Alumni Notes 2021

The Department of Classical Studies loves hearing updates from its alumni! As Cicero said to his brother, Quintus:  “quid agas et ut te oblectes scire cupio maximeque te ipsum videre quam primum.”

The following updates were received from alumni in 2022:

Haleigh (Evans) Alexander (2016): I am currently working as a Sr. Recruiter with Lowes Foods’ Human Resources department. Though I do not conduct my candidate interviews in Latin, I do utilize my undergraduate degree in Classical Studies every day! The leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills I developed through my Classics classes have helped me succeed in my career. I am continually grateful for my wonderful experience with the Classics Department at UNCG and am still as passionate as ever about the diverse benefits of a Classics education.

Scott Hinshaw (1997): I was promoted to Archivist in May 2019, here at UNCG’s Special Collections and University Archives (University Libraries). My work involves accessioning and processing university records, as well as managing the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection, which documents the history of the university through oral histories. I’m now in my 23rd year at Jackson Library, and have worked in Special Collections and University Archives since 2013. I live with my wife, Dr. Stacie Meaux, and son, Nathanael, in Greensboro, NC.

I also received my MA degree in History (with Historic Preservation certificate) from UNCG in 2004.

Jessie Miller (2019) I am currently working as a Student Trainee/GIS Analyst at the US Census Bureau and will graduate with a masters in Applied Geography with a concentration in GIS from UNCG. I also got married to Luke Kaiser (fellow alumnus) in January!

Eric Morris (1999): I graduated from our department in Fall of 1999 and began teaching in1998. I was a  Latin  instructor for 5 years.  With a library science degree completed from NCCU in 2008, I joined forces with the staff at NCCU as a technician in the government documents department.  Now, I am head of Government Documents and a reference librarian.  I would like to receive the newsletter in the mail and to thank the faculty and staff of the UNCG classical studies department for all of the assistance that they gave in my enrichment and my career.

J.R. Naylor (2003): As the only UNCG Teaching Fellow Latin major, I am in my 19th year of teaching in Wilmington, NC with an active JCL chapter. After 4 trips to Italy, I began studying Italian. 3 years later I was able to add the language to my license thanks to UNC and Oregon State University. This has been my first year teaching introductory Italian alongside her mother language, Latin.

Megan (Leonard) Paul (2017) I am currently living in Texas after living in Washington state for six months and six months in Virginia. While moving around for my husband’s job this past year I have been working on my master’s degree in educational leadership through Eastern Washington University. I just accepted an elementary school teaching position for the next school year and my husband and I are expecting our first child, a little girl, in May! I hope you and the entire department are doing well.

Amanda Richards (2013) I’ve been teaching in Southlake, TX for the last 6 years and was awarded Teacher of the Year of Carroll High School for the 2021-2022 school year. I’m currently working on renovating my mom’s house from top to bottom, complete with a mural based on the frescoes from Livia’s triclinium.

Will Sandin (2020) I am currently working on my MLIS here at UNCG. I also still run from time to time.

Marissa Sarver (2017) I graduated from UNCG in 2017, leaving behind a department that had been my home for five years. The professors there challenged me to push beyond what I thought myself capable of and to pursue every opportunity that came my way. Because of them, in the fall of 2017 I began my graduate program at the University of Iowa. I earned my Masters in Classical Studies and then sought a career as a high school Latin teacher. I currently teach at Greensboro Day School among other UNCG Classics graduates. I am excited each day that I get to read texts such as Ovid’s Amores and Vergil’s Aeneid with my own Latin students. This has been my first year teaching here and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have all of my professors at UNCG to thank for inspiring me to enter this field and make a career out of something that I love.

Allen Brown (1985) I am an alumnus, not of the Classical Studies Department, but of the English Department, nearly 40 years ago. I’ve worked for Marriott International for 33 years, the last 20 of which have been with one of the Marriott family’s philanthropic endeavors, an organization called Bridges from School to Work.

When at UNCG, I did, however, complete two courses in Classical Studies. The first was with Dr. Francis Laine, who taught Homer and Ovid. I took his course in 1979, only to learn many decades later that he had died only a couple of years after I had been enrolled in his course. His course was among my favorite and most influential experiences at UNCG, one I’ve never forgotten and fondly remember—including his expectation of us to memorize and recite the Greek alphabet. Dr. Laine seemed like the quintessential college professor, standing at the head of Jarrell Lecture Hall in the library basement and teaching us about the ancient glories of Greece and Rome. I then took a Greek comedy and drama course with Dr. Shelmerdine, who at the time was a young professor with a freshly minted Ph.D. from Michigan.

When I participated in commencement, I sat beside (in the Greensboro Coliseum) the only two Classical Studies graduates that year, both petite, pert, and bright young ladies who looked so much more self-confident, refined, and intelligent than I felt at the time. Both seemed so accomplished that I imagined they were headed for graduate school and careers in academia. I admired them and wondered how they felt that day to be among only two graduates of Classical Studies—especially considering the large numbers of business, education, and nursing students in that graduating class. I think I regretted at the time not taking more Classical Studies courses—or not having made it a double major—and regretting not studying Greek or Latin, which to a first generation college student like me seemed really intimidating.  Coincidentally, one of my high school homeroom teachers in Durham was a UNCG alum who taught high school Latin. In retrospect, I now realize that if she could learn Latin, so could I.

I’m writing b/c the ancient Greeks (and Romans, to some extent) have brought lots of solace and needed distraction to the trauma and disruption of these last two years.

Please share this email with Dr. Shelmerdine and other colleagues, letting them know that the work they do often sticks with their students for life. Those courses enriched my life then and continue to do so today as I approach retirement age. Thanks for the work you do on that campus to keep Classical Studies alive. I’d like nothing more in this stage of life than to read about and study ancient Greece and Rome.