The Aularian 2023 (Issue 30)

Page 1



Hall hosts new seminar series on environmental sustainability


The College welcomes Ukrainian Academics

A year of sporting successes at the Hall



06 04 10 12 14 18 20 24

Domestic Bursar, Mark Blandford-Baker, and Executive Head Chef, Sam White

18 Sports

Alexander Burson and Daniel Cryer (2022-23 Sports Representatives) fill us in on a year of sporting successes

20 Arts & Drama

Minnie Leaver (Arts and Culture Co-Representative 2022-23) updates us on

22 Dr Linda Yueh

The Hall’s Fellow by Special Election in Economics reports on her new book, The Great Crashes

24 Gina Koutsika Thinking about museum audiences


St Edmund Hall welcomes Ukrainian Academics

The Hall was delighted to host Ukrainian scholars during the course of the 2022-23 academic year

ISSUE 30 | 2023

Development and Alumni Relations Office

St Edmund Hall

Queen’s Lane




T: +44 (0)1865 279087

Registered Charity number: 1137470


Chief Editors

Emily Bruce, Alumni Relations and Events Manager

Claire Parfitt, Communications Manager

Professor Erica McAlpine, A C Cooper Fellow and Tutor in English Language & Literature


Mark Blandford-Baker, Alexander Burson, Jeremy Charles, Antonin Charret, Daniel Cryer, Daryna Dvornichenko, The Revd Dr Zachary Guiliano, Viktoriia Khalanchuk, Gina Koutsika, Minnie Leaver, Rose Morley, Brittany Perera, Rebecca Smithson, Helen Stevens, Andrew Vivian, Sam White, Dr Huijuan Wu, Dr Linda Yu

Front cover

Norham St Edmund Development: Back garden view towards the ecology pond, the refurbished MCR common room with Park House on the left and the Villa beyond

Image credits

Front cover, 6, 8, 9: Picture Plane and Wright & Wright Architects

4, 7, back cover: John Cairns

10, 11: Lee Atherton

15 (top and middle rows): Fisher Studios

18, 19 (top row): Nikola Boysová

19 (bottom right): Al Craigie

25: © Ashmolean Museum

29: Helen Stevens

Design & Print

B&M Design & Advertising:

30 From the Development and Alumni Relations Office An update including dates for your diary

31 Spirit of the Hall

Now on Series 4, the podcast talks all things Teddy Hall

The Aularian was printed using paper from sustainable sources.

An incredible year for the Hall
Floreat Aula for future generations 10 Conversations in
Sustainability: beyond greenwashing Hall hosts new seminar on
sacristy now has
Aularians let
14 Access & Outreach Attracting the next
the Principal
St Edmund
renewable energy 12
St Edmund Cope
in its safekeeping a beautiful cope 13
by the Hall
us know how the Hall shaped them
students 16
arts at the Hall RESEARCH
28 Aularians in... Sustainability


Welcome to a newly designed edition of The Aularian. I hope you will enjoy reading highlights from another highly successful, and vibrant year for the Hall. The pace of life in College, the energy of the students, and the abundance of Hall Spirit continue to amaze me – even after five years as Principal.

A few things to report: firstly, I am delighted to say that, thanks to Aularian generosity, we have raised nearly £13m since our Hall Strategy was launched in 2019-2020: this equates to 26% of the HALLmarks Campaign target of £50m. Within this goal, there is an aim of £15m for Norham St Edmund, of which nearly £7m has been raised to date: this is the most exciting flagship project of the HALLmarks Campaign as it will enable the College to house all its undergraduates for the first time. Please see page 6 for much more detail about this transformational development for our student community.

This funding is also helping secure the future of our world-class teaching and research capability across the Humanities and STEM subjects, and in the past year we have established new Fellowships in Computer Science and Philosophy. The latter focuses specifically

on Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence – a highly topical subject and one that closely aligns with University research in this critically important area.

From this funding we have also created new scholarships and bursaries including those to support individuals in financial hardship, refugee students from Ukraine (see page 26) and international scholars from developing countries. In addition, this year we launched ‘Unlock Oxford’, our flagship outreach programme designed to support selected students from schools that do not normally send students to Oxford through a sustained contact programme from Year 10 through to Year 12. There is more about the programme on page 14 in the Access & Outreach report.

Secondly, and as you’ll see on page 18, the Hall continues to thrive in its sporting achievements. This is another area where your donations are ensuring that our legendary sporting prowess remains intact via the amalgamated sports fund which can contribute towards sporting equipment, prizes, coaching and insurance costs.

Thirdly, as you are likely already aware, one of our key priorities is environmental sustainability, and last

year we completed the work to develop a decarbonisation plan for all our Estate with the ambition to reach net zero by 2030. The fabric of the buildings in the Front Quad pose some of the most difficult parts of the Estate to decarbonise, but we have been advised that by reducing energy demand through better insulation and changing the Hall’s gas boiler heating system we will make a significant difference. In fact, we have already seen a significant reduction in energy usage in the refurbished Besse Building (30%), both through better insulation and also installing wirelessenabled temperature valves on the radiators. It means we are able to centrally control the heating and also not heat empty rooms. A small action but a large outcome.

Finally, under the theme of environmental sustainability, we have launched a new public termly seminar series, ‘Conversations in Environmental Sustainability: beyond greenwashing’, which brings together leading thinkers and decision-makers from academia, business, government, and National Government Organisations to examine a specific issue such as renewable energy or sustainability metrics. I was delighted to see many Aularians attending or taking part in this series, and you can find an excellent summary on page 10. Please do consider joining us in future conversations in this series.

Please do get in touch or come and visit the next time you are in Oxford.

“Your support allows us to plan with confidence and expand our provision, adding to the reputation of the Hall in the eyes of many prospective applicants.”


In January 2023, the Hall was granted planning permission for the development of 127 study bedrooms and communal facilities at its current accommodation site: Norham St Edmund (NSE), 17 and 19 Norham Gardens (pictured above), North Oxford. The project is a mixture of three new buildings and a remodelled Victorian villa in beautifully landscaped and biodiverse gardens. The Oxford City Council planning committee was unanimous in its support of the project and particularly commended the environmental sustainability aspects of the proposed design.


Norham St Edmund is pivotal to our HALLmarks £50m campaign to secure the Hall’s future for the 21st century. It will:

1. Increase our undergraduate accommodation provision to enhance the educational, wellbeing and financial benefits for our students

2. Catalyse a creative and inclusive community culture

3. Generate conference income to sustain the Hall’s financial future

4. Establish the Hall as a centre for environmental scholarship and innovation

5. Pioneer environmentally sustainable design at the University of Oxford

Many thanks

Left: Architect’s image of the proposed plans for Number 19 and 17 Norham Gardens, North Oxford Above: Front exteriors of 17 and 19 Norham Gardens today to Picture Plane and Wright & Wright Architects for the supply of the Norham St Edmund Images
“This once-in-a-generation development for the Hall embodies care for two precious things –our students and our planet. It will enable the Hall to meet its goal of accommodating all of its undergraduates, inspire a creative and inclusive college culture and lead the way in environmentally sustainable design.”
Professor Baroness (Kathy) Willis, CBE. Principal


Teddy Hall is one of only a few colleges which cannot house all its undergraduates, leaving students to find their own private accommodation in one of the UK’s most expensive cities or choosing to study at another Oxford college. To address this, we want to house all undergraduates who wish to live in for all of their course in high quality and sustainably designed accommodation.


We greatly need more accommodation but at a minimum cost to our environment. Therefore, NSE will be a pioneering model of sustainability at Oxford with three new buildings (Villa, West House and Park House) designed to rigorous Passivhaus standards (the industry gold standard in energyefficiency) and Number 17 Norham Gardens, the Victorian villa, refurbished to Part L Building Regulations compliance to upgrade the building’s energy performance. The landscape and ecology strategy is designed to improve and enhance biodiversity, with an 80% net gain over the site.

Across the NSE site, a series of nine distinct carefully landscaped green areas or gardens will include: Courtyard/ Cloister Garden, Ecology Pond, Village Square, Swale, Front Gardens, green roofs, Woodland Edge and Upper and South Lawns. The landscape will provide enhanced access to outdoor spaces for use by our students.


The current state of the climate crisis is a stark reminder of the urgent need for collective action. Rising global temperatures, extreme weather events, and ecological imbalances serve as alarming indicators that demand immediate attention to mitigate the detrimental effects on our planet and future generations.

On completion, St Edmund Hall aspires to host academic scholarships and researchers in sustainability and to annually accommodate delegates at NSE who are participating in the Hall’s ‘Conversations in Environmental Sustainability: beyond greenwashing’ seminar series launched this year.



Since 2021, the Hall’s Fellows and staff have worked tirelessly with contractors and local authorities to progress the project towards reality. We are delighted to share that construction will commence in late summer 2023 and that students will be able to move in from 2025-26.


The NSE development is a welcome extension of the Hall’s close-knit community from Queen’s Lane to Norham Gardens and will nurture social interaction and wellbeing between undergraduates and postgraduates who will both live at NSE. There will be a new JCR common room (in addition to the one at Queen’s Lane), and a refurbished MCR common room with an adjacent communal Tea Point for all students. These spaces will be used for social events and working together or individually with a background buzz as an alternative to the silence of the library. Each communal space will have a view of and physical access to the gardens. The JCR, Tea Point and MCR can collectively accommodate conference delegates to generate vital operating income.


We are over a third of the way towards our goal but your gift today of any size will help the Hall towards its £15m goal and will define the Hall experience for generations to come. Any donation could fund a photovoltaic roof panel, name a tree, a student bedroom, or commission a piece of art or a garden plaque. We are offering inperpetuity naming rights and recognition for significant gifts towards the buildings, communal areas, gardens and for naming the entire site as a ‘new quadrangle’ of St Edmund Hall at NSE which would leave a legacy at the Hall for many future generations.


For more information about the range of giving opportunities towards NSE and how to support this project, please scan our QR code or go to or get in touch with Andrew Vivian, Director of Development, at

“NSE will improve the financial situation of many students who find themselves subject to the whim of local letting agencies and volatile energy prices.”
Brodie Weymouth (2021, Geography), JCR President 2022-23


Where are the innovations in renewable energy? That question was explored at St Edmund Hall’s inaugural new public seminar series on ‘Conversations in Environmental Sustainability: beyond greenwashing’ on Friday 10 February 2023. The termly seminar brings together leading thinkers and decision-makers from academia, business, government and NGOs to look beyond greenwashing. Each term they will examine a specific issue related to environmental sustainability, exploring how to effectively marry environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals with financial returns, innovation and other business imperatives.

Over 100 people attended the first seminar, kindly sponsored by Ninety One, to hear a panel of experts led by the Hall’s Principal and Oxford Professor of Biodiversity Professor Baroness (Kathy) Willis, CBE. The panel of experts were David Bryon: CFO, First Light Fusion, Carlos Monreal: CEO, Plastic Energy Ltd, William Rowe: Founder & CEO, Octopus Hydrogen, and Professor Richard Willden: tidal and wind energy, St Edmund Hall and Department of Engineering, University of Oxford.

Each speaker presented their viewpoint over the question with David Bryon speaking about nuclear fusion, Carlos Monreal on plastic energy, William Rowe on hydrogen and Professor Richard Willden on tidal and wind energy and how each technology works, the positive and negatives to its development and implementation. This was followed by a panel discussion and audience question and answer session. Afterwards a drinks reception and private dinner encouraged further debate, forging connections between different sectors to help us truly understand where the future of renewable energy lies.

“The termly seminar brings together leading thinkers and decision-makers from academia, business, government and NGOs to look beyond greenwashing.”

The Hall hosted the second seminar on 23 June. Find out more about Conversations in Environmental Sustainability by scanning the QR code.

Middle: After each member of the panel gave a presentation, a discussion followed

Top: The Principal, Professor Baroness (Kathy) Willis, CBE, welcomes guests to the first seminar of the series Bottom: The Hall’s Professor Richard Willden, Tutor in Engineering Science, presents on tidal and wind energy


The Chapel sacristy now has in its safekeeping a beautiful cope, which was blessed and dedicated at Choral Evensong on St Edmund Day this past Michaelmas. For those who are wondering, a cope is a ceremonial garment of the church, often made of silk and heavily ornamented. In itself, it has no particular meaning. Its main purpose is simple: to be beautiful. But, depending on how it is designed and used, it can convey a great deal to those who see it or wear it.

Anyone who watched the Coronation of King Charles III will have noticed this fact. The King was attended by bishops and other ministers of the Church of England, most of whom were wearing copes of white or gold. They were decorated with crosses, with flowers, with symbols of the Abbey’s close relationship to the Crown. At one point, practically everyone around the King was covered in rich fabrics and gold – earthly splendour at its best. However, close observers will have also noticed that one bishop could not keep his cope fastened properly across his chest; it became looser and looser, until it gradually slid sideways across his shoulders, at times lending a comical air to this great royal event. I enjoyed the beauty and the silliness in equal measure.

Our Chapel is not currently blessed by an abundance of vestments in good repair, which is particularly noticeable on our major occasions: St Edmund Day, Carol

services, weddings, baptisms, the Leavers’ Evensong. So, when a donor appeared interested in remedying this fact, I wanted to commission something luminous and beautiful, covered with symbols, which would express the identity of the College in a visible way.

Our new ‘St Edmund Cope’ was designed by Watts and Co. of London, the finest vestment makers in the world. The silks were dyed and handwoven in England, in colours that recall our College shield, based on the arms of St Edmund himself. The main body is cloth of gold, decorated in symbols of immortality (stags) and contemplation (sunbursts and eagles). The hood stands out, with its inversion of the colours of St Edmund, bearing a cross of gold on a background of red, and with choughs of silk shading –each thread a slightly different colour.

At the dedication, we prayed, “by the beauty of this cope, remind all who see it of thy true and unending light, and of the joys and glories of the age to come. And shed the grace of thy holy mysteries upon all who use this cope, that they may both appear and be holy, pure, and blameless in thy presence, aided by thine unending mercy…”

I hold the two sides of that prayer in my mind often, hoping that it produces wonder and admiration when it is worn, and it also inspires those who wear it to serve the community of St Edmund Hall with great love and dedication. If cared for properly, it will be an ornament to College occasions for decades or even centuries.


As part of our HALLmarks campaign, we are asking Aularians to let us know how the Hall shaped them, why the Norham St Edmund project is important to them, and why they give back.

“With only a little reflection, I am fully aware how much the Hall helped me prepare for later life... opening my thinking; building my confidence; and providing necessary foundations for subsequent wellbeing. As a result, I am more than happy to give something back. I attended the Hall virtually for free and know how difficult it is for both today’s students and Hall management to continue to provide something comparable. Please join me in giving today...thank you.”

Jeremy Charles (1975, PPE)

“I’ve been involved with many of the meetings designing the new Norham villa, and can honestly say it’s looking like exactly the kind of space a student would thrive in. The entire design revolves around sustainability and light, open spaces where Teddy Hall students cannot just work but socialise and relax. Teddy Hall is unique in its embracing of college culture and a cohort that’s like a family, and I truly believe that the new Norham Building encompasses that entirely.”

Brittany Perera (2020, Engineering), JCR President 2021-22

“It is sometimes difficult for postgraduate students in Oxford to feel like they belong to a college community, being often too busy in the life of their departments and their labs. The accommodation and communal spaces in Norham Gardens has always been at the heart of what makes such a vibrant postgraduate community in the College.”

Antonin Charret (2020, DPhil Education) MCR President 2022-23

How were you forged by the Hall?

Share your story at hallmarkscampaign.seh. or scan the QR code.




Rebecca Smithson is St Edmund Hall’s Access & Outreach Coordinator, responsible for the day to day running of the College’s access and outreach programmes. Primarily, this involves working with schools and colleges in St Edmund Hall’s link areas: Leicester, Leicestershire, Derby, Derbyshire and Rutland.

Ijoined St Edmund Hall in October 2022 as Access & Outreach Coordinator. It is a role that I have found requires flexibility to change, and it is this change that keeps it interesting – from exploring the latest research on educational inequality, and working with groups of young people, to collaborating with teachers and colleagues across the University. I feel very lucky to work with schools and colleges in the Hall’s link regions of Leicestershire and Derbyshire, doing my best to address the diverse needs of students and schools in these areas.

Having started my time here during Freshers Week of Michaelmas 2022, I feel very attached to the Hall community that has welcomed me so warmly. We saw a strong uptake of students in our latest student ambassador recruitment drive who have been passionate about getting involved in the many school visits we host at the Hall. To thank them for their combined 210 hours of volunteer work, we hosted our first outreach formal for student ambassadors early in Trinity term.

We began the admissions period in December with a webinar aimed at preparing students – and their teachers – for the upcoming Oxbridge interviews round. We were delighted to welcome students from across our link regions of Leicestershire and Derbyshire, spanning schools from Market Harborough to Glossop!

My personal highlight of the year was our Unlock Oxford residential visits. Taking place in ninth and eleventh week of Hilary term, we

welcomed over 140 students from across Leicester and Derby for a one-night stay at the Hall. Students were targeted based on measures of disadvantage, ensuring that attendees were those most likely to benefit from the programme.

As part of the residential visit, Year 10 students enjoyed a city tour, academic taster session and benefitted from a workshop on carefully selecting A-levels. Year 12 students received an introduction to Oxford, including workshops on the admissions process and the chance to speak to tutors and current students. Whilst we are still compiling the data from the event, all signs point towards its being the most impactful outreach event the Admissions Office has ever run, and we hope to see some of our Unlock Oxford participants return as students in 2024.

Outreach formal for student ambassadors, Trinity term

“I didn’t consider applying for Oxford in any real capacity until the trip and I can’t overstate how much the encouragement from the student ambassadors helped me in considering higher ranked universities instead of mentally capping myself. It also dispelled a lot of misconceptions about Oxford that I had, like: everyone is posh, there’s not much financial support and that Oxford just isn’t for people like me. […] Even if I don’t end up getting into Oxford, I’m so much more likely to apply now.”

Year 12 Unlock Oxford Participant

The Big Think Competition, which invites students across the UK to tackle one of our academics’ ‘big’ questions, has built upon the successes of last year, with an 50% increase in submissions compared to its inaugural year. The competition offers state school students aged 15 to 18 the chance to tackle a tutorialstyle question by creating a five-minute video essay, which is then judged by our panel of tutors. Fourteen of St Edmund Hall’s subjects are represented in the competition, attracting bright and deserving prospective students to the Hall. Having seen some fantastic early entries, I look forward to sharing the rest of the entries with tutors!

Alongside working with schools, I have relished the opportunity to work with individuals across the Hall, from tutors and students taking part in our outreach events, to the Development Office for equality-themed events and talks, and the Servery, Bursary and Library when organising events to celebrate the diversity of the Hall. I was delighted to organise the College’s LGBTQ+ History Month Lecture, delivered by Dr Emily Rutherford. The talk was a fantastic success, as was our first Diversity Formal. It has been wonderful to see our Hall community come together to raise awareness and funds for a variety of causes, such as the Runnymede Trust, Black Minds Matter UK and Galop. I look forward to working with everyone in our Hall community to ensure that St Edmund Hall is a modern and inclusive place for all.

Looking forward, we have begun planning our next big ‘roadshow’, where we will visit schools across Leicestershire and Derbyshire with student ambassadors in tow, bringing a taste of Oxford to the bright and engaged students there. Whilst I will be sad to see some of our talented student ambassadors finish their degrees in Trinity, I wish them the best of luck and look forward to welcoming our soon-to-be 2023 matriculands!

Unlock Oxford Residential visit, Hilary term
LGBTQ+ History Month Lecture with Dr Emily Rutherford


Mark Blandford-Baker arrived at the Hall in September 2022 following a 21-year stint next door at Magdalen College. But whilst the grounds may be smaller (and there’s certainly nothing resembling a Deer Park), St Edmund Hall is just as charming, albeit in a different way.

“Every college is unique, of course,” Mark says.

“Find me another college that has a Library in a church!” Teddy Hall is also older than Magdalen, he adds.

There are many other differences between the two colleges, however. “Despite the fact we have more students than Magdalen, it doesn’t feel like that because we don’t yet house our secondyear undergraduates. However, he says, as he looks out of his office window on the Front Quad, “it does feel like a closer community.” One of the biggest differences, too, is wealth, with Magdalen being one of the wealthiest college in Oxford. With all these things, he says, “comes a different atmosphere within the community. More people seem to know each other and it’s a very friendly environment – it seems that people know each other more here at Teddy Hall, and I think that’s a great strength.” He adds that the Hall now has, in his view, “probably the best food in Oxford!” And it still has a strong sporting reputation, he points out.

Mark grew up in London, where he also went to university to study Business and Hospitality Management. Following a brief stint working in the high-end hotel business, he landed a job at St Catharine’s College in Cambridge, an opportunity he said he “grabbed with both hands, and I’ve never looked back.” Following four years in a relatively junior role there, Mark moved on to become Manciple (check your Chaucer) at Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1987 where he stayed for 14 happy years. He says he has ended up “doing exactly what I thought I wanted to do when I graduated.” He speaks to the difference between working in a smart hotel and an Oxbridge college: “A hotel is, in the end, still just a business – whereas here, one is the supporting function for the greater good of the academic purpose.”

Craving a challenge and something new, Mark made the leap from The Other Place to Oxford in 2001 when he got the job as Home Bursar of Magdalen College (where he is now a proud Emeritus Fellow). Speaking about Cambridge and Oxford’s differences, Mark says: “they’re more different than people may realise. They’re both collegiate universities, but you only have to scratch the surface and you start to see differences.” For

example, he says “the student world is different in that there are certain subject differences.” He points out that PPE doesn’t exist in Cambridge – a reason Oxford has many more alumni become Prime Ministers!

The cities themselves are different, too, of course: “Oxford remains bigger than Cambridge, and yet the city centre and the way the colleges are distributed is not so very different,” says Mark. Mark is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Hall, overseeing the Lodge, estates, IT, conference, kitchen, and accommodation teams. “The constant theme in whichever college you are in is possibly the most rewarding – the endless variety of the work. In a given day, you will be dealing with the here-and-now, and you will also spend time dealing with policy or compliance matters.” He adds: “Of course, the heart of it all is staff,” he says. “We are nothing without our staff – and I always remember and remind people that.”

Rugby, rowing and hiking are Mark’s passions outside of work. And whilst he stopped playing rugby at the age of 42, he is still heavily involved in rowing. “My actual rowing career was brought to an end in the early 90s, because it is very time-consuming and I was busy with my job then.” Mark decided he wanted to contribute in other ways, and so he trained and qualified as an Umpire in 1993. In 1996 he took the multi-lane exam (for more than two crews racing side by side), and in 2001 received his international licence with World Rowing. “I have been privileged to do that for over 20 years now, which means I get to travel to all sorts of amazing places around the world.” He is also involved in regatta administration – the national schools’ regatta (the largest regatta in the country) being one of them, and for 13 years he has been a Chairman’s Assistant at Henley Royal Regatta. As he says, he “lives and breathes” it – in his spare time he enjoys writing about the sport, having penned a book on the history of Magdalen’s Boat Club in 2009.

For Mark, what challenges lie ahead for the Hall? One is implementing the Hall’s sustainability strategy. Delivering on that, of course, requires work – “it’s not just going to happen.” Elsewhere, the new Norham St Edmund accommodation project is a big part of why Mark was interested in the role here. “That is a big focus and will take a chunk of time. It started in July and will take about three years to complete. It will be a wonderful facility when it’s done – it means in October 2026 we will be able to house all our undergraduates.” He has been a part of new build and major renovation multi-million-pound projects before, so he’s not fazed by it, and indeed cannot wait to get started.

“Find me another college that’s going to be building an up-todate Passivhaus Plus sustainable building. We’re going to be setting down a marker for everybody else,” he says.

To get away from it all, Mark enjoys hiking in the Highlands. “If I’m not here and I’m not on the river, that’s probably where I’m going to be!” For now, we are glad Mark is at the Hall!



October 2022 saw the arrival of the new Executive Head Chef, Sam White, at the Hall.

Sam has been a chef for 15 years, following in the footsteps of his father and grandmother. He has had roles in many sectors of the industry, from education to hotels and restaurants. He says: “From my first day as a chef in a central Oxford hotel, I knew that it was my passion and what I wanted to do.”

Sam’s apprenticeship was at another Oxford college, Brasenose. He has also worked at some of the private schools in Oxford: “All were great places to work as I gained a wide range of experience. Teddy Hall was my next step. I have a lot more freedom with my menus and ideas than I have had before.”

As for what brought him to the Hall? “As soon as I walked in and met all the staff, I knew this was the one. One of my other passions which runs alongside cooking is sustainability. So, when I realised that Teddy Hall has the same ethos, it was a no-brainer.”

To expand on the sustainability aspect of his job, Sam tells us about the Hall’s new Winnow Waste system: “The Catering Department use the system to record how much food waste we are producing. It helps us to record our plate waste in the Servery – to see how much is going into the bin and what exactly the food is, as it takes a photo. This has been a great way of getting the correct portion control for each dish.”

Since using this system, the Hall has cut down on plate waste: “A weekly report is sent out. Winnow Waste also records the over-production of food coming back from the Servery - this data

is logged and sent to me and is then used for future productions and reduces waste. Since using this system we have cut down on over-production.”

He expands: “The last food waste that Winnow records is the “unused food” (vegetable trimmings, fruit trimmings etc.): we now spend a lot of time using these in our dishes. For instance, broccoli stalks in stir-fries; we dehydrate carrot skins and grind them to a powder for garnishing; we also use a lot of the trimmings in soups and fresh salads.” Sam summarises: “Overall, using the Winnow Waste system has helped us cut down on food waste and makes us more sustainable as a College.”

Plant-based dishes are also a big part of the Kitchen’s sustainability efforts: “We are keen to promote more vegan meals. I have introduced a plant-based course on the lunch and supper menus which has been a huge hit. We are also offering 30% of our desserts and salad bar as plant-based. Our soups are 100% plantbased too. We have had great feedback on all of this from staff and students”, says Sam.

Recently, the Hall has hosted more themed Formal Hall dinners around the various holidays and awareness months throughout the year such as Eid, Diwali, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Lunar New Year, Burns Night and International Women’s Day, making it more like a home away from home for our students. Sam explains: “The catering department works with the event organiser to produce a menu based on the theme which has worked very well.”

Sam’s food incorporates a lot of his travels – he has lived and worked around the globe: “I have travelled a large part of the world: Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe to name a few, where I have picked up many culinary skills and concepts. I have also worked in Rosette-awarded restaurants in Brighton and 5-star hotels in Perth. Experiencing different cultures and cuisines helps me with writing menus and inspiring staff.”

What does an average working day look like for Sam? “It includes cooking and testing out new dishes; menu planning; staff training; and organising Food Safety and Health and Safety within the kitchen. Innovation is a huge part of my day – regular changes in the offer of food we supply our students and staff is what keeps things new and exciting.” Sam finds it hard to pick his own favourite dish but says: “I’m a lover of all foods and types of cuisines, it is hard to pick just one but my top three would be: King prawn nasi goreng, Korean fried chicken and roast lamb.”

Here at the Hall, Sam’s dishes have been a huge hit with students, staff, Fellows and alumni alike and we are looking forward to seeing what he does next.

Follow Sam and his team on Instagram at @sehkitchen

Lunar New Year Formal, 2023


Sport at St Edmund Hall has long been a point of shared pride and enjoyment for all, and these two themes were present yet again in the 2022-23 year.

From multiple Cuppers wins to the revival of old teams, the sporting scene at Teddy Hall is well and truly alive. No event demonstrated this quite as well as the Rugby Cuppers Final. Having beaten New College 21-7 to avenge last year’s loss, the team managed to turn around a 17-5 half time scoreline to end up as 31-25 winners against saints. Headed by captain Teddy Thomson and man of the match Hector Skipworth, and with the support of the whole College, the Cuppers trophy returned to familiar ground. Perhaps of equal celebration was the return of the second team, the Hilarians, in the Rugby sevens competition a few weeks after.

Cupper successes were not limited to the rugby field however, with successes claimed on the court, the pool and on the mats. A joint Teddy Hall and St Peter’s side took home the Badminton trophy after a tough 4-2 win against Keble in the final. John Duale captained the team to a string of successes, culminating in an excellent result for some silverware. This success was backed up by a new generation of fish taking to the waters to defend the swimming Cuppers title, led by Mauricio Alencar and Poppy Buckley. Despite a change of format to the competition, the A team managed to swim 112 lengths in an hour, so the trophy remained in the College. Mauricio, not content with one Cuppers win, also brought home the Gymnastics trophy due to an outstanding 15-person turnout across both the advanced and amateur divisions.

Above: The Rugby team celebrating their Cuppers victory
“Teddy Hall sport has continued to excel and provide a source of enjoyment for the entire College with fun sports days, and rounders matches throughout Trinity term. Long may this continue.”

Beyond Cuppers competitions, many teams also enjoyed successful league campaigns. The Men’s Football, headed by Caspar Soyoye, saw a 3-2 win over title rivals, Brasenose, on the final day of the season – resulting in promotion to the first division. Josh Priest’s second team followed suit, also going up a league after finishing top. The squad also got deep into Football Cuppers, with a narrow 1-0 loss to eventual finalists Jesus in the quarter-finals sadly ending a dominant run. In addition, Poppy Buckley and Leo Brake guided the mixed hockey team to a league victory after many spirited performances in the Hilary term.

After all these successes, the weight of expectation fell onto the Boat Club to round off the year in style – and they delivered. The highlight of the Summer Eights competition was the Women’s First Boat, who claimed three successful bumps to push to claim the 2nd spot on the river. Headed by Erika Dutton, the four days of racing provide entertainment and success for all, with the 1st spot the target next year. The Men’s First Boat also had a positive week, going +1 overall with some strong performances to ensure that the boat club boasts the 3rd highest average M1/W1 position on the river.

In summary, Teddy Hall sport has continued to excel and provide a source of enjoyment for the entire College with fun sports days, and rounders matches throughout Trinity term. Long may this continue.

Alexander Burson and Daniel Cryer (2022-23 Sports Representatives) Top row: The Cuppers Final Above top: M1, Summer Eights 2023
Above bottom: W1, Summer Eights 2023

The last year of arts at Teddy Hall has been a great triumph, and we hope these opportunities have given students both a creative and social outlet from academic work.

On 25 February, the Senior Common Room was transformed into an Art Exhibition, showcasing the work of second-year Fine Art students: Charlotte Rich-Jones, Eve Gueterbock, Minnie Leaver, Maisie Goodfellow, Maia Sansour and Oliver Wiseman. The show was a celebration of the extensive and often overlooked art collection at Teddy Hall, where each student responded to a piece and displayed it alongside celebrated artists such as David Hockney, Victor


Pasmore, and Ivon Hitchens. The night was a success, drawing an audience of both students and staff who engaged in lively discussions about the works on display. The tradition of the 2nd year show is hoped to continue into the coming years, providing Fine Arts students with a platform to display their work, as well as an opportunity to show their peers why they haven’t been in the library!

There have also been many chances for the students of the Hall to get involved in creating their own artwork this year. In the Hilary term, second-year Geography student Rose Morley started a jewellerymaking society at Teddy Hall. The initial session quickly filled up with students

from all year groups wanting to participate. From creating beaded hoop earrings to multicoloured necklaces, you’ll likely notice an increase in sparkling accessories around the Hall. It is great to see students using the amalgamated club fund for more artistic endeavours than it has been used for in the past, and the hope is that more arts-based societies are born in the coming year. Another one of the highlights this academic year was the ‘Drink and Draw’ event, a night of still-life drawing in the bar that brought together artists and non-artists alike. With a selection of plants, cut fruit, shells, and glass objects to draw, attendees enjoyed free drinks while unleashing their creativity. The

Follow Teddy Hall Arts & Drama on Instagram at @seh.arts

event was a success, providing a fun and inclusive platform for students of all years to come together.

In terms of music, the Open Mic event is always a highly anticipated and well-attended occasion during term time, drawing in a large crowd of Teddy Hall students to the College bar to both play and support. The new JCR Arts Representatives, Bliss Ashley, Ella Soni and Eve Aspland, have dedicated themselves to cleaning up the College music room in the coming term, so we hope that more students will soon have the opportunity to practice and perform in College.

It has been a busy year for the dramatically inclined students of Teddy

Hall. James Newbery, a third-year English student, has finished his time as president of the Oxford University Drama Society while ‘A Girl In School Uniform (Walks Into A Bar)’ is set to show in Trinity term, with an impressive 50% Teddy cast and crew, including Katie Kirkpatrick, thirdyear Modern Languages student, as Director. During Hilary term, Pennyfarthing Productions put on ‘The Tempest’ at the Oxford Playhouse. Rose Morley was part of the cast, while third-year English student Gemma Smith Bingham was in the crew. Rose described the experience as fantastic: “Everyone was so lovely, and I had a great time throughout. This was my first time on stage, and I loved it, so I

really encourage anyone to give it a go!”

It’s been another great year for theatre at the Hall, with many other Teddy involvements that haven’t been mentioned. We look forward to the Freshers picking up the mantle next year! With new Arts and Culture representatives starting this Trinity term, we hope that arts at the Hall will continue to take up space on students’ social calendars and provide ample creative space for students of all artistic abilities.

Minnie Leaver (Arts and Culture CoRepresentative 2022-23), with special thanks to Rose Morley for her insight on Drama at Teddy Hall.

Top row: The Senior Common Art exhibition Middle & bottom row: Jewellery-making workshop
Bottom right: Drink and Draw in the Bar


Dr Linda Yueh is Fellow by Special Election in Economics at St Edmund Hall. Dr Yueh’s research focuses on economic development and growth, with an emphasis on the changing structure of the global economy.

“There can be few fields of human endeavour in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have the insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present,” observed the eminent economist, J.K. Galbraith.

Despite, or perhaps because of, his observation, Galbraith wrote one of the most insightful and enjoyable books on the history of financial crises, A Short History of Financial Euphoria. The last edition of Galbraith’s book, published in 1993, covered three centuries of crises, culminating in the 1929 Great Crash. My new book picks up where he left off.

Since then, there has been almost another century of financial folly, with some fairly regular global meltdowns characterising the 20th century. The pace did not relent in the first two decades of the 21st century, which witnessed the first systemic banking crisis since the 1930s as well as a global pandemic crash whose closest parallel was the Spanish flu of 1918.

Thus, The Great Crashes: Lessons from Global Meltdowns and How to Prevent Them tells the story of how each crisis occurred, and how we can, hopefully, learn from it. In addition to telling a lively tale about each crisis, the book also highlights the common traits across

all crashes: euphoria, credibility and the aftermath. In other words, every boom is characterised by exuberance, while the credibility of economic policies affects how the bust plays out. The aftermath depends on both the nature of the boom and the bust, with some countries emerging fairly unscathed after the most dramatic of crashes while others suffer a long, stagnant recovery.

All financial crises are due to too much debt in some shape or form, but not all of them lead to a country needing to be rescued or a slow economic recovery. A differentiating factor is whether it was predominantly a banking crisis versus a currency or stock market or another sort of crash. The former, which encompasses some housing crashes, are much worse. In 18 post-war banking crises, the aftermath was a protracted economic recovery. For instance, national output declined for two years on average. Unemployment rose by seven percentage points over four years, while output fell by nine percent. Asset prices dropped steeply; house prices


plunged while equity prices declined by an average of 55 percent over three and a half years. A key difference is that after a banking crash, there’s deleveraging where firms and households are repaying debt so they are not spending while banks are rebuilding their balance sheets and are in any case reluctant to lend.

Currency crises can also be systemic and destabilising like the Latin American and Asian financial crises where the exchange rate collapsed after monies left the shores of those emerging markets. But a currency crisis can also merely lead to a fall in the exchange rate’s value without leading to massive instability as seen in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) crisis. Afterwards, European countries experienced a decade of strong growth that was helped by their cheaper currencies since that increased the competitiveness of exports from the UK, among others.

The 20th century has seen a bonanza of these banking, currency and other financial crises, accompanying the opening up and globalisation of financial markets. Since the 1970s, the growth in international financial transactions has far outstripped that of national output growth. The expansion in offshore banking and currency trading has led to close linkages among markets, with the result that crises can spread rapidly from country to country. So, although there have been crises of all shapes and sizes over the centuries, the past several decades have seen a series of financial disasters regularly encompassing economies around the world.

There have been three generations of currency crises since this globalisation of financial markets. The ‘first generation’ crisis was the early 1980s Latin American currency crisis. It was followed by the ‘second generation’ crisis: the 1992 collapse of the ERM whereby European countries had pegged (ultimately unsuccessfully) to the Deutsche Mark. That was when the currency speculator George Soros “broke” the Bank of England. The ‘second generation’ crisis also includes Mexico’s peso crisis of 1994-1995 which resulted in a rescue of the country. The ‘third generation’ model was the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. It was different from the other two in numerous respects, including in the fact that it was not regional, but spread across the world, to Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and Argentina. This high degree of ‘contagion’ even led to the near collapse of LTCM, the largest US hedge fund, led by not only leading Wall Street investors but also Economics Nobel Prize winners.

At the start of the 21st century, there was no respite as the dot com bubble grew and then burst, triggering a recession in the US that spilled over into the world. The 1990s boom had led to a rapid increase in valuations for Internet companies in particular that seemed stratospheric as compared with their revenues much less their non-existent profits. The early tech companies in the digital space were valued highly by investors

who saw the Internet changing the world and piled into companies that they believed would deliver the transformation of society. It was not to be as the bubble burst and recession ensued in 2000-2001.

And then the 21st century witnessed the worst systemic banking crisis since the 1929 Great Crash. The 2008 global financial crisis led to the near meltdown of the US financial system that almost brought down the British banking system and deeply affected others. Inbetween these massive crises, there were other serious banking scandals and housing market collapses such as the US savings and loan (S&L) crisis of the 1980s and Japan’s spectacular real estate crash of the early 1990s. In the slipstream of the US subprime crisis, there was the 2010 Euro crisis which saw the rescues of Portugal and Greece (the largest bailout in history) as well as the bailouts of the entire banking systems of Ireland, Spain, and Cyprus.

Shortly thereafter, the Covid-19 crisis of 2020 struck. The scale of the market crashes during the global pandemic was the sharpest in history. Financial markets fell from record highs and unemployment claims jumped more sharply than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The financial markets rebounded by the start of 2021, but the real economy struggled. The massive government actions to rescue the economies around the world reveal the extent to which the lessons from history have been heeded or not.

And there’s China. With mounting debts and looming fragility in its property sector, is China the next Great Crash? It may not be the next one, but it would be entirely consistent with economic history that China will have one. If so, then it would likely be a Great Crash since China’s sheer economic size make any crisis a potentially seismic one – not only for itself but the global economy. Even though the nature and impact of a crisis in China will be distinct, the traits of debt driven by euphoria and the challenge to the credibility of its institutions already point to similarities with other financial crises.

Therefore, my new book is a series of financial cautionary tales, adding up to a century of financial folly. It gleans lessons from each of them to try and prevent the next one from being as bad as the one that came before.

There is very little in a social science such as economics that is certain – except for this, that we will have another financial crash. However, we can (hopefully) limit the damage from such crises by learning the lessons from history.

The Great Crashes: Lessons from Global Meltdowns and How to Prevent Them by Linda Yueh is out now:



Gina Koutsika is Fellow by Special Election at St Edmund Hall and Director of Audiences and Content at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. Prior to this, Gina was the Director of the Young V&A, and has also worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Imperial War Museums.

In the UK, we are fortunate to be surrounded by splendid museums and heritage sites. Our own museum in Oxford, the Ashmolean came into existence in 1682, when the wealthy antiquary Elias Ashmole gifted his collection to the University. It opened as Britain’s first public museum, and the world’s first university museum, in 1683. Since then, our understanding of museums has changed.

After lengthy, animated, and, sometimes, heated world-wide debates ICOM (International Committee of Museums) approved a new definition for museums. “A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”

What the definition does not capture is that museums are full of dedicated, passionate, and, to some extent, eccentric individuals that believe in the transformational power of culture to enrich our lives and make our world a more meaningful and enjoyable place. Over the last thirty years, I have encountered, collaborated and

occasionally clashed with the most fascinating, altruistic, single-minded specialists, that had dedicated their lives to preserving and sharing the nation’s collections to promote knowledge and enjoyment.

I have had the privilege to work with superlative art, archaeological, historical, design, natural history, technological, and scientific artefacts in six National Museums in London, and now the Ashmolean, because my expertise is understanding and inspiring diverse audiences through collections and research. My own research interests lie on how visitors to our collections and buildings, participants to our events and users of our online platforms, think, feel and behave, and how as a leader I can inspire and enable my colleagues to enhance each and every visitor’s experience.

Since I joined the Ashmolean as their inaugural Director of Audiences & Content, I am trying to instil new ways of thinking about and engaging with diverse audiences, as well as implementing the necessary frameworks and processes to make strategic decisions, based on our priorities, and to monitor our progress. My teams and I are responsible for developing and delivering programming for the public as well as for schools, universities and academics; for creating digital content and interpreting our collections and research


through our exhibitions and displays; for developing our online engagement and communications; for fostering and growing our volunteers and our members and for welcoming and caring for all those that visit us.

Over the last year, my teams and I have been interrogating who we are really here to serve and why. We agreed our audience development plan, instigated and piloted a process to enable us to make informed decisions around our exhibitions, displays, public programmes and digital content and developed all of our objectives and workplans under our agreed strategic priorities. This has enabled us to not only query what we were doing, but also reduce or completely stop certain workstreams, and initiate new activity that has greater impact and reach.

To be able to collect data and report on our visitors, we created an Evaluation Framework. We are also currently designing a simple segmentation system, for both onsite and online audiences, that, once completed

everyone in the museum will understand and use. This will enable us to:

• Develop audience-centred projects, programmes, products, services and campaigns for specific audiences and measure their impact against those audiences

• Have a shared language internally and externally (e.g. partners, marketing agencies, external curators and producers)

• Generate commercial income as better understanding audience motivations will help us to better tailor our commercial offer.

In the long history of our Museum, this is the start of our journey to becoming an audience-focused organisation. Do come and enjoy our collections, participate in our events and rediscover Victorian society as a vibrant colour-filled era in our new exhibition, Colour Revolution: Victorian Art, Fashion and Design, on from 21 September 2023 – 18 February 2024.

Top left: Visitors at the opening of the One World Family Festival at the Ashmolean, February 2023
Top right and bottom row: Visitors at the Ashmolean Museum

St Edmund Hall welcomes Ukrainian Academics

After a great deal of collaborative effort by academic supporters both at the Hall, the University, the British Academy and CARA (the Council for At-Risk Academics), the Hall was delighted to host three Ukrainian scholars during the course of the 2022-23 academic year:

Professor Valery Kuzev is an academic from Mariupol who has a PhD from the Institute of Philosophy at the National Academy of Sciences and has been an Associate Professor at Priasovsky State Technical University. He held a Visiting Fellowship for the academic year 2022-23.

Dr Daryna Dvornichenko has a PhD in political science. She will now be able to continue her research related to women in peace-building. She will hold a Visiting Fellowship for the academic years 202224, initially working remotely, before moving to Oxford during 2023.

Daryna Dvornichenko

Daryna Dvornichenko received her PhD in Political Science from Odesa I. I.Mechnikov National University, where she also earned an MA and BA in International Relations. Additionally, she earned certificates at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the European Academy of Diplomacy (Warsaw), and the British Law Centre. Before 24 February 2022, she worked as an Associate Professor at the National University and advisor to the Head of Research Institute of Informatics and Law of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine. She has been a guest lecturer at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, the University of Zagreb, Ukrainian Catholic University, a team lead of Jean Monnet Module “EU as a Global Actor and Agent of Change” and is the author of over 40 publications on issues of European integration and gender. In 2021, Daryna was affiliated with the University of Wroclaw as a Kirkland Research Fellow, and in 2022 she completed a year as a Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States doing research on the role of women in politics in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. Her research project (Provisional NameAmplifying Voices of Women Affected by War in Ukraine): War and conflict disproportionately affect the most vulnerable groups of society, particularly women and children. The escalated conflict in Ukraine seen since Russia’s invasion is no different, yet little research has centred on the experiences and perspectives of these individuals. Thus, this project seeks to examine the challenges that women have faced, and continue to face, since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The study is equally interested in the challenges faced by women

and in the actions that can be taken by the Ukrainian state, civil society groups, international organisations, and other political actors in order to help address and mitigate them. Particular attention will be paid to internally displaced women. The data for this project will be collected using semi-structured interviews. The interviews will be conducted with 50 women who have been displaced in the East, South and North of Ukraine and are currently living in the regions of Zakarpattia, Odesa, or Kyiv.

This research aims to elevate the voices of Ukrainians amidst the war and at a time when their voices had often been excluded from both academic literature and policy-making conversations. The qualitative interviews will particularly further our understanding of how the war in Ukraine has affected women by shedding light on the challenges, expectations, and needs of internally displaced women. Still, the significance of this knowledge expands beyond the academy. In particular, the findings will be important for both international organisations and national institutions in Ukraine which are now in the process of developing effective programmes for the integration and support of women IDPs. By examining how the implications of the Russia-Ukraine war for internally displaced Ukrainian women have been addressed (or not), the results from this study will be also useful for policymakers and international organisations working in Ukraine and in other conflict-affected areas of the world. The project’s findings may hence provide insight for organisations and policymakers working to construct a legal and regulatory framework to ensure gender-balanced policies amidst war and in post-war periods.

Viktoriia Khalanchuk worked at the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnic Affairs and Freedom of Conscience focusing on international cooperation. She has tried herself as a policy analyst and diplomat de facto. She is a recipient of the Scholarship for Ukraine in 2022-2023.

Viktoriia Khalanchuk

Victoriia tells us about her time at the Hall:

“As my one-year master’s programme in Diplomatic Studies approaches its end, I start reflecting on my way to Oxford and the time here.

I came to Oxford under a special scholarship, established as a University’s response to the Russian full-scale war. It is a privilege to be here when other Ukrainians, including professors and students – not less talented than me – are defending the right of Ukraine to exist. The times like this ask about collective of individuals for their community and of the role of academia in the society.

I believe in the value of bridging academia and policy-making. Before coming to Oxford, I used to work in a think tank, at the Ukrainian parliament, and in public service. Eventually, diplomacy grabbed me. My time at Oxford has been a constant process of shaping and equipping myself on a diplomatic path. My programme combines training in diplomatic skills and proficient academic part, including a master’s dissertation.

In my dissertation, I discuss the legal avenues of bringing to individual criminal responsibility for the aggression against Ukraine. Under public international law, the Russian war against Ukraine is unquestionably illegal and triggers state responsibility. It also gives rise to individual accountability for aggression as a crime under international law. Ukraine and likeminded countries advocate for a special international tribunal to prosecute aggression against Ukraine. I study legal and political issues related to this idea.

In the light of the UN incapacity to maintain peace and security and ghosts of past and present atrocities all around the globe, international criminal law still gives a chance for justice and deterrence

against future wars. Development of an impartial narrative about aggression is not a task for a court or tribunal. But sometimes they can be more successful than academia in that. An impartial narrative gets a chance only after the imperial glasses are taken off. Race similarities and some shared historical periods made the colonial aspect of the current war against my country invisible. I believe academia should be working on shedding light on shadows.

I am lucky for having this academic journey in St Edmund Hall. Teddy is a warmly welcoming place with a deep appreciation of diversity and a sense of responsibility – before the community and the world. The green spirit of the College – its promotion of so much-needed common climate good – motivates you to think twice before acting.

I am still stunned by the concentration of brilliant people around me and I hope that my time in Teddy has also enriched the community.

It’s the people who make the College. The College Office, who communicate to you before you even come to Oxford; Porters, who are the first people you meet in the middle of a rainy September night; and all the members of the community you happen to meet. Listening to the Chaplain and observing magic of the Director of music at the Sunday Evensong was such a true relief and spiritual therapy. I must admit I already miss the sounds of the Choir rehearsals, which I have been able to hear from my room on Queen’s Lane.

Even a day is sufficient enough to have got a wonderful teddy bear inside the heart forever. Hopefully, this love is mutual. I cannot wait for further opportunities to come back and greet St Edmund in the garden.”



In the post-pandemic world, climate change poses the greatest threat to human wellbeing. As a sustainability professional, I find it a very rewarding and fulfilling career to tackle these challenges.

I studied environmental science and engineering at Oxford. After completing my doctorate, I spent several years in academia. I transitioned to a role at a Singaporean government think tank, where I led research on urban sustainability solutions. Recently, I joined a multinational bank, focusing on the bank’s sustainable finance portfolio and developing environmental, social and governance (ESG) solutions.

Some might assume that I have abandoned my research by joining the ‘dark side’, but that is not the case. ESG has become more important and material than ever for financial institutions –sustainable finance serves as a crucial enabler for a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

In my day-to-day job, I focus on developing sustainable finance solutions that accelerate the adoption of green buildings, green transport and smart city solutions. I also provide advice on green, sustainability-linked and transition deals, helping companies across various sectors understand net zero pathways and set science-based targets. Furthermore, I take on a thought leadership role to stay updated on the latest ESG trends and regulation developments to shape the bank’s sustainability agenda.

To those aspiring to embark on a career in sustainability, there are numerous opportunities available to you in this rewarding field that align with your ambitions. I offer the following advice:

• Embrace your genuine interest and passion for nature and human wellbeing, as this will help you navigate the complexities of sustainability.

• Continuously learn and stay on top of ESG matters – the field of sustainability is constantly evolving, with new challenges and emerging trends.

• Think critically and have a long-term vision. Sustainability issues often require interdisciplinary solutions and prioritisation. You will be better equipped to address complex challenges by cultivating a strategic mindset and considering the long-term consequences.

• Last but not the least, recognise the power of effective communication and collaboration in driving meaningful change. Sustainable solutions often require collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including businesses, governments, communities, and NGOs. Remember the adage, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’

Two Aularians working in the sustainability sector talk about their experiences in the field, and offer advice for those wanting to take a similar career path. Dr Huijuan Wu (2009, MSc Water Science, Policy and Management) is an ESG specialist with United Overseas Bank.
“To those aspiring to embark on a career in sustainability, there are numerous opportunities available to you in this rewarding field that align with your ambitions.”
Right: United Overseas Bank in Singapore, where Huijuan works

Although I had a long-term hankering for marine biology, even managing to squeeze a bit out of my Geography degree via some population modelling of starfish, I couldn’t say I expected to end up working in fisheries negotiations. Certainly not in the context of Brexit at least… I did, however, know I wanted to work in marine conservation, albeit getting out of the starting gate needed a bit of persistence; on a few occasions I did wonder how many Oxford graduates had cleaning jobs, but after an entry level job at Natural England, I had several years working at reducing impacts to fish in Marine Protected Areas in the UK.

For the last 10 years or so, I’ve also worked in fisheries negotiations, from Antarctica to the Indian Ocean and back to the EU-UK. All multilateral and bilateral negotiations for fisheries are really just a geographer’s dream. The aim of achieving sustainable use of a fish stock, balanced against political, socio-economic and environmental requirements, is often controversial, always complicated and endlessly interesting. There are diplomatic skills needed to navigate sovereignty exchanges with Argentina and Mauritius, provoked by fisheries in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and managing the world’s largest Marine Protected Area in the British Indian Ocean Territory. The modelling required to identify ‘maximum sustainable yield’ – essentially the point at which the population is surplus to requirement – in terms of maintaining stock size, can be happily harvested, and includes enough detail to fuel teams of fisheries scientists. Working with fishermen, the military and ocean advocates has been both inspiring and grounding in all sorts of ways.

Career highlights are so varied; living on Diego Garcia for a time, crossing the Southern Ocean in a force 9 fisheries patrol vessel and the opportunity to be at the table negotiating real-world outcomes with delegations from all over the world, would certainly make the list, but I am excited to see what else may come.

In terms of career advice, I’m sure many different paths could be taken – but if I was trying to pick out commonalities in my route, perseverance and horizon scanning for future roles have been key. Being very open-minded to opportunities in general has also been essential; I took my first job despite the low pay, and I’ve generally jumped into the complicated, problem-solving type issues which were incredibly helpful for building experience. Finally, I’ve been lucky with direction from mentors and colleagues; it has often been they who have pushed me towards the higher exposure issues, conference presentations, or taking the expert witness or UK lead roles – so ask widely and volunteer often!

Helen Stevens (2001, Geography) works for the UK Government on EU-UK fisheries negotiations.
“I’ve been lucky with direction from mentors and colleagues; it has often been they who have pushed me towards the higher exposure issues”
Right: Middle Brother, an island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve - which is the largest Marine Protected Area in the world


Warm greetings from the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) team on Staircase VI of the Front Quad!

Our team are committed to keeping our international community of alumni in touch with each other and the College. Every member of the Hall, past and present, is known as an ‘Aularian’ which derives from the word ‘aula’ (Latin for ‘Hall’) and means ‘member of the Hall’. All Aularians are a member of College for life.

As the first point of contact for alumni, we are always glad to welcome you back to Teddy Hall, answer general queries or forward messages between old friends who have lost touch with each other.


There are many ways to remain involved: choose to catch up with friends at one of our events (see below for upcoming dates), offer valuable careers advice to an undergraduate, or support one of our current fundraising priorities.

As part of the Aularian Community, our alumni have access to a number of benefits and services provided by the College, including discounted accommodation and dining rights: please contact us if you’d like any further details on this, at

Do visit us next time you’re in Oxford: Aularians are always welcome back to the Hall!

Please save the dates for the following events in the 2023-24 academic year. Bookings usually open around three months before the date of an event, and email invitations will be sent out when they do.

Emden Lecture

Thursday 12 October

St Edmund Hall

St Edmund Hall Association

London Lunch

Friday 17 November

Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, St. James’s, SW1Y 5JN

Conversations in Environmental Sustainability: beyond greenwashing – Michaelmas term

Friday 24 November

St Edmund Hall

Carols in the Quad

Friday 1 December (TBC)

St Edmund Hall

New York Drinks Reception

Thursday 7 December

Upper East Side, NY 10028

New York Dinner

Friday 8 December

Links Club, 36 E 62nd St, NY 10065

St Edmund Hall Association

London Dinner

Tuesday 6 February

100 Wardour Street, Soho, W1F 0TL

Conversations in Environmental Sustainability: beyond greenwashing – Hilary term

Friday 16 February

St Edmund Hall

Joe Todd Engineering Dinner

Friday 28 February

St Edmund Hall

Gaudy for 1976-77 matriculands

Friday 15 March

St Edmund Hall

50th Anniversary Lunch for 1974 matriculands

Thursday 21 March

St Edmund Hall

HALLmarks Gala Dinner: Alumni Summer Reunion

Saturday 22 June

St Edmund Hall

Gaudy for 1990-1993 matriculands

Friday 13 September

St Edmund Hall

60th Anniversary Lunch for 1964 matriculands

Wednesday 18 September

St Edmund Hall

Alumni Weekend Drinks Reception

Friday 20 September

St Edmund Hall

This list is not exhaustive; please scan the QR code or visit for an up to date list, and booking links. 30 | THE AULARIAN


Now in its fourth season, The St Edmund Hall Association’s podcast, Spirit of the Hall, continues to feature engaging conversations with some of St Edmund Hall’s most fascinating alumni, Fellows, students and staff.

Hosted by Olly Belcher (1999, Geography), immediate past President of the St Edmund Hall Association for alumni, the podcast provides a chance for past and current members of the Hall to share how that unique spirit has shaped their insights and experiences in politics, academia, business, entertainment, technology and more. Join us as we lead the way and shine a light on some of those who make Teddy Hall what it is.

Listen and subscribe online:

Mike Mingos (Principal 19992009, Honorary Fellow)

Mike was Principal of Teddy Hall for ten years, 1999-2009. Although Mike has spent most of his life in the UK, he arrived in 1950 when he was just six from Iraq by cargo boat. He tells us of his fascinating family background, what brought him to the UK and then his journey to become Principal. Mike reflects on his time as Principal of Teddy Hall including the major building works and improvements that took place under his stewardship.

Clio Georgiadas (1990, Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology)

Clio Georgiadis came up to the Hall in 1990 to read Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology.

Since Teddy Hall, Clio has had what she describes as a zigzagging career but has ended up in the world of hospitality.

Clio wrote to the owner of the famous restaurant Estiatorio Milos saying London needed a Milos. Before she knew it she was on a plane to Canada to go and meet him and today runs the show!

Jo Ensor (1988, Geography)

Jo Ensor came up to the Hall in 1988 to read Geography. Since then Jo has dedicated her life to the non-profit sector, initially working for leading organisations such as EveryChild and AMREF where she lived amongst the communities she served, all over the world. When Jo had her two boys she dedicated her time to advising philanthropists on their giving strategies and in 2019, she went on to found her own organisation Philanthropy Insight.

Anna Botting (1987, Geography)

Anna Botting came up to the Hall in 1987 to read Geography. Whilst at Oxford Anna threw herself into all sports alongside her degree and was part of the first women’s rugby team. Anna has been at Sky News since 1995 and has covered an extraordinary array of events including war zones, humanitarian disasters, politics, and historic ones too such as the funeral of the Queen and the Coronation.

Development and Alumni Relations Office, St Edmund Hall, Queen’s Lane, Oxford, OX1 4AR E: | T: +44 (0)1865 279087 Registered Charity number: 1137470 @stedmundhall

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.