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English Professor Kerri Tom Chosen to Participate in Seminar on Ancient Greece

CUI professor selected by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in nationwide search.

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) today announced that Kerri Tom, Ph.D. Professor of English is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies to participate in an Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom seminar, “The Ancient Greek Hero.”

CIC and the Center for Hellenic Studies recently selected 20 faculty members out of 42 highly competitive nominations from around the country to participate in the seminar, which will take place July 25–29, 2019, at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies campus in Washington, DC. Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and Kenneth Scott Morrell, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies at Rhodes College, will lead the seminar. The program is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Strengthening the teaching of the classics at colleges and universities is of critical importance. This seminar series addresses the challenge of keeping alive in undergraduate education classical texts that generations ago were read and understood by every college graduate,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “We believe that Kerri Tom will contribute to the seminar in meaningful ways and learn much that will energize teaching when she returns home.”

Professor Tom, whose primary interest is in the English Renaissance, teaches World Literature in the Renaissance among other courses. “Kerri’s experience in classical literature makes her an excellent candidate for this program,” said Provost and chief academic officer of Concordia University Irvine Peter Senkbeil. “She’ll have much to contribute to students in the classroom.”

Designed primarily for non-specialists, the seminar will explore what it means to be human. The organizing principle will be the study of a model of humanity, the hērōs (hero), as it can be reconstructed by way of textual evidence attesting to myths and rituals from throughout the ancient Greek-speaking world. Beginning with the Homeric poems, the seminar will also engage with works of Sappho, Herodotus, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Plato, providing participants who teach in a variety of disciplines with approaches to integrate the literature of ancient Greece into a wide range of courses.

For more than ten years, CIC has collaborated with the Center for Hellenic Studies to provide seminars on teaching the classics for small and mid-sized independent colleges that have a limited number of faculty members or courses in the classics. The seminar is ideal for faculty members who have been trained in other disciplines and who seek opportunities to explore major classical texts and learn new ways to teach these texts to undergraduates.

For more information, visit the CIC website at

Participants in 2019 CIC-Center for Hellenic Studies Seminar

  • Sarah Blackwell, Instructor of English, Thomas More University (KY)
  • Dan Clanton, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Doane University (NE)
  • Morgan Dancy, Instructor of English, Methodist University (NC)
  • Ellen Dugan-Barrette, Professor of English, Brescia University (KY)
  • Chris Flynn, Associate Professor of English, St. Edward's University (TX)
  • Erich Freiberger, Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, Jacksonville University (FL)
  • Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Assistant Professor of English, George Fox University (OR)
  • Jeffrey Glodzik, Associate Professor of History, D'Youville College (NY)
  • Brian Harries, Associate Professor of English, Concordia University Wisconsin (WI)
  • Pamela Johnston, Associate Professor of History, Fresno Pacific University (CA)
  • Sigrid King, Professor of English, Carlow University (PA)
  • Sean Lewis, Associate Professor of English, Mount St. Mary's University (MD)
  • Paula Makris, Associate Professor of English, Wheeling Jesuit University (WV)
  • Gretchen McKay, Professor of Art History, McDaniel College (MD)
  • James Pollock, Professor of English, Loras College (IA)
  • Irina Rodimtseva, Assistant Professor of Literature and Writing, Alderson Broaddus University (WV)
  • Rosa Mirna Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture, Caldwell University (NJ)
  • James Snyder, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Mercyhust University (PA)
  • Kerri Tom, Professor of English, Concordia University Irvine (CA)
  • Kristen Waha, Assistant Professor of English, Grove City College (PA)

About the Council of Independent Colleges

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 769 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. CIC conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers in the United States. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, located in Washington, DC, was founded by means of an endowment made “exclusively for the establishment of an educational center in the field of Hellenic Studies designed to rediscover the humanism of the Hellenic Greeks.” This humanistic vision remains the driving force of the Center for Hellenic Studies. The Center brings together a variety of research and teaching interests centering on Hellenic civilization in the widest sense of the term “Hellenic.” This concept encompasses the evolution of the Greek language and its culture as a central point of contact for all the different civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world. Interaction with foreign cultures, including the diffusion of Roman influence, is an integral part of this concept.


Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a non-profit Lutheran Christian liberal arts four-year university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and athletics administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. The university is part of the Concordia University System, the second largest education ministry system in the United States just behind the Catholic Church. The NCAA DII private university enrolls over 4,000 students annually.

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