2019 Grant Award Winner Michelle Martinez
Thanks to the generous support of CAMWS’ Mary A. Grant award, I was able to attend the American Academy at Rome’s Classical Summer School for six weeks this past summer. This afforded me the great opportunity to study the development of the city of Rome over time with other high school Latin teachers and graduate students. I am especially glad that I was able to attend the session under the direction of Professor Gretchen Meyers because her knowledge of Etruscan archaeology was invaluable to me. The site visits to Veii, Tarquinia, and Cerveteri were beautiful and allowed me to take many pictures for my students to include when reading accounts of early Roman history. Our Etruscan site visits were complemented by a visit to the Villa Giulia museum where I got to see one of my favorite pieces of art in person: the temple pediment depicting the Tydeus episode which I had seen a photo of in a seminar on Statius but had never seen in person. In addition to Gretchen’s specialty in Etruscan archaeology, I was grateful to have access to the community and resources at the American Academy for the summer. Liana Brent’s talk about her walk of the entire Appian Way was a highlight of our time in the classroom and it was even more fun to walk part of the Appian Way with her as our guide. I also enjoyed the opportunity to try out VR headsets to experience the Rome Reborn project to see how to bring the city of Rome into the classroom itself. It was a privilege to work with the study collection under the direction of Valentina Follo, who helped us integrate material culture into lesson plans and lectures at both the pre-collegiate and undergraduate level, and Kathy Geffcken, who gave us an introduction to the numismatic collection of the Academy and a history of the collection. I am also grateful to our assistant Sean Tandy, whose interest in Ostrogothic Italy really filled in a gap in my own knowledge of Late Antiquity and whose crash course in Latin epigraphy was invaluable when exploring the city of Rome on my own time. I especially appreciated my time at the Academy to write and edit lesson plans while having access to the city of Rome itself and the Academy’s wonderful library collection. Most of all, my trip to the Academy this summer afforded me an opportunity to connect with other scholars and teachers while visiting sites that many people aren’t able to see on a normal visit to Rome. I am delighted to bring my experiences in Italy to my students in my classroom who can experience how vibrant the city of Rome truly is.