Meet the Upgrade team

  • Core team

    Kevin Watson

    Kevin Watson

    Head of Department and Tutor (Study Skills)

    Faculty link for Business and Humanities and Social Sciences

    Kevin worked in study skills and learning development for a number of years before becoming head of Upgrade in 2015. Formerly a lecturer in American history at the University of Sheffield, Kevin's varied career has also included some best-forgotten theatrical endeavours, crime prevention and community safety work and a stint as the director of a museum. In his current role, Kevin specialises in developing critical thinking, academic socialisation, and work with postgraduate students.

    Janet Godwin

    Janet Godwin

    Senior Tutor (Resources, Study Skills and Dyslexia Specialist)

    Faculty link for Health and Life Sciences

    Janet has worked at Oxford Brookes for over a decade as an Upgrade tutor and dyslexia support tutor. She is the author of two Palgrave-Macmillan Pocket Skills books (one on planning essays and another on dyslexia). Janet specialises in essay planning and uses visual techniques to explain study skills concepts to students. She aims to reduce their stress so they feel able to tackle their workload.

    Catrin Radcliffe

    Catrin Radcliffe

    Tutor (Maths & Statistics)

    Faculty link for Technology, Design and Environment

    Catrin specialises in teaching hidden mathematics. When not at Brookes, she is a visiting academic in the Laboratory of Oscillations and Plasticity, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, using her applied mathematical background to investigate the mechanisms underlying memory formation in the brain.

    Associate tutors

    Claire Baker

    Claire Baker

    Claire is an experienced study skills tutor specialising in assignment planning, English for academic purposes, effective referencing, as well as experience in working with dyslexic students.

    Rehana Bari

    Rehana Bari

    Rehana is a tutor in maths and statistics who also works at the University of Reading's Mathematics Support Centre.

    Mark Bowers

    Mark Bowers

    Mark has been supporting Brookes students with study skills and assignment preparation since 2005. As a History undergraduate, he worked in an auction house, where he was instrumental in the rediscovery of the earliest surviving panel paintings in English medieval art. Working as a Senior Lecturer at Brookes for many years means that Mark is aware of the pressures felt by people enrolled on challenging programmes of study.

    Kate Buchanan

    Kate Buchanan

    Before coming to Upgrade, Kate worked for over 10 years as a dyslexia support tutor at Oxford Brookes and Oxford University. Outside work, she runs a reading group for vulnerable, low literacy prisoners at HMP Grendon; she also volunteers at Asylum Welcome teaching English. One of her biggest challenges recently has been training a rather lively cockapoo called Ella.

    Chantal Butchinsky

    Chantal Butchinsky

    Chantal has been working in study skills at Oxford Brookes for over five years. She is a social anthropologist whose specialist field is homelessness and space; she has taught a variety of undergraduate modules at Oxford Brookes and at Birkbeck College London, and currently teaches Anthropology of Space, Architecture and Landscape at Birkbeck.

    Kate Williams

    Kate Williams

    Kate has taught study skills for many years, during which time she also set up and ran Upgrade. In parallel, she has written a number of study skills books, each shorter and more succinct than the last. The Palgrave Pocket Study Skills series was her idea (size of a pocket!) and she is series editor and author or co-author of several in the series. Now semi retired, family remains a big part of life.

    Reception staff

    Chloe Arnold

    Chloë Arnold

    Chloë is a current student at Oxford Brookes, reading Law. She has recently undertaken a secondment in Missouri, carrying out research for the Missouri Death Penalty study, run by the Capital Sentencing Institute (CSI) and St. Louis School of Law. She aspires to become a barrister, specialising in the fields of Criminal and International Human Rights Law.

    Kate Duffy

    Kate Duffy

    Kate is a Ruskin graduate in Writing for Performance. She has worked on and off at Oxford Brookes for over twenty years. Kate currently works for two departments at Oxford Brookes: Upgrade and the Careers Centre. She also runs her own furniture painting business.

    Rachel Eyre

    Rachel Eyre

    Rachel is a final year undergraduate student, reading International Business Management. Following graduation, she hopes to work within the field of sustainability consultancy so she can pursue her interests as an environmentalist. She completed a summer internship within an organisation who advise businesses on how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and will be travelling to Asia in her inter-semester gap to work in a Gibbon sanctuary.

    Lauren Hall

    Lauren Hall

    Lauren is a current postgraduate student at Oxford Brookes, reading History. She is interested in disability history, particularly the cultural history of autism and disability under German socialism. In her spare time, she enjoys finding meaning in less useful endeavours such as running a blog about the TV show Twin Peaks and learning Esperanto.