the City, by S-RM, a risk management and corporate intelligence firm. Mr. Cock believes his Canadian MA and being an Oxford-Canada scholar will be helpful to him, professionally. Incidentally, Mr. Cock caught the fish while using his Oxford-Canada travel grant to visit British Columbia. It was his first time fishing.

Jack F. Knowles

Jack F. Knowles

Trinity College, Oxford 2010

  • Canadian Degree: Cinema and Media Studies
  • University: York University

Jack Knowles graduated with a BA in English Language and Literature from Trinity College, Oxford, in 2010. As an Oxford-Canada scholar, he obtained an MA in Cinema and Media Studies at York University, in 2012. After having worked for two years as a secondary school teacher on the south coast of England, Mr. Knowles returned to Canada in 2015, to study for a PhD at the University of British Columbia. Having completed his comprehensive exams, he undertook archival research at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Currently, he is writing his dissertation on postwar American fiction, with a special interest in the work of Philip Roth.

Mr. Knowles recently moved to Denmark to live with his partner as she begins an exciting career in pharmaceutical research in Copenhagen. It is a fortuitous move, as Kierkegaard’s influence on the shape of the postwar American novel features prominently in his research. He will, however, return to Vancouver in the near future to complete and defend his dissertation. He writes that having been an Oxford-Canada Scholar, 'remains one of the great privileges of my academic life. I look back on my time with the fondest memories. Studying in Canada was tremendously important to my later studies, as it allowed me to work on material that was simply not on my radar in the UK. Similarly, the opportunity to move to the intellectual excitement of Toronto after I finished my BA opened up whole new worlds. I will always be grateful.’

James Morton

James Morton

St. John's College, Oxford 2009

  • Canadian Degree: History
  • University: Queen's University

James Morton graduated with a BA in Classics from St John's College, Oxford in 2009. As an Oxford-Canada scholar, he pursued an MA in Byzantine History at Queen's University in the years 2009-2011. Subsequently, he received a PhD in Byzantine and Medieval History from the University of California, Berkeley, in August 2018, with a dissertation titled 'Byzantine Canon Law and Medieval Legal Pluralism: The Southern Italian Manuscripts (10th-14th Centuries).'

Dr. Morton is spending autumn 2018, at the British School at Rome as a Rome Award holder, working on a monograph, based on his PhD dissertation. In January 2019, he will take up a post as a Assistant Professor in the History Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he will continue his research in medieval religious law and will teach courses on medieval Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.

Ian Runacres

Ian Runacres

Worcester College, Oxford 2007

  • Canadian Degree: Masters in Classics
  • University: University of British Columbia (UBC)

Ian Runacres went to a state school before taking a First in Classics at Worcester College. As the Oxford-Canada Scholar, he read for an MA in Classics at UBC, where he was a member of Green College. After a period in asset management, he is now at the Financial Conduct Authority. Mr. Runacres says that, "the Oxford-Canada Scholarship and two years in Vancouver completely liberated me intellectually and personally. My work there branched off in various unexpected and enjoyable angles under broad-minded but challenging supervisors, and resulted in an article on outrageous violence in Lucan and his seventeenth century imitators. A book chapter on political cartoons, which I co-wrote with a friend in political science, would never have been written without the inter-disciplinary melting pot of Green College. I made a lot of fun friends, swam in the ocean every day, and now have an enduring love of Winnipeg in winter."

Laura Yares

Laura Yares

Mansfield/Oriel, Oxford 2005

  • Canadian Degree: Religion and Social Science
  • University: McMaster University

Laura Yares completed her B.A at Mansfield College in 2005 and an M.St. in Jewish Studies at Oriel College in 2006 and then spent ‘two wonderful years’ as the Oxford-Canada scholar, completing an MA in Religion and Social Science at McMaster University, in 2008. A Ph.D. at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. followed. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University.

Daniel McNeil

Daniel McNeil

St. Catherine's College, Oxford 2002

  • Canadian Degree: History
  • University: University of Toronto (UofT)

Daniel McNeil graduated with a BA in History from Saint Catherine's College, Oxford, in 2001. As the Oxford-Canada scholar, he completed an MA in History, Ethnic and Immigration Studies at the UofT, in 2002. He went on to complete a PhD in History, at the UofT, in 2007.

Dr. McNeil taught Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Hull and Newcastle University and served as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. He joined Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, in 2014, as an Associate Professor of History, Migration and Diaspora Studies. During 2019-20, Dr. McNeil is lecturing at the UofT, as the Public Humanities Research Fellow. The research theme for the year is, ‘Strange weather’ – how might the Humanities contribute to the critical discourse on energy and climate?

Dr. McNeil is the award-winning author of Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs. His recent contributions to the study of the ethics and aesthetics of the Black Atlantic have been published in Film Criticism in the Digital Age, American Shame: Stigma and the Body Politic and Slavery, Memory, Citizenship. His forthcoming books include A Tale of Two Critics and Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture. He is also a contributor to collections that will unsettle dominant narratives of Canadian history and culture, African American arts, activism and aesthetics, and Francophone immigration discourse in Europe and North America.

Alison McGuigan

Alison McGuigan

St. Catherine's College, Oxford 2000

  • Canadian Degree: Chemical Engineering
  • University: University of Toronto (UofT)

Alison McGuigan completed her B.A in Materials Science and Engineering at St. Catherine's College, Oxford in 2000. The Oxford-Canada Scholarship funded the first two years of her studies at the University of Toronto, where she completed a PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2005. Subsequently, she completed post doctoral fellowships at Harvard University and the Stanford School of Medicine.

Dr. McGuigan is the Erwin Edward Hart Professor of Chemical Engineering and an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry in the Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her research group is focused on engineering in vitro tissue platforms that can generate physiologically relevant and high value data for understanding fundamental tissue biology and enable identification of novel therapeutics to induce tissue regeneration or to treat disease.

Joel Walmsley

Joel Walmsley

St. Anne's, Oxford 2000

  • Canadian Degree: Philosophy
  • University: University of Toronto (UofT)

Joel Walmsley graduated with a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from St. Anne's College, Oxford, in 2000. As an Oxford-Canada scholar, he studied Philosophy at the University of Toronto (UofT) -- where he was also a Junior Fellow of Massey College -- obtaining an MA in 2001 and a PhD in 2006.

Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the U of T, in 2006, Dr. Walmsley took up a post as a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at University College Cork, in Ireland, where he remains. His research interests are at the intersection of Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Science. His publications include, Mind: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction to the Major Theories (Hackett, 2006) and Mind and Machine (Palgrave, 2012).

Adam Kramer

Adam Kramer

University College, Oxford 1999

  • Canadian Degree: Masters in Law
  • University: McGill University

Adam Kramer graduated from Oxford with a first in law in 1999 (second highest in his year) and read his LLM at McGill over the turn of the millennium. He lectured in law at the universities of Durham and Oxford. Now, he is a commercial barrister in London, UK, while continuing to publish academic work, especially in contract law. He has returned to Montreal a number of times since 2000, including for a sabbatical to finish work on his contract damages textbook. He lives in London with his wife, three daughters and two cats.

Rhiannon Ash

Rhiannon Ash

University College, Oxford 1991

  • Canadian Degree: MA in Medieval Latin
  • University: University of Toronto

Rhiannon Ash graduated from Oxford with a BA in Classics in 1990 before spending an exciting year teaching at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. In 1991, she moved to Toronto to begin her MA in Medieval Latin, joining a vibrant community of Medievalists at the Centre for Medieval Studies and completing her degree successfully in 1992. She then moved back to Britain to take up a British Academy grant and begin a doctorate in Classics at Oxford (1992-96), looking at the Roman historian Tacitus’ depiction of leaders and armies in the Histories. She spent 10 years teaching in the Department of Greek and Latin at University College London before moving back to Oxford to take up the position of Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Merton College, Oxford, where she is still based. She has published widely on Tacitus and other prose authors of the Roman imperial era.

She adds: “I have such fond memories of my time in Toronto where I met an extraordinary range of lovely people and made many life-long friends. Canada is really a special place with so much to offer. I found Toronto to be a breathtaking and life-affirming place – a thoroughly colourful and energetic city with a lively arts and music scene, an international profile, and an altogether friendly and welcoming environment in which to live. It was my kind of place. The University of Toronto as an intellectual home was a supportive and stimulating experience in every way, and the Centre for Medieval Studies was a powerhouse of talent. I really was exceptionally lucky to spend time there in my early 20s, and my positive experiences in Canada have shaped me fundamentally, both as a person and as an academic. I have so much for which to thank the Oxford-Canada Scholarship scheme and particularly its wonderful founding director, Michael Howarth, who over the years was consistently kind and helpful to those of us who were lucky enough to be under his wing. His remarkable dedication and energy made this unique scheme what it is today. I am delighted to have been a part of something so special”.

Alison Etheridge

Alison Etheridge

New College, Oxford 1985

  • Canadian Degree: Mathematics
  • University: McGill University

Alison Etheridge graduated with a BA in Mathematics from New College, Oxford, in 1985. As the Oxford-Canada scholar, she researched mathematical probability, at McGill, in 1985/86. Of her time in Canada, she writes, it made a huge difference to my life. Not only did the scholarship provide a huge boost to me as a mathematician, but it broadened my horizons dramatically and left me with a lifelong affection for Canada. Becoming relatively fluent in French was an added bonus that has served me extremely well over the years.

Dr. Etheridge returned to New College, in 1987, as the Junior Fellow and Tutor for Women. Then, armed with an Oxford DPhil, she worked in Cambridge, Edinburgh, UC Berkeley and QMUL, before joining Magdalen as a Tutorial Fellow in mathematics in 1997. In 2012, she resigned her Tutorial Fellowship to take up a new position in the University, where she is an Associate Head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division. She remains associated to Magdalen as a Fellow by Special Election.

Dr. Etheridge is the author of numerous books and articles. Of her work she writes, While at McGill, I was drawn further into probability theory and began working on the mathematical objects now known as superprocesses. Although drawn to study superprocesses by their rich and beautiful mathematical structure, I see them as having provided a first taste of modelling biological populations. Although my work is still highly mathematical and much of it is still driven by mathematical beauty, most recently my central interest has been a collection of mathematical problems arising in theoretical population genetics.

Alison Etheridge

Dan Corry

University College, Oxford 1983

  • Canadian Degree: Economics
  • University: Queen's University

Dan Corry graduated with a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from University College, Oxford, in 1983. As the Oxford-Canada scholar, he completed an MA, in Economics, at Queen's, in 1984. He says, “I had a very enjoyable year at Queens. That knowledge and way of approaching problems has been crucial throughout my career, as a civil servant, a think tanker, a political policy adviser and now working to help charities improve. It also created lifelong friendships with many Canadians, who I still see to this day.”

Mr. Corry became Chief Executive of NPC (a charity think tank and consultancy that advises charities and funders), in 2011, following a variety of posts in public policy and economics. He was Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Economy from 2007 to 2010. Corry had been Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Treasury and worked as a special adviser to the Secretary of State in the Education Department, as well as at DTI and DCLG. He was a Director in the Economics segment of FTI Consulting. He ran the New Local Government Network think tank between 2002 and 2005, and was Senior Economist at the IPPR in the 1990s.

Mr. Corry is a member of the Early Action Taskforce, which helps make the case for a shift in priorities away from coping with the consequences of social problems towards work that prevents them arising. He is a member of the Advisory Boards for Big Society Capital , Impetus–PEF , and the Centre for Public Scrutiny , as well as a member of the Charity Tax Commission. He is a Visiting Fellow at Southampton University, a trustee of St Mungo's and of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing , and a former member of the Research Committee of the ESRC and of the Greater Manchester Economic Advisory Panel.

Peter Barker

Peter Barker

Balliol College, Oxford 1982

  • Canadian Degree: Chemistry
  • University: University of British Columbia

Peter Barker graduated with a BA in Chemistry from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1982. As the Oxford- Canada scholar, he studied chemistry for a year at UBC, working on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. There, he says, "I published my first scientific paper (NMR of deuterium in liquid crystal mixtures, Chem Phys Lett, 1984), played cricket in Stanley Park, learned what it means to ice the puck, made some life-long friends and met my future ex-wife. The CRSF scholarship," he continued, "launched me on a career in science working with NMR spectroscopy".

Dr. Barker returned to Oxford to complete his D.Phil in Physical Chemistry (1986), did a post-doc at Caltech/Huntington Medical Research Institute in Pasadena, CA, and in 1989 moved to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, as an assistant Professor of Radiology. During his post-doctoral fellowship, his research focus switched from chemistry to medicine, still using magnetic resonance technology (i.e. MRI). Still at Johns Hopkins 29 years later, he is in charge of a group of a dozen faculty members, post-docs and graduate students researching on human brain metabolism. He has published about 300 papers and written three books on MR imaging and spectroscopy, published by Cambridge University Press.

Matthew D. Lynall

Matthew D. Lynall

Brasenose College, Oxford 1976

  • Canadian Degree: MBA
  • University: University of Western Ontario

Matthew Lynall graduated with a BA in Engineering Science Economics from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1976. As an Oxford-Canada scholar, he completed an MBA at Western. For several years, he was in industry and management consulting, working in Canada for Nortel Networks, for the Canadian subsidiary of Linread PLC and the consulting services of Ernst Young. He returned to Western, where he completed a PhD in Organizational Behaviour, following which he took up a position on the management faculty of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, where he is a clinical professor, focused on innovation and technology commercialization with funding support from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Lynall is the author of several articles and book chapters. He says, "I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me by the Oxford-Canada scholarship and will be glad to welcome fellow scholars to the Midwest United States".

James Macdonald

James Macdonald

Brasenose College, Oxford 1976

  • Canadian Degree: Geology
  • University: University of Toronto

James Macdonald graduated with a BA in Geology from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1976. As the Oxford-Canada scholar, he completed an MSc in Geology, at the UofT, in 1978. Subsequently, he completed his PhD, also at the UofT, in 1982. He was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia, working in the Geology Department, Mineral Deposit Research Unit.

Dr. Macdonald worked for the Ontario Geological Survey and then, in exploration, for a number metals and mining companies, in order: AGIP Resources, Homestake, Billiton International and BHP Billiton. For much of this period, he was resident in Brisbane, Australia. After retiring from BHP, in 2005, he moved to New Zealand, from where, as a director of C2Skye Management, he has consulted on economic geology in Australia, China, Central Asia, South America and Africa. Also, he is a mentor for the Society of Economic Geologists, as he wishes to give something back to the next generation of geologists.

John F. H. Thompson

John F. H. Thompson

Keble College, Oxford 1976

  • Canadian Degree: Geology
  • University: University of Toronto

John Thompson graduated with a BA in Geology from Keble College, Oxford, in 1976. As the Oxford-Canada scholar, he completed an Msc, in Geology, at the UofT, in 1978. Subsequently, he obtained his PhD, in Geology, also from the UofT, in 1982.

In 1982, Dr. Thompson joined the BP Minerals group (Rio Tinto) initially in Australia, followed by positions in the UK and Salt Lake. In 1991, he became Director of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia managing exploration-related research for over twenty companies. He returned to industry in 1998, as Chief Geoscientist for Teck, and then Vice President Technology and Development. In the latter role he managed technology and innovation programs and was involved in corporate development including resource and technology-related transactions. Since leaving Teck in 2012, he has divided his time between Cornell University, where he is the Wold Professor of Environmental Balance for Human Sustainability, and Vancouver, BC where he is Principal of PetraScience Consultants providing services and strategic advice related to exploration, mining and sustainability.

Dr. Thompson is the author of many books and articles, holds a number of honours, and has had diverse leadership roles in many organizations – Resources for Future Generations 2018, Genome BC, Society of Economic Geologists, Geoscience BC, Canada Mining Innovation Council, Councils for the World Economic Forum, and boards for exploration and technology companies.