Scholars tell their stories

  • May 20, 2013
Scholars tell their stories

Four Gates Cambridge Scholars talk about their lives outside academia.

Teach for America, running a B & B, dancesport and an open source movement to provide light to poor households form part of a session of stories about Gates Cambridge Scholars this week.

Rebecca Berrens [2012], who is doing a PhD in Biological Sciences focused on epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development, will talk about her travels and how they influenced here to join the Liter of Light movement and start up a branch here in the United Kingdom. Liter of Light is a global open source movement with the aim to provide an ecologically and economically sustainable source of light to underprivileged households that do not have access to electricity or have difficulties affording electricity. It involves filling up a 1.5L PET bottle with purified water and bleach and installing in onto the roof of a house. The water inside the bottle refracts the sunlight during the daytime and creates the same intensity as a 55 watt light bulb.

Ke Wu [2012], who is doing an MPhil in Education looking at possible ways to address inequalities in the US education system, will talk about her time working at Teach for America, explaining what it is, what the experience was like and speak of what she envisions as the role of education now and in the future. Teach for America is a national teacher corps of college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years and raise student achievement in US public schools.

Halliki Voolma [2011], who is completing her PhD in multidisciplinary gender studies on domestic violence against immigrant women, will speak about how she helped Cambridge triumph in the Annual Cambridge vs Oxford Dancesport Varsity Match. Her talk is titled 10 things you don’t know about dance.

Stella Nordhagen [2008] will talk about three episodes linked to her PhD work: working as a farmhand in Italy and doing fieldwork in Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea, including unexpectedly running a B&B, “accidentally living with a cult, and purposefully running with one”.

The talks take place in the Gates room on Tuesday 21 May at 7pm.

Picture credit: Grant Cochrane and www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Latest News

Bridging the public health data gap

When Anwesha Lahiri  [2021] was doing her master’s fieldwork in India, she visited a tribal village in a remote area on top of a mountain between two districts. Only around 500 people lived there and there was no proper road leading to the village. At the heart of the problem was the dangerous ascent needed […]

Tracing the origins of our political beliefs

What makes some people more vulnerable to extremism than others? How do we build cognitive resilience against extreme ideologies? And how does the brain react to misinformation on social media? These are some of the key political questions that political neuroscientist Leor Zmigrod [2016] is exploring, putting the science into our understanding of radicalisation.   Leor […]

A leading woman in STEAM

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been selected as one of the 75 leading women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics in India. Yama Dixit will feature in the second edition of the book She Is, published by the Red Dot Foundation in partnership with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India to mark 75 […]

Tackling the obesity epidemic in Africa

When she left school, Paula-Peace James-Okoro [2022] intended to become a medical doctor, but after starting a degree in Biochemistry she discovered a passion for the subject and for using it to address one of the major health challenges facing Africa – obesity. She says: “In Africa, the rates of metabolic diseases, like obesity and […]