Classics fellowships reflect academic excellence

UC graduate students recognized with fellowships at home and abroad

When a University of Cincinnati graduate student earns a fellowship from an outside institution, such as a foundation or professional society, it’s a prestigious feather in both the student’s and the department’s cap. 

Not surprisingly, this feather/cap distinction happens often in UC’s Department of Classics, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in April 2021.

“Fellowship awards have been a constant here, but the last few years we have been particularly successful with our students earning national and international fellowships,” says Jack Davis, department head and Carl W. Blegen Professor of Greek Archaeology.

At any one time, there are 30 to 40 graduate students in the program, and recently a large contingent won major competitive fellowships outside of UC, says Davis, noting the university is among the top-ranked classics program in the country with an internationally renowned reputation. The article, “UC celebrates a century of Classics scholarship,” highlights the department’s long-standing history of programing, achievements and scholarship funding.

“People outside of the field of archeology and classics don’t always know, but people who are in the field understand there is a peer mentality that UC is actually one of the best programs in the world,” says Valia Tsikritea, who recently earned a fellowship with the Archaeological Institute of America. She is a current doctoral candidate specializing in Late Bronze Age-Early Iron Age archaeology and her master’s degree, completed at UC, focused on the social meaning of decoration on Late Bronze Age textiles and pottery.

A native of Greece, Tsikritea says that when she first started looking at graduate schools she knew she would be looking to go abroad to study, and the UC Classics Department was often brought up as a destination. “Cincinnati came up a lot in these discussions and it hasn’t let me down,” says Tsikritea, now back in Greece as the recipient of the Mylonas Shear Associate Fellowship at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Her research has been further supported by the American School (as an Emily Townsend Vermeule Regular Fellow in 2019-2020). The new fellowship granted by the Archaeological Institute of America will allow her to continue her studies in Greece through 2021.

“We draw our students from all over the world and all of our graduate students come on scholarships,” Daniel Markovich, associate professor and graduate adviser for history and philology, says of the department’s ability to fully fund all graduate education, which in turn attracts and retains the highest caliber of students.

“These are incredibly hardworking students,” who then  go on to earn the most prestigious fellowships, says Kathleen Lynch, professor and graduate adviser for archaeology.

Recent fellows include:

American Academy in Rome: Ted Boivin

American Center for Oriental Research in Amman: Sarah Wenner

American School of Classical Studies at Athens: Simone Agrimonti, Sarah Beal, Anna Belza, Haley Bertram, Alice Crowe, Christopher Hayward, Charles Sturge, Valia Tsikritea, Efthymia Tsiolaki

Archaeological Institute of America: Alice Crowe, Christopher Motz, Valia Tsikritea

Fulbright Greece: Jeffrey Banks

Fulbright France: Haley Bertram

Featured photo at top of bas relief decoration in Blegen Library. Photo/UC Creative + Brand.

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