Meet the Upgrade team

  • On this page, you can meet the talented, creative, enthusiastic and welcoming people who make Upgrade work so well.

    If you are a member of staff wanting to explore how we can work in a joined-up way to help develop the student academic experience, then please get in touch. If you are a student interested in courses, tutorials, workshops or online resources that can help you reach your full academic potential, we would love to hear from you.

    Kevin Watson

    Kevin Watson

    Head of Department

    kevinwatson@brookes.ac.uk

    Kevin worked in study skills 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 a stint as the director of a museum.

  • Administration Team

    Joanna Baker

    Joanna Baker

    Upgrade Administrator

    j.baker@brookes.ac.uk

    Joanna joined the Upgrade team in December 2018. She studied BA International Business Management at Oxford Brookes University and has worked at Oxford Brookes since 2015. She has worked in customer service, hospitality and space planning.

    Cat Cook

    Cat Cook

    Upgrade Administrator

    ccook@brookes.ac.uk

    Cat joined the Upgrade team in December 2018. She studied an Undergraduate and Masters degree in Human Geography at Aberystwyth University and has over 7 years of customer service experience. In 2010, Cat swam the English Channel as part of a relay team in 15 hours and 24 minutes.

    Study Skills

    Kirsten Hall

    Kirsten Hall

    Study Skills Tutor

    kirstenhall@brookes.ac.uk

    Kirsten has been a Learning Development tutor since 2007, demystifying academia and facing students’ study challenges with them. Much of her experience is with mature students and she has developed a specialism in working with students with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. Research and English teaching have also been threads running through much of Kirsten’s career.

    Her coaching training informs her one-to-one work. Kirsten aims to enable the student to find their own best way forward, while offering tools or information where this may be helpful.

    Zephra Weber

    Zephra Weber

    Study Skills Tutor

    zweber@brookes.ac.uk

    Zephra joined the Upgrade team in 2018. She has ten years of experience teaching English as a foreign language and enjoys working with students from all over the world. She has lived and worked in several different countries and understands the challenges of adapting to a new culture.

    Claire Baker

    Claire Baker

    Consultant Tutor - Study Skills

    Claire is an experienced study skills tutor specialising in assignment planning, English for academic purposes, and effective referencing.

    Mark Bowers

    Mark Bowers

    Consultant Tutor - Study Skills

    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.

    Chantal Butchinsky

    Chantal Butchinsky

    Consultant Tutor - Study Skills

    Chantal has been working in study skills at Oxford Brookes since 2012. 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

    Consultant Tutor - Study Skills

    Kate has taught study skills for many years and set up the Upgrade Study Advice Service at Brookes. She now works part time. She is series editor of the Palgrave Pocket Study Skills series and author and co-author of several in the series.

    Academic English

    Martha O'Curry

    Martha O'Curry

    Senior Lecturer - English for Academic Purposes

    martha.ocurry@brookes.ac.uk

    Martha has worked at Oxford Brookes since 2013. She previously taught at Oxford Brookes International and in the School of Education teaching modules on the Pre-Masters, International Foundation, Applied Languages, and English Language and Communication programmes.

    Elaine Allender

    Elaine Allender

    Lecturer - English for Academic Purposes

    eallender@brookes.ac.uk

    Elaine has been teaching at Brookes since 2010 on in-sessional and postgraduate modules. Before coming here, she worked as a teacher and teacher trainer for 15 years. Currently, she is the module leader for Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching and Academic Writing for Business. She’s interested in helping students improve their academic English, particularly their writing skills.

    Jennie Cadd

    Jennie Cadd

    University Teacher - English for Academic Purposes

    j.cadd@brookes.ac.uk

    Jennie joined Oxford Brookes in 2012 and has taught on pre-sessional and in-sessional English for Academic Purposes modules. Previously she has taught in the UK and overseas and has also been an academic manager and teacher trainer.

    Stefani Goga

    Stefani Goga

    University Teacher - English for Academic Purposes

    sgoga@brookes.ac.uk

    Stefani joined the in-sessional Academic English team at Upgrade in January 2019. She has taught postgraduate and undergraduate Academic English for both in-sessional and pre-sessional courses in two other UK universities. Prior to that, she was an English language teacher for 10 years. Her particular interests are in developing students' understanding of academic texts in order to support their reading and writing skills and she has completed research on disciplinary diversity in academic essay writing.

    Ronni Thomas Osborne

    Ronni Thomas-Osborne

    University Teacher - English for Academic Purposes

    a.thomas-osborne@brookes.ac.uk

    After living and teaching English in Paris for two years, Ronni started teaching English for Academic Purposes on pre-sessional courses, which allowed her to work in many exciting and vibrant universities. She's been privileged to teach interesting people from all over the world, and feels she's learned as much from them as they have from her. She enjoys helping students to make sense of the conventions and requirements of British universities, and watching their confidence grow.

    Maths and Stats

    Catrin Radcliffe

    Catrin Radcliffe

    Associate Lecturer - Maths, Stats and Study Skills

     

    Catrin Radcliffe is an Associate Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics.

    Rehana Bari

    Rehana Bari

    Consultant Tutor - Maths and Stats

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