Student Ambassadors

The School of

Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History

Maintaining a tradition of teaching & learning dating back over 500 years

Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors are current PhD students within the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy. They come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, and each have had a unique experience at the University. These students are here to answer questions about what it is like to live in Aberdeen, how they find studying at the University, what convinced them to pursue their PhD in Scotland, and any other questions you may have about their study experience. Please direct any queries regarding admissions to

Yi Sang Patrick Chan: New Testament

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Aberdeen with emphasis in New Testament. My current Ph.D. dissertation is about the relation between shame and identity formation in the epistle 1 Corinthians in response to the needs of shame-based Chinese grassroots people. I started my Ph.D. studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California). After completing all the coursework and the qualifying exam, I switched to Aberdeen to continue my dissertation.

Before starting my theological education, I served as a campus minister for an international Christian organization for six years. Then, during my study at Fuller, I worked as a graduate teaching and research assistant for master-level courses. I also have a track record of pastoral leadership, having served as a pastor at a Mandarin-speaking church in California for five years. I was selected as a Langham Scholar and a scholar of ScholarLeaders International. I have presented at various academic conferences and have published articles such as in the De Gruyter Encyclopaedia. My calling is to see more Chinese people experience the fullness of God’s salvific message.

I enjoy playing basketball, hiking, watching movies, and any moment of quiet I can get from my 3 energetic kids. 

Email me
Heidi Djuve: Scandinavian Studies

I am a PhD candidate funded by the Elphinstone Scholarship Scheme at the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, where I also completed my Master of Letters in 2014. My current research project is based on a comparative approach to high- and late medieval Scandinavian prose discourses on the art of governance – or, as they are often referred to – ‘mirrors for princes’. My broader research interests include medieval political thought and philosophy, medieval literary criticism, and the development of statehood during the Scandinavian Middle Ages.

Email me
Lauren Larkin: Systematic Theology (Distance Learning)

I am finishing up my second year as a part-time/long-distance PhD student in systematic theology. I live in the state of Colorado in the United States where I am also a pastor of a church and a mom of three. I have two masters degrees (MDiv 2007 and STM 2011). The focus of my research is the work of Friedrich Gogarten, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Dorothee Sölle and the believer’s encounter with God in the vent of faith and her subsequent active political participation in society in terms of freedom and responsibility.

I have really appreciated my time studying at Aberdeen. The most significant feature I’d like to highlight and that means to the most to me is the way both the administration and the faculty make me feel seen and heard. I can truly say that I have received “grace upon grace” as I’ve had to face some significant personal and professional problems and needed to take time to do so. The administration and faculty not only made that possible but also never made me feel less or inferior for needing time. I’m more than happy to talk to you about this first-rate program.

Email me
Kelly McRae: History

Kelly McRae is currently a PhD student with The University of Aberdeen and the University of the Highlands and Islands under the supervision of Dr Alastair MacDonald and Dr Iain MacInnes.  Her work focuses on depictions of monarchy and governance in medieval and early modern writing across the Anglo-Scottish border.

Email me
Blake Middleton: Scandinavian Studies

I come to Aberdeen from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. I have a keen interest in early medieval Norse and Insular narrative literature. I have previously studied at Penn State University, obtaining my BA in Medieval Studies with a minor in English and at the University of Glasgow where I completed an MLitt in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, focusing on the supernatural within Icelandic sagas. I began my PhD at the Centre for Scandinavian Studies in 2013. My PhD project focuses on the Giants within Old Norse mythology, sagas, þættir and skaldic poetry.

Email me
Haley Turner: Art History

I grew up in Waco, Texas and received my bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture, and the Arts with a concentration in Museum Studies and a minor in history from The King’s College in New York City. I completed my master’s degree in Museum Studies here at the University of Aberdeen before transitioning into my current study in the school of History, Divinity, Philosophy, and Art History as a PhD candidate in Art History in the fall of 2021. 

My current research is looking into the medieval cult of St. Catherine of Alexandria in Western Europe and the ways that her image modelled the traits of the idealized woman during that time. 

I have found the University of Aberdeen to be the best learning environment that I have studied at. As someone with disabilities, I’ve found that my professors have always been understanding and accommodating, and that the university staff have always done their best to ensure that I have everything I need to do my best work.

Email me