Murphey Hall continues to be home for a number of accomplished undergraduates.

Rachel Mazzara has published a translation of Catullus poem 51 in the Denison University undergraduate Classics journal, Ephemeris. Rachel’s project was born as writing assignment in Ted Gellar-Goad’s spring Latin 204 course.

“She’s extremely bright and will make this department proud as she pursues a career in Classics,” said Prof. Gellar-Goad, who is now serving as a post-doctoral fellow at Wake Forest University after finishing his Ph.D. here.

Rachel, however, is not the only promising young talent in the department. She, Caitlin Hines, and Henry Ross were all inducted into the University’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter last spring. Further, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South honored Caitlin with a Manson A. Stewart Scholarship. One of six undergraduates recognized for being “outstanding young Classicists,” Caitlin will use the $1,000 award to further her studies in the department.

We congratulate these promising juniors for their great accomplishments!


Donald Haggis garnered the Archaeological Institute of America’s Best Practices in Site Preservation Award for the Azoria Project in Crete, Greece.

Co-director Margaret Mook and Prof. Haggis work with local specialists to preserve the site as they excavate, creating a sustainable eco-archaeological tourist site. We applaud their innovative work, and invite you to learn more about and to support the Azoria Project. READ MORE >>


Haggis examines an artifact

Donald Haggis was recently awarded a three-year Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, entitled “The Azoria Project Excavations: A Study of Urbanization on Crete, 700-500 B.C.”

The award of $250,000 constitutes a significant contribution to on-going excavations at Azoria, which are scheduled to reopen in 2013 for a second five-year campaign, co-sponsored by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The Azoria Project is the excavation of an early Greek city (seventh to sixth centuries B.C.) on the island of Crete in the Aegean, studying urbanization and the changing sociopolitical and economic organization of an emergent urban community in the transition from the Early Iron Age (1200-700 B.C.) to Archaic periods (700-600 B.C.).

Earlier this year, The Archaeological Institute of America recognized Prof. Haggis and the Azoria Project with its “Best Practices in Site Preservation Award.” Click here to learn about the Azoria Project.


Watch the institute online here.

Watch the institute online here.

Clever slaves, braggart soldiers and cooks, enticing courtesans, and shouting fathers from ancient times are now on YouTube. The product of Sharon James’s National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute: Roman Comedy in Performance, these experimental videos will serve as teaching and learning tools for those studying the often troubling but funny genre.

Co-directed by alumnus Timothy Moore, the institute was a collaborative project involving 23 professors and three graduate students and visiting faculty members. Participants created multiple performance versions of scenes from Plautus and Terence by experimenting with staging, actors, translation, choreography, and more. By doing so, they crafted an excellent series of scenes that relates the ancient plays to our modern society.

Click here to use the performances for your own teaching, research, and learning.


The library journal Choice has selected Sharon L. James and Sheila Dillon‘s A Companion to Women in the Ancient World as an one of its Outstanding Academic Titles of 2012 in Ancient History.

“Choice grants this award to fewer than three percent of the books that are sent to it for review,” Prof. James explained. “My co-editor, Sheila Dillon, and I — along with our thirty-nine contributors — are very pleased that our Companion is one of them.”

Additionally, the Association of American Publishers gave the volume honorable mention in its 2012 PROSE Awards under the category of “Single Volume Reference in Humanities and Social Sciences.”

Prof. James partnered with Prof. Dillon, associate professor of art history at Duke University, to co-edit the volume for Wiley-Blackwell.


We congratulate the winners of our annual Herington Prize in Latin and Greek poetry performance for the fall 2012. Undergraduates Heather Swanson and Caitlin Hines respectively impressed the departmental judges with their Latin and Greek readings, and Zack Rider bested his fellow graduate students with a Greek passage of his own choosing.

The Herington Prize was established in 1999 by Maynard and Florence Mack in honor of John Herington. Two undergraduates who perform the best reading of preselected Latin and Greek poems are awarded $200 each. The graduate winner receives a rare book donated by Sara Mack, professor emerita.


In the spring of 2013 Sharon L. James garnered the University’s William C. Friday and Class of 1986 Award for Excellence in Teaching. The University gives only one Friday award annually to a faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching. It is named in honor of the University’s late chancellor.

The University recognized Prof. James and other honored instructors during halftime at the UNC-Virginia Tech Feb. 2 men’s basketball game.

“William C. Friday was one of the great leaders of higher education in U.S. history,” Prof. James said. “To say that I was surprised to receive a teaching award established in his name would be a major understatement! I had no idea that I had been nominated. I’m extremely honored, and I would like to thank the colleagues and especially the students who supported my nomination.”

The award comes at the end of a very busy 12 months for Prof. James, who co-directed the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer 2012 Institute: Roman Comedy in Performance and received news that Choice selected her co-edited volume, A Companion to women in the ancient world, as one of its “Outstanding Academic Titles of 2012.” The Association of American Publishers also gave the volume honorable mention in its 2012 PROSE Awards. Established by members of UNC’s 1986 graduating class, the award includes a stipend of $5,000.

We congratulate Prof. James on her well-deserved honor!


We are pleased to announce that Rachel Mazzara has won the Epps Prize in Greek Studies and Nicky Curtis the Herington Scholarship this spring 2013 semester.

“I feel very honored to have been chosen for the Epps Prize, and I’m grateful to all of the professors and classmates who have taught and encouraged me while I’ve been at UNC,” Mazzara said in an emailed reaction to her award.

The faculty award Epps Prize to one junior or senior undergraduate or graduate student of Greek who shows “the greatest interest and promise in coming to understand the Greek language, literature, history, and outlook.” It is named for Preston Epps, who taught in the department for many years.

Faculty grant the Hernington Scholarship of $450 to one first-year, sophomore, or junior Classics major or minor to further his or her studies at UNC or abroad. Preference is given to promising Greek students.


Henry Ross, a senior Classics major with a minor in biology and a Morehead-Cain Scholar, has been awarded a competitive fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation to live and learn in Asia for a year after he graduates this spring.

Henry Ross


The Luce Scholars Program selects 15-18 college seniors from a national pool of nominated candidates based on the students’ leadership and academic achievements. Fellows live and work in Asia for a year with the intent to gain exposure to the content as a benefit to their future careers. Ross plans to enter law school.

“I don’t yet know the specifics of my position or location in Asia, but I hope to gain valuable insight into foreign arrest, adjudication, and incarceration policies,” Ross explained.

Ross is completing his senior thesis on the depiction of the bee society in the Fourth Book of Vergil’s Georgics, one of the most challenging poems in Latin, under the direction of James J. O’Hara.

“Despite his busy schedule, he works hard, writes well, and responds well to all my comments on his drafts,” commented Prof. O’Hara.

“Henry is one of our star students–he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and he has worked on the Student Honor Court for years,” added Sharon L. James. “We are delighted to see him win this very competitive, prestigious scholarship.”

Additionally, Ross has completed graduate-level coursework in Latin and won the 2012 Preston H. and Miriam Epps Prize in Greek Studies. Beyond Carolina, he has taught in Zimbabwe and researched in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Study in the Classics Department has been my most valuable academic experience at Carolina, and vital in my preparation and selection for the Luce,” Ross reflected. “Like the department, the Luce Foundation embraces a holistic study of language, history, literature, and culture. In Asia, and in my legal career, I will rely on my background in Classics to make connections and express my ideas. The professors here who have deepened my interest in the ancient world have also exemplified rigor, integrity, collegiality, humility, attention to detail, and commitment to learning. I hope to follow their example and put to use the skills I have learned as I pursue work and study in criminal law.”

Aside from his academic work, Ross has interned for the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., and now works as the student body’s deputy student attorney general and solicitor general.

We congratulate him for this significant achievement!