How did one student manage to study in Turkey and Greece and attend two national conferences all before starting her senior year? In a word – Classics.
Actually, it was a class in Latin that convinced Angelina Phebus to major in Classics. Since then, she’s had one amazing experience after the other, and all of them have empowered this first-generation college student from rural West Virginia, and prompted her to excel in the classroom and the field as well.
“I knew very little about Classics outside of Latin, but when I heard that my Latin professor was involved in a project in Turkey, that intrigued me. That was the other side of the world. It seemed profound and huge.” After talking with him about it, she knew she wanted this type of experience, too. “It really helped that he infused the curriculum with anecdotes about his work.”
Angelina totally immersed herself in Classics. Initially, she focused on the Greek and Latin languages. “They require a lot of practice and a lot of application, but they’re completely valuable. And the mentoring relationships that I’ve had with some of the faculty in the department have really been a driving force.”
As much as she enjoys studying ancient civilizations, she’s partial to on-location research. “Any time you can go into the field, it’s the most wonderful thing. You’re exposed to new cultures, and you’re actually there doing the work. Really, everything you learn in the classroom leads to something you do in the field.”
And that’s what happened in Greece one summer. “Here I was, working with these people whose books I’d been reading in my Aegean prehistory course. Suddenly I’m sitting down with two of the foremost scholars in this field. It was very cool.”
Ultimately, Angelina plans to get a Ph.D. and teach Classics, but other students who major in this discipline go into a variety of professions because of the way that they’re taught to think. “And, when you consider it,” she says, “no matter what field it is, the Greeks or the Romans probably laid the foundation for that work, so it’s all very relevant.” Major in Classics, and let the past guide your future.
Inspired by dynamic, enthusiastic professors (one of them tweets in Latin), Classics students discover new ways to understand the present by studying the ancient past.
Recent Classics majors have attended:
- Brown University (Ph.D. in Egyptology)
- University of Virginia (School of Law)
- University of Birmingham, England (M.S. in landscape archaeology)
- University of Melbourne, Australia (M.A. in publishing)
- City of Rome, University of Reading (M.A. in Classics)
- University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D. in Classics)
Others have gone on to work as publishing coordinators, Latin instructors, GIS specialists and public relations consultants.
Coursework is enhanced by:
- archaeological fieldwork (students have worked with faculty on projects in Turkey, Greece, Israel and the Carolina Lowcountry)
- summer study programs (designed to match student interests)
- independent student research projects (all majors complete a Capstone project)