Educators & Scholars in Oxford, Paris, & Siena
Students on Oxford Academia, Paris Academia, and Siena Academia programs gain inspiration and unparalleled insights from distinguished academics and educators, tenured faculty, featured scholars, guest lecturers, and meetings with experts in each seminar topic. Meet a few of our accomplished faculty below.
Governor Peter Shumlin
Peter served three terms as the 81st governor of the state of Vermont. During his time in office, he established Vermont as a leader on progressive policies, from universal pre-K education to mandatory GMO labeling and near universal healthcare coverage. Because of Vermont’s leadership on renewable energy, Governor Shumlin was invited by President Obama to the Paris Climate Summit to push for a global climate agreement. Peter is the longtime co-director, along with his brother, of Putney Student Travel and Smithsonian Student Travel. He has served as a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has taught at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health as the Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow.
Professor James Basker
Jim has taught at Harvard, Cambridge, and for the past 30 years at Barnard College, Columbia University, where he is Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History. After his BA at Harvard and MA at Cambridge, Jim did his doctorate at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. He has directed and taught on summer programs and teacher seminars at Oxford for more than thirty years. He has published widely on English and American history and literature, and his most recent book is American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation. Jim is also President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, which supports history and civics education in more than 28,000 schools across the US and abroad. In addition to directing the program, Jim will offer plenary talks and private tours of Oxford.
Dr. Marsha Wallace
After her PhD in Genetics from Cornell University, Marsha came to the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University, where she was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist from 2013 to 2020. Recently appointed a Clinical Research Fellow, her research has focused on cancer and diabetes. Marsha has brought her cutting-edge research into summer schools in Oxford since 2016.
Dr. Predrag Bjelogrlic
For more than 20 years a member of the senior faculty of the Medical School at St. Andrews University, Predrag is a distinguished clinician and researcher educated at the University of Belgrade, with advanced medical training at the University of London, the James Paget Hospital in Norfolk, and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. He specializes in the clinical training of medical students at St. Andrews, and has taught on summer programs for high school students since 2012.
After her BA from the University of Cape Town, Abi won the Cambridge Magdalene Mandela Scholarship to pursue her MPhil in Education, Globalisation and Development at Cambridge. A Rhodes Scholarship brought her to Oxford, for her MSt in African Studies and now her DPhil in Education. Abi is an international caliber debater, having represented her university at championships in Ghana, the Netherlands, and Estonia, and has taught speech and debate on Oxford summer programs since 2017.
Dr. Luka Katic
After earning Master’s degrees in Economics (in Serbia) and Cognitive Science (in Vienna), Luka came to Oxford where he earned a doctorate in Experimental Psychology. His research focuses on the interplay between passions and reason, and he has taught innovative courses at both the university and secondary school levels—including summer programs in Oxford—since 2014.
Dr. Maximilian Lau
A historian who earned his DPhil from Oxford University, Max divides his time between his post as Assistant Professor of History at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and his position as Research Associate at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University. A specialist in medieval history, Max has a gift for making history come alive in the historic streets and colleges of Oxford, where he has taught on summer programs since 2014.
Dr. April Pierce
An interdisciplinary scholar, April obtained her MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities at New York University and then her PhD in Literature at Oxford, while also publishing her own poetry and serving as the President of the Oxford University Poetry Society. A gifted teacher, April founded the Oxford Writers’ House to nurture and recognize young literary talent. She is on the faculty of Humanities at the TASIS School in London, and has taught literature and creative writing on Oxford summer programs since 2012.
Dr. Daniel Jordan
Educated at University College, Dublin and, as a Visiting Scholar, at Hertford College, Oxford, Daniel is a historian who specializes in British and European History. He has taught at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London and, since 2012, as Lecturer in History at St. Clare’s College, a Sixth Form College in Oxford. Daniel serves as an appointed Examiner for various British examination boards, and has taught on summer programs in Oxford since 2010.
A Rhodes Scholar from South Africa, educated at the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Laws (with Distinction), Josh did his MSc in African Studies and a Masters of Public Policy (with Distinction) at Oxford University. After a year working on Global Partnerships for the Rhodes Trust, Josh was recruited by Schmidt Futures, to support the global rollout of the Rise program for talented youth. Josh has taught on summer programs in Oxford for two years.
Dr. Daniel Marshall
A former police officer who did his PhD at Cambridge University, Daniel is now on the faculty of Criminology in the Department of Sociology and the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, while continuing as a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge. Daniel has served on many special commissions and public bodies and has published several articles and books on criminal justice. His recent book, The Sex Offender Register: Politics, Policy, and Public Opinion, was published in 2021. He has taught on summer programs for high school students since 2009.
An architect from Serbia, Mihaela is an intellectual polymath with master’s degrees in cognitive science from the University of Vienna, neuroscience from King’s College London, and film aesthetics from Oxford. Until recently she was Director of Strategy and Development at the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford, partnering with the Oxford Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and AI. Mihaela has taught on summer programs at Oxford since 2014.
Dr. Rodina Peachey
With medical degrees from the University of Liverpool and Oxford University, Rodina is an anesthesiologist who formerly worked at Hillingdon Hospital in London and now works at the renowned St. Mary’s Hospital in London. Active in dance, music, and charity work, Rodina has worked on summer programs in Oxford since 2008.
After studying diplomatic history at University of Pennsylvania and finance at Penn’s Wharton School of Business, Rob spent 15 in the financial services sector, first as an investment banker with Citigroup and then with several private equity and venture capital firms in Dublin, London, and Prague. For the past decade Rob has focused on his own entrepreneurial activities and is currently Chairman of two companies he co-founded: Splash Carwash, China’s greenest and largest privately owned carwash operator, and Outreach Business Consulting, a firm that assists foreign companies in their efforts to enter the Chinese market, via its partnership with Alibaba. Rob has spent the past nine years teaching various business and entrepreneurism courses on summer programs at Oxford, Cambridge, and Columbia universities.
Shannon Michael Wamser
While studying acting at DeSales and Ohio University, earning his B.A. and then M.F.A., Mike trained in classical theatre and in devising new works. Mike focused on Shakespeare and stage combat in much of his training. After moving to New York City and pursuing a successful career in acting, Mike also founded two theatre companies there. In addition to his work as an actor, writer, director, and producer, he also led Putney’s Theatre in Britain program for eight summers. Later, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue independent filmmaking, where he concieved, co-wrote, co-produced, and starred in The Thing Before the Thing (available on Amazon Prime). Mike now works as Professor in the Molloy College/CAP 21 Musical Theatre B.F.A. program, where he teaches Movement, Acting, and Stage Combat, helping to mold and inspire the next generation of theatre artists. Mike is a member of Dueling Arts, International, a prestigious Stage Combat organization; is a recognized Advanced Actor Combatant, Instructor; and he serves on the governing body.