Alumni News (2018-19)

Joel Allen, A.B., Classical Studies (1992)

"I'm one year into a three-year term as Executive Officer of History at the CUNY Graduate Center (which is loaded with Duke PhD's, but not from Classics, alas). My new book just came out! From Wiley-Blackwell-- The Roman Republic and the Hellenistic Mediterranean: From Alexander to Caesar. I come to Durham once a year for a basketball game. You could say that's part of being class of '92 (with the championship and all), but it's really just a conspiracy to see old friends. Don't we wish Classics were still on East Campus, as in the 80s/90s? We had a real lib-arts-college vibe going back then. But still, it's nice, and not at all surprising, to see the dept thriving as ever. Even if it must be West Campus, ha. Cheers!"

Diane Warne Anderson, Ph.D., Classical Studies (1986)

Diane with son Christopher at his graduation from Tufts

"I have just finished my fifth year teaching at UMass Boston, and am co-director of our summer Latin immersion program, Conventiculum Bostoniense. I continue to be involved in other Latin immersion events, including Paideia Institute’s Living Latin in New York City, and am on the Board of Directors of SALVI (

"In summer of 2017 I married Mike Habermann, free-lance photographer, and in January 2018 we took a honeymoon trip with the UMass Boston course “Cities of Vesuvius,” led by my colleague Randall Colaizzi. In May 2018, my son Christopher graduated from Tufts University in Computer Science.

"This January I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Prof. Francis Newton in Chapel Hill, and also saw Bob and Elizabeth Babcock. I heard Francis give a paper at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, at a session on Monte Cassino in his honor. I organize the exhibit table and sessions sponsored by SALVI at ICMS.

"Two years ago, for SALVI's 20th anniversary party, we turned the Plautine pastiche Auricula Meretricula (by Mary Whitlock Blundell and Ann Cumming) into a musical. Joel Derfner, professor of musical theater composition at NYU's Tisch Instute of the Arts, composed the music and Nancy Llewellyn wrote the libretto. This summer we performed the show again at the ACL Institute. I played the character of Silex Senex, as Mater instead of Pater."

Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., Classical Studies (2000)

"I'll be a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Western Ontario in fall 2019. I plan to work on a translation of the late antique poet Claudian."

Lincoln School logo: the Trojans

Donald Byrne, A.B., Classical Civilization (1991)

"Since late 2017, I've been in Costa Rica near the capital San Jose teaching English at a school called Lincoln. The family is with me for the adventure. Photo: the Lincoln logo, a "suicide-king" style Trojan warrior. No Classics program here, too bad."

Susan Foster, A.B., Classical Civilization (2011)

Susan Foster with husband, Javier, and Cecilia

"After graduating from Duke, I completed a masters in classical archaeology at Oxford. I then switched paths and went to law school at the University of Virginia School of Law (where I met my husband). I am now an associate at Clifford Chance in Washington, D.C.. This year my husband and I had our first child, a little girl named Cecilia."

James Francis, Ph.D., Classical Studies (1991)

James Francis
My photoshop skills have not dimmed as I get older

"In July 2018, I was back up at Duke to donate a small Latin funerary inscription to the department and the Nasher. This afforded an opportunity to catch up on things with Tolly and to meet William Johnson at a very lovely and leisurely lunch at the museum. The big news, however, is that in December of 2018 I took early retirement from the faculty at the University of Kentucky and moved to Alexandria VA, where my husband David Godfrey, has been living for the past 10 years while working at the American Bar Association in Washington. I have been in a state of delirious bliss ever since. With any luck, I'll be able to crash the Dukie party at the 2020 SCS in DC."

Julie Hruby, A.B., Classical Civilization & Classical Languages (1996)

"I’ve been on leave from my job as the Greek archaeologist at Dartmouth College this year; a Mellon Foundation New Directions grant has covered my salary, benefits, most research expenses, my tuition for a forensic anthropology course at Dartmouth, and my tuition at the National Latent Fingerprint Examiners Academy, where I spent 20 weeks learning how to match fingerprints (way more difficult than I expected!).

Julie Hruby
Me, scanning at the Wiener Lab at the ASCSA

"I plan to be in Greece this summer with my high resolution 3D scanner, an assistant, and an intern. In order to build a reference sample for aging ancient prints from ceramics, we will collect finger and palm prints from modern Greek children who are learning to make pottery. We just finished 3D scanning prints from modern Greek adult potters of both sexes to use as a reference sample for sexing ancient prints, and I’ve been exporting those to a format my computational scientist colleagues can use to build a more rigorous statistical model than has been used so far. We will also spend July scanning ancient prints from ceramic sculpture from Corinth, hoping to identify the demographics of the sculptors and how they organized their labor.

"And finally, 17 years after I started studying this material, I’ve completed a draft monograph on the pantries at the Palace of Nestor. It goes off to the press the day after tomorrow!"

Michael Joyce, A.B., Classical Languages & Classical Civilization (2003)

"My wife and I live outside of Washington, DC with our three children (ages 8, 6 and 9 months). With any luck, I'll be able to teach them some Latin on my own before they reach high school. I currently put my Classics degree to work doing acquisitions for a commercial real estate investment firm (no, seriously). I'll be happy to advise any current Classics students considering a career in this or a related field."

Kathryn Langenfeld, Ph.D., Classical Studies (2017)

Ostia Antica, summer 2019, while conducting research for the Ostia Connectivity Initiative

"In summer 2018, I moved back to the Carolinas, and I became the new Assistant Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Studies in the Department of History at Clemson University. At Clemson, I’ve had the opportunity to teach a range of courses on ancient and medieval history, and I serve as the Chair of the Department’s undergraduate History Club. I also had a very productive year presenting my research at several conferences, including Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity, and I had the great honor of being an invited speaker at “The Historia Augusta: A Fresh Approach” Colloquium at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in May.

"In May, I was awarded the Lightsey Fellowship, Clemson’s top award for Junior Faculty Research, to support the successful completion of my monograph on the Historia Augusta in the coming years. This summer, I had the great pleasure of working with other Duke graduates, including Alex Meyer, Ph.D Classics, now Associate Professor of Classics at Western University in Ontario, and Lindsey Mazurek, Ph.D. Art History, now Assistant Professor of History at the University of Oregon, on the Mediterranean Connectivity Initiative’s latest field season in Rome and Ostia Antica. Now that I am nearby in South Carolina, I hope to find opportunities to visit Durham and reminisce with Duke colleagues there in the near future."

Alexander Loney, Ph.D., Classical Studies (2010)

"It was a great year at Wheaton College: I was granted tenure! I have also gotten to know other classicists in the Chicago area by starting a works-in-progress workshop for junior faculty in the region. Look for a new article from me soon with Yale Classical Studies, "Pompe in the Odyssey.""

Deb and son
Deb and Ian by the casts of the Prima Porta Augustus at the Ashmolean Museum in  Cambridge

Deb Mayers, A.B., Classical Civilization (2015)

"This year has been a whirlwind of events. My son, Ian(5), has started school, I graduated from the University of Glasgow with my second Master's degree-this time in Computer Science, got a job as a software developer at JPMorgan, moved to London for a month of training, started the Glasgow ARVR meet-up, have been giving multiple talks on using virtual reality for both heritage and businesses, and am working on creating VR (re)constructions/experiences of Roman sites in Britain looking at best practices and use for heritage sites, museum, and in education.

"My dissertation was on the efficacy of using virtual reality to learn about the past (feel free to look at the experience here: or my work here: ). I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for two podcasts (Coffee and Circuses and ResearchVR) on my work and gave a talk entitled 'Remembering Mithras: Is VR an Effective Tool to Learn About the Past?' at the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference in Canterbury."

Alexander Meyer, Ph.D., Classical Studies (2012)

After graduating I moved immediately to the University of Western Ontario (a.k.a. Western University), where I have just received tenure. I’m still spending a lot of time at Vindolanda Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall, where I run a field school training Western students in historical and archaeological methodologies. I’ve also started taking students on study tours of Rome and the Bay of Naples, which has proven to be a very successful program for the department. On the research side of things, I’ve been working with fellow alumni Kathryn Langenfeld and Lindsey Mazurek on the Mediterranean Connectivity Initiative and I’m involved with a research group working on new interpretations of the Vindolanda ink and stylus tablets. If you’d like to read my latest work, “The Vindolanda Calendrical Clepsydra: Time-Keeping and Healing Waters,” you can find it in the upcoming issue of Britannia or on their website now. I’ve also been involved in two other articles in the upcoming issues, both involving material from Vindolanda.

Beth and I love living in London, Ontario with our dog Aggie, when we’re not traveling.

Michael Moore, A.B., Classical Civilizations (2009)

"I graduated from UCLA this year with a PhD in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. I am currently working on publishing my dissertation, "Hittite Queenship: Women and Power in Hittite Anatolia," and applying to postdoc positions."

Charles Muntz, Ph.D., Classical Studies (2008)

Charles Muntz in Ostia

"I led my first ever study-abroad program in Rome in the spring semester. 15 students from the University of Arkansas and the University of Louisiana accompanied me on an intensive program that immersed us in the history of Rome from antiquity to the present day. The city was our classroom, and we explored everything from ancient ruins to fascist piazzas to understand the history and development of Rome, and how the past was constantly being used and reused (or abused) by each successive generation. I also published an article in TAPA, “The Argonautica of Diodorus Siculus,” and am looking forward to beginning work on my next book project on the historian Ephorus this fall."

Gil Renberg, Ph.D., Classical Studies (2003)

"The 2018-19 academic year saw me once again teaching somewhere or other in a temporary situation, though the bigger news is that my 2017 book Where Dreams May Come: Incubation Sanctuaries in the Greco-Roman World was recognized with the Goodwin Award.  This is possibly attributable to the work’s quality, though I cannot help but suspect that it was easier for the committee just to give me the award than try reading through all 1000 pages, roughly 40-50% of which are footnotes.  The ceremony in San Diego was a great night for Duke (well, early evening, but one doesn’t say “a great early evening”), since my fellow grad Mike Lippman won the Award for Excellence in Teaching (known as “the Goodwin Award for teaching,” or “that other award”), and incoming S.C.S. Pres. Boatwright was there to hand out the award certificates to both of us.  (Outgoing president Joe Farrell, whom Mike and I had as a professor back in our University of Pennsylvania post-bac days, was also involved in the ceremony, making the affair even more special.)

"In terms of new publications, I do not (yet) have much to show for the year – in no small part because I spent a good chunk of it translating Laurent Bricault’s new edition of Isis, Dame des flots, a major study of this goddess’s maritime aspects.  With that project behind me I was able to return to working on my dissertation revisions, since its catalog of Greek and Latin inscriptions recording dreams and divine commands really does need to appear in print, as does the related monograph on dreams in ancient religion that I am working on as a complementary study.  I have also been working on four articles that have been on the back burner for a year or more, each of which is now close to completion.  And if you want to know whether I manage to finish any of these, just check next year’s Pheme…"

Schell family
Schell family

Keeley Schell, B.A., Classical Languages & Classical Civilization (2000)

"I live in Vermont and work remotely as a writer and editor for some DC-based sales and marketing consultancies. I'm entering the final year of my second term on the school board here; I will probably not run for reelection because it's time to move on to a new career adventure. Suggestions welcome! Picture is my family: Max and I with our kids Roland (making a weird face, as you do), Celia and Edda. Yes, my doctoral dissertation was on epic; why do you ask? ;)"

Gabrielle Stewart, A.B., Classical Languages (2018)

"As of June 2019, I completed my first full term of Ph.D. work at Corpus Christi College, Oxford  (where, not so coincidentally, the great historian and inspiration for my senior thesis Michael Rostovtzeff was a member)! I am currently working on an interdisciplinary thesis that attempts to make sense of the experiences of Myanmar migrant students who seek higher education opportunities in northern Thailand. The geographic and chronological distance notwithstanding, my research has surprisingly not strayed far at all from my undergraduate work in classics. As it turns out, Aristotle in particular has quite a bit to say about the ways through which we conceptualize global development! Outside of the Ph.D., I'm working for Oxford admissions to evaluate access initiatives to better recruit students from underrepresented populations, and I am a mentor for Omprakash, a non-profit that connects volunteers to ethical global engagement opportunities. I've relished my time so far in the city of spires, where I never feel too far from antiquity and those who love it!"

Steven Turner, B.A., Classical Languages (2002)

Turner family
Turner family

"These days I find myself living in Atlanta, where I serve as the Associate Headmaster of Holy Innocents' Episcopal School. I oversee all academic programming for all 1,350 students in grades PK-12, as well as professional learning for our faculty and staff. While I have jokingly referred to myself as a "recovering Latin teacher," I do rather often fall off the wagon and pick up a stray section of high school Latin. My wife Yvette and I have three charming sons--Hudson (7), Lincoln (4), and Winston (1). I still make it past the Allen Building when I drive through Durham on my way from Atlanta back up to my parents' house in New Jersey, and somehow it still feels like I am running late to my independent study on Petronius with Professor Stanley!"

Mack & Jess

Mack Zalin, Ph.D., Classical Studies (2016)

"I spent most of this year rounding out my service for L'Année philologique and finishing my library degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I also administered the Ullman Classics Library. I'm currently overhauling the Classical Studies Library at Duke in my capacity as Associate in Research, so you all should stop by Allen and Page to have a look at the revamped spaces! In addition to keeping very busy as a Classics librarian, I have been hard at work remotely cataloging rare 18th-19th century editions of Golden Age Spanish plays for the Pine Tree Foundation in New York City.

"In other news, my wife, Jess (Duke, MD '16), finished residency in family medicine at UNC in June and has since started a faculty fellowship in the same department. We celebrated our second wedding anniversary last May with a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Ocracoke."