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Johnian magazine issue 52, spring 2024

Editor’s note

Written by Ellie Collingwood

1 min read

One of the things that makes me most proud to be a part of a collegiate community like St John’s is the power and determination of its members to make the world a better place. Whether that is achieved through supporting individuals directly, by challenging large-scale social and environmental injustices or simply by bringing joy to others, the value of their work is profound.

Mentoring and coaching others is an inherent theme in the articles of Tim Curtis – in which he reflects on the importance of having someone to guide you when you’re starting out – and Jane Cordell who tells us how empowering others to embrace their differences can benefit society as a whole.

This idea is mirrored in Katie Smith’s article where she explains that increasing women’s access to education brings economic and social benefits for their wider communities. Similarly, Prachi Acharya works at both national and local levels supporting populations impacted by disasters to effectively prepare for and respond to them through urban planning and policy. And, in the UK, Emily Bailey equips communities with information about how well their local police force and fire services are performing, and she advocates for the importance of clear language in her piece.

Another Johnian harnessing the transformative power of words is writer and director Emma Howlett,
whose article explores some of the plays she has written and staged during her career
. And, from creating theatre to making music, John ffitch shares how a life in computing brought him back to composing and performing music in his playlist article. Finally, we hear about the Beaufort Society members’ trip to see the portrait of St John’s College foundress Lady Margaret Beaufort currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

So, from mentoring and embracing difference to investing in communities and sharing the joy of great art, I hope that this issue of Johnian provides a snapshot of just some of the ways that Johnians have sought to improve the world around them.

PS Please email me your thoughts on the magazine and look out for more College updates and Johnian stories on our news pages and in our monthly alumni enewsletter.

The opinions expressed in Johnian magazines are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of St John’s College and the University of Cambridge.

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Ellie is the Publications and Project Manager at St John’s. As Editor of Johnian magazine and The Eagle and manager of the alumni blog, she project manages print and digital publications as well as commissioning, writing and editing their content. Ellie has previously worked in the Development Office at Darwin College and for a Heritage Lottery funded landscape partnership scheme in the Brecks. She holds a BA in History from Cardiff University and an MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies from the University of Cambridge (Clare College).

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