Former Graduate Students

Erin Brantmayer '18

photograph of Erin Brantmayer

  • Prior to graduating this past May, I put several irons in the fire for what will be a very busy year. Thanks to Brandeis' Digital Humanities Lab and the support of Dr. Alexandra Ratzlaff, I spent the past two excavation seasons learning photogrammetry and developing a methodology for field applications. Because of this training and with the help of Dr. Ratzlaff and the Department of Classical Studies, this has developed into a year-long residency at Autodesk's BUILD Space beginning this fall. Using my field training and background in research, I will be digitally reconstructing parts of the sites I have worked on and will be working on developing these virtual models into educational tools. This fall, I will be applying to doctoral programs in Digital Humanities in the hopes of continuing this research in a broader context.
  • Myfondest memories at Brandeis involve my fellow students. Preparing for the big, yearly events was certainly memorable, and I know I'll never forget the night-before prep for her first graduate student conference (Battles and Bloodsports!) but I think I had the best times sitting in the back of the department with a few people and destressing from whatever happened to be going on that day, or doing the same in the office of a welcoming professor with coffee. And, of course, Thursday nights at Margaritas!
William Callif '18
photograph of William Callif
  • I will be the sole Latin teacher at the Newman School, a preparatory school in Back, Bay Boston. I am in charge of teaching Introductory Latin through International Baccalaureate Latin. I will also be the assistant rowing coach. In addition to teaching, I will be attending law school at Suffolk University in their Evening Program.
  • I will always remember reading the Odyssey with Prof. Christensen. He is so knowledgeable on the topic of Homer it made every day feel like a new adventure. I remember sitting in class one day and thinking that I really made the right decision in coming to Brandeis; the conversations were always very academic and inspiring.
Cassandra Donnelly '15

photograph of Cassandra Donnelly

  • From my sophomore year in High School I knew that I wanted to be in academia and teach at the college level. I loved reading, learning languages, and I thought I'd make a good teacher. The only problem was that I didn't know how to channel my general enthusiasm for most subjects academic into a discrete area of interest in which I could pursue my PhD. Brandeis' AGRS program allowed me the opportunity to at once explore my various interests and, toward the end of my time at Brandeis, to figure out how to work said interests into a program of future study.
  • I am now heading into my fourth year as a PhD student at the University of Texas in the Program for Aegean Scripts and Prehistory, and have Brandeis to thank for the opportunity. The program's flexibility allowed me to take courses in both the Classics Department and the Judaic Studies' Bible and the Ancient Near East area of study, which eventually lead to my interest in Ancient Mediterranean scripts. Brandeis' historical role in promoting ancient Mediterranean Studies as spearheaded by Cyrus Gordon gave me an appreciation for the history of the discipline that informs my work.
  • Academics aside, I met people in the AGRS program who will remain friends for the rest of my life. Nothing solidifies friendships like a summer of fieldwork in eastern Crete. From hitching a ride through a mountain range in the back of a pickup with a sick sheep to plunging into the Mediterranean fully-clothed to celebrate our last day of fieldwork, my memories of fieldwork in Crete that I have thanks to Brandeis, and the friendships that I made during that time, will stay with me for the rest of my life. 
Zachary Elliot '18

photograph of Zachary Elliott

  • I will be building on what I learned through the degree program at Brandeis in a PhD program in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, starting in August of 2018. The skills and experience I gained in the program allowed me to improve my application to PhD programs and secure several funded offers. 
  • Research Interests: Greek and Latin languages and literature; mythography; literary theory; social and cultural history
  • My favorite memories from my time at Brandeis are of the community of students and professors we built through the program. Being able to approach many faculty members and graduate student colleagues with diverse backgrounds and perspectives for not only advice but also conversation about myriad topics was a true joy. The moments of chatting about whatever came to mind over coffee are the ones that will stick with me the most.