Get the Ultimate Halloween Guide Today!

Academy of the Holy Angels Students Attend Tailor-Made Oxford University Course

Academy of the Holy Angels Students Attend Tailor-Made Oxford University Course

The students studied multiple subjects including medicine, psychology, and literature.

An adventurous group of students from the Academy of the Holy Angels recently spent a week at Oxford University’s Pembroke College and immersed themselves in a “bespoke” course— one tailor-made for them. This is the second spring the critical thinking course was offered. Both times, the curriculum was prepared by AHA English Department Chair Nancy Schneberger.

Schneberger envisioned the course while attending a 2017 Gilder Lehrman seminar at Oxford. She met James Basker, founder of the Oxbridge Academic Programs. He helped her network with Dr. Richard Michaelis, the executive director. Schneberger developed the curriculum, working with Michaelis to include visits to sites that would enhance the overall experience.

“I wanted the class to be cross-curricular, and to embrace a variety of subjects, so critical thinking seemed to be the most logical major course, with a minor in oral presentation skills,” Schneberger explained. “I wanted the girls to see themselves as global citizens and to become better and more careful consumers of information, along with growing in the ability to express themselves with authority.”

Each day, the girls spent 7.5 hours in classes. Activities were held afterward.

This year's scholars included Kristin Anderson of Cresskill, Natalie Andreoli of Wyckoff, Cielo Camacho of New Milford, Erin Choi of Cliffside Park, Kristina Gatto of the Township of Washington, Catherine Henry of Saddle River, Elizabeth Kim of Fort Lee, Sophia Luongo of Upper Saddle River, Judianne Meredith of River Vale, Audrey Miller of Glen Rock, Madison Oaten of Tenafly, Timea Papp of Hawthorne, Anjianie Perez of Hackensack, Kimberly Pienkawa of Demarest, Isabela Presti of Hasbrouck Heights, Jasmin Prophete of Holmdel, Areanna Pumayugra of West New York, Liliette Quintana of Midland Park, Kaya Simmons of West Orange, and Colleen Young of Secaucus.

Students who attended the 2018 program returned for classes in medicine, psychology, and literature. They are Nina Valente of New Milford, Julia Farah of Pearl River, Madelyn Holmes of Blauvelt, Nataleen Orangian of River Vale, and Paulina Yannitsadis of Fair Lawn.

“The campus itself was spread along the streets, and the architecture was like something out of my art history textbook," AHA senior Timea Papp says. "One night, we visited Christ Church for a musical presentation of J.S. Bach's ‘Saint John’s Passion,’ which was an incredible showcase of the acoustics of the church."

The students also visited the Bodleian Library and enjoyed tea in Jane Austen's home in Bath.

“One of the memorable parts of the trip was going punting on the Thames and almost getting stranded on the river!" Papp says. "We were rescued and now have a story to tell about how difficult it really is."

On her return trip to Oxford, Julia Farah studied organ systems, several diseases (including cancer), and treatment options.

"The classes I took both years engaged my mind in new ways," the AHA junior says. "The trip was unforgettable, the life experience due to my participation in the study abroad program was priceless, and the quality of knowledge I received was unparalleled.”


The Academy of the Holy Angels
315 Hillside Ave.