Monday, March 28, 2011

Alumna Profile: Deb T. ('05) in Athens, Greece

I graduated from UE with a major in Archaeology and a double minor in Classical Studies and Anthropology. I was also the Archaeology Club president (and president of my sorority!) and really enjoyed the wide range of scholastic and social events that UE had to offer. Also, UE’s strong endorsement of study abroad programs got me more interested in having the life of a travelling archaeologist. In the fall of 2003, less than a year before the 2004 Olympics, I spent a semester in Athens, Greece with the College Year in Athens Program (CYA). Combining what I learned in the basement of Hyde Hall with on-site instructional classes solidified my decision to become a classical archaeologist.

After graduating from UE, I immediately went on to graduate school at Florida State University, along with three other Aces from the Archaeology program (Philip Griffith, Maureen M., and Lafe Meicenheimer). I was admitted into the Classics Department at FSU, where I earned my MA in Classical Archaeology, and was accepted into the PhD program with a full scholarship, allowing me to teach courses in mythology and Latin. I spent the 2010-2011 school year in Greece as a regular member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA) and received the Philip J. Lockhart Fellowship from the ASCSA, which provided room, board, and a stipend for travels in addition to a Thompson Fellowship from FSU's Classics department. In the fall semester, I, along with other students at the ASCSA, traveled all over Greece – from Vergina to the Mani – giving on-site presentations and learning more about ancient sites from excavators, as well as the modern culture and its recent history.

Deb gives a presentation on the Delphi Charioteer at the Delphi Museum.
In the spring semester, I worked in the Corinth and Mycenae museums, beginning work on my dissertation entitled "Pots in the Periphery: Ceramic Analysis of Mycenaean Cooking Vessels and its Implications for an Integrated World-Systems Model." With the help of my advisor, Dr. Daniel Pullen (FSU), my dissertation involves stylistic, microscopic and chemical analyses of cooking vessels from several Mycenaean (1500-1100 BC) sites, including Mycenae, Zygouries, and Kalamianos, the recently-discovered site under co-directorship of Dr. Daniel Pullen (FSU, Classics) and Dr. Thomas Tartaron (University of Pennsylvania).

Deb working on pottery in the Corinth Museum.
I am now in the fourth year of my PhD at FSU, having earned my candidacy just last year, and am writing this blog entry from Athens, Greece. Even this far away from UE, I still find connections with my alma mater: I’m working on the same vessels from Zygouries that Dr. Thomas did for his dissertation; I continually get asked if I know “so and so” from UE, even though he/she graduated in ’92; I even ran into several Aces on our trips: Vince Valenti, who joined the ASCSA trip to the Argolid, and Melissa Eaby, who is now working at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) on Crete. Back at FSU I am classmates with a UE alumna (Hillary C.) and we often talk about going to teach at a school like UE when we graduate. It seems I can’t go anywhere without being reminded of my days as an Ace.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Drs. Thomas, Kaiser, and Ebeling, as well as Dr. Berry in Anthropology and Dr. Ware in Religion, for their support and encouragement to follow the path that I am taking today. I know that the undergraduates at UE are in good hands! GO ACES!

(Left: Deb in front of the Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae)

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