Much has changed in the world since our last edition of Spotlight on Somerville and it is only right that today’s issue features the work of our Tutor Dr Helen Ashdown to raise money for crucial medical supplies for Ukraine.

There’s also expert insight into the nature of the body and brain from Dr Jane Aspell and a detailed look at the birth of the Polish nation for a new Radio 4 series from Professor Natalia Nowakowsa. And, in more local news, our Principal Jan shares her reflections after six months at the helm of the University’s Conference of Colleges; and the welcome visit of four judges from the Royal Institute of British Architects after our Catherine Hughes Building was shortlisted for the RIBA South awards.

Natalia Nowakowska shares insights into the creation of modern Poland for new series (BBC Radio 4)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0015v82 (from 4:18)

Our Fellow and Tutor in History, Natalia Nowakowska, provides expert knowledge and analysis of the formation of the Poland-Lithuanian commonwealth and its links to the formation of European identity for a new 3-part series from BBC Radio 4, The Invention Of… Poland. She will also feature in Episode 2 of the series, broadcast Monday April 4th at 11:00 AM.

Dr Helen Ashdown supports Ukraine medics (BBC Radio Oxford)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bsy5f5 (from 41:23)

Somerville’s Tutor in Clinical Medicine Sends Life-Saving Surgical Equipment to Ukraine

Our Janet Vaughan Tutor in Clinical Medicine, Dr Helen Ashdown, discusses her efforts to provide Ukrainian doctors with crucial medical supplies.

Dr Jane Aspell (Biology 1995) and the workings between and brain and body for All In The Mind (BBC Radio 4)

Radio 4: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00127v2 (from 9:47)

Our alumna Dr Jane Aspell speaks to All In The Mind presenter Claudia Hammond about her research showing that the strength of the connection between our brain and internal organs is linked to how we feel about our appearance – and could in future act as a biomarker to help identify, or even predict, negative body image and its related conditions.

Jan Royall, Principal, reflects on 6 months as Chair of Conference of Colleges (Oxford University Staff Gateway)

https://staff.web.ox.ac.uk/article/reflections-on-becoming-chair-of-the-conference-of-colleges

Never one to rest, since the start of the academic year our Principal Jan has also been chairing the Conference of Colleges, a joint forum for Oxford’s 39 colleges and 6 permanent private halls to share expertise and work together on issues from slashing carbon emissions to safeguarding our students. In this blog she reflects on her first 6 months in the role and how collaboration helps us to achieve more for one another, the University, and the local community.

Catherine Hughes Building shortlisted for architectural award (Architecture.com)

https://www.architecture.com/knowledge-and-resources/knowledge-landing-page/2022-riba-south-awards-shortlist

The Catherine Hughes Building has been shortlisted for this year’s RIBA South architectural awards. The accommodation building, which was opened in September 2019, was designed by Alistair Browning for Niall McLaughlin Architects. A judging panel visited the college on 25th March to score the building, with the winners to be announced in September.

Further reading?

Somerville Medieval Research Group publish fourth book ‘Openness in Medieval Europe’

Learn More
16 May 2022
Somerville Medieval Research Group publish fourth book ‘Openness in Medieval Europe’

Winner of Two German Research Prizes Reflects on the Genesis of her Work at Somerville

Learn More
12 May 2022
Winner of Two German Research Prizes Reflects on the Genesis of her Work at Somerville

Head Gardener’s Blog: Tulip Season

Learn More
06 May 2022
Head Gardener’s Blog: Tulip Season