Meet the Oxford Scholastica team

We often say Oxford Scholastica isn’t just a one off experience – it’s for life. One of the things that makes the experience stand out for parents and students is the passion our team has to support you and your future success, during the programme and beyond.

Our mission is to make sure you feel comfortable and confident about attending Oxford Scholastica. We’re keen to make sure everyone feels fully supported and excited to be here. 

Summer school faculty

Our Leadership

The leadership team, headed up by the husband and wife Jamie and Dr. Sophie Dear, have many years’ experience of running education programmes, and are passionate about the care Oxford Scholastica gives to every student.

Jamie Dear

Jamie Dear

Jamie, our Co-Director, has founded and led education ventures for the past 15 years, with 10 years of experience running summer schools. After studying at Oxford University, he founded OxFizz, a social enterprise helping students with university preparation, with profits going to charities (over £1m raised). He’s the former chair of Jacari, an Oxford University charity that provides free tutoring to children who don’t speak English as their first language.

Sophie Dear

Sophie Dear

Sophie is a Consultant doctor who completed her medical training at Oxford University. She’s the founder of Psyched Up For Medical School, a programme that inspires and supports students interested in Psychiatry, with structured work experience opportunities. Sophie is part of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Leadership and Management Fellowship scheme, and has run Oxford Scholastica with her husband Jamie for the past nine years.

Lavinia Abell

Lavinia Abell 

Lavinia is our Co-Director, and she oversees the smooth running of the Oxford Scholastica residential and online programmes. Lavinia studied Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge University, and has been on the Oxford Scholastica team since 2016. She’s a former Trustee of Oxfordshire Youth, the leading youth charity supporting young people in Oxford and its surrounding areas, and Governor of a Primary School in Cambridge. 

Oxford summer school team

Jo Cruse

Jo is our Strategy Consultant, and a former teacher at one of the UK’s leading schools, where she was also university admissions advisor. With senior leadership experience in a variety of education organisations, Jo is passionate about enabling young people to thrive. She’s a member of the Founders4Schools Educational Impact Council and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has been part of Oxford Scholastica since 2015.

Sophie Parker

Sophie Parker

Sophie is our Head of Content, running our blog and our marketing, as well as being a friendly face in Oxford during the summer! She studied English at UCL, and tutored English for a number of community initiatives alongside her studies. Sophie currently volunteers as a reading assistant with both Bookmark and Doorstep Library charities. She first joined the OSA team in the summer of 2019.

Ameya Kamath

​Ameya Kamath

Ameya is our Head of Education, overseeing our teaching team of Tutors and Mentors. He received a first class honours degree in Economics at University College London, before becoming a Tutor at Oxford Scholastica in 2016. Teaching with us sparked his passion for education, and he went on to a Master’s in International Education at Harvard. He has worked for Teach for India, UNICEF Romania and Young Leaders for Active Citizenship.

Stephanie Lester

​Stephanie Lester

Steph is responsible for looking after our students (and parents!) before, during and after their programmes with OSA, making sure they have the most memorable educational experience of their lives. She studied Communications in South Africa and has experience in higher education institutions. She is passionate about going above and beyond to ensure every student is well taken care of. Outside of work, Steph loves hiking and adventures – she is currently tackling her fear of the ocean and sharks.

Our Tutors

Oxford Scholastica tutors are the best of the best. They are highly qualified subject experts from Oxford, Cambridge, and other leading academic institutions, who are on the cutting edge of research in their fields. Our tutors often stay with us for several years and become part of the family! Meet a small selection of them below.

Tuscany Parkin Oxford Summer School Law Tutor
Tuscany Parkin
BA LLB (Rhodes), BCL (Oxon)

Tuscany graduated with the BCL Masters of Law from the University of Oxford, specialising in Jurisprudence, Competition Law and Comparative Contract Law. She is currently reading for the MPhil in Legal Philosophy (particularly the philosophy of contract law). Previously, she obtained her BA in English Literature and LLB Law with Honours from Rhodes University. She has extensive tutoring experience, and enjoys working with young people to discover their own areas of legal interest.

Ben White Oxford Summer School Engineering Tutor
Benjamin White
MChem (Hons)

Ben is currently completing his DPhil in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, having studied for his integrated Masters in Chemistry at the University of Bath. Ben researches the use of nanotechnology in cancer treatment, in order to improve chemotherapy. Ben has many years of tutoring experience, covering all STEM subjects. He has also served as a peer mentor and tutor for undergraduate students at the University of Bath and St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford.

Oonagh Stewart Oxford Summer School Medicine Tutor
Oonagh Ekereoboghene Stewart
BA (Oxon)

Oonagh holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Medical Sciences from the University of Oxford. Her specialist interests include understanding the genetic basis of sleep regulation; last year she conducted research at the Oxford Sleep and Circadian Institute and has since written a dissertation on her findings, presenting at a conference in Oxford. She is a keen tutor with a lot of experience, and enjoys sharing her passion for clinical medicine.

Our Heroes

Heroes are young professionals who’ve gone on to have early success in different fields of study. They’re doctors, lawyers, coders, engineers, entrepreneurs, actors, and writers — you’ll be excited to meet them and learn more about their pathway to success. Learn about some of our Heroes below.

Summer school heroes

Oliver Farzin-Nia (Business) 

Oliver is an experienced business leader, entrepreneur and executive with an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona. He has worked in a range of diverse businesses across industries and geographies (USA, UK, Spain, and Belgium), including a stint as a management consultant, and a Chief Executive at an award-winning social enterprise.

Summer school heroes

Fernanda Farina (Law) 

Fernanda is a social-impact oriented lawyer and researcher in law, public policy and international development, with over a decade of experience in practice and research. Her life’s mission is to help find, develop and advocate the innovative solutions that will make the world a better place. She holds a PhD in Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Oxford.

Summer heroes oxford

Dr. Bob Yang (Medicine)

Dr. Yang studied at Imperial College London, graduating in 2013 with first class honours, five distinctions and two University Prizes. He has surgical experience in a variety of fields, from vascular to orthopaedics to reconstructive surgery, and has won awards at the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetics Surgeons and the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Our Masterclass Teachers

Masterclasses are led by tutors with expertise on a specific topic, or by external speakers. They’re designed to help you build your skills and think about your future in a new way — class examples include debating, brain training, and careers applications. Meet a selection of them below.

Oxford masterclass students

Brain Training

Daniel Timms studied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He now works as a software developer, and at the same time is an international “Human Calculator”, competing in the Mental Calculation World Cup for Great Britain, where he holds the British record for calendar date calculation — he can calculate the day of the week for any date after 1582 in around one second!

Oxford summer school tutor

Social Impact

Susanna O’Brien studied Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, going on to a Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Cambridge. She is passionate about social impact, and spent six months in the US as a volunteer consultant with Project Rousseau, where she gave 1-1 support to students from backgrounds of hardship. She now works as an Impact & Evaluation Coordinator at the Diana Ward, a charity set up to honour the legacy of Princess Diana.

Oxford summer school tutor


Mitch Artman is originally from the US, where he majored in Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He then obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from Long Island University, and another Master’s in Social Work from the University of California. Mitch is a third-generation teacher, with a passion for teaching as a way of unlocking students’ intellectual capabilities.

Our Summer School Matrons

Our two long-standing Matrons, Pascha and Tessa, have significant experience in leading boarding schools in the UK and internationally. They’re on hand to help with medical issues and homesickness — or for a friendly chat.

Oxford summer team


Pascha worked as a Matron at St. Edward’s boarding school in Oxford, looking after hundreds of 13-18 year olds — there isn’t much she doesn’t know about teenagers! She heads up our pastoral care, and is always around for a chat. Her claim to fame is that her husband used to play football for Pelé’s team.

Oxford summer team


Tessa is a Matron at Harrow Hong Kong, and flies over each summer to join us in Oxford, a city she knows well having been Head Matron at the Dragon School and Summerfields in the city. As well as being a Housemistress at Downe House school, she has also worked internationally.

Our Summer School Staff

Our staff is made of qualified educational leaders and bright undergraduates, who are on-site every day to support you and create a welcoming environment for all. Each building has a team of Activities Coordinators, typically made up of undergraduate or graduate students who attend the University of Oxford. Meet some of them below.

Izzy Mencattelli

Isabella Mencattelli

Izzy studies Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford, where she is a College Ambassador. She’s enjoyed the range of topics this has allowed her to study, and has developed a particular interest in ethics. Outside of her studies, Izzy enjoys playing netball and playing pool.

Gabriel Locke

Gabriel Locke

Gabe studied History at the University of Bristol, before completing a Master’s Degree in African Studies at the University of Oxford. He has worked as a Teaching Assistant at a school, and has lots of experience helping to run summer camps. In his spare time he enjoys football and whittling spoons!

Lily Green

Lily Green

Lily moved from Singapore to study History at Brasenose College, University of Oxford. When she graduates she is planning to complete her PGCE in secondary education. In her spare time, Lily takes part in Oxford Student Drama as a costume designer and plays netball for her college.

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