University of Oxford

Special Guests

Gillian Hamnett is Oxford’s University’s Director of Student Welfare and Support. She took up her appointment in April 2017 and, at the same time, Brasenose was delighted to elect Gillian to a College Fellowship. She has quickly embraced membership of our community, including participation in Brasenose’s ‘Town & Gown’ annual fundraising 10k run for Muscular Dystrophy.

As Director of Student Welfare, Ms. Gillian oversees the University’s Counseling Service and Disability Advisory Service. These twin pillars of welfare offer central advice and support to undergraduates and graduates in ways that complement college provision across Oxford. The Director also plays a lead role in overseeing policy development and delivery in all those aspects of student health and well-being lying within the University’s remit. Ms. Gillian is extremely well placed to appreciate the student perspective since she is herself a doctoral candidate, researching the history of insanity in the Classical world. She also brings a wealth of administrative experience to her position as Director, having previously been Senior Tutor of Wolfson College and Academic Registrar at Oriel.

Hannah Skoda, Tutorial Fellow in History at St. John’s College, teaches late medieval history, both British and European. As well as the outline papers for this period, she covers more specialized areas based on close examination of primary source material. These include a special subject on Joan of Arc, a further subject on the crusades, optional subjects on crime and social control in later medieval England, and on cultural and political developments in early Gothic France.

Ms. Skoda supervises graduate students researching the social and cultural history of later medieval Europe, particularly France and Germany, with the history of education and of conflict forming areas of special interest.

Ms. Skoda’s first book focused on popular violence in later medieval northern France. She worked on the interconnections between different forms of violence, from tavern brawls to domestic violence to urban uprisings, and looked at legal and cultural constructions of ‘deviance’, and the role of emotions in provoking outbursts of brutality.

Current research focuses on the misbehaviour of fifteenth-century students at the universities of Oxford, Paris, and Heidelberg. Drawing on criminological models, her research examines the relationship between the negative stereotypes imposed upon students by a variety of commentators and observers and the ways in which the students negotiated those stereotypes in their actual misbehaviour. The source material ranges from student poems and letters to sermons and legal material.

Steve Cowley,  October 1, 2016  became the 31st President of Corpus Christi College, the first scientist to hold the post. He has a lifelong interest in realizing fusion power – perhaps the ultimate energy source. His other research interests include the origin of magnetic fields in the universe and explosive events in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas.

After reading physics at Corpus from 1978 to 1981 he won a Harkness Fellowship for study in the US. From 1981 to 1985 he was a graduate student in Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, studying the theory of fusion plasmas. He was awarded a Charlotte Elizabeth Proctor Fellowship from Princeton University in 1984. Returning to the UK in 1985 he worked at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham laboratory and taught at Corpus. He taught physics from 1987 to 1993 at Princeton, from 1993 to 2008 at UCLA and from 2001 to 2016 at Imperial College. In 2008, he became the director of UKAEA’s Culham laboratory and from 2009 to 2016 the Chief Executive of UKAEA. He is an author of over 170 refereed articles.  The Institute of Physics awarded him the Glazebrook Medal in 2012 and in 2014 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Since 2011, he has been a member of the Prime Minister’s Council of Science and Technology.

Moira Wallace became Provost of Oriel College in September 2013, making her the College’s first female Provost. Ms. Wallace brings more than 20 years’ experience in senior civil service roles across Whitehall. She began her career in the Treasury, where she served as Economic Affairs Private Secretary to Prime Ministers Major and Blair and was the first Director of the government’s Social Exclusion Unit.  At the Home Office, she was Director General of Criminal Justice and then Director General of Policing.  In 2008, she was appointed Permanent Secretary to the newly formed Department of Energy and Climate Change, which she led for four years.

Ms. Wallace brings more than 20 years’ experience in senior civil service roles across Whitehall. She began her career in the Treasury, where she served as Economic Affairs Private Secretary to Prime Ministers Major and Blair and was the first Director of the government’s Social Exclusion Unit.  At the Home Office, she was Director General of Criminal Justice and then Director General of Policing.  In 2008, she was appointed Permanent Secretary to the newly formed Department of Energy and Climate Change, which she led for four years.

Ms. Wallace read French and German at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and then studied Comparative Literature at Harvard as a Kennedy Scholar.  From 2000 to 2008 she was a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.