Wolfson welcomes two CARA Fellows to college

Published on
Wednesday 14 September 2022

Thanks to the generosity of donors at our Giving Day in May, Wolfson welcomes two CARA Fellows to college this year.

In May this year, Wolfson held its first ever Giving Day, which was hugely successful thanks to the immense combined generosity of students, staff, and alumni.

Due to this success Wolfson is proud to announce that they have been able to award not one but two CARA Fellowships this year, enabling two academics at risk to continue their work within the safety of Wolfson.

Discussing the new arrivals, President Sir Tim Hitchen’s comments “We’re delighted to welcome our two latest CARA scholars to Wolfson College, Shaharzad Akbar from Afghanistan and Katya Kovalchuk from Ukraine. For the next two years we will provide a home and haven to them as they continue their work and studies. Wolfson has a long history of support to refugee academics, dating back to our original President, Isaiah Berlin, who fled the Soviet Union with his family in 1920, and found a home in Oxford.”

Shaharzad Akbar is a Wolfson Alumus who is currently Chairperson for Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission. She was previously Deputy National Security Council on Peace and Civilian Protection. Born in Jawzjan, Afghanistan, Shaharzad lived for a few years as refugee in Pakistan during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. In 2011, she completed an MPhil at Oxford University as a Weidenfeld scholar, making her the first woman from Afghanistan to complete postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.
Shaharzad has accepted our offer to join us fully funded with her family for the next two years. She will be giving a talk in the LWA in Michaelmas Term (click here to attend) and plans to continue her work on rebuilding a Global Afghan Human Rights NGO here in Oxford.

Katya Kovalchuk is a Ukrainian Byzantine Historian, who will be joining Wolfson as a visiting scholar for two years. Her research will focus on the ‘Memory of Religious Foundations in Byzantine Literary  Sources’. Speaking of her move to Wolfson Katya says “The peacefulness and serenity of Wolfson College strikes me as almost surreal. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be here, to continue my work on Byzantine foundation stories, to meet amazing people, and to find rest and security.”