Two Archaeology Graduate Students Win Summer Funding Awards

Hilker summer award

Hilker (left) acting as a trench supervisor at the Azoria excavation on Crete

Sarah Hilker has received the Janice and Herbert Benario Award from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.  She will use the award to participate in the Postgraduate Course in Linear B and Mycenaean Greek at the British School of Archaeology at Athens this summer 2017.  Sarah’s dissertation project is a study of Mycenaean houses, both domestic contexts and settlement structures, focusing on residential space as a form of cultural production from the 14th to 12th centuries B.C.  Her work models Mycenaean residential space across palatial and non-palatial territories; and across temporal or historical divisions (such as Late Helladic IIIB to IIIC) that have informed interpretations of settlement histories derived from Linear-B topography.


Tardio in Renieblas, Spain in 2015

Katie Tardio was awarded the Dienje Kenyon Memorial Fellowship which will provide support for her travel to Spain so that she may continue to participate in the excavation and study of faunal material at Renieblas, Spain which is directed by Alicia Jiménez Díez and Jesús Bermejo Tirado since 2015 (read more about the Duke Univeristy project here).  This excavation project seeks to better understand the origins of the Roman Empire and mechanisms of early colonization by studying the first Roman settlements outside of Italy, specifically military camps in Iberia (modern Spain) and the local settlements surrounding them.  The goal of this project is to define the character of the Roman military diet in Spain, and the impact of Roman colonization on local animal economies including animal husbandry, trade networks, and food preferences.

UNC Senior Perla Azucena Castillejos receives SCS Minority Scholarship in Classics

Perla Castillejos

Perla at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland (Summer 2016)

Senior Classics student Perla Azucena Castillejos has been awarded a minority scholarship for undergraduate students from the Society for Classical Studies.  The scholarship aims to help students further their preparation in classics or classical archaeology during the summer with programs not available during the academic year.  Perla shares her plans for this summer below:

“Since I was young, I have been interested in the ancient world and I thought that the only way to learn more about the topic was through the study of history.  After transferring to Carolina in the fall of 2015 as a junior, I discovered that there was an entire department dedicated to the study of ancient Rome and Greece, and that I could put a name to the field which I was most fascinated with: Classics.  I took as many courses as I could, but as a transfer student I only had a limited amount of time to do so.  At the beginning of my senior year I decided that I wanted to continue with my studies at the graduate level, but I did not yet have the required amount of experience in the ancient languages.  I will use the Minority Scholarship to sign up for an intensive Greek course over the summer which will provide the experience I need to apply to a post-baccalaureate program where I will improve my Latin and Greek.”

Perla is a History major with a minors in Archaeology and Classical Humanities.  Past winners of the SCS minority scholarship have attended summer language institutes and have participated in archaeological digs and field schools.  You can learn more about the scholarship and others offered by the SCS here.


Three Classics Instructors Named Recipients of 2017 UNC Teaching Awards


(From left) Will Begley, Jennifer Gates-Foster, and William Race

Of the twenty-four faculty members and teaching assistants selected for University teaching awards this spring, three find their home in the Department of Classics.  Professor Jennifer Gates-Foster received a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; Professor-emeritus William Race won a J. Carlyle Sitterson Award for Teaching First-Year Students; and graduate student Will Begley was awarded a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Each year, the University Committee on Teaching Awards encourages students to nominate faculty and graduate teaching assistants.  The committee chooses recipients who “promote the value of undergraduate teaching by example, demonstrate concern for students through interaction and approachability inside and outside the classroom, create meaningful learning experiences and maintain high expectations of their students.”  For more about the awards see here.

All of the recipients were recognized at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Pittsburgh on January 31, 2017.  They will also hosted be by Chancellor Carol L. Folt at a banquet in April.

teaching awards bball

William Race (center), Will Begley (seven from right), and Jennifer Gates-Foster (four from right) are recognized along with other teaching award recipients on January 31.

Jennifer Gates-Foster is an assistant professor of Classical Archaeology and has been at Carolina since 2013.  Her primary research interests are in the art and archaeology of the Near East and Egypt in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Professor-emeritus William Race was the George L. Paddison Professor of Classics from 1996 until his retirement in 2016.  His teaching and research interests include Greek and Latin poetry, rhetoric, and the Classical tradition.

Will Begley is a fifth-year philology graduate student and is also the Classics Department’s Greek Paddison Fellow mentored by William Race.  Will has taught elementary and intermediate Latin during his time at Carolina.

Mary Sturgeon Receives Prestigious ASCSA Award

mcs-pic-col3Congratulations to Mary Sturgeon, Professor Emerita, Department of Art, affiliated faculty in Classics and the Curriculum of Archaeology, on being named one of 2017’s two recipients of the Aristeia Award for Distinguished Almuni/ae of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.  The award honors exceptional service to the School, especially by those who have done the most over the years in support of its mission in teaching, research, archaeological exploration, and/or publication.  The chair of the Award Committee describes Mary as someone who has made outstanding contributions not just in some, but in all these areas!

Founded in 1881, the ASCSA is one of the best resources in Greece for American scholars of ancient and post-classical studies in Greek language, literature, history, archaeology, philosophy, and art. (See  It offers a variety of programs for graduate students, who receive comprehensive training through visits to archaeological sties and museums and attend seminars led by resident and visiting scholars.

Professor Sturgeon was chair of ASCSA’s 300-member Managing Committee from 2007 to 2012, with a budget of $10 million.  Committee members are tasked with overseeing two important libraries, publications, personnel, excavations and surveys, technology, summer schools, and a scientific lab, as well as handling admissions and fellowships.  She acted as liaison to the two important excavations at the Athenian Agora and Corinth and to the Board of Trustees, while finding time (somehow!) to be involved in development.

Professor Sturgeon will receive the award in Toronto next January at the annual joint meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the Society for Classical Studies. We congratulate her on her outstanding achievement!

2016 Herington Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Annual Herington Competition!

Jessica Carter – Herington Prize in Greek
Evan Colby – Herington Prize in Latin

The Herington Greek and Latin Poetry Prizes, established in 1999 by Maynard and Florence Mack in memory of John Herington, are awarded for the best performance of assigned passages of Greek and Latin poetry.  There are two prizes of $250 each, one in Greek and one in Latin.  The competition, open to all undergraduates taking Greek or Latin at UNC, takes place every year in the fall.

Cicek Beeby highlighted in Carolina Arts & Sciences Magazine

Cicek Beeby, graduate student in Classical Archaeology, is highlighted in the Fall 2016 edition of the Carolina Arts & Sciences Magazine.  The article, “A teacher digs deeper” can be found on the magazine’s website here.  The piece spotlights Cicek’s role as a trench supervisor on the Azoria Project in Crete, Greece, a  position she has held since 2012.

In January 2016, Cicek was named a winner of the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.  She is currently working on her dissertation titled “Spatial Narratives of Mortuary Landscapes in Early Iron Age Greece: A Network Approach.”

UNC Classics Department Seeks Paddison Professor in Greek Poetry

The Department of Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been authorized to search for a distinguished colleague to join the Department as George L. Paddison Professor of Classics, with a specialization in Greek poetry.  This is a tenured position.  The Paddison Professor teaches a wide range of courses and seminars in Greek poetry and Greek and Roman literature and culture more broadly and is expected to take an active role in supervision and mentoring at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  We seek a scholar with a strong record of publication, an international reputation for excellence in research, a demonstrated commitment to first-rate teaching and mentoring, and potential for intellectual leadership and strong service.  A PhD in Classics or a related field is required.  Nominations are welcome.  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and welcomes all to apply, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  The Department especially encourages applications from women and minority candidates.

We will begin to consider applications on November 3, 2016, and continue the search until the position is filled.  Applicants apply online at and attach a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of four persons who would be willing to write letters of recommendation.  Referees will be contacted with instructions for submitting their letters online.  Inquiries may be addressed to Professor James O’Hara, Chair, Paddison Search Committee, at  The Department’s website is


Azoria Project Accepting Applications for Summer 2017

The Azoria Project is conducting its final full-scale excavation season in May-July 2017, and seeks student volunteers to participate as trench assistants.  The program trains students in problems, methods, and research practices in Mediterranean and Aegean archaeology by providing them with a fieldwork- and laboratory-based program in Greece.  This summer of 2017 will be the 10th excavation season and the 16th year of the Project.  Since 2002, the Azoria Project has trained over 35 graduate students in classics, archaeology, and anthropology (trench supervisors and area specialists); and more than 200 undergraduate and graduate student trench assistants.  At least 20 of our undergraduate staff members have continued into graduate work (including two NSF fellows) in classics, classical archaeology, anthropology, and archaeology.  Student participants have come from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Barbados.

The Azoria Project is the excavation of the Early Iron Age-Archaic site of Azoria (ca. 1200-500 B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Greek Aegean.  The focus is the Archaic-period city (ca. 700-480 B.C.) and the investigation of local dynamics of urbanization and sociopolitical changes in the 8th and 7th c. B.C.  Current fieldwork (2013-2017) is exploring the topography of the archaic civic center archaic-period residential complexes (6th and early 5th c. B.C), and conducting a number of stratigraphic soundings in the area of the civic buildings in order to refine our understanding of the chronology and early history of the site.

Fore more information on how to participate in the 2017 season of excavations at Azoria, please follow the links at the Project website, or contact Project Director, Donald Haggis, at


Congratulations to Our Most Recent PhDs!

2015-16 brought a bumper crop of new PhDs, and we are very pleased to report that many of them have done well in a very difficult job market:

Erika Weiberg will be starting as tenure-track Assistant Professor at Florida State University

Pablo Molina has accepted a full-time position at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts

Katie DeBoer Simons has accepted a one-year position as Visiting Assistant Professor at Indiana University

Rebecca Worsham has accepted a two-year position as Visiting Assistant Professor at Smith College

Hans Hansen will be continuing as part-time instructor at Elon University

Robyn LeBlanc will be continuing as lecturer at UNC Greensboro

Of recent PhDs, Serena Witzke has accepted a one-year position as lecturer at the University of Illinois.

Congratulations to them all!