Director & Faculty

Oxford Prep Medical Science students participating in dissectionOxford Prep Law students at court

Our academic faculty is specially chosen from teachers and researchers in some of the world’s leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, the London School of Economics, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, New York University, Berkeley, the Sorbonne, Universitat de Barcelona, Universidad de Salamanca, and Pompeu Fabra. In 2017 our teaching staff in Oxford and Cambridge alone included 36 Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholars, making Oxbridge one of the biggest employers of Rhodes Scholars in the world. 

Our creative and workshop courses, meanwhile, are taught by fully-fledged professionals – acclaimed writers and poets, filmmakers, photographers, and actors – all selected for their talent, their varied experiences in their disciplines, their enthusiasm, and above all their ability to inspire our students.

Led by these outstanding individuals, whose work is thoroughly evaluated after every summer, and operating in small, seminar-style classes, our courses immerse students in subjects about which they are passionate while helping them uncover the spectacular sites and cultures in which they are living.

The Oxford Prep Experience Director

Director, John J. Pendergast IV:

John returns this summer to The Oxford Prep Experience for his twelfth consecutive year. The Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, John served as Head of Middle School there for many years. He is an experienced teacher and administrator who has previously worked in schools in Massachusetts and Jamaica. Educated at Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in History and played varsity football and lacrosse, John went on to Harvard Divinity School where he obtained an MTS. 

His years of experience as a classroom teacher, a coach, and a school head make him the ideal director of The Oxford Prep Experience. He and his wife, Judene, also a teacher, have five children. In his spare time John is a keen cross country skier, hiker, and fly-fisherman.


The Oxford Prep Experience Faculty

Sandy Adhitia Ekahana

BSc Nanyang Technological University

Sandy is a researcher in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Oxford. His work is a study of the electronic structure of novel quantum matter by Angular Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy, or the ARPES technique. His previous work involved research into new materials, including graphene, nanoribbons, and organic LED lights.

Tes Noah Asfaw

BSc Imperial College London, MSt University of Oxford

Tes Noah is a writer. He worked for several years as a journalist, first for The Columbus Dispatch and later The Independent. He has written, produced and directed for TV, including projects for PBS in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the UK. He is also the author of several screenplays.

David Benedictus

MA University of Oxford

David is a former Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, and has authored twenty-five books. One of his most recent publications is "Return to the Hundred Acre Wood," the newest volume of the classic "Winnie the Pooh" series. He has been widely involved in film and television as a director and producer, and has worked with the BBC and Francis Ford Coppola. He won an International Emmy for "Porterhouse Blue," the comical tale of a fictitious Cambridge college, as the Commissioning Editor for Drama at Channel 4 in the UK. David has written widely in the British media and has taught at the Oxford School of Drama and at Putney High School in London.

Samuel Cahill

BA, MSc, University of Cambridge

Samuel is a researcher in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford doing work in interdisciplinary bioscience. His research interests include the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. His work in this area has been acknowledged by the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) of which he is now a member. He supervises Oxford undergraduates in chemistry, and is an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Samson Chibuta

MSc Binary University, BSc University of Zambia

Samson is a computer scientist and software engineer who specializes in big data, data mining, and business information systems. Research and teaching commitments have brought Samson across the world, from his native Zambia to Malaysia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Charlotte Clark

BSc University of Otago, MSc University of Otago, PhD University of Queensland

Dr. Clark is a professional anatomist. She works as a Tutor and Demonstrator at the University of Oxford, and as a Teaching Fellow and Lab Manager at Imperial College London. Her research is widely-published, and she has received several prestigious accolades over the course of her career. Among them are the Australian Postgraduate Award, which she held from 2007 until 2011. Dr. Clark has also served as a committee member for the Australian Society for Medical Research.

Ben Cocanougher

BS Centre College

Ben is a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge completing a PhD researching the structural and genetic basis of memory. He will soon return to the University of Rochester School of Medicine to resume the final stage of his medical training focusing on pediatric neurology. Ben previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute where his work focused on nerve damage. He has published several papers in neuroscience and medical genetics.

Yuanyuan Dai

BS Harbin Engineering University, MEng Nanyang Technological University

Yuanyuan is an engineer with broad interests. She has worked in both software design and semiconductor manufacturing, and led a project with Lockheed Martin on aerospace applications for nanotechnology. That project led to published work and a patent. Her current research is on the latest developments in adaptive optics.

Harald Edinger

BSc Vienna University of Economics and Business, MA Johns Hopkins University

Harald is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford. His research is concerned with the links between international relations, political economy, and the formation of state power and threats, with a particular focus on the Russian Federation. He previously worked in management consulting and European financial regulation.

Tom Folliard

BSc University of Southampton, MRes University College London, DPhil University of Oxford

Tom is a synthetic biologist. His most recent work involved the development of a programable bio-recorder for investigation of complex in vivo host-pathogen interactions in the human gut. He supervises students in biochemistry and leads laboratory demonstrations at Oxford.

Joy Forsythe

Licentiate Leinster School of Music and Drama, MA National University of Ireland

Joy is a professional director and performer with over twenty years of drama teaching experience. She started her stage career with a three-year tenure at the Abbey Theatre Dublin. She then became a freelance actor, and performed in all the major theaters in Ireland before becoming the Director, Acting Coach, and Principal of the Irish Academy of Dramatic Arts. She served in this role for a decade between 2000 and 2010. She has now directed over a hundred theater performances in Ireland and the U.K.

Ciaran Gilbride

MBioch University of Oxford

Ciaran is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford where his work in interdisciplinary bioscience is supported by a Pirbright Scholarship. He is particularly interested in molecular medicine, and has conducted research into T-cell function, and on multivalent vaccines against the Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa viruses.

Céline Journot

BSc, MSc École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Céline is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. She is working in the cutting-edge field of bionanotechnology. Her project focuses on the use of DNA as a building block for structures that interact with biological membranes using chemical functionalization. The systems she designs serve as simplified models for the study of biological ones, and as starting points toward the construction of more sophisticated molecular machinery. Before taking up her current post she investigated molecular and biological chemistry at the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Max Lau

MA University of St Andrews, MSt University at Oxford

Dr. Lau is the JSPS Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hitotsubashi University Institute of Economic Research. He is currently composing a comprehensive study of the reign of the Byzantine Emperor John II Komnenos. He gained his doctorate from the University of Oxford. His thesis analyzed the political and social history of the Komnenos era. Dr. Lau is a seasoned pedagogue, having served as a Tutor at the University of Oxford. He also edited and contributed to "Landscapes of Power," a volume of essays on Byzantine history.

Lia Marcoux

BFA Rhode Island School of Design

Lia is an professional illustrator and designer based in Somerville, Massachusetts. She employs a vibrant blend of traditional watercolor and digital media to tell stories through pictures and words. Lia's commissioned projects have ranged from nursery designs to magazine covers to children’s books. Her many recent clients have included Bay Magazine, several departments of the Hasbro Company, and Studio IGo.

Dr. Vuyane Mhlomi

MBChB University of Cape Town

Dr. Mhlomi is a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He is researching ways to make pregnancy safer for women suffering from cardiovascular disease. Dr. Mhlomi practiced medicine for several years in his native South Africa before coming to Oxford, during which time he also regularly published and presented his own research. He was recognized as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by the Mail & Guardian newspaper, is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shaper cohort, and is an Oxford Global Leadership Initiative Fellow.

Dr. Struan Murray

MBioch, DPhil University of Oxford

A Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Dr. Murray’s research focuses on looking at the ways our genes get turned on and off in order to deal with our changing environments. His doctorate studied how the two meters of DNA contained in every cell in our body is wound up. He has been teaching undergraduates in Oxford for eight years, and is currently designing a course on using computational techniques to study genetics. He is also writing a book about how the cells in our bodies work, aimed at children, to be published later this year.

Kgaugelo Sebidi

BA University of Johannesburg, BA University of Cape Town, MPhil University of Oxford

Kgaugelo Sebidi is Rhodes Scholar completing research in the Oxford Department of International Development. His work focused on higher education policy in his native South Africa. Before Oxford, he was a Junior Researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council in Cape Town.

Miles Unterreiner

BA, MA Stanford University, MPhil University of Oxford

Miles is conducting doctoral research in political theory at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Before taking up his current post, he worked as a Policy Associate for the Frontier Group - a think-tank that specializes in campaign finance reform. Miles routinely authors and contributes to reports cited by national media outlets such as "The New York Times," "The Wall Street Journal," and CNN. He is a keen distance runner, and was an All-American athlete during his time at Stanford.

Alexandra Warkentin

BMgt University of Alberta, MPhil University of Oxford

Alexandra is an Oxford graduate currently working in the non-profit sector. She is the Professional Practice Coordinator at The Association of Science & Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). She completed her Masters degree at the University of Oxford in Russian and East European Studies, and her Bachelor of Management at the University of Alberta in Business Economics. Her research has focused on scarcity economics, marketing and management strategies.

Tom Whitecross

MA University of Cambridge, MA Royal College of Art London

Tom is an architect, designer, and educator who has worked for several studios in London and Oxford, including Zaha Hadid Architects and the set design department of the Royal Opera House. He also previously worked in the European Commission’s Heritage Office in Brussels. He is particularly interested in design where historic buildings meet bold, contemporary designs.

Miha Zgubic

MSc Imperial College London

Miha is a particle physicist at the University of Oxford working on the ATLAS experiment, which is one of the four major experiments at the Large Hardon Collider (LHC) at CERN. His work is on the decay of the Higgs boson to two muons, and in parallel on the muon isolation efficiency. He has previously worked from LHC to develop simplified models of dark matter.