Annual Fund making a difference

A gift to the Annual Fund gives students the opportunity to reap maximum benefit from their time in college and supports a variety of extracurricular activities including the small academic grants initiative, personal and professional development programme and the Graduate Common Room.

This article details just some of the initiatives either made possible or supported by donations to the Annual Fund this year across a range of areas. Green Templeton thanks all donors for their generosity. Find out more and donate now

Academic

Oxford Global Health and Care Systems Society

This student society hosted a range of events including with Chief Executive Officer of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Dr Bruno Holthof who spoke on the Relevance of Management Sciences to Global Health in November. Members were also able to take a society field trip together to London with support for lunch costs.

MISDOOM

Alexandra Pavliuc (DPhil Social Data Science, 2020) writes: The third annual Multidisciplinary International Symposium on Disinformation in Open Online Media ran in September 2021 in an interactive virtual format. The free-of-charge conference welcomed a range of early-career and established computer and social science researchers, as well as journalists and industry professionals. This year’s conference, in the shadow of COVID-19, had a clear focus on health-related concerns regarding mis- and disinformation, and while this research is not directly on primary healthcare, the perspectives brought forward shed light on how online health misinformation and real-world health decisions intersect. For this reason, it was a privilege to be able to welcome members of the GTC community to attend the conference, as much of our student body includes medical students. The support of GTC enabled the organizers of MISDOOM to secure three incredible early-career researchers and practitioners to engage with the conference and deliver presentations.

Richard Doll Society Annual Conference

Rds Conference Image 6 Homepage

This year’s event was on Diversity and Inclusivity in Healthcare: bringing everyone together after a year apart and took place in October 2021. Read reflections from the discussions

Sankofa: Black History Month celebration

Sankofa Guests In Observatory

‘Back to our good roots’ event was culmination of Black History Month activities at Green Templeton in October 2021. Read reflections from the discussions

World Cultural Forum

In Person Attendees In Discussion At Cultural Forum

An event on ‘In search of our common humanity’ brought together participants attended from across the college, the wider University of Oxford community and other institutions including the University of Santa Barbara, USA, and University of Exeter, UK in March 2022. Read reflections from the discussions

Music

Organ

Andrew Rosenblatt (MSc Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation, 2021) writes: As a pianist for fifteen years, I have been able to explore the nuances and challenges of that repertoire. Yet, the piano is only one of a dozen or so keyboard instruments, such as the harpsichord, clavichord, and organ. Being at Oxford has presented itself with so many opportunities, and among them was to expand my understanding of the keyboard repertoire and its instruments. My Annual Fund grant has allowed me to study the fundamentals of organ playing with Benjamin Sheen, the sub-organist for Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. Through his teaching at Christ Church, I have found of course the similarities to my current instrument, but more importantly organ-playing’s technical differences and how that might translate to richer and more complex sounds on the piano.

More broadly though, thinking about the links and interconnections between these related instruments has inspired me to think on how I might also combine related fields in my academic studies, focusing on policy and public health, to inform and complement one another. Just as the organ and the piano are both keyboard instruments yet require an almost completely set of technical qualities to play, the tools in evidence-based social policy, health, and market theory relate to one another but are distinct in how they can help me solve issues related to chronic disease prevention. Learning about the convergence of the piano and organ has inspired my academic work, and without the Annual Fund grant these interplays may have been more difficult to discover.

Social

Easter Egg Hunt

A family in gardens with tree decorated for easter behind

Anthony Miller (MBA, 2021) and family taking part in an Easter Egg Hunt in college in spring 2022

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Trail

Pumpkin lit up in garden with Radcliffe Observatory behind

A pumpkin as part of the 2021 Halloween trail

Parents and Partners Programme

When the College Office originally applied to the Annual Fund in 2019 it had just set up the Student Associate Membership Scheme. This was a trial initiative for students’ partners and student families – a significant cohort, given our student demographic – to be given access to a limited range of college facilities in their own right, in addition to increasing institutional support for student families and the GCR Partners and Families Representatives .We were keen to explore more tangible ways of building on our growing reputation of being an inclusive, supportive and family-friendly college and, in so doing, to live out our values and ideals to further foster a sense of belonging within the GTC community. This initial grant from the Annual Fund enabled us to plan and run a series of events and activities that year to highlight the initiative and to provide networking/peer support and social events for those who signed up.

Winding forward to 2022, the Student Associate Membership scheme has gone from strength-to-strength, with a record of 90 active members in 2021-22, almost double the 2019 cohort. A further generous award from the Annual Fund in December 2021 has enabled the College Office, led by Caitlin Pawulski and with the support, drive and enthusiasm from the Events and Catering Team and the GCR Representatives Lisa-Marie Mail and Peter Greliak to return to offering a series of diverse in-person events and activities which have been enjoyed by many, large and small!

Pizza Nights

Students in garden with pizza boxes

Pizza Night at 33 St Margaret’s Road

Students residing in GTC college accommodation were able to come together with their housemates to hold pizza nights. Many students living in college accommodation have been feeling isolated and anxious over the last two years while the UK was in lockdown and the pizza nights were a welcome opportunity for everyone to spend time together and get to know each other better in a relaxed setting without COVID restrictions. For many, it was their first opportunity to properly meet other residents in their accommodation and strengthen bonds with their housemates before the end of the academic year.

It was also a chance for everyone to celebrate the start of summer and the end of exams. The different houses scheduled their pizza nights to take advantage of the warm sunny evenings, with many holding their events in the gardens. Some households chose to have a BBQ – enjoying burgers, hot dogs and ice cream instead of pizzas. Whatever was on the menu, great fun was had by all!

Takeaway art kits

Families Paint At Home Piggy Bank

A completed paint-at-home kit

Toy Badges for younger members of college

Example Toy GTC Card

An example of the ‘college’ card that was made available to children of students

Sports

Football

Mr Reserves Varsity Football At Oxford City Fc, Februarry 2022

Mario Alejandro Rojas in action

Mario Alejandro Rojas (MBA, 2021) writes: As a semi-professional football player back in my hometown in Colombia, the road to professionalism got blocked as soon as I had to pursue an undergraduate degree when I was 18. Nonetheless, football has been a major part of my identity, my values, and the person I’ve grown to be today. It has taught me about the importance of teamwork, of facing challenges, of getting up when life gets you down, and also how part of life’s joy isn’t always the result but also the journey. All of this and most of my best friends have come from my football games, tournaments, trips abroad, and other experiences. Now, at this transcendental moment of my life and career, it was key during my MBA year to be able of participating as part of the University of Oxford’s football team and all the dynamics the club has.

While atypical for an MBA (or in fact for many post-graduate students) to engage in the commitment of an official sports club at Oxford, I participated in every event with joy and commitment knowing also that my first year would be my last. During this year we ended up second in the local league after several challenging games against teams such as Brookes and Leicester and our varsity games against Cambridge, in which the Men’s firsts and third we got victories while in the Men’s seconds we lost the game. I’m really grateful towards Green Templeton College and the donors for contributing towards my participation in this with the club’s fees and ultimately to helping me add a really important puzzle piece to what my MBA year has been.

Running

Running Club Members In Running Kit

Ready to run

Oliver Neely (Clinical Medicine, 2021) writes: Green Templeton College Running Club has really taken off this year. From October 2021 we’ve had regular Monday 18:00 club run sessions which have proved a very sociable way for college members to get out and relieve some of the work day stress. With the aim of catering for all age groups, we’ve encouraged some less experienced runners to get involved, and hopefully removed any illusion that running is scary. Using Annual Fund money, we’ve been able to design and buy club shirts for every member that has run with us, and more to spare for anyone else who wishes to join. I believe this had made everyone really feel part of a group, where we’re all out to achieve the same goals of improving our fitness, all while socialising and blowing off some steam. We were all very happy with the way the shirts turned out (see photo) and wear them a considerable amount around town. The highlight of the year was the Town & Gown 10k race in May 2022, for which we were able to put on our club kit, and proudly represent the college in the event most of us had been training for throughout most of the academic year.

Jenni Visuri (Graduate Entry Medicine, 2018) writes: I am incredibly grateful to the donors for supporting my sporting commitments. I have been running for many years, and thanks to the Annual Fund, have been able to develop my running and take part in several races this year. The distance I have focussed on this year is the marathon, and I took part in the Southampton marathon, coming 13th in my age category. The Annual Fund has supported purchasing equipment and race entry costs. It has allowed me to develop into a better runner and I have really enjoyed the challenge this year!

Squash

Squash Club Members Playing

On the court

The Squash Club had a strong academic year of 2021/2022. Coming out of the pandemic, GTC students were keen to get on court, thanks to the amazing sessions provided by coach Kevin. Since nearly all active members of the squash club graduated and left during the pandemic, it was especially pleasing to see so many new players, from complete beginners to advanced players join the club for this year, growing our numbers to over 30 players. With team captain Maria Gunko the club fielded a cuppers team to compete in the inter-college league, allowing players of all skills at GTC to improve their game and match experience. Finally, two players from the club, Jeffrey Peo and Marc Moesser, made the trials for the Oxford first and second team to play at the varsity match against Cambridge. The club is excited for Michael Milad to take over as president of the club from Marc Moesser and lead the club into the new academic year.

Ultimate

Emilia Chapman (PGCE, 2021) writes: This year, I have been playing for the first team of Oxford University Ultimate (affectionately known as OW! because it’s ‘O’ and then a double ‘U’). For those of you who don’t know, Ultimate Frisbee is a relatively new sport invented in America in the 60s. It’s a non-contact, self-refereed sport which involves passing the disc between teammates up the pitch to score in the ‘endzone’ (like the rugby ‘try zone’). Ultimate can be played both indoors (teams of 5) and outdoors (teams of 7), and there are single and mixed gender leagues. Ultimate is played in all weathers, unless there is a risk of lightning, and we have enjoyed many crazy tournaments this year where we have attempted to throw discs in 20, 30 and 40mph winds!! We train 3 or 4 times a week both indoors and outdoors, and I have enjoyed running some of the open sessions on Saturdays in Uni Parks for people of all abilities. If you haven’t tried Ultimate before, I’d recommend you come along!

I am delighted to have been awarded a half blue (the highest accolade you can achieve in frisbee at Oxford) for competing with the Women’s’ First Team at Indoor and Outdoor Nationals. We finished 11th in our division and are very proud of this achievement! I also played in the Women’s’ First Team for Indoor and Outdoor and Captained the Mixed 2nd Indoor and Outdoor Teams for Varsity. Unfortunately, this year Cambridge stole our title (which had previously been held since 2014!) – but we were proud of our teams as we had lots of beginners playing their first tournaments with us and team spirit was very high throughout. As I’ve been completing the PGCE course this year, my time with OW! is now coming to an end, but I am pleased to have been selected for the much higher-level Oxford Town team to play with them next year. I’m very thankful to GTC for all the support they have given me during my time representing the University in this fabulous sport!

Sustainability

Allotment Club

A Robin perched on the end of a gardening tool at the allotment with Sonora's hand outstretched to it.

The college’s allotment has gone from strength-to-strength as it has entered its second year. Ella Dunlop (Clinical Medicine, 2020) reflected on its first year in February 2022

Green Impact Awards role

Jenni Visuri (Graduate Entry Medicine, 2018) writes: The role of Green Impact Project Coordinator has been both an interesting and rewarding experience. I have worked in this role alongside my medical studies from mid-February to the start of June, putting in around 10 hours of work per week, in the hope that this could help the college achieve a Green Impact Gold Award.

When I started the position, I spent some time familiarising myself with the NUS Green Impact website, the points criteria, and which evidence we already had from previous years. In order to gather the remaining evidence, I met with various staff members in college who were in charge of catering, accommodation, maintenance, gardening, etc. I established what each department had already done in order to become more sustainable and worked on fitting this with the points criteria provided by NUS. By doing this I established that the college already does a great deal, with many eco-friendly initiatives and projects already taking place. I ensured that we had the evidence available to support the claims by taking photographs, asking for receipts for purchases, writing emails etc.

Despite the college having already met many of the criteria, there was more to do. Some of the meetings involved discussions around going further to become more sustainable. This led to some new projects such as looking into ‘Too Good To Go’ to reduce food waste, creating stickers for light switches, and sending out surveys to staff and students. This work allowed us to hit many of the bullet points in the Green Impact criteria and showed how much we can do as a small college.

Another part of the role involved trying to get Fairtrade accreditation for the college. This involved similar efforts of gathering together data about Fairtrade Fortnight events, finding invoices for Fairtrade products, and collating social media posts about Fairtrade. This work also supported much of the Green Impact work.

Overall this project was both interesting and enjoyable. It allowed me to gain an insight into how much the college already does to be environmentally friendly and how passionately the staff and students feel about sustainability. I learned a lot about sustainability in the process which also led me to question my own behaviours and encouraged me to work towards being more sustainable.

GTC Ball 2022

Multi Use Cup For Ball

Multi-use cup for Ball

This year with a new committee and all keen to put on a more sustainable event an application form was put into the Annual Fund for some money to support some sustainable initiatives. With single use glasses identified as being the one of the biggest contributors to waste we wanted to supply each guest with a reusable cup and lanyard for the event.
Also, knowing how recycling is not always at the forefront of people’s minds at such an event and needing to ensure that the food and recycling waste was not contaminated we also asked for funding for two people to work as recycling champions at the event. These individuals will work with both guests and vendors to guide decisions as to which bin is to be used for what.

Created: 24 June 2022