When my students ask me why I became a Latin teacher, I often tell them it was fate. This, obviously, is the short answer I give during class time when they have asked an off-topic question to avoid conjugating deponent verbs or learning about gerunds and gerundives. The truth of the matter is that I have grown to love the Latin language and couldn’t imagine my life without it. I was introduced to the wide world of Latin in college, continued my education until I was satisfied with my level of learning, and then  entered into the teaching profession at a college preparatory school.

The long and the short of it:

My first day on Western Washington’s campus for freshman orientation was bright and sunny. Naturally, I accessorized with short, hot-pink hair and old army fatigues I had found at the Army Navy supply for cheap. I walked over to my assigned classroom and sat in


RJ “Publius” Parsons came to the University of Kentucky after several years in which he taught high-school music and Latin in Miami, Florida, and Glendale, California. He has done extensive research into impressionistic music theory, medieval polyphony, and renaissance counterpoint most recently creating a musical score of sacred motets written by the sixteenth-century Flemish composer Noe Faignant. Throughout his musical tuition RJ has enjoyed employing texts that were written entirely in Latin, as for centuries it was the language of scholarship in all disciplines and especially music. He took so much pleasure in using the Latin skills he had obtained in school that he decided to teach it!


At the American Classical League convention’s spoken Latin seminar held at Loyola Marymount University, RJ first met Drs. Milena Minkova and Terence Tunberg and although he had


Jonathan Meyer studied classics and religion at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) and Yale Divinity School before coming to the University of Kentucky. He has also participated in the summer Latin program directed by Reginald Foster (OCD). He has taught students in Latin and Greek at the high school and college levels and has assisted in graduate courses dealing with biblical studies, religious history, and ancient Greek history. At the University of Kentucky, he has taught courses in beginning and intermediate Latin and Greek. In 2011 he received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences.

His research interests include the epic tradition, ancient religion, and neo-Latin literature; his translations of selections from Homer’s Odyssey and the Legenda Aurea have been published and will appear in the forthcoming The Gospel of Judas: A Night with Judas


Hailing from Carmel, CA, William Little completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in 2010 and subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in Medieval Studies at Fordham University, where he wrote a thesis exploring the practice and use of Biblical exegesis at the eleventh-century court of Matilda, Countess of Tuscany.  His interests lie in the intellectual and literary history of the Latin Middle Ages, in particular Biblical exegesis and the reception of classical texts (especially poetry).  Seeing as such areas of inquiry demand a deep familiarity with the Latinity of many different times, places, and genres, the program in Classics at the University of Kentucky immediately appealed to him on account of its openness toward the entirety of the Latin patrimony, approaching texts from classical antiquity and those of the Middle Ages and beyond with the same level of rigor and


Donald Handshoe, a senior and a double major in Classics and Anthropology, divides his time between his studies and his work, both of which as it turns out have to do with archaeology, his passion.  His recent studies have included Latin, Greek, and Italian, but also courses in ancient geography, the history of the Roman Empire, and masterpieces of classical literature.  All of this is impressive enough, but what is especially noteworthy is his contribution to the excavations directed by UK professor Paolo Visonà at Monte Palazzi in southern Italy.


Because only 10% of the site had been excavated, Professor Visonà contacted the University of Kentucky's Archaeological Research Facility to inquire about geophysical testing, and in the summer of 2010 Donald traveled to the site to conduct electrical resistance and fluxgate gradiometry testing.  The results revealed that


This is how Joey Bradley, a UK alumnus with a major in Russian, tells about the impact of Russian Studies at UK on his life.

In the words of the late Steve Jobs, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards." In retrospect, it may seem odd that a Russian degree received from UK in 2001 led me to software development. However, the instruction at UK prepared me to think different. In my opinion, writing computer code required the same thought process as communicating in Russian.

Currently I work as a software developer in Washington DC for the Department of Labor. I previously worked with the Office of Personnel Management, the National Park Service, Defense Information Systems Agency and Telecommunications Industry Association. In 2006 I co-founded a software company called Odology, which built easy to use applications for


Hannah Arthur Bell graduated in 1999 from the College of Arts & Sciences with a major in English and a minor in Russian Studies.  During her sophomore year, Hannah traveled with her father to St. Petersburg, Russia, to see one of his plays performed at the University of St. Petersburg.

Hannah had no prior knowledge of Russia, but immediately fell in love with the art and culture of St. Petersburg; so much so that she talked her mother and grandmother into returning with her on a group tour that next spring.  

Hannah quickly became determined to focus the last 4 semesters of her college curriculum to "all things Russia".  It was during her 2nd language course, headed by Professor Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, that she decided to spend the summer in Vladimir to attend the KORA exchange program at the State University.  Two months' immersion with side trips to Suzdal,


Marcello Lippiello earned his MA in Classics and the Graduate Certificate in Latin Studies at the University of Kentucky, both in 2005.  Highlights included the opportunity to prepare an original Latin translation of Plato's Lysis (under the excellent guidance of Professor Minkova) as part of his MA exams, as well as a number of experiences teaching introductory level Latin and leading group discussions for Professor Rabel's Ancient Stories and Modern Film course.  Marcello's experiences in the Institute for Latin Studies and in teaching during this time helped him to discern a calling to a career as a teacher of the Classics.

More opportunities to teach would follow at Duke University, where Marcello enrolled as a doctoral student in Classical Studies in 2005.  While at  Duke, he taught Introductory Latin, Intermediate Latin (mainly focusing on Caesar's Civil War),


Antoine Haaker was born in Boulogne-sur-mer (France) and did his undergraduate studies in Classics at the University of Lille. During the summer, he once travelled to Rome in order to attend the Latin course of Father Reginald Foster. Father Foster is a Carmelite who used to work in the Vatican at the Latin letters office where official documents of the Church are written in or translated into Latin. For Father Foster Latin is still a living language, and this is how he teaches it. He speaks it in front of his students and proposes to read passages from the whole range of Latin literature, from antiquity down to the twentieth century.

“My professors in France hardly read aloud the texts we were translating in class, let alone speak Latin. Besides, they only dealt with strictly ancient Roman literature. So, going to Rome and meeting Reginald Foster was an eye-opener.”


Rachel Philbrick was born and raised in Cambridge, Mass., and attended high school at the Commonwealth School, a small, private institution in Boston’s Back Bay. Commonwealth’s small size fostered a stimulating intellectual environment, encouraging interactions between students and faculty. It was here that Rachel first encountered Latin, studying it for four year and travelling, in her junior year, to Italy with her Latin class.

From there, Rachel entered Cornell University as a biology major. In her sophomore year, she added Latin as a second major under the mentorship of Prof. Michael Fontaine and, in May 2007, completed degrees in both Latin and Biology & Society. She spent the summer of 2006 in Rome, Italy, studying at Fr. Reginald Foster’s Aestiva Romae Latinitas, where she encountered a vibrant intellectual community akin to that she had enjoyed in high school. This


Miller came to the graduate program in classics at the University of Kentucky in the autumn of 2006, drawn by the Institute for Latin Studies and the allure of learning to use Latin as a language rather than seeing it as a puzzle or a code standing between an author and a reader.  Though taught as an undergraduate in the passive style that characterized nineteenth and twentieth century Latin pedagogy in America, and having used those same techniques in his own secondary school teaching, Miller quickly came to appreciate Kentucky's active methodology, an approach in line both with Latin teaching strategies of centuries past and with best practices current in modern foreign language education. 

He did not realize, however, that the Institute would not only teach him the language inside and out but would also expose him to a much broader range of genres and styles than is



By Kathy Johnson

The University of Kentucky Appalachian CenterAppalachian Studies and the Graduate Appalachian Research Community are making a call for papers for the 2012 UK Appalachian Research Symposium and Arts Showcase. The topic of the work must be related to Appalachia, original, and produced in the last three years. 

The deadline for submitting an abstract of work online is midnight Dec. 15. The submission can be made by going to the GARC tab on and clicking on the "Abstract Submission"

confucius institute


By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute will welcome a renowned international education expert to campus next week to discuss the current state of Chinese education in the U.S. and around the world.

University of Vermont emeritus professor of education Juefei Wang will give a talk titled “Chinese Education in a Changing Society” at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, in the William T. Young Library.

The esteemed professor and program director of the Freeman Foundation founded the University of Vermont Asian Studies Outreach Program and served as its director for 14 years.  In that role he created a statewide program for Asian studies in schools in Vermont, organized more than 1,000 teachers, school administrators, and high school and college students to visit China, Japan, and Thailand and


Joseph Tipton is currently a predoctoral fellow in the Department of Classics at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to teaching courses in Greek history, ancient mythology and classical literature, he is writing his dissertation which deals with the philosophical commitments underlying the Athenian democracy in the Periclean period as evidenced in philosophical, historical and dramatic texts.

Joseph was a graduate student in the Classics program at the University of Kentucky from 2001 to 2003. During these two years he pursued both Greek and Latin studies in the department. He appreciates most the work he did in the Institutum Studiis Latinis Provehendis. In the Institutum he gained not just a command of the language, but also an insight into the nuances of the language that has proved invaluable in subsequent work. He has also gained an understanding of the full scope

students with banner


By Erin Holaday Zielger

The United States celebrates International Education week this week, but UK has escalated its presence and connectivity across the globe since Provost Kumble Subbaswamy established the Internationalization Task Force in February 2007.

"Our students, regardless of whether they come from rural Kentucky or from outside the U.S., are increasingly aware of the importance of being ready for the global marketplace," Subbaswamy said.  "Thus, it is our responsibility to make sure that UK provides them ample opportunity to become ‘world ready.’ Our internationalization efforts are aimed at achieving this strategic goal."

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. The joint



Matt Wells presented a paper titled “How to Be an Exemplary Official: Didactic Life Narrative in the Jin shu.” 15th Annual Southeast Early China Roundtable, University of the South, Sewanee, October 7-9, 2011. Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby and Matt Wells participated in an Asian studies meeting up in Louisville for all of the Asian Studies faculty across the state, hosted by the Crane House.  EVENT - David Hunter & Catholic Studies - Sinai Monk to Visit The Cottrill-Rolfes Chair of Catholic Studies, through the good offices of Dr. David Bradshaw, Philosophy Depaetment chair, will be sponsoring two lectures in early November.  The speaker will be Fr. Justin Sinates, a monk of St. Catherine's monastery in the Sinai Desert, Egypt, and a native of Texas.  St. Catherine's was founded in the sixth century by the Byzantine emperor Justinian and is the oldest Christian

Year of China


By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences will host a trailblazing American diplomat next week to continue the college's Year of China initiative.

Former U.S. Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch will speak on “Leadership and Education in a Globalizing World: China’s Challenge” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in Room 118 of the White Hall Classroom Building on UK's campus.

Bloch’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the "Passport to China: Global Issues & Local Understanding" course taught by UK sociology Professor Keiko Tanaka.

Ambassador Bloch, the first Asian-American ambassador in American history, has had a broad career in U.S. government service. She is currently president of the U.S.-China Education Trust, a nonprofit organization working to


By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky's College of Arts & Sciences continues to expand its language offerings this year, as the UK Board of Trustees approved a Chinese studies major in early fall 2011 on the heels of Japan studies last year.

"We've gotten a lot of positive student response," said Matt Wells, professor of Chinese and director of Undergraduate Studies for the new major. "The program offers four years of Chinese language, study abroad opportunities and an interdisciplinary curriculum covering modern and pre-modern Chinese culture."

A major couldn't come too soon, as the number of students studying Chinese has experienced 20-30 annual growth, according to Wells. "We have more students in our 101 classes now than there were in 101, 201 and 301



By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky will host 40 of the world's experts in early modern France at an interdisciplinary conference this week.

The 30th Annual Conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies (SE17) will begin Thursday, Nov. 3, with scholarly papers and discussion. The meeting will be held in the Blue Grass Room of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Lexington and is free and open to the public.

Jeffrey Peters, the director of UK's Division of French and Italian Studies, organized the three-day scholarly get-together.

"The nature of literary studies has really changed in recent years," Peters said


Christiana Holsapple, an International Studies senior at the University of Kentucky, is also completing minors in Russian and Spanish languages. Throughout her years at the University of Kentucky, Holsapple has been extremely active. She completed an internship with Kentucky Refugee Ministries, served as a peer advisor in the Education Abroad Office, presented research to state legislators at Posters at the Capitol, and was a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish Honor Society. However, what Holsapple feels she has benefitted the most from during her undergraduate years at the University of Kentucky are the many opportunities she has had to gain vital experience abroad.

Holsapple first studied overseas in Summer 2010 with the Kentucky Institute of International Studies’ program in L’viv, Ukraine, studying post-Soviet history and sociology.  Deeply impressed by the


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