Excellence in Teaching Award Winners

Precollegiate Teaching Award

College Teaching Award

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Precollegiate Teaching Award

William Lee

The Committee is delighted to bestow the SCS Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Precollegiate Level on William Lee.

Since 2003 Mr. Lee has taught at Tom C. Clark High School, in San Antonio, where he has grown the program from a half-time teacher with fewer than 100 students to two full-time teachers of over 300 students in one of the largest Latin programs in Texas. His current and former students are effusive in their praise of his technologically innovative class activities as well as his dedication to rigorous Latin exercises while still making sure every student feels like they belong. A recurrent theme of letters on his behalf is the “family-like” atmosphere and “friendship” Mr. Lee cultivates in Latin classes and in the Latin club. In a school with a large and diverse student body in San Antonio, Mr. Lee creates a space where Latin speaks to everyone and everyone has a place.

Mr. Lee is well-known for his work at the state and national levels of the Junior Classical League, serving as NJCL Certamen Chair and Communications Chair for lengthy tenures, and as State Co-Chair of the TSJCL continually since 2006. His students regularly bring home top regional, state, and national awards. And under his patient, but firm guidance, all the certamen teams representing Texas since 2000 have finished in the top six places, with four National Championships. His students speak of the camaraderie they develop working together for competitions and how it is the friendship and fun rather than the winning that is most important to them and to Mr. Lee. In the course of listing numerous awards and honors, his Principal states “[a]lthough Mr. Lee… has been very successful, he will tell you the greatest accomplishment is the success of his students.”

His colleagues speak in glowing terms of his dedication to his students, to helping them discover the relevance of Latin that is alive all around them. “[H]e is dedicated to eradicating routine and mediocre education from the public school system,” says one colleague. And he shares his expertise and creative ideas with his peers, giving pedagogy presentations regularly at Texas Classical Association and ACL meetings on the creative use of technology to engage students and energize their learning. He also brings back new lessons learned to his colleagues in San Antonio. As his recommender states, Mr. Lee ensures “that the nation’s best practices make it into our classrooms,” adding that he is “a generous mentor to Latin teachers throughout the city and state.” Mr. Lee conducts in-service workshops for teachers in Texas, and regularly conducts workshops for the North American Cambridge Classics Project, on whose Board of Regents he has served since 2004.

Mr. Lee’s success is legendary. Students call him “amazing,” “incredible,” “a constant inspiration,” and “practically mythical.” We are honored to recognize our colleague for this success, for his mentoring of both students and fellow teachers, for his active promotion of the classics at all levels across the country, and for his outstanding teaching in the classroom. We proudly present the SCS Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Pre-Collegiate Level to the “practically mythical” William Lee

Charlaine Lunsford

For the past nineteen years, Charlaine Denise Lunsford has taught all levels of Latin, beginning through AP, at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, VA. Charlaine believes that everyone should “have a right to a quality education from talented and compassionate teachers who will work hard to make sure that every child succeeds”.  Her letters of support reveal that she is an expert at differentiated instruction in the Latin classroom, combining both traditional and cutting-edge approaches to accommodate the wide variety of learning styles she sees everyday. Her principal notes that she “exemplifies initiative and creativity in her classroom”.

In a school where 65% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch and many receive special education or have 504 plans, Charlaine focuses on figuring out “what strategies work best” for each student and treating everyone with respect and dignity. As she notes, “Even when I have a student who has a behavior problem, I try my best to find a way to connect with the student and show him/her the value of studying another language and learning about a different culture”. Charlaine is an innovator in the use of technology – from YouTube for videos on anything from Latin grammar to discuss through, Kahoot for quiz review, Flipgrid for speaking practice, Quizlet for vocabulary review, Magistrula.com for forms review (and fun), Google classroom, BenQ smartboards and Chromebooks. Believing that a good teacher should be “knowledgeable of the subject matter and a life-long learner” she has attended multiple Latin Immersion Workshops, an NEH  summer seminar in Roman Daily Life, and learned enough Greek and Arabic to conduct a mini-lessons in each.

Through her hard work and dedication, Latin at Woodrow Wilson is thriving: Charlaine herself teaches Latin to 150-200 students every year and the school has even added a second Latin teacher to meet the demand for learning the language. One student fondly notes how she encourged “passion about the Latin language and classical studies outside the classroom” and singles out class field trips to the Chrysler Museum of Art Roman collection (in Norfolk) and annual Latin Day. Charlaine organized many such trips: to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, for movie screenings, and even to Greek restaurants.

Charlaine is an educational leader in her community: she has served as a mentor to new teachers, participated in committees to increase graduation rates, led technology workshops, developed new and innovative curricula, and been a long-standing leader in the Tidewater Classical Symposium, as well as the Classical Association of Virginia, whose web site she maintains. It is with great pleasure that our committee awards Charlaine Lunsford the 2019 award for excellence in pre-collegiate teaching.

Amy Sommer Rosevear

Amy Sommer Rosevear has been teaching at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado, since 2004, when she completed her MA in Teaching Latin at the University of Colorado. In the intervening years she has expanded and strengthened her Latin program, and served her school for seven years as chair of her school’s Foreign Language Department (with twenty-two faculty members teaching a total of five languages), and more recently as became World Languages Coordinator for her school district. Amy sponsors the school’s JCL chapter and the Latin Club; when she took students to Italy in Spring 2019, it was the first such trip by a Colorado public school after post-9/11 restrictions were lifted.

Her professional service extends to the state level (Colorado Classical Association and Colorado JCL) and even farther, to the National Latin Exam, the National Committee for Latin and Greek, and particularly to the ACL, where she is currently a member of the Board of Governors.

In the classroom, Amy notes that her teaching methods are “continually evolving, and [her] current approach to pedagogy is nothing if not eclectic.” While preparing her students to succeed on the rigorous Advanced Placement exam, which requires not only understanding of the text but also an explicit understanding of grammar, she employs strategies that focus on reading and incorporate principles of Comprehensible Input. Taking the new Standards for Classical Learning seriously, Amy has introduced communicative Latin and has participated in SALVI events to increase her own skills. 

Amy acknowledges the successes of her students, and puts them in context, writing that “accomplishments like AP Latin exam scores and National Latin Exam awards—which my students and I value, because they reflect and quantify the quality of our Latin program—mean nothing, if my students are not also learning to conduct themselves with integrity, participate eagerly and authentically in a community of learners, and develop curiosity about our world, both ancient and modern.” 

She continues describing her goals for her students. “What drives me to do what I do in the classroom every day is the hope that they remember feeling seen, valued, and challenged throughout their high school Latin experience, and that my class prepared them to be dedicated students and engaged, ethical people….My philosophy has remained consistent and compelling: I care deeply about who my students are and who they will become.”

Her students recognize these guiding values. One of them writes that Amy has a “genuine concern for her students’ wellbeing and seeks to know each of her students on a personal level. Her treatment of each student as a valued individual makes Latin class an enjoyable environment. For many students, even if Latin is a challenge for them, they still look forward to coming to class and learning.”

Her colleagues understand the role she plays in the lives of her students, “Amy Rosevear is a wonderful model for them to follow:  devoted to learning professionally and dedicated to service personally.”

So do her students, who say, “From her dedication to teaching to her positive impact on so many students, Amy Rosevear is truly an extraordinary Latin teacher.”

Let us applaud this extraordinary Latin teacher.

Citations by the members of the Joint Committee on Classics in American Education

College Teaching Award

Jeanne Neumann

Jeanne Neumann has energized the study of Classics at Davidson College for over twenty-five years. Her courses, which have included all levels of Latin and Greek as well as courses in translation and study abroad, consistently challenge students to engage with the ancient world through the lens of their contemporary context. By making the past present she offers her students the opportunity to illuminate their understanding of both worlds, their relationships to one another, and importantly students’ understanding of themselves. Invitations to dive into critical reflection cut across her classes: students in Roman Literature in Translation “confront the problems inherent in Roman literature,” while those in Intermediate Latin deepen their grasp on grammar while discovering its interconnectedness to meaning, and students in Writing 101: Herakles encounter carefully scaffolded writing assignments that challenge them to take intellectual risks. Across campus Dr. Neumann is known for her rigor and her passion, inspiring and motivating her students to discover their potential. As one student writes, “she makes you want to live up to her high expectations.”

Coupled with Dr. Neumann’s impressive record of teaching and mentoring one finds an equally admirable commitment to evidence-based pedagogy and innovation. Successive iterations of each course abound with refinement. At times such changes mark a greater shift, including the adaptation of a new practice and an openness to learning from colleagues across campus and the disciplines. In several courses, for example, Dr. Neumann has adopted specifications grading, emphasizing for students the process and importance of revision and feedback while focusing their attention on learning. This abiding devotion innovative teaching likewise informs much of Dr. Neumann’s scholarly activity. She is well-known for her book Lingua Latina: A College Companion (2008), and articles, workshops, invited lectures, and public outreach events constitute countless lines of her CV, highlighting her dedication to making Latin alive and accessible to as many individuals as possible.

Whether in the classroom, in a Friday afternoon Latin sight-reading group, or in the faculty lounge, Dr. Neumann’s dedication to her students and colleagues also shines. Her focus on and care for the individual, and on what they might do or who they might become – and on how her class might prepare them for all what lies ahead – perhaps best encapsulates Dr. Neumann’s work as an educator. As one of her colleagues remarked, “Among the lessons that linger with me is the fact that teaching Latin (or any of our subjects) is but a small component of the teaching that we do; for many students, the Latin will be the least important of the many ‘lessons’ we teach them during their years with us.”

We are honored to recognize Professor Jeanne Neumann for her outstanding teaching with the SCS’s 2019 Award for Excellence in Teaching of the Classics at the College Level.

Courtney Roby

Drawn inexorably from her first two degrees in engineering to the light of the Classics, Professor Courtney Roby is well-equipped to create courses that appeal to a wide range of students, and she has done just that with courses like “Popular Science from Antiquity to Today,” “Data Corruption’s Deep History,” and “The Art of Math.” In all of these courses, she seeks to draw the ancient and modern world together, making the Humanities relevant across academic disciplines. While such outreach is crucial to the survival of Classics, it would fall flat without the consummate skill and deep commitment that Professor Roby brings to her classroom and to every student within it.

Her innovative pedagogy is readily apparent in the experiences she creates for her students that include in class activities that promote the participation of all by building their confidence; these include exercises that enhance students’ awareness of their own learning and engage them in projects that resonate with each of them individually. One of her students remarks that she “provided structure and a stable foundation of knowledge, while giving agency to her students to pursue topics of their own interest.” Another says, “She is knowledgeable, understanding, and able to transcend perceived academic boundaries to engage with students from all disciplines.” She also regularly devises hands-on activities through which students can experience technology both ancient and modern, even as they connect it to and analyze it through the society it serves. A student whose courses had been largely technical until he took classes with her deeply appreciated that they “injected some much-needed historical and ethical perspectives into [his] studies.”

Professor Roby’s pedagogy is fueled by her patent determination to enhance and expand her own teaching skills and knowledge. Not only has she taken advantage of a number of workshops on course design, but she has also been deeply involved in the creation of department policies pertaining to learning outcomes and assessment, and she has served as the Classics liaison to the University's Active Learning Initiative. In testament to her commitment to excellence, in 2018 she won the Innovative Teaching and Learning Award from Cornell’s Center for Teaching Innovation. Finally, she is a tireless ambassador for the discipline outside of the classroom as well, getting to know her Classics students as individuals at movie and game nights and bringing her knowledge and enthusiasm to a wider audience in residence halls, where she hosts weekly themed dinners on such topics as “The History of Everything.”

We are honored to recognize Professor Courtney Roby for her outstanding teaching with the SCS’s 2019 Award for Excellence in Teaching of the Classics at the College Level.

Svetla Slaveva-Griffin

Professor Svetla Slaveva-Griffin has leveraged her own interests in ancient philosophy into a boon for both students at Florida State University and for the health of Classics on that campus. Her course on Ancient Science, which remarkably counts as a science credit for the hundreds of students who take it, explores ancient Mediterranean ideas on the natural world, yet employs the pedagogies of a modern science class. Students in the class particularly enjoy recreating the experiments of Greek scientists and their “SciFri” presentations, which actively engage them with their ancient counterparts and teach them skills in critical thinking and writing. They note that they appreciate that they are learning through engagement rather than through memorization. In reviewing the class, many students found themselves surprised by how much they enjoyed and learned from a class that they took only to fulfil a requirement. They credit Professor Slaveva-Griffin’s passion for the material.  As one student says “She is there to grasp attention. She wants to pull each student into what she loves the most and I love it.”

Professor Slaveva-Griffin credits her students with inspiring and guiding her teaching. Although she teaches a wide variety of classes, including an online course in medical terminology, and Greek classes at every level, she changes the material she includes to address student interest and to respond to students’ feedback. Even students in her very large classes note how interactive she is with individuals and credit her with encouraging them to learn more and stretch their own abilities. “The confidence Dr. Slaveva-Griffin instills isn't to be understated,” notes a student who took several of her classes. “The reason, I think, that she is able to leave her students feeling ready to tackle any research problem, ready to approach any author, is that she leaves them able to teach themselves.”

Professor Slaveva-Griffin’s teaching has been recognized many times, first when she was a graduate student at the University of Iowa, and repeatedly at Florida State University where she has won an Undergraduate Teaching Award, a Certificate of Distinction in online teaching, and multiple nominations for awards in undergraduate and graduate teaching and advising. For her focus on students’ needs and interests, and for her enthusiastic outreach to students who might never be exposed to classical learning, we join her students and colleagues in honoring the work of Professor Svetla Slaveva-Griffin with the SCS’s 2019 Award for Excellence in Teaching of the Classics at the College Level.

Citations by members of the Teaching Excellence Awards Committee

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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The Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs is launching a partnership with the Institute for International Education. This is part of a broader effort to boost the extroversion of the Greek education system and Greek universities specifically.
 
The partnership aims at bringing a delegation from selected US institutions to visit Greece for a week at the end of March to meet Greek rectors and visit Greek universities. The purpose of the partnership is to establish contact between US institutions and their Greek counterparts. 
 
More information and the application form can be found at:

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 01/23/2020 - 2:13pm by Erik Shell.

ROMAN DAILY LIFE IN PETRONIUS AND POMPEII

An NEH Summer Seminar for Pre-Collegiate Teachers (July 13-31, 2020) 

In the summer of 2020 (July 13-31), there will be an NEH Summer Seminar for pre-collegiate teachers (K-12) on the topic of Roman Daily Life. This seminar is an opportunity to read Petronius and graffiti in Latin and look at Pompeian archaeology for various topics of Roman daily life. The Petronius reading forms a central core of the seminar, and thus an intermediate level of Latin proficiency (1 year of college level Latin) is required. The seminar will be held in St. Peter, Minnesota (1 hour from Minneapolis) on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College. The NEH pays each person $2700 to participate, which will more than cover the living and food expenses (approximately $1500) – each participant is responsible for their own travel expenses. The seminar has been organized by Matthew Panciera (Gustavus Adolphus) and will be co-taught by him, Beth Severy-Hoven (Macalester), Jeremy Hartnett (Wabash), and Rebecca Benefiel (Washington and Lee).

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 01/23/2020 - 9:57am by Erik Shell.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications for the 2020 round of the Public Scholars program, which supports the creation of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public. The program welcomes projects in all areas of the humanities, regardless of geographic or chronological focus. The resulting books might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be written in a readily accessible style, must clearly explain specialized terms and concepts, and must frame their topics to have wide appeal. They should also be carefully researched and authoritative, making appropriate use of primary and/or secondary sources and showing appropriate familiarity with relevant existing publications or scholarship. Applications to write books directed primarily to professional scholars are not suitable.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 01/21/2020 - 9:01am by Erik Shell.
NEH Logo

January, 2020

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Nathanael Stein (Florida State University) - "Causation and Explanation in Aristotle"
  • Marcus Folch (Columbia University) - "A Cultural History of Incarceration and the Prison in Greece and Rome"
  • Alexander Jones (New York University) - "Reconstructing the Daily Ancient Babylonian Chronology in Synchronization with the Proleptic Julian Calendar"

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(Photo: "Logo of the United States National Endowment for the Humanities" by National Endowment for the Humanities, public domain, edited to fit thumbnail template)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Fri, 01/17/2020 - 10:45am by Erik Shell.

(The website for Keely Lake's In Memoriam can be found here)

Keely K. Lake, 48, passed away on January 15, 2020, at the age of 48.  

She was the daughter of James and Dorothy (Burcham) Lake, born on December 8, 1971.  She had recently moved back to Hot Springs to care for her father.

Keely graduated from Hot Springs High school in 1990, the University of South Dakota with a BA in Classics in 1994 and the University of Iowa with a PhD in Classics in 2001.

She was a visiting guest professor at Gettysburg College in 2001 and Professor of Classical Greek and Latin at Wayland Academy from 2002 until 2018.

She was teaching online courses for Montclair State, Wayne State University and One Schoolhouse.

She was an active member of the Vergilian Society, several Classic related boards and organizations and was a reader/table leader for standardized AP exams in Latin.

Keely was an avid gardener, enjoyed cooking, reading, traveling, and collecting books.  She also traveled extensively which was a passion of hers. 

She is survived by her father, James Lake; and her precious cats, Penelope and Gemini.  She is preceded in death by her mother.

Visitation services will be held 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, January 23, 2020, at Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Hot Springs, SD.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Fri, 01/17/2020 - 9:53am by Erik Shell.

CFP: "Transitions of Power" for SAGE Business Cases

The Ancient Leadership collection within SAGE Business Cases explores leadership in Classical history, mythology, philosophy, and material culture in a way that is engaging and useful for business students and instructors at the undergraduate and graduate level. This project is a chance for those of us who work in the ancient world to experiment with a very mainstream method of leadership pedagogy and hopefully to teach a wider audience about the central importance of the humanities for leadership study and training. We expect that each of the case studies will illustrate the ways in which the humanities makes important–if not unique–contributions to the study of leadership and the training of leaders:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:19am by Erik Shell.

The Theory and Practice of Cosmic Ascent: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approaches

Trinity College, Dublin
19-20 June, 2020

Conference Sponsors: Trinity College Department of Classics, and The Centre for the Study of the Platonic Tradition, Trinity College, Dublin

Conference Organisers: Professor John Dillon (Emeritus, Trinity College, Dublin) and Nicholas Banner (Trinity College, Dublin) 

Date:  19-20 June, 2020
Submission Deadline:  13 March, 2020
Confirmation Date:  01 April, 2020

One of the most striking tropes in the history of western thought is the account of cosmic ascent; we find narratives of humans ascending to the stars and beyond in a vast array of sources from among the earliest written accounts of western literature, through antiquity, and up to (at least) the High Middle Ages. From the Hellenistic period onward, Mediterranean religions and philosophies (understood broadly) looked increasingly to a model of human ascent as a primary locus for spiritual achievement; however, the ways in which such ascent was conceptualized vary enormously from tradition to tradition (we might compare e.g. Jewish apocalyptic texts with the ascent-accounts of Platonist philosophers, or Hermetic with Sethian ascent-accounts), and even from thinker to thinker (we might contrast e.g. Plutarch with Plotinus or St Paul with Clement of Alexandria). 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 01/14/2020 - 9:31am by Erik Shell.

Call for Papers
Sapiens Ubique Civis VIII – Szeged 2020
PhD Student and Young Scholar Conference on Classics and the Reception of Antiquity
Szeged, Hungary, September 2–4, 2020

The Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Szeged, Hungary is pleased to announce its International Conference Sapiens Ubique Civis VIII – Szeged 2020, for PhD Students, Young Scholars, as well as M.A. students aspiring to apply to a PhD program.

The aim of the conference is to bring together an international group of young scholars working in a variety of periods, places, languages, and fields. Papers on a wide range of subjects, including but not limited to the literature, history, philology, philosophy, linguistics and archaeology of Greece and Rome, Byzantinology, Neo-Latin studies, and reception of the classics, as well as papers dealing with theatre studies, comparative literature, contemporary literature, and fine arts related to the Antiquity are welcome.

Lectures: The language of the conference is English. Thematic sessions and plenary lectures will be scheduled. The time limit for each lecture is 20 minutes, followed by discussion. It is not possible to present via Skype.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 01/14/2020 - 9:26am by Erik Shell.

Our second interview in the Women in Classics series is with Shelley Haley, Edward North Chair of Classics and Professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College. This is the second of a two-part interview with Prof. Haley, which picks up at the point when she decided to apply to graduate school to study Classics.

CC: How did you decide to apply to graduate school?  

This was a very turbulent time in American history. I was fed up with the United States of America, absolutely fed up. I remember the conversations we used to have about the women’s movement. This was back in the dark ages. There were three or four white women on my floor in college having a deep discussion, wringing their hands and saying, “But how, how, how are we going to have a family and a career? How?” In my head I was just frustrated. My mother, my grandmother, her mother before her, all of them always had to work, and always had family. It can be done. I think that was my first introduction to black feminism, and to the line that divides it from white feminism. I had had enough.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/13/2020 - 6:24am by Claire Catenaccio.

Our second interview in the Women in Classics series is with Shelley Haley, Edward North Chair of Classics and Professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College. She was born in upstate New York and earned her B.A. from Syracuse University in 1972. She received her M.A. in 1975 and her Ph.D. in 1977, both from the University of Michigan. An expert on the figure of Cleopatra, Dr. Haley has discussed the subject on both the BBC and the Learning Channel. Her publications include Fanny Jackson Coppin’s Reminiscences of School Life, and Hints on Teaching (1995) and numerous articles on the role of women in the ancient world and on race in the discipline of Classics.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 01/09/2020 - 4:47pm by Claire Catenaccio.

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