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 2015 our teaching staff in Oxford and Cambridge alone consisted of more than 28 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

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.

Robert Blakey

BA, MSc, University of Oxford

Robert is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, where he holds an Economic and Social Research Council studentship. He is an award-winning scholar. Among his many accolades are the Routledge Prize and the Gibbs Prize, both of which are given by the University of Oxford for outstanding achievement. He is currently based in the University's Centre for Criminology, where he is investigating lay perceptions of criminal behavior - particularly public views of neuroscientific explanations of criminality. Robert also works in the Saïd Business School, where he facilitates psychology studies. Outside of academia he serves as an Independent Monitoring Board Member at Her Majesty's Prison Bullingdon.

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.

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.

Sam Greene

BSc, MSc University of Chicago

Samuel is a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He is currently pursuing an MSc in Chemistry. As part of his research, he is building computer models that use quantum mechanics to calculate the rates of chemical reactions from first principles – without experimental data. Samuel has a keen interest in addressing climate change, and has published work using computer models to study methane emissions from lakes in Alaska.

Timar Jackson

BSc University of the West Indies, MSc, MBA University of Oxford

Timar holds an MBA and an MSc in Applied Statistics from the University of Oxford, where he worked as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to his arrival in Oxford, Timar served an actuary for Ernst and Young and later for Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited. In addition to the Rhodes Scholarship, Timar was awarded the Prime Minister of Jamaica Youth Award for excellence in academics. Timar is dedicated to education and economic empowerment, and created the "Count Down" mathematics outreach project at Vauxhall High School.

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.

Luka Katic

MSc University of Novi Sad, MEiCogSci University of Vienna

Luka is conducting doctoral research at the University of Oxford. He is based in the University's Department of Experimental Psychology, where he is focusing on cognitive neuroscience. His principal areas of interest include conformity, decision-making, neuroethics, moral psychology, philosophy of the mind, terror theory, and effective altruism. He has held visiting research positions at several major institutions, most recently at Trinity College Dublin, where he conducted research on spatial cognition in virtual environments.

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.

Dr. Kevin Lewis

BA Cardiff University, MA Cardiff University, DPhil University of Oxford

Dr. Lewis is an historian and an expert on the crusades and crusading knights. His doctoral thesis focused on rule and identity in the county of Tripoli in the twelfth century. His work required fluency in Arabic, which he acquired in Jordan, thanks to a British Institute Intensive Arabic Programme Scholarship. Dr. Lewis has published widely, including a piece entitled “Medieval diglossia: the use of written and spoken Arabic in the County of Tripoli,” which appeared in 2014 in "Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean."

Dr. Kopano Mabaso

MBChB University of Cape Town, MSc University of Oxford

Dr. Mabaso is currently conducting research at the University of Oxford, where she holds a coveted Rhodes Scholarship. Her project focuses on the assessment of health facilities in South Africa. Dr. Mabaso has received several awards for her work, including a Desmond Tutu Fellowship and an Aspen New Voice Fellowship. She is also the Founder and Director of the Transitions Foundation, an organization that provides support for high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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.

Hector Martinez-Navarro

BSc Universitat de València, MSc Universitat Politècnica de València

Hector is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. He is based in the University's Computer Science Department, where he is a member of the Computational Cardiovascular Science Group. He is creating mathematical models of cardiac activity that can simulate the behavior of the human heart. Ultimately this will provide powerful tools for developing new diagnoses and treatments. His previous degree, during which he specialized in augmented and virtual reality, was in Multimedia Engineering.

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.

Jenna Milani

BA University of Texas at Austin, MSc University of Oxford

Jenna is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. She is based in the University's Faculty of Law and the Centre for Criminology. Her research focuses on public perceptions of police brutality in both the United States and the United Kingdom. As a New Orleans native, she first became interested in how and why the public continue to support the police despite reports of violence after Hurricane Katrina. Having graduated with honors in History and Government from the University of Texas at Austin, Jenna moved to Oxford to pursue master's level work. There she received the "Proxime Accessit" to the Roger Hood Prize for the second-best performance in the MSc.

Kameel Premhid

BA, LLB University of KwaZulu-Natal, MSc University of Oxford

Kameel studied International Relations and Education Policy at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Today he works as an attorney in South Africa, where he is also an admitted Advocate of the High Court, a Special Advisor to a number of South African leaders, and a staff writer for the Helen Suzman Foundation. His writing has been widely published by the "Mail & Guardian" and "The South African."

Robert Sturrock

BA Queen’s University, MA University of St Andrew’s, MPhil University of Oxford

Robert holds an MPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford. He has particular expertise in macroeconomic policy, the economics of higher education, and behavioral economics. During his time in academia he won several distinctions, including the prestigious Miller Prize - given by the University of St Andrews to the most outstanding student in the Faculty of Arts. Today he works for the Bank of England as a specialist in Financial Stability. Outside the economic world, Robert has appeared in the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Maka Tounkara

BA University of Zambia, MSc City University London, MSc University of Oxford

Maka studied at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned several awards and distinctions during his time in academia, including a City Bank Scholarship. His current research interests include international monetary policy, the economics of regulation, corporate finance, and the role of knowledge and evidence in policymaking. He focuses on how these issues and concepts may be used to alleviate poverty.

Miles Unterreiner

BA, MA Stanford University

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.