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       SPOTLIGHT ON

“BLACK CLASSICISTS: A MURAL MOSAIC”

EXHIBIT

  

      

 

We are very pleased to announce that we have permission to share a new Mural Mosaic collage as well as two new Black Classicists posters that can be printed and displayed in schools and universities. The latter two were produced by the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard when they hosted Dr. Michele Valerie Ronnick’s traveling exhibit “Black Classicists: A Mural Mosaic.” These posters are informative as well as strikingly presented, and we urge instructors to share them with students and colleagues.

Dr. Ronnick has also announced a new panel sponsored by Dr. Sheila Murnaghan, President of the Society for Classical Studies, on William Scarborough’s important work, William Sanders Scarborough and the Enduring Legacy of Black Classical Scholarship.  Check out a brand new blog , as well, from Oxford University Press. The blog on William Sanders Scarborough is authored by Professors Ronnick, Lee, Lawall, and Gates through the Oxford African American Studies Center. 

You can go to this link to an NCLG folder of numerous materials from Dr. Michele Valerie Ronnick for printable images and other supporting documents. She has been producing materials, speaking and writing for the past 20 years on the important contributions of Black Classicists to classical scholarship.  

We learned from Dr. Mary Pendergraft, current President of the American Classical League, that this exhibit was also shown recently at Wake Forest University. She remarked, “The Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum (https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/charlotte-hawkins-brown-museum), collaborated with Wake Forest University on their Classica Africana exhibit “Black Classicists: A Mural Mosaic,” based on the long-standing and ground-breaking work of  Dr. Michele Valerie Ronnick, of Wayne State University in Detroit. Dr. Ronnick introduced a local artist, Leo Rucker, to Classics professors at Wake Forest University. Two of these, Professor Caitlin Hines and Professor T.H.M Gellar-Goad, secured special funding to commission painted portraits of three of those figures who had never before had painted portraits: Helen Maria Chesnutt, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Wiley Lane. These three portraits are being framed and preserved by specialists--and then will be photographed. Leo Rucker graciously gave WFU the rights of reproduction, so that these can be shared with a wider audience.

The photo below was taken at a reception for the traveling exhibit, which also went to the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard, and will next reside at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, under the direction of Nick Young. The photo shows the unveiling of the portrait of Helen Maria Chesnutt. A formal reception at Wake Forest University for the portraits will be held when it is permissible to have large gatherings.

 

(L to R) Professor Caitlin Hines (WFU, now of University of Cincinnati), artist Leo Rucker (Old Salem Museums and Gardens) who painted portraits of Helen Maria Chesnutt (shown here), Charlotte Hawkins Brown and Wiley Lane, and Professor T.H.M. Gellar-Goad (WFU). The book Helen Maria Chesnutt is holding is one that she herself wrote, The Road to Latin.

 These pdf images print up beautifully!

(Photo by permission of Elizabeth Heintzelman)

   

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SPOTLIGHT  on  NATHALIE ROY  Chosen as 2021 Teacher of the Year for Louisiana!

Languages aren't the only way to study the classical world!

 

Nathalie Roy teaches Latin, Roman Technology, and Classical Myth Makers, at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she enjoys researching the classical world and introducing it to students through experimental archaeology. Her classes feature hands-on lessons about the ancient Romans and Greeks infused with STEM, a unique curricular idea that has garnered her much grant money. She is a fierce advocate for equity in her classes, actively recruiting students of color.

Roy is a proud graduate of a small-town public school in Avoyelles Parish where both her parents were teachers. Her childhood dream to become a paleontologist was dashed at a young age when her mother told her that scientists had already dug up all the dinosaurs. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Latin and Ancient Greek at Louisiana State University where she later returned to focus on pedagogy through a teaching certification program. Roy studied classical archaeology at the American Academy in Rome (as a Fulbright Scholar) and at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (as a Semple Fellow). She is a National Board Certified Teacher and a 2019-20 STEM Fellow for the Foundation for East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. In February of 2020, Roy was named a Coffin Travel Fellow by the Society for Classical Studies, which will allow her to visit the archaeological sites of Roman Britain (on hold due to COVID). 


Roy has published articles on her Roman technology class with Cambridge University Press and the American Classical League, with whom she has partnered during the pandemic to offer free, live-stream, hands-on lessons on Roman technology to any children interested (Go to etclassics.org). She has served as a leader of the Louisiana Classical Association many times and currently runs its social media account.

Dedicated to service and citizenship, Roy is a longtime volunteer with Girl Scouts Louisiana East where she leads two troops. As a life-long Girl Scout, she strives through teaching to build students of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. You can follow her on Twitter @MagistraRoy.

Here is the official press announcement by her district!

 

 Here is a bit more about a few of her creative, appealing classes:

 

Roy says, "Many students take my classes who are not interested in Latin. Roman Technology, however, is the most requested elective class at the school (65 kids are now enrolled in 3 sections currently). With strong historical French and Spanish influences here in Louisiana, most students view those options as more practical than Latin. Undeterred, I developed these creative alternatives to Latin to feed students' fascination with classical civilization, particularly the STEM aspects of it. This class allows students to study the classics without the years-long commitment to Latin, and I'm ok with that. If this class someday sparks them to invent a new way to clean water or to filter air or in any way make the world a better place, I'll be thrilled knowing that their creative classical training inspired that design thinking."

 

In Nathalie Roy's Roman Technology class, students recreate the products and processes of ancient Roman daily life through experimental archaeology. Each lesson is a hands-on exploration of how classical technology was built and functioned. Students construct aqueducts, design mosaics, arrange hair, weave, fire kilns, cook bread (and many other projects), and learn about the archaeological record of artifacts that help us understand the Romans and their physical world. Many of the projects feature STEM challenges which connect ancient Roman science, technology, engineering, and math to their modern inspirations.

 

In Classical Myth Makers, students study classical myth to inspire maker projects and STEM challenges. They have learned to weave like Arachne, constructed the cardboard version of the Argo, and produced Hades' Haunted House, an interactive Halloween experience for the school's fall festival.

 

Gridding an archeology study site

A student firing up the kiln she built to bake her authentic Roman bread

 

 


National Advocacy Award

Plaudite, quaeso, Edlyn Niimi!

Last year, the ACL instituted a new Advocacy Award, to recognize leaders outside our field who have advocated significantly for the value of Classics education. This year, ACL renamed the award in memory of Keely Lake, past Chair and long-time advocate for Classical Languages at the federal, state, and local levels.

               Keely Lake

Recipients may be business leaders, legislators, writers, school administrators, or anyone else who strongly and effectively advocates for the Classics, and this year Edlyn Niimi was recognized for her support.

Check the ACL website for further details

and watch a VIDEO presentation!

 

 

 


 


   

Norma Goldman Costume Contest Winners Announced

 

Congratulations to the winners of the Norma Goldman Costume Contest for the American Classical League Virtual Summer Institute:

 

GRATULATIONES,

Nathalie Roy Mitchell and Brian Briggs!

 

Norma Goldman was a respected author, teacher, mentor, ACL Merita Winner, and inspiration to many. Norma studied in Rome and created authentic costumes based on the art and sculpture from the past. She produced fashion shows to share her work. As a member American Classical League, Norma would dress in costume for the ACL Banquet each year and encouraged others to do the same. The NCLG established this award in her memory to continue the tradition.

This year the contest was held using an online PADLET so images were uploaded for voting by the NCLG Norma Goldman Costume Contest Judging Committee (Mary Pendergraft-ACL President and NCLG Past Chair, Katie Robinson-NCLG Interim Chair, and Zee Ann Poerio-NCLG Committee for Supporting Young Learners.) The winners were announced via Zoom during the final ACL Virtual Institute Happy Hour by John Gruber-Miller, ACL Vice President. The winners were selected for their amazing costumes, but both entries truly displayed a sign of the times.

Nathalie's entry shows how she dressed in Costume for her students to distribute their National Mythology Exam Awards at their drive-by awards ceremony in mid-May. (N.B. She is wearing her face mask).

Brian's entry also reflected a sign of the times, since we were at home during the Virtual conference. His family also dressed in costumes. The stola and palla that his daughter is wearing was made by Brian to show his students.

Each winner will receive a reproduction Roman Bronze Fibula and a certificate. Thanks to all who entered the contest this year and congratulations to the winners!

 

                                              

 

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