Skip Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Aissa Lynn Dearing

It’s really a make-your-own-adventure within the environmental space.

What made you decide to study at Oxford?

The people! The opportunity to study under world renowned scholars in their fields and alongside the brightest students in the world.

“The opportunity to study under world renowned scholars in their fields.”

How did you find the application process, and do you have any advice for others preparing to apply?

The application process was actually alot easier compared to US graduate programs. I would advise that to stand out, a personal statement that integrates your “why” (your story) and how you’ve already stood out in your desired field, has proven to be very powerful.

Why did you choose your course and what are your subject/research interests?

I chose my course because of its interdisciplinary nature — it’s really a make-your-own-adventure within the environmental space. I particularly have interests in the application of political economy and critical theories into solution building around environmental change. For my master’s dissertation, I am exploring how decolonial theory can be applied to understanding the concept of unequal ecological exchange. With this understanding, I hope to quantify impacts of colonialism, imperialism, and coloniality using the alteration of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem productivity in both the periphery and imperial core as metrics.

Did you specify a college on your application?

Actually, the Marshall Scholarship chose Oriel College on my behalf, understanding that my application would best align with placement at Oriel. I wonder why they chose Oriel for me…

“The collegiate system serves as a hub for community outside of your academic discipline.”

What do you think the benefits of the collegiate system are for postgraduate students?

I think the collegiate system serves as a hub for community outside of your academic discipline. Within your college, you get to interact with folks that may have similar underlying interests — even though they may study theology, literature, finance, history, etc

What do you enjoy about being a member of Oriel’s MCR community?

“Between second desserts and welfare teas… there’s always something to do.”

I enjoy the camaraderie from my fellow MCR members — they are some of my dearest friends at Oxford. Also, it seems like comparatively to other MCRs, Oriel’s MCR is particularly active. Between second desserts and welfare teas… there’s always something to do.

What do you like the most about being an Orielensis?

I love the tradition and legacy that comes with being an Orielensis — and how that legacy is currently being better understood, reckoned with, and ultimately changed for future generations.