Alumni News

News from Friends and Majors:

Melissa Hozik, posted August 2009

Two full-time jobs and 3 calendar years later, I have graduated from UPenn with an MGA (Master in Government Administration), as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Administration. During my spring semester I thought about what I would do once I graduated. Then it came to me. After some career surveys, I decided to apply to Drexel University for the Master of Science in Library and Information Science. I was accepted, and will begin in about a month. I have decided to focus on two concentrations: digital libraries and archives. Our world is getting smaller thanks to technology, and the world of library science is headed down that highway; rare items need to be preserved. I hope to end up working in digital preservation, mixing my love of history with that of technology, saving documents as well as making them accessible to all.

Melissa Hozik, `04
hozik@alumni.upenn.edu

Lauren McGowan, posted March 30, 2009

I'm taking courses at UGA; this semester I’m reading Plato’s Republic and Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations, among other things. I feel like I’ve gotten a better handle on grad school as a whole, but the work load has been difficult.  I’m reading Plato’s Gorgias and Republic, the Tusculans, the Satyricon, and I’m taking a poetry survey.  I really like the poetry survey, but that’s the only class that I’m really excited about this semester.  I’m looking forward to next semester when I’ll be taking Tacitus, Homer, archaeology and mythology.  We took our reading list exam the other week and it has been a great relief to be finished.  I spent every weekend all semester studying and I lost my spring break to studying 14 hours a day!  Luckily it paid off since I just found out that I got a high pass.  I can’t believe it’s already time for final papers and the end of the semester.  The professors have asked us to start thinking about our theses and it’s hard to believe that I’m almost halfway through the program. 

I’m headed to Augusta sometime in April to visit Prof. Fitts.  That will be a nice break for a day!  Georgia is already in full spring mode, which is strange since we had a snowstorm less than a month ago (6 inches of snow and a day off from school!) 
Lauren McGowan, `08
lauren.f.mcgowan@gmail.com

Erica's alumni news (posted December 1, 2008):

After graduating in 2006, I spent two years teaching Latin and
Ancient Greek in New England, coaching soccer and crew, and living as
a dorm parent.  I taught both middle school and high school and had a
terrific time.  My seventh grade students were particularly excited
about joining the "special club" that I told them exists amongst those
who know Latin.

Despite the fact that I enjoyed my time teaching, I soon realized
that what I really wanted to do was go back to  school to pursue
medicine, which was my original intent in high school before a trip to
Italy that changed my mind!  Currently, I'm taking my pre-med required
science courses at Bryn Mawr College through their post-baccalaureate
pre-med certificate program. It's a one year intensive program that
helps you complete your requirements and helps with every step of the
application process.

I'm about to apply to medical school now and completely nervous!
I've learned, though, that majoring in Classics was still a terrific
decision even for a career changer like me.  The Latin and Greek base
has helped me tremendously with the scientific vocabulary; especially
when I come across a new word and can take a guess at what it is!  It
has also been an easy transition from Classics to science because of
the logical reasoning skills I gained. It's hard to imagine but
tackling a tough passage in Vergil is not unlike tackling a tough
Physics problem. You have to look for patterns, think outside the box,
and when you finally have an answer evaluate it to see if it actually
makes sense.

Majoring in Classics means plenty to admissions committees and bosses
who want to hire inquisitive, logical people whom they know have been
challenged. While my Classics major has served me well thus far, I'm
most grateful for the close relationships I was able to have with my
professors and fellow majors.  All of them have been supportive of my
decision to change careers, and I know that while they may be sad I'm
not going to be a Latin teacher anymore, they're my biggest
supporters. People have asked me if I regret majoring in Classics
since I have had to go back to school for my pre-med courses, and I
tell them quite honestly that I can't imagine not majoring in
Classics. My life would not be as rich if I had chosen a different
major.   If I could go back, I would do it all over again!

Erica Heilman '06
erica.heilman@gmail.com

Posted October 2008 from Christine Kim:

In addition to taking courses taught by Dickinson’s exceptional Classics faculty, I studied abroad through Advanced Studies in England and had a private tutorial at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.  I focused on the Augustan poets.

Since attending Dickinson, I graduated from Cornell Law School in May 2008 and passed the Delaware Bar Exam.  I have now joined the Wilmington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where I will be working as a Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy associate.  I expect to be admitted to practice early next year.

I began studying Latin in the seventh grade, but it wasn’t until I met Barbara McDonald, Professors Fitts, Francese, and Mastrangelo that I became inspired by Latin.  Many people will tell you that studying Latin will help you through law school because the law relies on Latin terms.  However, I found that Classics provided an understanding of language based on rhetoric and, more importantly, imagination.  Imagination helped me work through the challenges of Cornell Law’s Capital Punishment Clinic, read difficult legal texts, and appreciate the interdisciplinary study of law and humanities.  Moreover, law school exams emphasize the importance of clear communication and “seeing the big picture.”  Both of these skills are honed by piecing together translations and literary traditions and daring to leap from literal translation to poetry.

Nevertheless, these skills apply in any field.  Classics taught me that it is not worth spending time studying something you are not curious and passionate about, so it is most important that you not limit yourself.  So you should use this time to figure out what you enjoy.

-- Christine W. Kim, 2004
cwkim24@gmail.com_______________________________

Posted Summer 2008:

Since graduating in '96 with a major in Latin, I have spent the majority of my time pursuing a career as a modern dancer in both New York and Philadelphia.  I was fortunate enough to dance for a number of companies including the Brian Brooks Moving Company, Leah Stein and Dancers and the Nichole Canuso Dance Company.  In 2000, I co-founded De Facto Dance and was an active member of the company until January 2005, when I "retired" from dance.  While transitioning out of a career in dance, I began a post baccalaureate program at the University of Pennsylvania in the health sciences.  In March 2008, I was accepted into MD program at the Oregon Health and Sciences University and will begin my studies there in August 2008.  The challenging classes I took over the years with Professors Moser, Rickert and Sider helped instill in me the discipline and wide-eyed curiousity that have served me well in my various pursuits.  To them, and the entire classics department, I am eternally grateful!
-- Lee Shapley, Class of 1996
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Greetings from an alumna!

Just wanted to say hi and spread the great news that this summer [2007] I actually became a full-time Smithsonian employee (when I left Dickinson it was just to start an internship). It's very exciting! I now work for the Freer-Sackler Gallery, the small Asian (and American) art museum down on the mall next to the Smithsonian Castle. I am the new department assistant in their Conservation Department. So I file, budget, answer phones, and other general admin stuff, but then on the flip side I get to maintain their x-ray equipment, take hygrothermograph readings, and then help clean (with plenty of conservator supervision) Chinese paintings!! It's fascinating! And I heartily extend any invitation to come down and check out the lab because anyone who is fascinated with ancient art would love to see the hands-on work that goes into maintaining the artifacts.

Also, I wanted to tell you about a new exhibit that just opened up at the museum, and, for some reason, it struck me as an exhibit that you or the department might be interested in coming to see, again if they are in the Washington area. Totally up to you! We had some of these pieces come in to the conservation lab to be cleaned and they really look great.
Here is the introduction for it from the website: (http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/Gold/default.html)

"Wine, Worship and Sacrifice: The Golden Graves of Ancient Vani." According to legend, Jason and his shipmates, the Argonauts, set sail on a perilous journey from Greece to Colchis (modern-day Georgia), then located beyond the known world. Less well known today, however, is the archaeology and artifacts of Colchis, with its intermingling of Greek and Persian motifs with local styles and traditions. Metalworking, whether in gold, silver, iron or bronze, was a traditional focus of Colchian art and craftsmanship. The earliest evidence of wine and winemaking comes from the area-another mainstay of Georgian life throughout several millennia.

I'm honored to be put on the "Where are we now" alumni page. Even though I may be an administrative assistant, just being submerged in the field has taught me a textbook's worth of stuff! And also, I want to add that if I could offer any advice to undergrads, it would be to never think that choosing archaeology has limited you. The field has become so broad today and has combined and been amalgamated into so many imaginative career paths. I've met people that have graduated with a degree in archaeology and are doing work at opposite ends of the spectrum. I've met archaeologists who go on to law degrees who then work with Native Americans and litigate repatriation cases and copyright artistic works. And then I've meet archaeologists who have developed computer devices that can digitally scan three-dimensional deer stones in the tundras of Mongolia to better preserve them. It's amazing what you can do!

--Stacy Bowe - Class of 2006 - Department Assistant - Dept of Conservation and Scientific Research Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 1150 Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20560
202-633-0364 (self)
202-633-0385 (reception)
202-633-9474 (fax)
BoweS@si.edu

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Since graduating I've taken a job at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine. The Laboratory is a 108-year-old marine biomedical research institution with a small year-round scientific staff and a larger summer research community from all over the world. ([Dickinson] Professor John Henson is one of our summer investigators.) There is a strong educational component with the Lab, and each summer there are a number of undergraduates and high school students who participate in research with the investigators. Our website is: www.mdibl.org. My title is Administrative Assistant/Corporation Secretary. My job consists of a wide variety of duties, from managing a large multi-year NIH/NIEHS toxicology grant to dealing with day-to-day questions from students, both those that are interested in the Lab and those who already have internships. I handle the Laboratory's Corporation and Board of Trustees and assist with the submission of new grants. I don't carry out any experiments, but I've picked up quite a bit of scientific knowledge through osmosis! Unfortunately, I can't say that I use my archaeological training on a regular basis. I certainly don't regret my archaeology major, but when I graduated I wanted to move back to Maine and there aren't many archaeological positions available here. The great thing about archaeology is that it teaches skills that are applicable in a wide variety of settings--even though I'm not practicing it on a daily basis, archaeology is still on my mind. While I enjoy my job, this isn't a career track I'm particularly interested in. I plan on attending law school in the fall of 2007.
--Jeff Baroody, Class of 2005
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I am continuing to participate in the excavation at Mycenae, and although I am currently working as a bank teller, I am in the process of applying to graduate programs in Archaeology and Anthropology. Concrete plans have yet to be made, but I am confident with my education and background (thanks, Dickinson!), that I will be able to find a satisfying situation for myself. At this point I feel that it is important to be flexible with regard to any future plans that a student (or graduate) may have for themselves. I am not where I thought I would be four years ago, but I am still happy with the choices that I have made and the path that I have chosen so far. You never know where life is going to take you, but that isn't necessarily a scary or bad thing. Be passionate about the work you do every day, even if it has nothing to do with what you truly wish to do. You will find that the days will go much faster, and you will be much happier. And, of course, even if things don't work out the first time, if you really want to accomplish your goals, try and try again.
-- Sarah Peterson, Class of 2005
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I am finishing up my last two weeks at the US Senate and am about to start a new job with the US Government. The main advice I would like to offer to future graduates would be to be patient and to keep their eyes open for all different opportunities. It doesn't hurt to apply to things for which you don't think you are qualified. It took me over a year to get my new job, and at times it was a very frustrating wait, but things do work out. Having a Classical Studies or Archaeology background helped me, I think, because I stood out from among my peers. People always commented on my background. Even in my current job with the US Senate Sergeant at Arms, my background has been a point of interest. I was able to meet the Sergeant at Arms who thought my background very interesting. We talked about it quite a bit in my meeting with him. [My advice,] apply for a lot of jobs and explore all options. There are so many opportunities in all different kinds of fields.
- - Meghan Carter, Class of 2005
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I have not gone into the field of archaeology; I have been working at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Institutional Review Board (IRB) for almost 1 year and have taken some graduate classes at the School of Public Health. I intend to apply in the fall for the 2007 school year, to a Master's program in Public Health, with a concentration in International Health. In 5 years I would like to have graduated with my Masters and either started on a PhD program or working for an international public health consulting firm, providing health services to developing countries. Although I don't get to apply my knowledge of archaeology very often, the skills that I learned in that program, such as analytical research, and presentation skills, have come in extremely handy. I really valued the time I spent in the program; there are many fantastic opportunities to gain experience in the different facets of archaeology, from technical skills like planning to hands-on work. My advice to new students would be to take advantage of the opportunities that are available and to try to gain some real-world experience in the field.
--Erin Mead, Class of 2005
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I am currently completing my MA in Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in England; my topic is settlement continuity at the site of Mycenae during the LH IIIC through Iron Age. I've been accepted to the PhD program here, but will defer until I get funding. I'm looking into a career in cultural resourse management or surveying until then, either at home or here in England, and I hope to keep excavating at Mycenae during the summers. My advice to students would be to learn about geophysical survey and also consider researching jobs in the cultural sector, as there are a lot of different aspects to archaeology. If students want to go on to graduate school, start looking at requirements early to ensure that you take the right classes.
--Katie Lantzas, Class of 2005
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After graduation I worked in Carlisle and in Greece. When I finally made it back to Connecticut I started working as a secretary, then doing data entry for a little while. Somehow I landed in marketing. I've been working as a freelance traffic coordinator since March and just yesterday I accepted a new position which is fulltime as a project manager. What I do/will do is basically coordinating the movement of jobs (posters, table tents, banners, billboards, etc.) from the moment we receive an order from the client to the day we send it to the printer. It's a job that requires quite a bit of multi-tasking and organization. For archaeology grads planning to enter the workforce, don't look at your major as a weakness. People tend to be really interested in an archaeology major from a personal standpoint and love to talk to you about it. Talk about all the things you've done that relate to the position you're interviewing for: computer skills, those PowerPoint presentations for projects, organizational skills, etc. Trust me, any job you apply for there will be plenty of English, Psychology, etc., majors applying for it as well. Even if an archaeology major hasn't directly trained you for the job, it makes you unique and memorable.
--Ann Goencz - Class of 2005
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After spending a year working as a special education assistant for 7th graders, I am now getting my MA in Medieval Studies at Fordham. Though I am not technically continuing on in archaeology, many of my classes have elements of archaeology in their material. Having a solid background in archaeology, especially when it comes to the terminology, helps immensely in my studies. All the best,
-- Ted Harvey, Class of 2005
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I wanted to let you know that I was accepted to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The school is in Dublin just down the street from Trinity and on St. Stephen's Green. The four-year graduate entry program (rather than the usual six year program) begins in mid-September [2006]. I just wanted to say thank you for the support and sending in the numerous letters of recommendation. . . . Thank you for everything you have done over the past seven years.
--Elizabeth (Deter) Gale, Class of 2003