Every semester the University of Illinois publishes a list of teachers ranked as excellent by their students. And virtually every semester Dr. Antony Augoustakis’s name appears on that list, whether he teaches an introductory course on Roman civilization or a graduate course in Latin Prose composition. His dedication to his students and his willingness to go out of his way for them can be seen in the extra sessions he offers students who enter a medieval Latin class with less preparation than Classics majors or in his personal mentoring of undergraduates who, with his encouragement, attend and present at the annual Eta Sigma Phi conference.
Students praise Dr. Augoustakis as a demanding but inspirational teacher. One undergraduate reports hearing Dr. Augoustakis’s voice in his head, urging him to re-enroll in Greek. Another student says “he uprooted my experiences and knowledge of Latin, Roman history, and Western history in the best way possible.” A third: “at the end of all of our classes, I have realized with a mixture of shock and pride just how much I have learned and grown intellectually.” And yet students also praise his flexibility, his willingness to meet with students individually as often as they wish, and his efforts to tailor special assignments in the class to each student’s needs and interests.
Colleagues also credit Dr. Augoustakis with “almost single-handedly” rebuilding the graduate program at Illinois, revamping the curriculum, mentoring student research and publication, and finding effective, innovative methods for teaching mixed graduate-undergraduate advanced reading courses (a challenge all of us who have attempted this feat recognize as daunting). At the same time, he revived Illinois’s chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, serves as its faculty advisor, and regularly recruits undergraduates to attend the national meeting and participate as presenters and competitors. He has created and taught multiple new course offerings at every level and teaches language courses which range from archaic Greek lyric to post-classical Latin. It is no wonder that his nominator calls him “the heart and soul of the Classics program at Illinois.” The Society for Classical Studies is delighted to honor his many contributions with the SCS Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level.