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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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.

“Whose Heritage is it Anyway?”: Local Responses to Cultural Heritage Preservation in the Age of UNESCO

UT Antiquities Action 2020 Annual Symposium
Keynote speaker: Yvonne Therese Holden, Director of Operations, Whitney Plantation

UT Antiquities Action invites the submission of abstracts for its 5th annual symposium, to be held on Saturday, the 4th of April, 2020 at the University of Texas at Austin. 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/09/2020 - 9:23am by Erik Shell.

Homer in Sicily: An Academic Conference and Tour of Ancient Sites

Exedra Mediterranean Center
Syracuse, Sicily, 12-15 January, 2021
With a post-conference tour of Greek Sicily, 16-18 January

Homeric Thrinacia – our Sicily – is the legendary home of the Cattle of the Sun, the Cyclops, the Laestrygonians, Aeolus, and close neighbor of Skylla and Charybdis. Samuel Butler, in the nineteenth century, memorably theorized that the Odyssey’s author was a young Sicilian woman, glimpsed in the figure of Nausicaa. Otherwise, surprisingly few scholars have explored Sicily’s association with the Homeric epics, the Odyssey in particular. The goal of this conference is to bring scholars from a variety of disciplines to Siracusa to discuss Homer’s epic vision and to visit the archaeological traces of the mythic places and beings of the Odyssey.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 01/09/2020 - 9:00am by Erik Shell.
"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Joan and Mason Brock Theatre, Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, 5817 Wesleyan Drive, Virginia Beach, VA

Fri 2/7/20 7:30pm to 9:30pm

View full article. | Posted in Performances on Thu, 01/09/2020 - 8:30am by Erik Shell.

The SCS Board of Directors has endorsed the following statement developed by the American Anthroplogical Association in collaboration with a number of other societies and associations:

Targeting Cultural Sites is a War Crime

On behalf of more than 50,000 scholars and researchers in the humanities and social sciences, our scholarly and professional societies call upon people throughout the US and, indeed, around the world to remind the President of the United States that targeting cultural sites for military activity is a war crime except under the narrowest of circumstances, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Tue, 01/07/2020 - 10:21am by Helen Cullyer.

Graduate Student Caucus Meeting

Hosted by the SCS Graduate Student Committee

Friday, January 3, 5:00pm-6:00pm, Independence Ballroom Salon C

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Come hear about the Graduate Student Committee’s plans for 2020 and offer your feedback on how best the SCS can serve graduate students.

We hope this meeting can be the springboard for a new level of collective action of North American Classics graduate students.

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This event will be followed by a Social Hour, also hosted by the Graduate Student Committee, which will take place Friday, January 3, 7:00pm-8:00pm on the Mezzanine Level of the Marriott Marquis. Come get your drink ticket while they last!

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 4:16pm by Helen Cullyer.

That contingent faculty members make up a significant portion of those teaching on college campuses today is a well-known fact. This fact also holds true in our own fields of study (e.g. Classics, Ancient History, Archaeology and Art History), and over the years much attention has (rightfully) been paid to the many challenges and problems that stem from this reliance on contingent labor. At the same time, and despite these challenges and problems, contingent faculty members have been making important contributions to our fields in the areas of service, teaching, outreach and research, and these contributions have only grown in their significance as the number of scholars working in these positions has grown. As members of the Committee on Contingent Faculty, we believe it is time to acknowledge these contributions and celebrate the accomplishments of faculty who are working off the tenure track in our related fields. While we continue to search for solutions to the problems of contingency and advocate for those in precarious positions, we think it is equally important to bring visibility to some of these exceptional members of our scholarly community. To that end we seek to publish a series of individual profiles/interviews on the SCS blog over the course of the next year featuring some of our NTT colleagues at various stages in their careers, who are making a difference and making their mark in our discipline.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 1:50pm by Chiara Sulprizio.
 
The SCS Board is delighted to announce a new prize, which will be awarded for the first time in 2020. The Gruen Prize honors Erich S. Gruen, Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of History and Classics Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.  It will be an essay prize for the best graduate student research on multiculturalism in the ancient Mediterranean, and submissions about any aspect of race, ethnicity, or cultural exchange will be considered. 
View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 12/31/2019 - 11:04am by Helen Cullyer.

The SCS is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrice Rankine and Sasha-Mae Eccleston as guest editors of a future issue of TAPA with the theme of race, racism, and Classics. A detailed call for papers will be issued in early 2020, and a timetable for submissions will be provided. This themed issue is likely to appear as TAPA 153:1 in spring 2023.

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Sun, 12/29/2019 - 7:32pm by Helen Cullyer.

SCS is pleased to be able to offer professional learning units (PLUs) to K-12 teachers in the District of Columbia who attend the AIA-SCS Annual Meeting from January 2-5 at the Marriott Marquis, Washington DC. Forms for PLUs will be available at the SCS booth in the exhibit hall.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 12/29/2019 - 7:12pm by Helen Cullyer.

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