Dr Cervantée Wild, Andrew Tang, Matthew Sutcliffe, Sophie Mance and Benjamin Adams - NZ Honorary Members and Girdler's Scholars
Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge
The New Zealand Society and the Worshipful Company of Girdlers are proud to announce the introduction of Honorary Membership of the New Zealand Society to the current Girdlers' Scholars. This Spotlight we will focus on our three new members.
In 1950, at the instigation of the 3rd Viscount Brentford, the Worshipful Company of Girdlers decided to provide a scholarship for an outstanding New Zealander to come to England to study for a degree. The Worshipful Company of Girdlers has had an association with New Zealand since 1933 and in 1952 resolved to set part of its income aside for the purpose of a scholarship to enable distinguished New Zealand school students to undertake a degree course at either Oxford or Cambridge. For its undergraduate degree it is now specifically Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
During their residence at Cambridge, the Scholars’ personal wellbeing and academic progress will be monitored by members of the Girdlers' Company through visits each term to Corpus Christi, by discussions with the Senior Tutor and other members of the Faculty and through meetings at Girdlers’ Hall in London at such times as the Scholars are invited to attend various functions hosted there including the Waitangi Day service.
The purpose of the scholarship is to provide New Zealand students who have distinguished themselves in their school in New Zealand with the benefit of residence within Cambridge University, not only to take an honours degree but to broaden their outlook by taking advantage of their experience as undergraduates at Corpus Christi College and Cambridge University. As well as achieving academic qualifications, special consideration will be given to the all-round qualities of the candidates and the contribution that he or she might make in the future to developments in New Zealand. It is a pleasure to welcome our four honorary members, five including the post grad Honorary Member from Oxford University, and learn a bit more about what they do and how they settled in. Let's find out more about them and hopefully you will be able to meet them at one of our events.
Dr Cervantée Wild (Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford)
Hi I am Cervantée Wild. I grew up in New Plymouth, Taranaki.
What you are reading or researching?: I'm the current Girdlers' Postdoctoral Fellow, researching Long Covid in children, young people and families. I'm based in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Oxford. I'll be here until mid-2023 with my partner, Fraser Coutts.
How you are enjoying the UK? We are loving it here – enjoying the new challenge despite COVID.
How are you enjoying Oxford? I've found Oxford to be very friendly and welcoming and I feel very privileged to be able to conduct research alongside some of the world's best scientists.
Any challenges? Probably finding decent fish and chips this far inland
What is your favourite spot? We've been fortunate to be able to do quite a bit of exploring around the UK – we love Scotland and just spent the Christmas holiday on a road trip around Islay and the Highlands.
What do you miss most about New Zealand? Whittaker's chocolate – thankfully we received some recently in a care parcel from our families back home!
Things to look forward to in 2022? Looking forward to doing more exploring around the UK and hopefully further afield into Europe.
Andrew Tang (3rd year)
Kia ora koutou! I’m Andrew and I'm a born and bred Wellingtonian although I’m currently in my third and final year of reading Economics at Cambridge.
I’ve loved my time immersed in the traditions of Cambridge and the history of the UK and am sad that it has flown by so quickly. That said, the short and hectic 8-week terms at Cambridge can take some getting used to – the entire year’s teaching is crammed into 16 weeks! My favourite spot would have to be The Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester – it’s a great half-day walk to escape the Cambridge bubble with the promise of a well-deserved high tea waiting at the end.
2022 is set to be an exciting year with graduation scarily on the horizon. I’m looking forward to moving to the City and starting work at McKinsey & Company but I'll certainly miss being so close to the mountains and ocean in New Zealand.
Matthew Sutcliffe (3rd year) Kia ora, I grew up in the bays of Eastbourne, Wellington. Over here in Cambridge I am a finalist reading Human, Social and Political Sciences, specializing in Politics and International Relations. I am currently researching Sino-American relations in the 21st century and the role of religion in global politics.
My academic interests lie principally in security studies and political economy; over the recent winter I had the privilege to work in the National Security Group of the government's DPMC in this connection.
Outside of academics, I've found little time to keep up Athletics training between the demands of the degree and the injuries incurred from all the road running, but nonetheless do enjoy getting down to the track when I can. I am our club's Vice-president this year.
Most of all I think I miss the untamed New Zealand shelf seas and the rugged hills of Wellington.
I look forward to meeting you all at future society events!
Sophie Mance (2nd year)
Tēnā Koutou, my name is Sophie Mance and I'm currently in my second year at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, reading Physical Natural Sciences. I grew up mostly in Wellington as well as a few years in Belgium and The Netherlands. The opportunity to study at Cambridge continues to be amazing despite the challenges of Covid. Border restrictions saw me spend my summer exploring the UK by foot, bike, and train before starting my second year at Cambridge. Natural Sciences is a fascinating course as it's allowed me to continue to study a broad range of subjects, and in-person lectures and lab work have been a welcome change from my first year. As well as academics I keep myself busy with sport.
I am captain of the university mixed Ultimate Frisbee team and Women's Vice Captain Corpus Christi College Boat Club having picked up rowing in Lent last year - nowhere beats a clear morning on the river! I feel very fortunate to have snagged an MIQ spot over Christmas so have spent the holidays catching up with friends and family, the thing I miss most from New Zealand is definitely my twin sister. In 2022, all going to plan, I'm looking forward to more sport with Varsity Ultimate Frisbee, various national championships, and Lent Bumps all planned.
Benjamin Adams (1st year)
Hi I am Benjamin Adams from Tauranga!
What you are reading ? First year engineering at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
How you are enjoying the UK? I'm loving it! Aside from academics, the UK is an amazing hub for squash training, which I am very passionate about.
How are you enjoying Cambridge? The people here are very welcoming - I especially appreciate the fact that it is such a multinational city, it's been great getting to meet people from all over the world.
Any challenges? The course itself is very tough, but it is taught well and the supervision learning system makes a big difference.
What is your favourite spot? Harbourside, Bristol or Brighton Beach.
What do you miss most about New Zealand?. My dog Toby :(
Things to look forward to in 2022? Now that I have got myself settled in after my first term, I am looking forward to really getting stuck in and making the most of what life in Cambridge has to offer.