First term highlights: an MSc student looks back at Michaelmas Term 2018

m martin

Mackenzie Martin is a Canadian Rhodes Scholar completing the MSc in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation (intervention stream). She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta. We sat down with Mackenzie to interview her about her experiences at Oxford and in the Department this term.

Why Oxford?

Mackenzie came to Oxford for a number of reasons, particularly she wanted to attend Oxford to learn from the experts in intervention research in our Department and to soak in the rich learning atmosphere that the broader University provides.

I chose this Department as the next step in my academic career because I am passionate about using research to make a difference in the community. When I was investigating different programmes around the world, this Department appeared to pair rigorous research with a genuine interest in advancing people’s lives”.

With Mackenzie’s community-based focus and her background as a teacher and human ecologist, she thought our Department would provide her with the knowledge and skills she needed to conduct high quality research to empower vulnerable populations.

Fortunately, she affirms that “the Department is exactly what I was hoping it would be”.

With respect to the University more broadly, Mackenzie thought that coming to Oxford would be like the learning that results from travel. The travel she has done, including research-related travel in Europe, Asia, and North America, has shown her the “value of cross-boundary outreach for the gathering, sharing, and synthesizing ideas. I thought attending Oxford would allow me to learn at a crossroads of generations and cultures – exposed to ideas and people from around the world”.

Michaelmas Term Highlights

When talking to Mackenzie, she exudes enthusiasm about her time in Oxford so far. She is enjoying the holistic and interdisciplinary learning environment provided by both the Department and her college. Furthermore, she is happy with what she is learning in her classes. 

When talking with others in the MSc programme, we’re amazed at how much we have learned in eight weeks. For instance, my way of thinking about research has shifted. I am gaining an ability to critically appraise the research I read - which will help me in conducting high quality research”.

For her MSc thesis, Mackenzie will conduct research on parenting interventions that reduce child maltreatment in low- and middle-income countries under the supervision of Professor Frances Gardner.