The Department of Classics
News, events, and accomplishments from students, alumni, faculty, and staff
Follow GVSU Classics on Facebook. The Friends of Classics at GVSU group on Facebook (registration required) is "the (semi-)official site for alumni, alumnae, (alumna[?],) current students, friends, and casual observers of Classics at Grand Valley State University."
Click here for a listing of GVSU Classics-related video, multimedia, and podcasts.
The Department of Classics is featured in the Winter 2009 issue of GV Magazine. An archive of past GVSU Success Stories featuring Classics students is available.
We welcome your news!
Updated 4 September 2012
We welcome back Dr. Gwendolyn Gruber as Visiting Assistant Professor this year, as well as Dr. Mark Veldt, who will again be teaching the Ancient Religion course this Fall.
Profs. Barbara Flaschenriem (Fall 2012 only), William Levitan (2012-13), and Kelli Rudolph (2012-13) are on leave.
Alan Fleming '06, pursuing graduate study in Classics at Indiana University, has been awarded a Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship for 2012-2013 at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.
Prof. Charles Pazdernik has published "‘How then is it not better to prefer quiet, than the dangers of conflict?’: The imperial court as the site of shifting cultural frontiers," 99-111 in David Brakke, Deborah Deliyannis, and Edward Watts, eds., Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity (Ashgate 2012).
Dylan Moore '12 (Classics, German, Philosophy) writes about his experiences studying abroad at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS) in the most recent edition of Global Connections, produced by the Padnos International Center:
Had it not been for the generous funding of the Mark and Elizabeth Murray Scholarship from the Padnos International Center, the Benedetta and Giancarlo Galassi-Beria Scholarship Fund from the ICCS, and the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship from the U.S. State Department, I would have never been able to study abroad.
The fact that I was able to learn Latin and Greek, and what’s more go to Rome, is a testament to American democracy and the outstanding intellectual possibilities offered by Grand Valley State University. Not only did Grand Valley prepare me academically for this incredibly challenging program, it also helped me get the funding to participate through the Padnos International Center and the Office of Fellowships.
Dylan graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics, German, and Philosophy. He plans on attending law school this fall in Washington, D.C. and pursuing a career in international law.
Nicholas Maki '12 (Classics and Philosophy) is a recipient of the 2012 Glenn A. Niemeyer Student Award.
The Niemeyer Awards are the most prestigious academic awards presented by the University and are given annually at the Spring Awards Banquet to two faculty members, two undergraduate students and two graduate students (one full-time student and one part-time student).
These awards are named for Glenn A. Niemeyer who retired from Grand Valley State in Spring 2001 after thirty-eight years of dedicated service. He was a pioneer faculty member and served as the institution’s first Provost from 1980-2001. The Niemeyer Awards are a tribute to the high regard the University has for Dr. Niemeyer and to the many outstanding contributions he made throughout his career.
The Awards honor faculty and students who strive for excellence in all aspects of a well-rounded academic experience.
Nick plans to matriculate to the M.A. program in Classics at the University of Washington next fall.
Kelsey Jansen van Galen '09 writes: "I just wanted to let you all know that I've accepted an archivist position with CNN's archives in Atlanta! I will be starting at the end of May, and couldn't be more excited!
"The Classics gave me my starting point, and it's blossomed into a wonderful career path."
Kristen Goodwin '12 (Classics and History) writes: "after graduation, I will be entering the West Michigan work force at my current place of employment. I will be moving from an internship to full time employment at Member Advantage Mortgage in Ada."
Elizabeth "Betsi" Bryker '12 (Classics and Music) plans to attend the Robert H. McKinney School of Law at Indiana University next fall.
Jim Stray '12 (Classics) plans to attend the University of Minnesota Law School next fall.
Anna White is one of three students recognized as a winner of the 2012 Honors Freshman Paper Competition. Her third-place paper, "Exemplarity in Roman Culture as Applied to Brutus and Lucretia," is the product of her work in the Honors Classics World foundational interdisciplinary sequence.
On April 18, 2012, New York-based Aquila Theatre staged selected scenes from classical Greek poetry and drama at The Grand Rapids Public Library's Ryerson Auditorium in downtown Grand Rapids.
The program included selections from Homer's Odyssey, Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Sophocles' Ajax and Euripides' Herakles, under the theme "Stranger in a Strange Land: Encountering the Other."
Prof. Diane Rayor led a post-show discussion.
The performance was the culminating event in a series of community outreach activities organized by Prof. Rayor under the aegis of Ancient Greeks / Modern Lives: Poetry - Drama - Dialogue, a program funded by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
2012 Student Scholarship Day (SSD) presentations mentored by Classics faculty:
Andrew Lund (Mentor: Prof. Barbara Flaschenriem): "Power and Presages: Livia and Tanaquil as Readers of Omens"
Amber Strick (Mentor: Prof. Melissa Morison): "Iron Age Ceramic Technology: A Petrographic Approach"
Lauren Vignali (Mentor: Prof. Melissa Morison): "The Role of Women in Ancient Greek Cuisine: Conflicting Evidence from Art and Literature"
Hillery York (Mentor: Prof. Melissa Morison): "Exhibiting Holland's Legacy"
Megan Esparsa presented a paper, "Divine Inspiration as a Tactic of Resistance Against the Roman Order: Sicily, Spartacus, and Sertorius" (Mentor: Prof. Charles Pazdernik) at the 6th Annual Grand Rapids Honors Student Research conference, held at Calvin College on April 14.
Jonathan Langerak is a recipient of the 2012 Manson A. Stewart Scholarship, awarded by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS).
CAMWS is an academic organization that focuses upon the study of ancient Greece and Rome. Founded in 1905, it is the largest regional classical association in North America, covering thirty-two states and three Canadian provinces.
The Stewart Scholarship recognizes outstanding young classicists from colleges and universities in the CAMWS area. Each recipient will receive $1,000 to support his or her study of the Classics during the 2012-13 academic year and a year's membership in CAMWS itself.
Jon is one of six winners announced on March 31, 2012, during the 108th Annual Meeting of CAMWS, held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the third GVSU Stewart Scholarship recipient since 2009.
Also recognized in 2012 were students from Creighton University; Macalester College; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and Ripon College.
Jon is featured as a GVSU Success Story.
Profs. Peter Anderson and Charles Pazdernik were among twenty faculty members recognized as Faculty of Distinction by the GVSU Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society (ODK), which is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its founding this year.
Katie Oyama is the recipient of the Benedetta and Giancarlo Galassi-Beria Scholarship in the amount of $19,000. The award is in support of study at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome during the Winter 2012 semester.
Katie is featured as a GVSU Success Story.
Profs. Diane Rayor (Classics) and Karen Libman (Communications) have been awarded a GVSU Interdisciplinary Research Initiative grant in support of their collaboration on a project entitled “Translating Greek Drama for the Stage,” which will culminate in a Heritage Theatre Group production in July 2012 and a Cambridge University Press publication of Euripides’ Medea.
The web page of the American Philological Association (APA), the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and civilizations, features an interview with Prof. Peter Anderson, winner of the APA's 2010 Collegiate Teaching Award.
2011 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumna in Residence Brittany Hunter, Classics and Honors '08, addressed a capacity crowd in Kirkhof Center on October 27:
"You Majored in What?"
How my liberal arts degree led to my high-tech dream career.
Brittany made her first website when she was 13. It was purple and it had sparkles and ponies. It was around that time that she decided she wanted to design software.
A 2008 GVSU Honors graduate, she received the B.A. in Classics with an emphasis on both ancient Greek and Latin -- a background that sometimes elicits comment in her line of work. Yet her training in Classics has proven to be anything other than a drawback as her career has progressed from employment as the website coordinator for a Grand Rapids-based international nonprofit organization, to work as a developer on the GVSU Webteam, to her current position at the nationally recognized software firm Atomic Object.
Brittany credits her success to the intense training she received in critical thinking, rhetoric, and language while learning about the Greco-Roman world at GVSU. In combination with her love of visual design, this preparation enables her to respond to the needs of clients by comprehending complex business domains and effectively communicating difficult concepts in understandable, usable, visually beautiful ways.
Outside of work Brittany spends a lot of time riding, training, and taking care of her three horses; on weekends she competes with them in local dressage competitions. During the school year, she enjoys teaching violin lessons and tutoring high school Latin. She also dabbles in photography, blogging, cooking, and gardening.
Tiffany Korican has been named a Fellow of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies' Cook Leadership Academy. A major in History and in Latin Secondary Education, Tiffany is a founding member and past president of the Grand Valley Disability Advocates and vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.
We welcome Dr. Gwendolyn Gruber as a Visiting Assistant Professor this year. Dr. Gruber completed her PhD in Classics at the University of Iowa in 2009, and her research interests include ancient philosophy, early Greek science, epic literature, and etymology.
Professors Diane Rayor and Kelli Rudolph are on leave in 2011-12.
Dylan Moore has been named a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar by the U.S. Department of State.
A nationally competitive award, the Gilman Scholarship supports U.S. undergraduates studying abroad.
Dylan will study in Rome at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS), of which GVSU is a member.
Dylan, who is presently studying in Munich, writes:
First of all, Munich is absolutely beautiful. I live right next to the Englische Garten (the largest metropolitan park in the world), the city is full of magnificent architecture, and I can see the Alps from my balcony!
There are also world class museums here including works like Albrecht Dürer's self portrait, Van Gough's Sunflowers, and a collection of Roman sculptures that is quite impressive (standing in a room with busts of Plato, Aristotle, Homer, and Alexander the Great, then reading a section of Agammemnon while looking at a sculpture of a fallen hero of Troy was quite an afternoon).
Prof. Kelli Rudolph has published "Democritus' Perspectival Theory of Vision," Journal of Hellenic Studies 131 (2011) 67-84.
April Conant '09 writes that she has enrolled in the Masters program in Library and Information Science, with an ambition to complete the Archival Administration and Records and Information Management certifications, at Wayne State University in the Fall.
Classics major Kristen Goodwin has been featured for her work in organizing a newly-planted community garden in Wayland, MI.
Adam Bowers '07 writes that after graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary with an M.Div. in 2010 and relocating to Atlanta, he recently started his own Social Media Management and Consulting firm for churches, nonprofits, and businesses called Adam Bowers Media:
“My education from GVSU Classics is integral to the work I do every day. The critical thinking skills and facility with language I developed in Classics has helped me immensely. Writing daily blog posts and communicating effectively on a variety of levels with a variety of people requires exacting command over the English language. I keep saying that I never really learned English until I learned Greek and Latin!
"My only regret is that I did not spend more time with ancient rhetoric while in GVSU Classics. The art of writing and speaking persuasively is so valuable, and I would encourage others to spend more time with it if they can.”
Follow Adam and Adam Bowers Media at www.adambowersmedia.com.
Mark Beckwith '11 has accepted a position as a Latin instructor at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire.
Joshua Congrove '02, GVSU's first graduate in Classics, successfully defended his dissertation at Indiana University on May 2. Congratulations, Dr. Congrove!
Amanda Sinning '07, a Project Coordinator in the Healthier Communities Department at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, writes that she will pursue a Masters degree in Public Administration at GVSU in the Fall:
My concentration will be Health Administration, which should serve me well at Spectrum Health. I am especially looking forward to Health Care Law and Ethics, as well as the other courses that delve into the moral side of the medical field.
Melanie Coughlin '10 writes:
Since coming to the University of South Florida [as an M.A. student in Applied Anthropology] I have been working with the Office of Sustainability as a Sustainability Fellow. Aside from managing social media and promoting the office at events all over the Tampa Bay area, I have been enlisted to assist in a number of event planning and media design projects. In addition to greatly enhancing my knowledge on how to live a sustainable lifestyle and promote “going green,” I have had opportunity to use the fabulous skills I gained serving the Classics Society! It’s true!
Hannah Gaff (Classics and Theatre '08) writes:
I started a theatre company called bangarang theatre company in San Francisco this past October! We are currently performing our "Super Sexy San Francisco Street Show" on the pier here and looking toward our next major project, which will likely be "Oedipus Wreck'd: a Clown Tragedy."
Kelsey Jansen van Galen '09 writes that in May she completed a Masters degree in Library and Information Science at Wayne State University:
I will be completing my Certificate in Archival Administration this summer at two different institutions. I will be at the Walters Art Museum archives in Baltimore for six weeks, processing the collection of Dorothy Hill, who was the museum's first curator of Ancient Art, so right up my Classics background alley!
I will also be completing a two week intensive internship with the Freer-Sackler Galleries Archives, also known as the Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art! I'm very excited, and wanted to share my news with the department that started it all!
Tricia Augustine '06 writes that she graduated from the Tufts University Museum Studies Certificate program in May and currently is working in the Special Events Department of the Children's Museum of New Hampshire.
Loretta Lanning (Classics and Music '08) writes that she graduated from Central Michigan University with an M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy:
I am moving to Lansing in August to start my music studio. I had an amazing two years at Central, and will possibly continue my piano studies at Michigan State next year. Central does not have a classics program, but I did meet the history professor there who teaches the only two levels of Latin they offer. It is funny how I discovered those classes there; I found a crumpled up Latin I exam in the hallway, complete with a grade of C+.
Classics major Katie Oyama writes:
I'm going to be in Grand Rapids for the summer, working with the SOL Program at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan as a Summer Youth Team Leader. The SOL Program is short for Supporting Our Leaders, and it enrolls students from the the areas around the center where there are issues with gangs. Its main focuses are preventing teens from entering gangs, encouraging academic success (drop out prevention), and helping the kids get on the right track for college.
Cambridge University Press has published Sophocles' Antigone: A New Translation, by Prof. Diane Rayor.
Devin White '08 has been admitted to the Ph.D. program in Religion at Emory University, where he previously completed the M.T.S. in Biblical Studies.
Following his graduation in December, S. Scott Schupbach '10 and his wife Wendi embarked upon a Mediterranean adventure commencing, as it happened, in Cairo, where the Tahrir Square demonstrations were gathering steam.
Now returned to this hemisphere after additional stops in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, the couple plans to return to their adventure tourism business in Alaska for the summer.
Scott will then matriculate in the M.A. program in Linguistics at the University of Montana, where he plans to work on indigenous and endangered languages.
Jonathan Hatter '10 has been admitted to the M.A. program in Early Christian Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Anne Groton, Secretary-Treasurer of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) writes:
Many thanks to everyone, especially our wonderful colleagues at Grand Valley State University and Calvin College and the other dedicated volunteers and members of the local committee, who helped make the 107th Annual Meeting of CAMWS in Grand Rapids a "grand" success! The 457 attendees enjoyed high-quality service at the Amway Grand Plaza and not just one but two on-campus receptions. It was an honor to have Mayor George Heartwell personally welcome CAMWS to the city.
Dean Fred Antczak of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences received the CAMWS Award for Special Service, which honors contributions to the promotion of Latin and Classical Studies.
In announcing the award, Dr. Alice Sanford, chair of the steering committee, stated: “glowing examples of your initiatives provided such supporting evidence that some of us longed to join you at GVSU, while others longed to send you our students.”
Three GVSU alumni presented papers.
Joshua Congrove ‘02 (Indiana University): “Caritate consensio: Cicero, Christianity, and the Transformation of Friendship in Augustine.”
Charles T. Ham ‘06 (University of Pennsylvania): “Calendar and Cosmos: The role of Janus and lis in Ovid’s Fasti.”
Kate T. Allen ‘08 (University of Michigan): “Staging a Deception: The Manipulation of the Stage in Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus.”
See pictures and more details in the CAMWS Newsletter.
Profs. Peter Anderson (Classics) and Robert Adams (Computing and Information Systems) have been awarded a GVSU Interdisciplinary Research Initiative grant in support of their collaboration on a project entitled "Prokope: Digital Commentary for Intermediate Latin Learning."
Dylan Moore, a triple major in Classics, German, and Philosophy, will be spending the year studying abroad at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich and at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome with support from a Mark A. Murray Scholarship.
Classics major Betsi Bryker, who is studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome, sends pictures from a visit to Athens and writes: "I'm having an amazing time in Rome, and can't wait to tell everyone about it!"
Donna St. Louis '10 has completed the post-baccalaureate program in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania and accepted a position as a legal administrative assistant at a Philadelphia law firm. She plans to work for a while prior to resuming graduate studies in Classics.
The Department of Classics and GVSU's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, with the generous support of Provost Gayle Davis, welcomed distinguished classicist W. Robert Connor to campus on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22-23.
Speaking before an overflow crowd at the Eberhard Center downtown on Tuesday evening, Dr. Connor asked, "What happened to the future?" -- pointing out that, whether it is the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 or the more recent global economic crisis and ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, all too often we find ourselves blindsided by events.
His lecture, subtitled "Lessons from ancient Athens on leadership and its limits," suggested that the ancients were under no illusions about living in a world of radical indeterminacy and prized adaptability and preparedness over pat solutions and over-confident projections.
Also very well-attended was the respondents' panel on Wednesday afternoon in Kirkhof Center in Allendale, where Dr. Connor was joined by Polly J. Diven (Political Science and International Relations, GVSU); Paul Isely (Economics, GVSU Seidman College of Business); and Jonathan R. White (Interdisciplinary Studies, Meijer Honors College, and Homeland Defense Initiative, GVSU).
See Dr. Connor's lecture (streaming video courtesy of the Hauenstein Center).
Brittany Hunter '08 has joined Grand Rapids software developer Atomic Object as an Application Designer.
She writes: "We'll be implementing some truly groundbreaking practices for this industry, and without a doubt, my education in Classics has endowed me with a superior ability to succeed in these endeavors--and believe it or not, I think my new boss recognizes it too."
Prof. Peter Anderson and Latin Secondary Education major Mark Beckwith have published "Form-Focused Teaching for the Intermediate Latin Student" in the journal Teaching Classical Languages.
Prof. Diane Rayor is a recipient of the 2011 Glenn A. Niemeyer Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.
The Glenn A. Niemeyer Awards, named for the first Provost of Grand Valley State University, honor faculty and students who strive for excellence in all aspects of a well-rounded academic experience.
Classics, represented by Prof. Charles Pazdernik, prevailed over seven other academic disciplines in being selected for the last available seat on a life raft ferrying survivors of a hypothetical global cataclysm to an uncertain future in GVSU's first-ever Life Raft Debate in Cook-DeWitt Center on February 28.
Nick Maki has been invited to deliver a paper, entitled "Beyond Pleasure: Plato and the Good," at the Western Canadian Undergraduate Conference of Philosophy at the University of Victoria, British Columbia on March 12. The paper is an outcome of independent undergraduate research supervised by Prof. Kelli Rudolph.
Read about Nick's report about his experiences on the GVSU Office of Undergraduate Research of Scholarship (OURS) website.
Tiffany Korican has received the Heart and Soul Award for Outstanding Student Service from the Michigan Campus Compact, which recognizes undergraduate and graduate students for their time, effort, and personal commitment to their community through service.
Prof. Kelli Rudolph has been appointed to a post-Doctoral research fellowship, tenable at the University of Oxford, to work on a project entitled Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies. The project is hosted by the Faculty of Philosophy and supported by the European Research Council.
Latin Secondary Education major Mark Beckwith has been selected as the Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Secondary General Education department of GVSU's College of Education.
Prof. Peter Anderson has been named a 2010 recipient of the American Philological Association (APA) Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level.
Founded in 1869, the APA is the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and civilizations.
In citing Prof. Anderson's accomplishments, the award committee noted:
We are honored to recognize Professor Anderson’s distinguished record of teaching, his scholarship on Latin pedagogy, and his work on Latin teacher education in the state of Michigan with the APA’s 2010 Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level.
Prof. Diane Rayor has been selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities Program Scholar for the Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives program:
Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives places live theatrical events, reading groups and lectures in cultural institutions to inspire people to come together to read, see, and think about classical literature and how it continues to influence and invigorate American cultural life.Aquila Theatre, the Urban Libraries Council, the American Philological Association, the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University and the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies are guiding this program traveling to 100 public libraries, museums, galleries and art centers across America focusing on veteran, inner-city, rural and underserved communities. Programming will occur from September 2011 to April 2013, and will be built around Greek drama and how its themes resonate today.
In Winter 2011 we welcome Dr. Rudolf Pörtner of the Technical University of Dresden as a visiting faculty member. Dr. Pörtner is a specialist in Medieval Latin and will teach a special topics course, CLA/HST 380 Carolingian Society and Culture.
We welcome back Prof. Peter Anderson and Prof. Barbara Flaschenriem.
Dr. Rachelle Brooks of Northwestern University, the principal investigator for the Teagle Assessment Project, in which the GVSU Classics and Political Science departments are taking part, reported on the interim findings of the study at the University Assessment Conference at the Eberhard Center on January 7.
H3: HOMERathon3, the third epic running of GVSU Classics' signature event, featured a non-stop performance of Homer's Iliad in Cook-DeWitt Center on October 5-6. The HOMERathon welcomed campus luminaries, including President Thomas Haas, and concluded with a performance by poet and translator Stanley Lombardo before a capacity crowd in Cook-DeWitt auditorium.
Prof. Peter Anderson has been invited to attend the sixth annual Commentary Writers Workshop at Georgetown University in October.
Prof. Diane Rayor has been recognized as Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, by Colorado College, her alma mater.
Devin Lagasse writes:
During the summer of 2010 I spent the month of July in Durham, a small, beautiful city in the UK, doing an archaeological excavation in nearby Binchester.
The Binchester excavation project is a joint project between Stanford University and Durham University which has been excavating a Roman fort and the attached settlement, the vicus, at Binchester since the summer of 2009. I learned about the physical labor, processes, research, and some of the theory that goes into an archaeological excavation, as well as about the history of the Roman occupation of Britain and its aftermath. Fieldtrips included places like Bamburgh Castle, Piercebridge Roman Bridge, Vinovium, Wall’s End, and the small town of Lindisfarne.
The experience was a valuable learning and cultural experience as well as fun and full of incredibly interesting, lovely people. Going abroad is an adventure I would definitely recommend to everyone!
Tim Flanders '10 has accepted an AmeriCorps position with CampFire USA, which mentors and tutors at-risk youth in the Grand Rapids Public Schools.
We welcome Dr. Mark Veldt as an instructor in the Fall 2010 term. Profs. Peter Anderson and Barbara Flaschenriem are on leave.
Renee Mayes '09 writes that she has returned to Michigan from Virginia in order to take up a job teaching Latin in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. See the story in the GVSU Lanthorn.
Prof. Barbara Flaschenriem has published "Rescuing Cynthia: Dream and Commemoration in Propertius 2.26," in Classical Philology.
Kelli Rudolph and Dunstan Lowe were married on July 24 in Cambridge. Congratulations!
Donna St. Louis has received the 2010 Niemeyer Student Award.
The Niemeyer Awards are the most prestigious academic awards presented by the University. They are named for Glenn A. Niemeyer, who served as the institution’s first Provost from 1980-2001. The Awards honor faculty and students who strive for excellence in all aspects of a well-rounded academic experience.
The criteria for the award state:
Students selected for the Niemeyer Award are well-rounded individuals with demonstrated excellence in both the classroom and extra curricular activities. [...] Students excel in the classroom and demonstrate a joy of learning as part of a community of scholars. Along with intellectual achievements, students will participate in activities outside the classroom that will serve to enrich their lives and the lives of others.
Donna will matriculate to the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mark Beckwith has received the 2010 Meijer Honors College Award for Excellence in Collaborative Research.
Mark collaborated with Prof. Peter Anderson to take research on the cognitive constraints affecting acquisition of language, and Latin especially, and to shape into it a practical pedagogy.
This marks the third consecutive year in which a Classics major has been recognized for an outstanding Senior Honors project, and the second consecutive year in which Prof. Anderson has supervised such a project.
Mark will be working on completing the student teaching components of the program in Latin Secondary Education next year.
Andy Lund is one of six recipients of the 2010 Manson A. Stewart Scholarship, awarded by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS). Each winner will receive $1,000 to support his or her study of the Classics during the 2010-11 academic year. Other recipients were from the Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of Texas.
This marks the second consecutive year in which a GVSU Classics student has been so recognized.
Andy has been featured as a GVSU Success Story.
Rachel Hull will matriculate to the University of Illinois College of Law in Urbana-Champaign.
Melanie Coughlin will matriculate to the Masters Program in Applied Anthropology and Public Archaeology, with a Concentration in Cultural Heritage Management, at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Prof. Melissa Morison is the recipient of a 2010 Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Association. The award of $5,000 will support her research on the Kenchreai Project in Greece this summer.
James Kennedy '09 writes:
I have officially decided to attend Notre Dame for law school. We're very excited [...]. Our baby is due in the middle of May--we don't know yet whether it's a boy or a girl, so we have names picked out for either. The names are a surprise--but we're sure that the faculty will be glad to hear that there is classical influence in the name we picked, though sadly, Penelope was ruled out as 'an old lady's name'. We are really looking forward to moving to South Bend next year.
Alumna Brittany Hunter '08 appeared as a panelist in a discussion, organized by the Future Alumni Association (FAA), on recent graduates who have succeeded in the working world: "5 Under 25 - Learn From Those Who Came Before You."
Melanie Coughlin reports on behalf of the Classics Society about the fifth annual Greco-Roman Banquet:
The Greco-Roman banquet was an astounding success this year! Everyone in the club came together really well and worked really hard to make this event a success. Catering did an astounding job with the food, and with the help of Student Life we were able to decorate the Thornapple room really nicely.
We had the traditional speech giving everyone the background on the food. This year we also had music, thanks to the Scientists of Sound, and a talk on the recreated linen armor and weapons that were used during the Gladiator Games.
The games were a huge hit! We pulled additional competitors from the onlookers, and everyone faced off using the armor and foam weapons and then were judged by the crowd. Of course, our Commodus [who bore a striking resemblance to Prof. Peter Anderson] was compelled to fight and won the final battle.
Everyone seemed to have a good time, which will be really good for the future of the club. I was so impressed by the work everyone did and really proud of everyone for their hard work!
Prof. William Levitan is featured in the 25th annual Spring Lecture Series of the Institute for Medieval Studies of the University of New Mexico, the theme of which is "Love in the Middle Ages." His lecture, "Heloise and the Passions of Reason," focuses upon the afterlife of the celebrated love affair between Heloise and Peter Abelard and the ways in which they have been understood and represented in later centuries.
Five members of the faculty (Anderson, Lowe, Pazdernik, Rayor, Rudolph) presented papers at the 106th annual meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) on March 24-27 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
GVSU and Calvin College are co-hosting the 107th annual meeting, to be held in Grand Rapids on April 6-9. Follow the planning on Facebook.
Classics major Jennifer Folkerth presented a paper, entitled, "Memory's Catalyst: Nature in Sappho's Poetry."
Alumnus Alan Fleming '06, now in the PhD program in Classics at Indiana University, presented a paper, entitled, "The Perversion of Nature in the Slavery of Seneca's 47th Letter."
A standing-room-only crowd attended a lecture on March 1 by Dr. Joseph Stumpf, entitled, "Roman Holiday: Travelers and Tourists in the Roman Empire." Dr. Stumpf is a specialist in the socio-economic phenomenon of tourism and pilgrimage in the ancient world and teaches in the Dept. of History and Political Science of Montgomery College, Maryland.
Lauren Janicki and Donna St. Louis have appeared in print as co-authors of a parody on Homer, set to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," which was originally composed off-the-cuff during the first HOMERathon in 2007. Subsequently revised, it has merited publication in The Classical Outlook, the official journal of the American Classical League and the most widely circulated Classics journal in North America.
Jaclyn Binder Wakefield '08 writes:
I continue my interests in ancient archaeology and architecture but have also developed an increasing interest in American Vernacular Architecture, a young and growing field that is very active here at the UW[isc.-Madison]. I spent this past summer in Madison participating in a field school that researched and drew arguably the oldest houses in Wisconsin (a mere 175 years old!). [...] I have continued this year to work as a project assistant [...] preparing for an exhibition opening in Istanbul next month on Lydian culture[...].
I will be finishing up my MA next winter [...] and will continue here at the UW in the Art History program as a part of the newly form[ed] Building-Landscapes-Cultures PhD track which works jointly with UW-Milwaukee and their architecture program. This allows me to continue my interests in ancient architecture while allowing me to explore American Vernacular in a more academic setting.
I hope everything in Allendale (and Grand Rapids) is going swimmingly!
Dean Anczak has expressed appreciation to Prof. Peter Anderson, Ben Knight, and Donna St. Louis for their contributions as members of the Grassroots Inclusion Taskforce (GrIT) in producing the Inclusion Plan for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: "their service will result in an increasingly vibrant and inviting environment for all of the extended GVSU community."
Prof. Charles Pazdernik has published “Paying attention to the man behind the curtain: Disclosing and withholding the imperial presence in Justinianic Constantinople,” in Bodies and Boundaries in Graeco-Roman Antiquity, Thorsten Fögen and Mireille Lee, eds. (De Gruyter. 2009) 63-85.
Prof. Diane Rayor has contributed translations of sixteen poems, including two published for the first time, to The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present, ed. Peter Constantine et al. (Norton, 2009).
Kelsey Jansen Van Galen '09 has been awarded a Graduate Student Assistantship providing full support while she completes the Masters in Library and Information Science program at Wayne State University.
Prof. Charles Pazdernik has published "'The trembling of Cain': Religious power and institutional culture in Justinianic oath-making," in The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity, Andrew Cain and Noel Lenski, eds. (Ashgate, 2009) 143-54.
Jennifer Folkerth has been invited to deliver a paper, entitled, "Memory's Catalyst: Nature in Sappho's Poetry," at the 106th Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), 24-27 March 2010 at the University of Oklahoma.
Brittany Hunter '08 writes that she has "some fantastic news":
"[L]ast week I was offered (and accepted) a position at GVSU! Starting the 14th I'll be working for the GVSU Webteam doing design and programming. [...Among other perks] I'll be able to get out to Allendale once in awhile on 'business' and you can bet I'll be a frequent visitor to the Classics suite whenever I'm in the area :)"
On November 18-21 Jenison High School mounted a production of Sophocles' "Antigone" directed by Todd Avery and based upon Prof. Diane Rayor's new translation. Anna White, daughter of GVSU English Prof. Brian White and sister of GVSU Classics alumnus Devin White '08 played the title role.
The Department of Classics hosted its third annual Classics Program for Teachers on Saturday, November 14. Profs. Peter Anderson, Charles Pazdernik, and Diane Rayor led workshops on mythology and history for area secondary school teachers. Dean Fred Antczak offered welcoming remarks.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has recognized Brigette Frantz '03, Esq., as a Distinguished Alumna-in-Residence for 2009-10.
The CLAS Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence Program provides a venue for departments to invite outstanding alumni back to campus to share their post-graduation experiences with the GVSU community.
Brigette is Associate General Counsel for Ethics in the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in Falls Church, Virginia. In this capacity she provides training and guidance on the Standards of Conduct for Executive Branch Employees and the Rules of Professional Responsibility to EOIR personnel, including immigration judges and Board of Immigration Appeals staff attorneys.
A native of Muskegon, Michigan, and a member of the Michigan Bar, she earned the B.A. magna cum laude in the Classical Tradition and in English Language and Literature in 2003. An Honors College graduate and recipient of GVSU's Award for Excellence and Faculty Scholarship, she was named the Outstanding Student in the Department of Classics in 2003.
More than fifty persons attended Brigette's presentation, "Perspectives on Law, Ethics, and the Classics," in Kirkhof Center on October 15.
Prof. Diane Rayor was honored as one of nine GVSU Presidential Service Learning Scholars for 2009-10.
Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Prof. Rayor's work in this area includes mythology workshops she organizes in local schools that involve participants in HNR 300 Classical Mythology.
Kristen Rewa (née Heise) '06 has graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, passed her Bar Exams, joined the Grand Rapids City Attorney's Office, and gotten married -- not necessarily in that order.
Molly Ruberto (née O'Connor) '04 writes to say hello: "I am really glad to be back in touch with everything that is going on over there in Lake Huron Hall. I found the community section of your web page and was really excited to find out what everyone has been up to."
"Studying Classics imbued in my person an approach to the world and its challenges that has brought me success and appreciation in my endeavors. And even, in times of seeming dysfunction, a saving grace - a sense of unease in falling short of the work-ethics and standards of humanity that were instilled in me as a student of the Classics."
Renee Mayes '09 - the first student to complete GVSU's Latin Secondary Education program, started in 2004 - writes that she has taken up a position as a Latin instructor at Millbrook High School in Frederick County, Virginia:
"After graduating from Grand Valley [...] I interviewed with five different schools, had on-site interviews with two schools, and got three job offers - two of the schools offered me positions just based on my phone interview. The district where I accepted my current position had two different openings, but I impressed both schools so much that they both wanted me and I got to decide which position I wanted in the district. I am currently teaching Latin I-Latin III/IV at Millbrook High School at Frederick County Schools in VA. I really love the area and the students at my school."
Adam Bowers '07 recently paid a visit to the dept. suite. Adam will presently be entering his final year at the Princeton Theological Seminary and spent the summer working on his ordination exams.
Sara Simon '08 has joined the University Libraries as a Technical Specialist in Electronic Resources.
Jaclyn Binder Wakefield '08 writes: "I just wanted to say hi quickly. Everything in [U. Wisc.-]Madison is going swimmingly. I found my niche and I love it here. [...]Hope everything at GVSU is going well. I miss you all dearly!
Tricia Augustine '06 has been accepted to Tufts University's Museum Studies graduate certificate program.
We welcome Dr. Dunstan Lowe as a visiting professor this year. Prof. Lowe is on leave from the Department of Classics at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. His interests include Latin Poetry and the reception of Classics in popular culture, especially videogames.
Prof. Barbara Flaschenriem is on sabbatical leave in 2009-10, working on a project on dreams and verbal description and visualization in Latin elegy.
Jennifer Willard '06 writes: "I wanted to let you know I made full librarian -- I'm a full-time youth librarian in a little community called Chesterfield, over north of Detroit. Hope all is well in the Grand Valley community!"
Renee Mayes and Jack Gavin have announced their engagement.
Prof. Charles Pazdernik has published "Fortune's laughter and a bureaucrat's tears: Sorrow, supplication, and sovereignty in Justinianic Constantinople" in Tears in the Graeco-Roman World, ed. Thorsten Foegen (de Gruyter 2009).
Nearly five hundred hearty souls braved late April sunburn (!) and preternaturally warm temperatures to attend the world premier of Prof. Diane Rayor's new translation of Sophocles' Antigone, to be published by Cambridge University Press.
The play was produced by the Classical Theater Workshop under the direction of Prof. Karen Libman (who also composed the original music for the production) and staged in the outdoor performance space of the new Niemeyer Living and Learning Center. (See the feature that ran in the GVSU Lanthorn here and the story from GVNow here.)
Profs. Charles Pazdernik and Kelli Rudolph joined scholars from around the country in contributing papers to a conference on "President Barack Obama and the Lessons of Antiquity" organized by GVSU's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies on April 16 and 17. (See the feature that ran in the GVSU Lanthorn here.)
Brett Barnhart '03 is featured in the "Making a Difference" segment of the Grand Rapids Press for his work as a volunteer and docent at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.
"I am a learning junkie," he is quoted as declaring in the piece. "What's the point of living this life if you can't experience it?"
Kate Allen '08 will pursue a PhD in Classics with fellowship support at the University of Michigan.
Kate has also been recognized with the 2009 Outstanding Honors Senior Thesis Award for her work on a Renaissance edition and commentary on Martial's epigrams, supervised by Prof. Peter Anderson.
This marks the second consecutive year in which a Classics major has received this award.
April Conant '09 has accepted a summer internship at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Timothy Flanders will study Arabic at the American University in Cairo while working in disadvantaged communities there.
Caitlin Kelly will be trenchmaster at the Poggio Civitate excavation at Murlo in Italy this summer.
Music major and Latin minor Emily Kramer '09 will pursue a Masters degree in Music Composition at Bowling Green State University.
On April 10 she presented a lecture-presentation on the compositional process, entitled "Origo Mundi - The Beginning of the World - with text from Ovid's Metamorphoses," with guest narrator Prof. William Levitan.
The Classics Society reports that the fourth annual Roman Banquet was a success:
"The menu, prepared by Classic Fare Catering on campus, consisted of chicken with olives, honeyed mushrooms, cabbage salad, and olive relish, with plenty of bread to go around. Melanie Coughlin provided background on Roman food and dining customs to place the event in a cultural context, and Emily Kramer favored the company with a modern rendition of Roman music on her saxophone before the meal.
"Guests were also treated to a sneak peek of Sophocles' Antigone by Ben Knight, a performer in the production, who took the form of Tiresias the prophet. Tim Flanders and Scott Schupbach closed the evening by bringing Homer to life, encouraging the audience to sing a portion of the Odyssey in Greek, in meter and melody, to the accompaniment of Tim on guitar and Scott on Djembe.
"Warm thanks to everyone who participated this year. The Roman Banquet is a yearly event and all members of the Grand Valley community are welcome to attend next year's Banquet!"
See the feature that ran in the GVSU Lanthorn here.
Prof. Peter Anderson has been named a Liberal Education Academy Associate for 2009-10.
The Liberal Education Academy (LEA) aims to increase the number of Grand Valley faculty who apply the principles of liberal education in meaningful ways in their teaching, thus also contributing to the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Participating faculty benefit by enhancing their teaching and being recognized as a teaching expert by their colleagues. Students benefit by a richer learning experience.
The Liberal Education Academy (LEA) is co-sponsored by the Pew FTLC, the Center for Creative and Scholarly Excellence, and University Libraries.
The Classical Theatre Workshop's production of Prof. Diane Rayor's new translation of "Antigone" is featured in the April 2009 issue of CLAS Acts, the monthly newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (scroll down from the link).
2009 Student Scholarship Day presentations by Classics students and/or on classical topics:
Stage Directions in Sophocles' Antigone
The City of God Amid the Fourth Century Christian Revolution
Laws of Heaven: A Mythopoetic Project
The Daughter of the Sun in Indo-European Mythology
Transgender & Transsexual Tendencies: The Societal Impact of Loki's Gender Transgression & Exploration
The Metamorphosis of Orpheus
Roman Heavy Cavalry: A Misjudged Maneuver?
Genetics and the Indo-European Homeland Problem
Kristina Venlet (panel)
Using GIS to Optimize Plant Diversity & Habitat Suitability
Loretta Lanning (Classics and Music '08) writes: "I will be going to Central Michigan [beginning next year] for an M.M. in Piano performance and pedagogy. They have also given me an assistantship, so I am all set. The professors there were very impressed that I had been a Classics major!"
GVSU's first Classics major, Joshua Congrove '02, has completed his qualifying exams in the PhD program in Classics at Indiana University and is working on formulating a dissertation proposal.
Congratulations to 2009 Phi Kappa Phi inductees Timothy Flanders, Lauren Janicki, and Donna St. Louis. Receiving special recognition were first-year students Drake Parker and Megan Smith.
Donna St. Louis has been designated a 2009 Student Summer Scholar.
Erika Brandt writes that she will studying abroad in Egypt this summer.
Jaci Binder Wakefield '08 writes: "I wanted to share the news that I had an abstract accepted at the "Transmission, Translation, and Relocation" conference at Indiana University in March. I will be presenting a paper related to my Honors senior project last year, entitled 'The Divisive Nature of the Greek Revival in the Upper Midwest.' I am very excited (and very nervous)! I am also working on an online gallery for a class pertaining to the Grand Tour and Romanticism. Again, I am very excited (not so nervous for this one)."
We warmly congratulate Renee Mayes, who recently passed her teacher certification examinations in Latin and History.
Melanie Coughlin writes:
I recently was offered and accepted an internship at the Muskegon County Museum. Next fall, I will be spending time with the curators of the different departments of the museum learning the skills necessary to keep a museum going. Some of the skills I will be learning include how to organize and catalogue artifacts, care for and organize documents, set up exhibits, and get historical information to the public, including working with children. The experience will culminate in my assembly of a display case within the museum. I am really excited because it is my first step towards what I ultimately want to do with my Classics and Anthropology degrees.
She *likewise* writes:
I just got accepted to the Project Roatan Archaeological field school in Honduras! The Professor in charge of the program said I had a wonderful application and I just wanted to reiterate how thankful I am to all the help I got from the department in setting this up!
We applaud Dr. Kelli Rudolph, Assistant Professor of Classics, for successfully defending her dissertation, Reading Theophrastus: Reconstructing Democritus' Physiology of Perception, at the University of Cambridge.
Prof. Peter Anderson is a winner of the Pew Teaching Excellence Award for 2009.
We welcome back Prof. Melissa Morison from her sojourn in Greece, where she spent the Fall 2008 semester conducting research on ceramics excavated from a cult site in the ancient city of Corinth; Prof. Peter Anderson will spend the second half of the Winter term as a Tytus Visiting Fellow at the University of Cincinnati.
Prof. Morison spoke with WGVU's Shelley Irwin on her recent archeological experiences in Corinth and the new archeology minor at GVSU.
From the desk of Dean Anczak in the most recent CLAS Newsletter:
Meanwhile, our students continue to do us proud. [...] Michelle LeMieux should probably be named student spokesperson on time-to-graduation -- this Classics and Biomedical Sciences double major studied abroad and will be graduating in a total of 8 semesters, and those on the Dean's List.
Michelle will be starting at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine - her first-choice school - at the end of June as a member of the class of 2013.
See Michelle's GVSU Success Story.
Congratulations to midyear graduating seniors Kate Allen '08 and Ben Sparks '08.
News from the faculty:
Prof. Diane Rayor has signed a contract with Cambridge University Press to publish her translation of "Antigone." Plans are underway to produce the new translation at GVSU and to use the experience of production in the final polishing of the text. The Classical Theatre Workshop will present the play 16-18 April. Hear the podcast of Prof. Rayor's interview with WGVU's Shelley Irwin about her work.
Prof. William Levitan's Abelard and Heloise: The Letters and Other Writings (Hackett 2007) was recently reviewed: "Obviously, this will be a marvelous teaching text, and it deserves to enliven the syllabi of many, many courses. But it will also energize scholars... Perhaps most fruitfully, Levitan's fresh translations administer a series of productive shocks to the system. Nothing looks or sounds the same."
Prof. Peter Anderson has been offered a contract by Hackett Publishing for a book project on Seneca (a translation of select dialogues).
Sara K. Simon '08 writes:
"Greetings from Japan. I am currently living in Morioka, in the northern prefecture of Japan. We are at the base of the active volcano Mt. Iwate, so I often find myself thinking of Pompeii while I stay here.
"I am teaching high school English. My years of learning a second language are certainly coming in handy. I wanted to thank you and let you know how we grads are keeping ourselves occupied.
"P.S. Still studying languages: Latin and Japanese."
GVSU has been selected as a field test site for the new Michigan state certification exam for Latin teachers. Over the last couple of years Prof. Peter Anderson has been participating in Lansing on developing the criteria and test item questions.
The resurgence of Latin instruction in secondary schools was the subject of a recent feature in The New York Times.
THE HOMERathon RELOADED on October 17 was a great success, from the early morning invocation of rosy-fingered dawn, through the celebratory noontime diskobolia (i.e. "frisbee toss") from the Carillon tower, to Stanley Lombardo's transfixing performance of Odyssey book nine in Cook DeWitt auditorium, and on through the afternoon and evening to the concluding pizza party at 10:30 PM, followed by the afterparty at Niemeyer Living & Learning Center.
"Congratulations to Classics on an epic Homerathon that drew many passers by into the fun, and filled Cook DeWitt auditorium for translator Stanley Lombardo."
--Dean Fred Antczak, CLAS
Photos (and video?) to come!
Contributions by the Department of Classics are noticed throughout the Quadrennial Report of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 2004-2008 ([link], [link]: see pp. 8-9, 12, 14, 17, 21), including a full-page feature on the Bronzecasting project.
Loretta Lanning '08, who graduated with a double major in Classics and Music (our first!), writes that she has a studio of twenty-five private piano students and also teaches Latin, music, writing, and speech in various schools and co-ops all over the greater Grand Rapids area. She appreciates the versatility and the growing marketability of her Classics Degree, and is looking forward to graduate work.
"Here is a link to my school's page where it talks about the Faculty. I am excited! I am Faculty! I didn't even write it!"
Kelsey Jansen Van Galen writes from the Eternal City, where she is studying this year:
"As you know...I will not be able to attend [this year's majors/minors/friends of Classics event]. =( But I send my best to the Classics department and Majors/Minors/Friends. Roma is wonderful, and I can't get enough of it. I begin my on site Ancient Rome Architecture class tomorrow, and I'm very anxious. That's all for now. Also, my blog and photo websites are listed in my facebook profile under 'websites.' Hope all is well with you!"
An update from Jaci Wakefield (née Binder) '08:
"Hi! I wanted to shoot you an email to let everyone know how i am doing here at grad school. We didn't start classes until after labor day, so i am still getting into the swing of things. My classes are all very different from the classes i am used to taking in the CLA dept. I have a course on German Art from 1900-1945, which first peaked my interest in Prof. Levitan's capstone course, as well as a course on Frank Lloyd Wright that is going to take up two semesters (clearly, i am in my element in this course!). I also have a Methods and Research class that every new grad student is required to take. I have heard numerous comments from other students on the course load, but to be honest it seems equal to if not less than what we read in capstone! In fact, it is very similar in layout to capstone, with weekly readings and presentations. I feel very prepared for this course after experiencing capstone[.... I am] re-reading suetonius and *gasp* tacitus on my own (are you happy Prof. Anderson?) :-D My PA-ship [...] is going really well. I will be working with a database for [...] Sardis, in Turkey, as well as some chronology on Lydian Pottery.
Other than that, newlywed life is great. My husband and I are adjusting well to new surroundings and a new household! So, to say the least, i will be very busy this year, but i am to assure you that no amount of architecture and pottery will make up for the lack of a great department office and potlucks!!! I miss you all very much and please keep in touch!!!"
We welcome Ms. Kelli Rudolph as the Department's seventh full-time faculty member.
Prof. Melissa Morison will be on leave in Fall 2008 and abroad in Greece reevaluating artifacts excavated from the site of ancient Corinth.
Prof. Peter Anderson will be on leave for part of Winter 2009 working on a commentary on Seneca's De Constantia Sapientis as a Margo Tytus Visiting Fellow at the University of Cinncinati.
Aaron Rozeboom '08 and Meghan McDonough were married on August 30 in Grand Rapids. Those attending included Prof. William Levitan, Ginny Klingenberg, and Devin White '08.
Brittany Hunter '08 has confirmed rumors about a recent promotion: "I am now Acton Institute's full-time Website Coordinator. At the moment things are quite hectic as I transition into my new role. And it still feels a bit strange not to be buying books and going back to school next week! All in all things are very good."
Jaci Wakefield (née Binder) '08 writes: "just an fyi...things are great. the wedding was perfect, the honeymoon in hawaii was amazing, and the move to madison was exhausting :-D we have been here for almost 2 months and i am beyond anxious to start classes [...]. I hope things in the department are awesome. Give everyone my best [...] :-D"
Devin White '08 writes: "I recently learned that I'll be a TA for the classics dept. at Emory this fall [...]. Just thought I'd pass along that bit of good news.
"I trust all is well at GVSU as you prepare for the fall semester. Please say hello to whoever happens to be around the department."
Classics major Kate Allen has been invited to deliver a paper, entitled, "'What's that smell?': Odor in Martial's Epigrammata," at the 88th anniversary meeting of the Southern Section of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS-SS), 13-15 November 2008 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Kate has been featured as a GVSU Success Story.
Classics and Anthropology major Melanie Coughlin writes:
"I spent six weeks in Rome studying at John Cabot University. I took two classes: Ancient Rome and Its Monuments and Politics and Power in Roman Architecture from Augustus to Mussolini. While I was there some of the topics I more deeply looked into were the Roman triumph and triumphal arches as well as the reign of Augustus and his contributions to the ancient city.
"I spent countless hours exploring the city since both my classes were on site to the point that I could give directions to monuments off the top of my head, and I spent a ton of time learning more about Italian culture. I had taken some Italian before so I worked on my comprehension skills while I was there. Basically I had a really great time and there were just so many things I did and saw that it would take forever to talk about them all!!!"
Prof. Diane Rayor was an invited participant this summer in the fifth annual Paros Symposium of Conversation and Translation, named for the Greek island on which it is held:
The Paros Symposium was founded by Susan Gevirtz and Siarita Kouka in 2004 to foster translation and exchange between Greek and Anglophone poets, translators and scholars. We meet annually to translate our own poetry or that of other poets, discuss the cultural circumstances in which we work, and to give readings. While our focus is on translation, working to bring Greek poetry into English and vice versa, we also envision a forum in which a diverse group of artists with different aesthetics and linguistic repertoires can engage in generative conversation.
The Department has been invited to participate in a study, sponsored by the Teagle Foundation in New York, that seeks to examine and document the development of undergraduate student outcomes - specifically, critical thinking and post-formal reasoning - in Classics and other disciplines.
GVSU's 2008 Accreditation Self-Study Report cites (vol. 1, p. 133) the second-year Latin course as one of three examples that "illustrate the innovative and creative courses available to stimulate Grand Valley students' learning":
A professor of classics structured the second-year Latin course to enable students of varying abilities and levels of previous preparation to participate fully. The course description of this approach to teaching Latin is described [by Prof. Peter Anderson] in "The Classical Journal" (2004).
GRK 101-102 alumnus Anthony Meyer writes:
"I just finished a summer class, 'Exegesis in Hebrew Poetry,' at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. It was phenomenal. Hebrew poetry, probably similar to Greek poetry, throws a lot of the normal or 'narrative' grammatical rules out the window!... so interpretive issues are prevalent. We also did alot of textual criticism, so knowing classical Greek to read the LXX [the Septuagint or ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures] was very helpful.
"Right now I'm in a class - 'Greek Exegesis of Ephesians.' So again my exposure at GVSU to the classical world has been invaluable for understanding background and lexical issues.
"Thanks for all your hard work!"
Six GVSU undergraduates - Kate Allen, Lauren Janicki, Kelsey Jansen van Galen, Ben Knight, Emily Kramer, and Katrina Peschka - attended the Feminism and Classics V conference at the University of Michigan on 8-11 May in the company of Profs. Charles Pazdernik and Diane Rayor, all of whom enjoyed the hospitality of Telluride House in Ann Arbor.
Hannah Gaff '08 will attend the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California.
Devin White '08 will be pursuing a Master of Theological Studies degree with support from The Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.
Jaclyn Binder '08 writes, in response to a query about her plans for graduate school in art history and archaeology: "definitely wisconsin :-D i have officially accepted my spot there [...] so it is all set :-D i will be working [at an archaeological] site in Sardis [Turkey...] every summer. we are very excited!"
Brittany Hunter '08 has accepted a position with The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids.
She writes: "I feel that my liberal arts education and particularly my Classics degree have been of vital importance [...] with regards to my having been hired for the position[.... T]he small sizes of my classes (which necessitated active participation) and the frequent in-class presentations I was required to give really prepared me to speak my mind and interact comfortably during my interview. The frequent and lively discussions I had with my classmates as well as opportunities for collaborative learning were valuable precursors to interactions in the workplace, and because of them I am able to interact easily, confidently, and respectfully with my fellow employees and superiors."
Katherine Erdman '07 writes that she has accepted an offer of funding for graduate study at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she will be matriculating in the fall.
Classics and Theatre major Hannah Gaff was recognized with the 2008 Outstanding Honors Collaborative Project Award for The Furies Project, her adaptation and production of Aeschylus' Oresteia, supervised by Prof. Ian Borden.
A paper detailing the project was presented at the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) meeting in November of 2007. This paper has been published in a journal specializing in theatrical translation, The Mercurian 1 no. 3 (Winter 2008) 166-175.
Classics major Devin White was recognized with the 2008 Outstanding Honors Senior Thesis Award for his grammatical commentary on selections from the original Greek text of St. John Chrysostom's Discourse on the Blessed Babylas Against the Gentiles, supervised by Prof. Charles Pazdernik.
Caitlin Kelly writes that she has been accepted to the Poggio Civitate archeological field school, through the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Franklin College in Switzerland. "The focus is on a building complex that includes one industrial structure, the only Orientalizing multi-functional workshop currently known, one residence, and one (possibly) religious structure. It is one of the best preserved and most thoroughly excavated Etruscan sites in existence."
"As part of the program I will spend about 10 days as a trench master in training, and then I will be given my own trench to excavate for the rest of the season. This season runs from June 14 to August 1st."
The "Lost Wax/Found History" bronzecasting project is featured in the April issue of CLAS Acts, the monthly newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
Put very plainly, over the last year, in a project titled Lost Wax/Found History run by professors Melissa Morison and Norwood Viviano, students of Classics and Art & Design volunteered to make, by recipes ancient and modern, bronze statues in the classical style. In the process, something special happened. [Click and scroll down to continue reading...]
Professor Julie Hruby has accepted a tenure-track position at Berea College. We wish her joy - and we'll miss her.
Presentation titles from Student Scholarship Day 2008:
"Abelard and Heloise: Voyeurism in 18th and 19th Century Art," Amanda Thompson (Prof. William Levitan, advisor)
"Clementia in Cicero's Pro Ligario," Aaron Rozeboom (Prof. Peter Anderson, advisor)
"PARRHESIA in the Thought of John Chrysostom," Devin White (Prof. Charles Pazdernik, advisor)
"Stoic Lekta and Chomsky's Super-rules," Donna St. Louis (Prof. Peter Anderson, advisor)
"The Symbolism of Food in Roman Myth," Melanie Coughlin (Prof. Melissa Morison, advisor)
"Translating Cultures: Bridging the Ancient and Modern through Transadaptation and Performance," Hannah Gaff (Prof. Ian Borden, advisor)
Congratulations to Mark Beckwith, who has been inducted into the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.
A capacity crowd of more than eighty persons attended a lecture by Prof. Michele Valerie Ronnick of Wayne State University, entitled, "The Origins of Black Classicism," in Kirkhof Center on 25 February 2008. (The lecture had been originally scheduled for 6 February but was postponed due to inclement weather.)
Prof. Ronnick's work aims to recover the dialogue between African Americans and Classics, particularly in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as part of the rapidly expanding study of African American writers and artists and the Classical Tradition.
The lecture was sponsored by the Department of Classics, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the African/African American Studies Program. It was presented in conjunction with the photo exhibit, "Twelve Black Classicists," which ran at The Red Wall Gallery in Lake Ontario Hall throughout the month of February.
Nathan Langerak '03 has been ordained and installed as pastor in the Protestant Reformed Church in South Holland, Illinois.
Prof. Julie Hruby has been awarded a grant in the amount of $12,130 by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory for a project entitled, "Plainware Pottery from the Palace of Nestor at Pylos."
Prof. Peter Anderson is the recipient of a Margo Tytus Visiting Fellowship awarded by the University of Cincinnati for 2009.
Prof. Anne Groton, Secretary-Treasurer of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), writes in a letter of 31 January 2008:
I am delighted to be able to report to you that the Executive Committee of CAMWS has accepted the joint invitation from GVSU and Calvin College to host the 107th Annual Meeting of CAMWS, April 6-9, 2011....
I am sure that the five hundred Classicists whom we expect to attend the conference will be as impressed with your beautiful facilities as I was.... Since our attendees come from all over the United States and Canada, it will be a prime opportunity for both institutions and both Classics departments to showcase their excellence.
Prof. Charles Pazdernik and Miriam Aukerman announce the birth of their younger daughter, Cara, on 29 January 2008. Big sister Thea is overjoyed.
Senior Classics and Theatre major Hannah Gaff received a Certificate of Merit from the American College Theater Festival/Kennedy Center for her directorial staging of The Furies in the December 2007 Performance Studio Series. Gaff, whose work on the play was supported by a 2007 Summer Student Scholar (S3) grant, received her award at the regional ACTF/KC Festival in Milwaukee in January, 2008.
The third annual Roman Banquet was a success. The Classics Society was grateful to have the assistance of Professor Morison and the students from her Issues in Classical Archaeology class, who researched and prepared every dish. Thanks to their efforts, the guests at the Banquet enjoyed Parthian chicken, Alexandrian squash, and honeyed mushrooms, among other delicious samples of Roman cuisine. As an authentic Roman experience, the guests were each assigned a role in the Roman political hierarchy, from the Emperor to plebeians, and learned how even a Roman's diet reflected his status. The evening was graced with the musical performances of Mark Martin on violin and Devin Starr on clarinet, and poetry readings by Chris Hooker, Donna St. Louis, and Professor Flaschenriem.
The Classics Society would like to thank everyone involved in making the night such a hit, and extend an invitation to next year's Banquet!
--Donna St. Louis
Well over one hundred persons attended a lecture by Prof. Richard K. Dunn, entitled "Athens vs. Persia, 490 BC: Geoarchaeology and the Battle of Marathon," on November 15. The event was sponsored by the Departments of Classics and Geology and the West Michigan Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.
The talk involved the latest important new thinking about the ways in which the physical context of that seminal battle may be reconstructed, and the victory of the Athenians understood. It was part of the regular series of AIA lectures, which this year focuses upon interdisciplinary connections -- in this case, among Archaeology, Classics, and Geology.
The Department's occasional series of Classical Fora (aka Classical Sundays) continued on November 4 with a presentation (originally scheduled for last February but delayed by snow) by Prof. John Quinn of Hope College, entitled, "From Slavery to Master of Arts: Juan Latino, Classicist and Poet."
Born in Africa and taken to Spain as a slave, Juan earned the Bachelor's degree from the University of Granada in 1546 and a decade later was awarded the Master of Arts. (The honorific "Latino" attests to his abilities in Latin.) Appointed in 1556 to the Cathedral School as master of grammar, Juan Latino thus became the first professional classicist of African origin whom we can name.
On Nov. 1-3 the Departments of Classics at GVSU and Calvin College welcomed Prof. Anne Groton of St. Olaf College, who was visiting in her capacity as Secretary-Treasurer of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS).
Faculty and students of the Department of Classics gathered for refreshments and an informal get-together on October 11.
The event featured a talk by Distinguished Alumna-in-Residence Kristen Heise '06, presently a second-year J.D. candidate at the University of Michigan Law School, about "Succeeding in Law School the Classics Way."
A paper by Katie Erdman '07 has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal (Ancient Near Eastern Studies), to appear in 2009. She previously presented this work, mentored jointly by Profs. Mark Schwartz (Anthropology) and Melissa Morison (Classics), at the national meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in April 2006, and later won an award for best undergraduate paper (an expansion of the same project) at the Central States Anthropological Society meeting in April 2007.
Brigette Frantz '03 writes that she has moved from Atlanta to northern Virginia and is an attorney in the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge in Falls Church, VA, which is the office that guides and administers the immigration courts throughout the country.
The Honors Classical World Greek pottery project is featured ("Urn to Learn") in the October 2007 issue of CLAS Acts, the monthly newsletter of the Dean's Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Pictured in the article are (top to bottom) Classics/Biomedical Sciences major Michelle LeMieux, Prof. Diane Rayor, and Classics major Deanna Gallo.
Adam Bowers '07 writes (with relief) that he has passed his Greek qualifying exam at the Princeton Theological Seminary and extends his best wishes to everyone back at "the Valley."
"Life and Death at a Port in Roman Greece: The Kenchreai Cemetery Project 2002-2006," by J. Rife, Prof. Melissa Morison, A. Barbet, R. Dunn, and D. Ubelaker, has been published in Hesperia 76 (2007): 143-181.
Amanda Sinning '07 writes that she has accepted a position in Spectrum Health's Urban Health Department in downtown Grand Rapids: "I really appreciate all of the support and good wishes [...], and I want you all to know that I believe wholeheartedly that my experience at Grand Valley and with the Classics Department has made me what I am now, and helped me obtain this offer."
Kristen Heise '06 has transferred to the University of Michigan Law School as a second-year J.D. candidate.
The Department welcomes Dr. Julie Hruby as a visiting professor this year. On leave will be Profs. Charles Pazdernik (in Fall '07) and Melissa Morison (in Winter '08).
The Department has been authorized to conduct a search for a seventh full-time tenure-line faculty member and is seeking a candidate with interests in philosophy. This search continues the growth we've experienced since the founding of the Department in 2000 with three faculty members and demonstrates the strong and continuing support of the administration for Classics at GVSU.
The inaugural year of the Summer Latin Program, organized and led by Prof. Peter Anderson, involved Latin secondary school teachers from Michigan and Indiana in a three-day program focusing intensively upon Cicero's Pro Archia in connection with the AP Latin curriculum. The event featured a keynote address by Professor John Gruber-Miller of Cornell College and included presentations by Profs. Melissa Morison and Charles Pazdernik and by students from the summer's LAT 380 Intensive Latin course.
Prof. William Levitan has published Abelard & Heloise: The Letters and Other Writings (Hackett, 2007).
More than fifty persons, including alumni Brett Barnhart, Eric Smith, and Sarah Winchester, attended a May 5 reading and book signing at Schuler Books & Music in Grand Rapids organized by Prof. Roger Gilles of the Writing Dept.
From May 28 until June 8, Prof. Charles Pazdernik will be leading a cruise to Sicily and Italy organized by the Harvard Alumni Association.
Katie Erdman '07 will be joining Prof. Melissa Morison in a multi-institution archaeological excavation this summer in Kenchreai, Greece. This is the fourth year that a GVSU Classics major has taken part in this project, for which Dr. Morison is the ceramic artifact analyst.
In 2006, this project garnered one of only three permissions for American excavations in Greece for 2007-2009.
Dr. Adam D. Blistein, Executive Director of the American Philological Association (the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and civilizations), writes in a letter of 1 May 2007:
While we are, of course, encouraged by the success of [other Classics programs that have been established in the last ten years], no other new program (in fact, no Classics program that we know of) has grown as quickly as yours has.... Obviously, you are offering instruction that meets the needs and interests of many different kinds of students.
Your success is an inspiration to the entire field of Classics, and we are confident that it will continue.
Students from CLA 275 "Ancient Drama" performed a staged reading, organized by Prof. James Wells, of Plautus' The Haunted House on April 20 in the Performing Arts Center.
The Department of Classics has been awarded two (out of a total of twenty) 2007 Student Summer Scholars (S3) grants.
Hannah Gaff will be working with Prof. James Wells on a theatre workshop that applies modern performance techniques to Aeschylus' Furies and that will result in performances on 7-9 December 2007.
Devin White will be working on a grammatical commentary on John Chrysostom's Discourse on the blessed Babylas against the Gentiles with Prof. Charles Pazdernik.
Crystal Daining '07 will be beginning graduate study at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
On April 13 and 14, the Classical Theatre Workshop (CLA/CTH 479), under the direction of Prof. William Levitan and Prof. Karen Libman, presented a mainstage production of Seneca's Oedipus, adapted by Ted Hughes, in Louis Armstrong Theatre.
Congratulations to Kate Allen, Adam Bowers, Aaron Rozeboom, and Amanda Sinning, who have been inducted into the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Prof. James Wells has accepted a position at Hamilton College. We wish him well in his new position!
The Department's first-ever Homerathon, a non-stop reading of Homer's Iliad, took place over more than twenty-four hours in Cook-Dewitt Center on March 29 and 30. Participants included President Thomas J. Haas, Provost Gayle Davis, Dean of CLAS Fred Antczak, Dean of Students Bart Merkle, and Dean of CoIS Wendy Wenner, plus faculty and students too numerous to mention here.
The event concluded with a performance of the twenty-fourth and final book by poet and translator Stanley Lombardo of the University of Kansas.
Classics major Kate Allen will spend Fall 2007 in Rome at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies.
Classics major Jaclyn Binder will join the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for its 2007 Summer Program.
On Friday, March 23, 2007, Dr. Thomas Kohn of Wayne State University presented a lecture, entitled, "Three's a Company. Four's a Crowd: The Use of Four Speaking Actors in Senecan Tragedy" in 103 Loutit Hall.
Classics majors Jeffrey Adams and Aaron Rozeboom have been named 2006-07 McNair Scholars.
Eric Smith '03 writes:
"i am now the director of the library in ontonagon. [...] i get to do it all, here. order books, preview books, read books and magazines [...]. i have been sneaking some personal choices into the stacks when no one is looking: studs terkel's giants of jazz, sue staffaucher's doughnuthead (my board members love that book already), marilynne robinson's gilead (that book is my new favorite), art speigleman's maus... haven't bought fagle's aeneid yet. its expensive, wha!
"jody is the county four-h director. i still can't tell you what the four hs are [...].
"lucas is a precocious little child, as everyone expected. the other day he absolutely insisted i read him don quixote. this is a true story. what made him pick it off my shelves is beyond me, maybe the horse on the front? anyway, i sort of humored him but he just kept wanting more and more. so we're reading don quixote now [...].
"our biggest news is that we are expecting another little baby, probably in october. this is brand new info! so we're really excited."
Scott Rumpsa '07 writes that he is preparing for a career focusing upon modern history and international relations. "My favorite courses and professors at GVSU can all be found within your department. I studied a challenging discipline, and learned a new perspective from which to approach the world. Classics (in and out of translation - if that motivation stays) will remain something I read and study for pleasure and insight."
Congratulations to Classics major Adam Bowers '07, who has been accepted to the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Snow postponed, but could not deter, a staged reading of Aristophanes' Women at the Thesmophoria by the students of CLA 275 "Ancient Drama," under the direction of Prof. James Wells, on December 6 at the Performing Arts Center.
Classics and Music major Loretta Lanning performed Beethoven's little-known folksong arrangements in Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall on November 29.
The Department's ongoing series of Classical Fora (aka Classical Sundays) continued in Fall 2006 with presentations on tomb paintings and funerary ritual.
On October 15, Dr. Kenneth Bratt of the Department of Classics at Calvin College discussed his work on "PaleoChristian Tomb Paintings of Thessaloniki in their Classical Context."
Our own Dr. Melissa Morison followed on November 12 with a report on continuing excavations in Greece: "Funerary Ritual at Ancient Kenchreai: Artifacts from the Roman Cemetery."
Brigette Frantz '03 has graduated cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. She writes, "I will be the new Judicial Law Clerk for the US Dept of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Atlanta (and Philadelphia) Immigration Courts.
"That's just a really long way of saying I'll be writing decisions for the Immigration Judges in the Atlanta and Philadelphia Immigration Courts. But I always like to throw in that Dept of Justice stuff; it makes me sound more important than I really am."
Alan Fleming '06 has begun graduate study in Classics at Indiana University.
Charles "Ty" Ham '06 has begun graduate study in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Kristen Heise '06 has begun legal studies at The Dickinson School of Law at Penn State. She writes, "I love and I miss my Classics classes. I hope everyone is doing well, and that the Classics suite is just as warm and friendly and enlightening as ever."
Click here for a conversation with Kristen on her impressions of law school.
Becky Hetjonk '06 has been accepted by the graduate program in Classics at the University of Missouri-Columbia and plans to begin study next year.
Jennifer Willard '06 writes, "I am attending Wayne State University for my Masters of Library Science [and] working at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, in the Philosophy, Religion, and Education department. There isn't much mythology in our section, but maybe when we do the merges they're talking about, we might end up with some of my favorite texts!"
Fall 2006 marks the first time that all six tenure-line faculty of the department have been together in the same place. We also welcome back Prof. James Wells as a visitor this year.
The Department of Classics at GVSU has been featured in an editorial on the future of liberal education published in the online journal Inside Higher Ed by W. Robert Connor.
Connor writes that "with some creativity and determination liberal education can flourish":
Here's one example of what I mean. In 2000, as part of a larger initiative to strengthen undergraduate liberal education, Grand Valley State University, a growing regional public institution in western Michigan, decided to establish a classics department. Through committed teaching, imaginative curriculum design, and with strong support from the administration, the department has grown to six tenured and tenure track positions with about 50 majors on the books at any given moment. Most of these are first-generation college students from blue-collar backgrounds who had no intention of majoring in classics when they arrived at Grand Valley State, but many have an interest in mythology or in ancient history that has filtered down through popular culture and high school curricula. The department taps into this interest through entry-level service courses, which are taught by regular faculty members, not part timers or graduate students.
Prof. Melissa Morison has published "Romanisation in southern Epirus: A ceramic perspective," in TRAC 2005: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Birmingham 2005, ed. Ben Croxford et al. Oxbow Books, 2006.
Cheri Cornell '02 writes, "I've been working for the Kent District Library since graduating from GVSU. I'm crazy about my job, which consists of pawing over while trying not to drool onto all of the new materials that are delivered to the library's Service Center."
Prof. Peter Anderson has published "Martial 1.29: Appearance and Authorship," in Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 149 (2006) 119-121.
Outgoing interim dept. chair Karen Libman and returning dept. chair Diane Rayor collaborated on a production of "Metamorphoses: The Play" by Mary Zimmerman. The production, directed by Libman, was staged by the Heritage Theater Group at Spectrum Theater in Grand Rapids. Rayor served as dramaturge. The play is modeled after Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Prof. Melissa Morison is the recipient of a GVSU Research Grant-in-Aid for summer 2006. The grant is in support of ongoing excavations at Kenchreai in Greece.
Prof. Charles Pazdernik has published "Xenophon's Hellenica in Procopius' Wars: Pharnabazus and Belisarius," in Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 46 (2006) 175-206.
Students from CLA 275 "Ancient Drama" embraced the challenges of bringing ancient voices alive in a staged reading, organized by Prof. James Wells, of Aristophanes' Birds on April 11, 2006, in Cook-Dewitt Auditorium.
The exhibition "Echoes of the Ancient World: Adaptations of the Classical Tradition" ran from January 9 through March 31, 2006 at the University Art Gallery. The exhibition was a collaborative effort by students and faculty from the departments of Classics and Art and Design. More...
On January 19, 2006, Prof. Nancy Ramage delivered a lecture, entitled "Pots, Gems and Books: Sources for 18th Century Artists," at Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall.
Prof. Ramage is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Arts at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She has published extensively on ancient and Italian Renaissance Art. Among her many honors, Ramage is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in London and an Academic Trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Classics major Aaron Rozeboom has been named a 2005-06 McNair Scholar. The McNair Program is designed to prepare participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. The program is named for Dr. Ronald E. McNair, one of the seven astronauts who died in an explosion aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.
Prof. Melissa Morison is featured in the Fall 2005 edition of Grand Valley Magazine. The article is entitled, "Classics Professor Links Ancient Artifacts and Modern Art."
On October 21, 2005, a standing-room-only crowd of almost three hundred in the Cook-DeWitt Auditorium witnessed world-renowned storyteller Odds Bodkin as he wove afresh the oldest story in western literature for GVSU students. More...
Classics welcomes Prof. Karen Libman as interim department chair for 2005-06. We also welcome, as visiting faculty members for 2005-06, Dr. Patrick Hogan and Dr. James Wells. Profs. Charles Pazdernik and Diane Rayor are on leave for 2005-06.
A collection of essays edited by Ellen Greene, Women Poets in Greece and Rome: New Critical Essays (University of Oklahoma Press, 2005) includes contributions by two members of the Department:
"The power of memory in Erinna and Sappho," by Prof. Diane Rayor;
"Sulpicia and the rhetoric of disclosure," by Prof. Barbara Flaschenriem.
Crystal Van Oss, a double major in Classics and History, worked in summer 2005 on an archaeological dig near Corinth under the supervision of Prof. Melissa Morison.
The Department of Classics is the recipient of a 2005 Liberal Education Initiative Grant from the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center. The department's proposal, of which Prof. Peter Anderson is the principal author, is to examine content and skills objectives, evaluation and assessment criteria, and learning outcomes across courses that are offered in multiple sections each year.
Prof. Charles Pazdernik has published "Justinianic ideology and the power of the past," a chapter in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian, ed. Michael Maas. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Congratulations to Dr. Jeffrey Winkle, who has accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Classics at Calvin College.
Scott Rumpsa, a double major in Classics and History, will be spending the 2005-06 academic year in South Africa as the top recipient of support from the Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars program for 2005.
The Michigan Classical Conference held its annual meeting, hosted by the Dept. of Classics and facilitated by Profs. Peter Anderson and Melissa Morison, at the University Club, DeVos Center, on Saturday, April 23, 2005.
Prof. Charles Pazdernik is a winner of the Pew Teaching Excellence Award for 2005.
More than eighty students, faculty, and staff attended a guest lecture by Prof. Yopie Prins in the Kirkhof Center's Grand River Room on Thursday, April 14, 2005. Her presentation, entitled "Virginia Woolf and 'the naked cry' of Cassandra," discussed issues of translation, performance, and women and Classical education.
Prof. Prins is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. Her lecture was sponsored by the Department of Classics, the Department of English, and the Women's Studies Program.
Nearly two hundred persons attended events organized by the Department of Classics in conjunction with GVSU's spring 2005 production of Charles Mee's Big Love, directed by Prof. Karen Libman (Theatre).
Students from CLA 275 "Ancient Drama," under the direction of Prof. Peter Anderson, presented staged readings of Aeschylus' The Suppliant Women - the original model and inspiration for Big Love - on Friday, April 8 (fifty-two attendees), and Saturday, April 9 (thirty-nine).
In addition, two pre-performance conversations on the two plays, led by Prof. Anderson and Prof. Diane Rayor on April 8-9, were attended by fifty-one persons on each occasion.
The Department's revived series of Classical Sundays continued in February 2005 with a presentation by Prof. William Levitan, reporting on the fruits of his sabbatical project on Abelard and Heloise.
Previous speakers and topics:
Prof. Jeffrey Winkle, "The Devil Went Down to Athens: Greco-Roman Magic and American Folklore" (November 2004).
Kristen Heise, a double major in Greek and Latin, attended the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, administered by Duke University, on a full scholarship from the Center during Fall semester 2004.
She also received an award for the Best Undergraduate Paper presented at the Novus et Antiquus Conference at Ball State University in October 2003 for her paper, "Dolos as Metaphorical Rape in Greco-Roman Epic Poetry."
Prof. Charles Pazdernik has been awarded a fellowship at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. for the 2005-06 academic year. His research project focuses upon politics and culture in the sixth century C.E.
Charles 'Ty' Ham is attending John Cabot University in Rome for the 2004-5 academic year as one of the top recipients of support from the Barbara H. Padnos International Scholars program for 2004.
Greg Heynen worked for six weeks in summer 2004 on an archaeological dig near Corinth as a recipient of a Student Summer Scholar grant under the supervision of Prof. Melissa Morison.
Prof. Diane Rayor's new translation of The Homeric Hymns was published in February 2004 by the University of California Press.
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