Classical Languages Alumni: Where Are They Now?
Students who have majored in the department have found the course of study to be an excellent base of liberal arts education, preparing them for a variety of careers and further study in several disciplines. Check out what our alumni have to say below, or click here.
Scott St. Amand (’07)
Scott St. Amand (’07) majored in Latin and says, “I use my Latin major on a daily basis, though not simply because I encounter Latin legal terms, but because of the strong fundamentals of grammar and syntax that the language provided me.”
William Donovan (’15)
William Donovan (’15), a Greek and German double major, says, “What I really love about this department is the close-knit, cohesive environment it fosters…I was always made to feel very welcome and loved being a part of a community that cares for every member’s emotional and intellectual needs.” William is currently a law student at the Mortiz College of Law in Columbus, Ohio. “As a Greek major at WFU, I learned to read analytically and distill large amounts of information into precise, tenable arguments. I also had the opportunity to study some of the greatest rhetoricians in history. As a lawyer-to-be, these are all skills that are needed in and out of the courtroom. I have learned how to analyze complex situations and advocate my (or rather, my client’s) position.”
Stacey (Wilson) Walker (’13, ’16)
Social Studies Curriculum Designer
Stacey (Wilson) Walker was a Classical Studies major and an Anthropology minor. She is currently working as a Social Studies Curriculum Designer. “I am responsible for designing fun and engaging content for students in elementary, middle, and high school. Currently, I am in charge of designing content for units on Ancient Greece! I am able to use my Classics major…on a daily basis. Classics provided me with a diverse skill set that I am grateful for. Whether I am researching, writing, analyzing data or working with my colleagues, I feel Classics has helped prepare me for life and the working world.”
Celia Spell (’15)
Celia Spell (’15), a former Classical Studies minor, currently works as an assistant editor at Harvard Health Publications, part of Harvard Medical School. “Classics helps me in my career by becoming part of the way I tell stories. Most of my job is patient education, and that requires telling the story of a disease or condition from start to finish. Studying the way civilizations told stories and passed along their experiences has helped me craft my own articles, videos, podcasts, and reports. Storytelling has morphed over time, but there are aspects that remain stalwart, and it’s nice knowing which aspects remain successful. It allows me to utilize those.”
Sungju (SJ) Moon (’13)
PhD Student in Atmospheric Sciences
“After obtaining an MS degree in mathematics from Syracuse University, I moved back to where I grew up: Seoul, South Korea. I am currently a PhD student in Atmospheric Sciences at Seoul National University. Being a Classics major helped me become a better writer and a critical thinker,” says Sungju (SJ) Moon, who double majored in Mathematics and Classical Studies at Wake Forest University.
Susan Kozelka (’08)
“Years of classical grammar have enabled me to write medical reports and communicate more effectively with patients,” says Susan Kozelka, a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and former Classical Studies major.
Rob Gerring (’06)
Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician
Rob Gerring, who majored in Classical Studies with minors in Biology and Chemistry, says, “Although Classics is not the typical ‘pre-med’ major, I feel that it was the perfect experience to help prepare for my career and I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to study it at Wake Forest. If you are a student who appreciates history, art, language, politics, theater, and literature then an education in Classics is not only important, but also inherently enjoyable. Studying Classics in conjunction with the typical science and math courses required for medical school was a perfect balance that allowed me to take full advantage of a liberal arts education. For anyone considering medicine I would recommend it without reservation. I did not feel any disadvantage upon applying to medical school, and in fact I think my major was a very distinct advantage.”
Carie McElveen Kempton (’11)
Carie McElveen Kempton (’11) was a double major in Latin and English. “Studying two literary disciplines significantly increased my skills in writing, reading and thinking critically, and understanding Western culture. Latin was spoken and written for centuries, and those who used it shaped our culture in terms of law, literature, religion, military tactics, linguistics, rhetoric, and more. In addition, Latin is a complicated and difficult language to learn, so studying it teaches attention to detail, mental discipline, and perseverance. And to add a more practical piece, thanks to my Latin major, I didn’t have to study at all for the language section of the GRE. After I received my master’s degree in counseling, I worked as an editorial assistant in a peer-reviewed journal, where I relied heavily on the detailed eye for grammar that I developed through studying Latin. I’m currently an administrative associate in the English Department at UNCW, where attention to detail and knowledge of grammar and literature are critical to my work.”
Elizabeth Ramsey Hines (’05)
Elizabeth Ramsey Hines is currently working as a Creative/Editorial Director of a marketing firm. “Storytelling is a huge part of what I do. I also have to be able to understand readers from different backgrounds and cultures, and studying classics is a great way to learn to think like someone who is very different than you are.”
Nelson Brunsting (’06)
Director of Global Research and Assessment
Nelson Brunsting was a Classical Studies major and a Greek minor. He currently works in administration in Global Programs and Studies at Wake Forest University. “I am sure I am not aware of all the ways Classics prepared me for my career, but a few of the ways I notice frequently: (1) clarity of thought, writing, and interpersonal communication, (2) academic social literacy and reference points, and (3) a gateway to exploring and interacting with other cultures of the world.”