Rising senior Mary Clare Young and recent graduate Catherine Salgado were both featured speakers at classics conferences over the past month, presenting papers for the Society for Classical Studies and the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS). Their presentations marked the latest academic achievements for Young and Salgado, with both representing the academic rigor of Christendom on a national stage.
“Both conferences were professional academic conferences intended primarily to be venues for classical scholars to present their current research to fellow classicists,” says Dr. Andrew Beer, chairman of the college’s Classical and Early Christian Studies department. “Both Catherine and Mary Clare participated publicly in the scholarly discussion of classical literature at the very highest level.”
For her presentation to CAMWS, Salgado spoke on “Boxing and Sacrifice: Dares and Entellus in Aeneid V.” The paper, which was originally written for Beer’s class on Aeneid, gave Salgado the opportunity to approach the text from a milti-faceted research perspective, resulting in a paper she was able to present with confidence to some of the best classics scholars in the world.
“The entire Classics department — Dr. Beer, Dr. Tracy, and Dr. Strickland — always hold their Classics majors to a high standard, and were all happy to work with me one-on-one. This prepared me for presenting at CAMWS,” says Salgado, who majored in Classics. “As a member of [the college’s] Eta Sigma Phi [collegiate honor society], I attended a Classics conference while still a freshman, and my wonderful experience there made me set a goal for myself that I would present a paper at a conference before graduation. Being an officer for Eta Sigma Phi made me more interested in and dedicated to Classical research than ever.”
Christendom’s chapter of Eta Sigma Phi exists to bolster the robust classics curriculum at the college, providing students with further opportunities to study the ancient classics, enhance the appreciation of Greek and Roman culture, and form friendships with other classical students. Like Salgado, Young joined Eta Sigma Phi in her freshman year and quickly fell in love with the society.
“Participating in Eta Sigma Phi connected me to a larger network of other young people enthusiastic about classical studies, including my fellow panelists,” says Young.
A first-time panelist at the Society for Classical Studies annual conference, Young presented a paper on the connections between hunting imagery and martial violence in Vergil’s Aeneid as part of a panel of undergraduate papers sponsored by Eta Sigma Phi. Her studies in Christendom’s classical education gave her the tools to excel at the conference, leaving her excited for more conferences in the future.
“Studying under Christendom’s excellent classics program left me well-equipped to engage in the scholastic conversation at the SCS conference and elsewhere,” says Young. “Thanks to the training which I’ve received here, I learned how to dissect classical texts, how to ask questions about the texts, and how to find answers through good research and critical thinking. Also, Dr. Beer deserves special credit for helping me to prepare for this conference. Not only did he help me to focus my research and hone my argument, but he also encouraged me to submit my paper to this panel and organized a practice presentation session for me beforehand.”
With graduation now behind her, Salgado is focused on becoming a full-time journalist, currently writing for The National Pulse and The Rogue Review. Young, on the other hand, is planning to pursue graduate studies in classics following her graduation next year, with the aim of teaching at the high school or collegiate level so that so that she can continue to research and excite others about classics.
For more information on Christendom’s Classical and Early Christian Studies department, visit here.