St John's College News

  1. Tributes paid to ‘beating heart’ of St John’s

    “Steve was loved and admired by his team and others around him. The College owe him a great deal of gratitude for all his time, dedication and loyalty”
    Moving tributes have been paid to a long-standing member of College staff who has died from cancer at the age of 63. Steve Beeby led the Maintenance department for 15 years as Superintendent of Buildings after he joined the College more than 35 years ago. He met Yazz, his wife of 24 years, at St John’s when she was working as a bedmaker. Last year he retired early and he died peacefully at his…read more
  2. New book is published by award-winning St John’s poet

    “If your poem isn’t even attempting to be as worthy of people’s time as a Taylor Swift song, I question your motives"
    A St John’s librarian and award-winning wordsmith is continuing the College’s long poetry tradition with the publication of his second book. The Culture of My Stuff by Dr Adam Crothers, who is the Special Collections Assistant, is published by Carcanet today (28 May 2020) and is a collection of sonnets, prose and political nonsense rhymes. Brexit, Trump, Northern Ireland, Komodo dragons, the…read more
  3. Guitarist Robert launches lockdown YouTube channel

    "It's a cliche but music is a universal language and ain't no lockdown gonna stop it!”
    Musician Robert Jones, one of our College Custodians, has launched a YouTube music channel to beat the lockdown blues. Robert, who has worked at St John’s for three years, is currently a daytime Porter during the pandemic – but by night he swaps his College keys for playing a different kind of key on his guitar. Robert Jones is keeping live music fans entertained during the lockdown.An…read more
  4. Jenni runs virtual marathon to raise money for animal charity

    “Running is good for keeping healthy and I find it a real boost to help me feel a sense of achievement"
    St John's College staff member Jenni Prior is tackling a lockdown feat – or should that be feet? Jenni, who is Executive Assistant to the Director of Education & Senior Tutor Dr Annis May Timpson, is running a virtual marathon fundraiser in aid of the Blue Cross animal charity, to help pets in need.  “Our cat Jasper came from the Blue Cross in Cambridge in 2014 so their work means a lot to…read more
  5. PhD student wins prestigious research grant for US archive trip

    “I’m deeply grateful to St John’s, I owe it a lot”
    A St John’s PhD student who is researching the work of a prolific but little-studied Scottish architect is celebrating after a double dose of good news. Ralph Wade, PhD Candidate in the History of Art, has won a Research Support Grant from the world-renowned Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, a UK educational charity based in London that is part of Yale University, in its competitive…read more
  6. Student shares her battle with depression and anxiety to highlight importance of Mental Health Awareness Week

    “It’s ok not to be ok. But with the St John’s family you are not really alone, even in isolation.”
    “It’s ok not to be ok. But with the St John’s family you are not really alone, even in isolation.” That’s the message from JCR Mental Health Officer Becca Gutteridge during this week’s Mental Health Awareness Week, when the St John’s College community is spread far and wide away from Cambridge during the coronavirus pandemic. “We are still here for you,” said Becca, a second year English…read more
  7. A spine-chilling tale at St John’s

    “As a historian I love the idea of nonlinear time – that somehow, just occasionally, history might fold back on itself, allowing us a glimpse into past centuries”
    The legend of a St John’s student who surrendered his soul to the devil in exchange for the knowledge to pass his exams was the inspiration behind an eerie ghost story.  Art historian Dr Christina J Faraday’s spooky short story The Advent Visitor has been published in Ghosts and Scholars Magazine. Christina, who was an undergraduate and a postgraduate student at St John’s, said: “I don't think…read more
  8. International online concert brings centuries-old Chinese music back to life

    “This music could so easily have been lost forever. James Inman just happened to pick up a copy of this tiny flimsy pamphlet in Guangzhou, and gave it to his College Library”
    Performers across the globe are uniting in an online concert to revive the melodies captured in a 250-year-old volume of Chinese music discovered in St John's College Old Library. The special event features a 95-year-old grandmother from Guangzhou (aka Canton), where the now unique woodblock-printed book of 13 musical scores was created in 1770 – 34 years before finding its way to Cambridge in…read more
  9. Everyday Sexism activist and founder of Raspberry Pi elected as Honorary Fellows of St John’s

    “They are people of ideas and intellectual courage"
    Four distinguished people have been named as Honorary Fellows of St John’s College in recognition of their exceptional contributions to their respective fields. Dr Heidi-Ann Doughty, President of the Blood Transfusion Society, Dr Claire Craig, Provost of The Queen’s College, Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, and Dr Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, have all…read more
  10. Medieval library treasure goes digital

    "This manuscript is a finely written and beautifully illustrated example of early 13th century work"
    A 13th century illuminated manuscript that has been in the archives of St John’s College for nearly 400 years has been digitised so it can reach a new audience.  Detailed images from the early medieval religious text have been published online for the first time in the University of Cambridge Digital Library. The 377-page manuscript is a psalter that belonged to Robert de Lindsay who was Abbot…read more
  11. St John’s markswoman shoots and scores in inaugural University sports awards

    “The results indisputably make CUSBC the most successful university shooting club in the country”
    Third year St John’s student Cecilia Catuogno-Cal is on a winning streak after helping to break two shooting records and being named in the 'Team of the Year' in the first University of Cambridge Sports Awards. Cecilia is a member of the University’s Small Bore Club (CUSBC) 1st VI, which won first place at the annual British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Short Range Championships in…read more
  12. The Advent Visitor

    " I will give you my soul, if you will teach me learning and wisdom"
    Dr Christina J Faraday has a talent for writing fiction and her short ghost story set at St John's College, The Advent Visitor, has been published in a literary magazine. Here the St John's alumna shares her macabre tale... 'Quis est ille qui venit?' It was to be my first Christmas vacation in college. As soon as term ended, practically overnight the library emptied and the dining hall was…read more
  13. What the history of working motherhood can teach us during a global pandemic

    “It is a story of transformation for mothers but it’s a story of continuity for fathers”
    The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world of home and work upside down, blurring the lines between the workplace and family life. And although we are living through extraordinary times, a groundbreaking new book by St John’s College historian Dr Helen McCarthy reveals home and work life challenges are nothing new for mothers. With the world in lockdown, parents everywhere have been…read more
  14. ‘Exceptional’ St John’s alumni elected to prestigious Royal Society

    “At this time of global crisis, the importance of scientific thinking, and the medicines, technologies and insights it delivers, has never been clearer”
    Three outstanding St John’s scientists are among 62 newly-elected Fellows to join the world-renowned Royal Society. Professor Peter Nellist, Professor John Plane and Professor Nigel Scrutton have been selected to join the 2020 Fellowship for their exceptional contributions to scientific understanding. Their achievements range from pioneering new techniques for atomic-resolution microscopy, to…read more
  15. St John’s scientist leads research to reduce airborne Covid-19 spread in emergency hospitals

    “Our work aims to highlight simple yet effective solutions that are relatively easy to install, implement, service and maintain.”
    Cambridge scientists say low tech changes in makeshift emergency hospitals can reduce the dispersal of airborne Covid-19. Professor Andrew Woods, Fellow of Mathematics at St John’s and Head of the BP Institute, led a study with Professor Alan Short of the Department of Architecture to find ventilation designs and ward configurations to reduce virus dispersal. Emergency wards are being converted…read more
  16. Architecture student’s work to feature in Imperial War Museum refugee exhibition

    “Having your work exhibited at a major museum is a big deal for anyone – but especially for an undergraduate student”
    Drawings of refugee shelters by a St John’s student will be displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London to help unlock the personal stories of people who have been forced to flee their homes.  Refugees: Forced to Flee, a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum (IWM), will explore a century of refugee experiences, from Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews and the Kindertransport, to the Calais…read more
  17. St John’s academics nominated in student-led awards for innovative teaching

    "To take good care of the academic development of the students should always be the priority of those involved in education"
    Three academics from St John’s College have been recognised for their teaching talent in annual awards run by the student community. The annual Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) teaching awards are presented in recognition of outstanding lecturers, supervisors, tutors, and Directors of Studies at the University of Cambridge.  Dr Georgina Evans has been nominated in the Inclusive…read more
  18. College lecturer awarded prestigious prize for teaching excellence

    "I find the students' enthusiasm inspiring and energising. Their questions often lead me to dig deeper into the subject and I learn new things every time I teach"
    A St John’s academic has scooped a Pilkington Prize for his exemplary teaching of mathematics. Dr John R. Taylor has been named as one of the 12 winners of the University of Cambridge Pilkington Prizes which are awarded annually by the Vice-Chancellor to people who make a substantial contribution to the teaching programme of a Department, Faculty or the University of Cambridge.  Dr Taylor, who…read more
  19. St John's launches 'Virtual Chapel' during coronavirus pandemic

    "The Chapel wants to play its part and ensure that the College community, and all our friends wherever they may be, can have the opportunity to pause together and reflect"
    St John’s College Chapel will deliver digital services to give people the opportunity to 'pause and reflect together' during the global lockdown.  Services are currently suspended at the world-famous Victorian chapel, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last May, to protect the St John's community and visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chapel team is now going to provide 'Virtual…read more
  20. Senior research 'stars' awarded European Research Council funding

    "I am very happy that with this new grant we as UK scientists can continue to play an important part in the vibrant research culture of Europe"
    'Daring and innovative' senior scientists have been rewarded with €450 million of funding from the European Research Council - and a St John's physicist is amongst the recipients.  Professor Mete Atatüre, Director of Studies in Physics and Astrophysics and in Mathematics for Natural Sciences at St John's, is based at Cambridge’s world-renowned Cavendish Laboratory. He has been awarded £2.5…read more
  21. Leo adds strings to his bow with Facebook family concerts

    "The real joy of music is making it with other people"
    St John’s violinist Leo Appel and his musical family are performing weekly Facebook concerts to lift spirits and raise charity funds during the UK coronavirus lockdown. The second year music student is live-streaming the performances at 3pm every Wednesday from his family home in Oxford in the series called 'An Afternoon with the Appels' on his Facebook page. Viewers can donate to a different…read more
  22. Cambridge engineers use industrial modelling techniques to help Addenbrooke’s manage COVID-19

    "Instead of production lines we’re now looking at hospital wards, and rather than products or raw materials we are examining the flow of patients and supplies"
    Modelling tools originally designed to improve the efficiency of factories are being used by Cambridge engineers to help Addenbrooke’s Hospital manage the COVID-19 emergency. The work enhances the hospital’s own modelling, and provides insight into how day-to-day activities might be affected by a rise in patient numbers in the coming weeks or months. ‘Discrete event simulations’ have been…read more
  23. Happy birthday Wordsworth! Celebrating one of the world’s greatest poets

    Celebrating one of the world’s greatest poets
    7 April 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Romantic poet William Wordsworth’s birth. Rebecca Watts, curator of a new Wordsworth exhibition in the Library, reflects on the life of this renowned Johnian. When the seventeen-year-old William Wordsworth arrived in Cambridge in October 1787, he wasn’t exactly bowled over by what he saw. ‘It was a dreary morning when the chaise / Roll’d over the flat…read more
  24. St John’s social media star shortlisted in law awards

    “It’s really exciting to be nominated with somebody I have looked up to on social media for so many years”
    A St John’s law student with a popular YouTube channel was shortlisted for an award celebrating the best legal social media users of 2020. Second year undergraduate Elena Handtrack has clocked up more than 31,000 YouTube followers for her Cambridge vlog where she offers a glimpse into her busy life as a university law student. Her videos have had more than two million views and cover all kinds…read more
  25. Top maths prize is out of this world

    “I feel inspired to work even harder to discover new horizons in mathematics”
    A prestigious £15,000 maths prize once won by Stephen Hawking has been awarded to two researchers for their impressive work in the field of algebra. The historic Adams Prize is named after John Couch Adams who used maths to predict the existence of the planet Neptune. Couch Adams graduated from St John’s College in 1843 as ‘Senior Wrangler’ – the top mathematics undergraduate at the University…read more