Meet Our Scholars
Cindy Calder founded Calder Classics in 2012 while studying for her M.A. in Classics at Columbia University. She earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1979, her M.A. in Classics from Columbia University in 2012, and spent several summers in the hallowed halls of CUNY’s Latin/Greek Institute, where the extremely intense but very rewarding course of study inspired her to share her passion for the Classics through her own high school and adult programs. While at Columbia, she founded Calder Classics on the belief that the study of the Classics, when complemented with a first-hand experience of art, history, literature and modern culture, enriches younger students’ academic experience and encourages adults to re-engage in the joys of learning. At Calder Classics, mixing students of all ages in a shared learning environment has proven intellectually stimulating in wonderfully unexpected ways. Ms. Calder currently teaches Latin at Trinity School in New York City. She has previously taught at the Brearley School and Saint Joseph High School and has extensive tutoring experience in Greek and Latin. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn and is the mother of four boys. Cindy teaches Latin in all the Florence programs.
Beth Alexion is currently serving two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, teaching English in a secondary school and studying Tigrinya, the local language. She focused on Classics and Government at Wesleyan University, where she also played four years on the varsity soccer team. Originally from Brooklyn, Beth loves to travel. She has studied Classics abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and spent a summer digging at an archaeological site in Israel. While at Wesleyan, she was a Teaching Assistant in Wesleyan's Classics Department and tutored Latin and ancient Greek. Beth chaperoned our Rome trip in 2015.
Johanna Braff is in her third year at The Dalton School where she teaches Latin and Greek. After attending Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, she received her B.A. from Swarthmore College in Latin and Greek, and her M.A. from the University of Maryland in Classics. At Maryland, she was awarded a Teaching Assistantship and the Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008. She completed her M.A. with a thesis focusing on the role of gendered animal similes in Aeschylus’ Oresteia and Homer’s Odyssey. Johanna then began her Ph.D. in Classics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She has taught Classics and Classics in Translation classes at Brooklyn College, Lehman College and Touro College. She spent a year teaching Latin at the Brearley School before coming to Dalton. This will be Johanna's first year teaching Greek with Calder Classics. She is looking forward to soaking in all of the Greek culture while also perhaps picking up some modern Greek!
Billy Calder graduated from Dartmouth in 2012 and was accepted immediately into the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University’s graduate program of study in acting, a two-year MFA with a semester residence at the Moscow Art Theater School in Russia. While he was at ART, Billy and his classmates worked closely with Sean Graney, a Radcliffe fellow, while Graney created his 12-hour theatrical adaptation combining all 32 surviving Greek tragedies, entitled All Our Tragic. At Dartmouth, Billy majored in Theatre and studied classical tragedy, playing the part of Creon in Jean Anhouilh's Antigone. Billy was active in theatre at Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, where he studied four years of ancient Greek. He attended the American Farm School's Greek Summer Program and he is designing a theatre course as a future addition to the Calder Classics' Greek program. Billy is now based back in Brooklyn where he has co-founded the CRASH Theater Company and works as a tutor for Noodle Pros.
Collomia Charles holds a Ph.D. in Classics from Boston University. As a professor of Latin and Greek in the Classics Department at Barnard College and Columbia University, she has also taught courses in the Comparative Literature and English departments. At CUNY’s Latin/Greek Institute, she has taught both the Basic and Advanced Program in Latin and Greek. Collomia is now teaching at Collegiate School in New York City. Calder Classics has been lucky enough to have Collomia share her deep knowledge with our students as a teacher in both our Rome and Thessaloniki programs, for which she also serves as our Curriculum Consultant.
Crispin Corrado is a classical archaeologist specializing in Roman art, who received her Ph.D. from Brown University, her M.A. in Art History, and B.A. in Classics from the University of Chicago. Professor Corrado ("Crispin") has fieldwork experience at Pompeii, and has worked in a curatorial capacity in the departments of ancient art at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Vatican Museums. While working at these institutions, she assisted in the creation and implementation of exhibitions of ancient art, co-authored catalogs, wrote articles and presented guest lectures. Crispin's major research interests include Roman wall painting, sculpture, and domestic architecture. She currently teaches at several American universities in Rome, and is the founder and an acting officer of the Rome Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. She has lived in Rome for fifteen years. Crispin is our Ancient History teacher in Rome and will co-lead the new Calder Classics offering this summer in the Bay of Naples.
Jennifer Donovan teaches Science at Trinity School in New York City. Ms. Donovan earned a B.S. in Education from Miami University, a M.S. in Natural Science from the University of Wyoming and a M.S. in Entomology from Michigan State University. A founder and project leader of The Biodiversity Project, she is also a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teacher (RET) grant recipient. Jennifer added a science component to the Calder Classics Pompeii course in 2014.
Katy Eng earned her B.A. in History from Brown University and has been teaching Spanish and French at the Riverdale Country School for the past five years. She recently completed her M.A. in Spanish at Middlebury College, specializing in Latin American literature. She has lived in France and Argentina, and speaks Japanese in addition to Spanish and French. Katy has extensive experience chaperoning high school trips in France, Italy and England. Katy is our French teacher on the Avignon program.
Becky Goodman is a graduate of Middlebury College, where she majored in Film and minored in Italian. Having studied Latin avidly throughout high school, her interest in Romance languages heightened at Middlebury in her Italian classes. In 2013, she attended Middlebury's Language School, an intense immersion program, and then spent six months in Rome studying at La Sapienza University during her junior year. Originally from NYC, Becky loves to daydream about Italy's capital in her spare time. Becky is our chaperone in Rome and assistant teacher in Florence, our filmmaker and our Italian culture consultant.
Elena Goulet currently attends New York University. Her interests include language, public and environmental health, and history. She is also a lover of the arts. One of her paintings was chosen for a prestigious art competition in Rome. She lived in Rome for much of her childhood, where she obtained her I.B. diploma from St. Stephen's International School, and became fluent in Italian. She hopes to master many more languages to aid her in her travels. Elena has experience working in business development, web design, and internet coding.
Sarah Grover earned her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. She has been teaching Spanish and Latin at Riverdale Country School for the past ten years. She is also a third-year graduate student in Classics at NYU, where she focuses on Latin and Greek literature. Sarah has led both middle and high school students on trips to Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and Peru. She loves the study of modern languages and enjoys speaking Italian. This will be the third summer that Sarah is leading Calder Classics programs in Rome and her second in Greece, where he is really looking forward to working more on her Modern Greek.
Zari Havercome is a graduate of Brandeis University, with a double major in Health and International Global Studies. She is a member of the E-board for the Women of Color Alliance. With a foundation in ancient languages from her Latin class at Saint Joseph's High School, Zari went on to study Italian in college and plans to become fluent. Zari has been a student in our programs in Florence and Pompeii, and returned as a chaperone with Calder Classics in Florence. She is the first recipient of the Calder Classics Scholarship for the Study of Classics in the Wild.
Matthew Hayashi is a first year college student at New York University working toward a double major in Classical Civilizations and Mathematics. His Latin studies began in sixth grade at Sage Ridge School in Reno, NV. In the summer before his senior year, he attended our Reading Latin + Art History program in Florence. He "absolutely loved it", and is now returning to Florence as a chaperone. His interests encompass everything about the Renaissance, fashion design, and culinary arts.
Sadie Holmes is a Connecticut native. She attended Phillips Academy Andover and is now at Middlebury. At Andover, she pursued her study of Latin and discovered a love for biology. While there she worked as a tutor in Latin and math and as a residential dorm proctor. Constantly looking for alternative, off-the-treadmill ways to dive into her studies, Sadie went to Florence as a student with Calder Classics in 2014. After falling in love with the city and studying Latin in such close proximity to Roman and Renaissance history, she joined our summer staff in Florence in 2016 as a counselor and assistant instructor to teach younger students and pass down her love of the Classics.
Binney Jannetta is Chair of the History Department at Columbia Prep School in New York City. In addition to teaching AP World History, she has taught Ancient Civilizations, U.S. history, and numerous electives including “Dictatorship and Democracy” and “History Through Literature”. Ms. Jannetta earned a B.A. from Davidson College and an M.A. in Latin American History from the University of Pittsburgh. Her first teaching job was in a Harambee school in Kenya, East Africa, and she has maintained a passion for teaching ever since. Ms. Jannetta previously taught at Convent of the Sacred Heart in NYC and Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, OH. She was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh while working on her Ph.D. and a recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Foreign Language and Area Studies Program.
Rebekah Junkermeier earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College, where she played four years of Division 1 varsity soccer. She earned her M.A. in Early Christian History at Harvard, specializing in Roman and early Christian archaeology. While at Dartmouth and Harvard she studied Latin and ancient Greek. After receiving her M.A. she was awarded the James B. Reynolds and H. Allen Brooks Post-Graduate Fellowships to spend two years in Rome pursuing her own research. She currently works with professors to develop study abroad programs around the world for college students. Rebekah has a special love for Italian cuisine, ancient Roman mythology and history, and the intersections of ancient Roman religion with early Christianity. She has taught several Calder Classics' programs, served as Program Director and social media maven, and will co-lead the new Calder Classics offering this summer in the Bay of Naples.
Felicia Kang received her B.A. in political science from Barnard College, and her M.Sc. in International History from the London School of Economics. Both her undergraduate and master’s theses focused on collective political thought and its influences on communism. She has been teaching history at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn for the past fifteen years. Her courses have covered a wide range of topics including an ancient history class in which her students delve into a reading of Homer. She is currently teaching a class on political theory entitled Democracy and Dictatorship, in which her students closely read the works of Greek philosophers and dramatists such as Plato, Aristotle and Sophocles. Felicia has also taught history at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School and The Spence School, as well as for the Prep for Prep program. This will be Felicia's first year teaching for Calder Classics, and she is looking forward to bringing the words of ancient theorists alive while on site in Greece!
Lizzy Kildahl graduated from Williams College in 2014 where she majored in History with a focus on the Middle East. While at Williams she took every opportunity to study Spanish and Portuguese on campus and abroad, becoming proficient in both, and developing a love of learning languages. Lizzy also furthered her interest in working with young people while at Williams, teaching and coaching at a local school. After graduation she taught English for a year in Thailand. Lizzy is currently teaching at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership, a semester school in Washington D.C., where she also serves as a course coordinator and dorm advisor. Lizzy was a chaperone for Calder Classics in 2015, and is excited to return to co-teach the Introduction to Ancient Greek Political Thought course in Greece. She enjoys playing pick-up soccer, listening to the radio, traveling and trying new foods.
Becky Marder graduated from Dartmouth College with a major in Psychology and a minor in Education, completing Dartmouth’s Teacher Education Program. She played #14 (wing) for Dartmouth Women’s Rugby Club and was a member of Kappa Delta Episolon sorority. She is also fluent in Italian and studied Latin in high school. Becky currently teaches at Greenwich Country Day School. She was a counselor in the Rome program in 2014 and maintains close ties with Calder Classics.
Eleanor Neil graduated from Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn in 2013 where she discovered an interest in art history and independently prepared for the AP exam in the subject. Currently, Eleanor ("Leni") is in her last year at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. At Trinity she is working on an undergraduate degree in Classics, specifically Ancient History and Archeology. Her primary interest lies in the archeology of early Christianity within the Roman Empire and she is writing her thesis on this topic. Leni has been a chaperone with Calder Classics in Florence.
Alyssa Northrop is pursuing her M.F.A. in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College where she teaches undergraduate composition. She earned her B.A. from Williams College in 2014 with a major in English and a focus on Creative Writing. After graduating, she received a Princeton in Asia Fellowship to teach English and writing at the university level in Thailand. She is a life-long student of the Classics, having studied Latin and Greek in high school at Saint Ann's and modern adaptations of classical literature at Williams. The Classics always manage to wend their way into her work. Alyssa has travelled extensively in Southeast Asia and Europe and has dabbled in French, Spanish and Thai. An avid squash player, she was captain of the women's team at Williams. Alyssa spent a summer chaperoning for Calder Classics in 2014 and is excited to return to teach Creative Writing Workshops in Florence and Thessaloniki this summer. She is also assisting with our social media, and is writing non-fiction profiles about our scholars, scholarships and scholarly endeavors.
Ann Patty worked in New York trade publishing for more than thirty years. She was the founder and publisher of The Poseidon Press and an executive editor at Crown Publishers and Harcourt. Her first discovery as an editor was V. C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic. Other highlights of her career include the US hardcover debuts of: George R. R. Martin, Graham Swift, Mary Gaitskill, Patrick McGrath, Clive Barker, Frank Zappa, Michael Moore, Siri Hustvedt, and Kristin Hannah. She was the editor of Steven Millhauser’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Martin Dressler, and Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning Life of Pi.
In 2008 Ann became a freelance editor and began studying Latin, which she continues to do. Her memoir, Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin was published by Viking Penguin in 2016. Ann currently teaches Latin in upstate New York. She has given workshops at numerous writers' conferences and MFA programs.
Lana Robinson-Sum is a Latin teacher at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco. She earned her B.A. in Classics at Brown University and a M.A.T. in Latin and Classical Humanities at Boston University. Lana also studied abroad at the Intercollegiate Center forClassical Studies in Rome, where she loved the experience of reading Latin in a place teeming with Roman heritage. Wanting to pursue her passions in international travel and education, she then spent a year teaching English in rural Thailand as a Fulbright grantee. Lana has led numerous Latin-themed field trips as the moderator of her school’s Junior Classical League, as well as longer school trips to New Hampshire and New Orleans. Lana teaches Latin in our Avignon program and enjoys practicing her French in the summer while tracing the footprints of Julius Caesar in Gaul.
Helena Seo attended Choate Rosemary and is now at Wellesley College. She pursued her interests in the Classics and Renaissance History while at Choate, serving as President of the Classics League and Editor-in-Chief of Horizons Historical Review. At Choate she worked on an independent history research project , exploring the unique role of Isabella d’Este as a female patron of the arts during the Italian Renaissance. Helena is an extensive traveler who loves to immerse herself in the culture and history of the place where she finds herself. She was a student of Calder Classics in Florence and subsequently returned as a chaperone.
Carol Anderson Shaw holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of Washington, where she now teaches classes on writing, ethics philosophy, and leadership communications. Carol graduated as an English major from Dartmouth College in 1979, and has worked since then as a writer, editor, and enterprise consultant. She has designed and taught numerous creative and expository writing seminars in Seattle public schools. In her master’s thesis novella, characters reminiscent of Penelope and Ulysses explore time travel, scientific breakthroughs, legendary romance, and adventures in creative writing. Carol is a creative writing teacher in our Florence program.
Meg Shore earned her B.A. in Art History from Vassar College. Fluent in Italian, she is also a writer and translator, specializing in texts on Italian art and culture. Her numerous published book translations (under Marguerite Shore) include Artists’ Self-Portraits (Omar Calabrese, Abbeville Press), The Book of the Wind (Alessandro Nova, McGill-Queen’s University Press), Giuseppe Penone: Writings 1968-2008 (Ikon Gallery, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna), and Dinosaurs (a 5-book series for children (Matteo Bacchin and Marco Signore, Abbeville Press). She also works as a translator with Aperture, Artforum, the Museum of Modern Art and the National Geographic Society. Meg’s experience and contacts in the Italian art world provide our students with exceptional insight into the history of art, and special access to exclusive art collections. Meg is the Art History teacher in our Florence programs.
Rebecca Strimaitis is an actor, director, and teaching artist based in New York City. She received her MFA from the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University and a BFA from The Boston Conservatory. She has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. During her graduate school residency at the world-renowned Moscow Art Theater, she performed in American Sojourns: Three Thornton Wilder Shorts while also developing an adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull. Rebecca’s work adapting classic texts like The Seagull inspired her to co-found CRASH Theater company, an ensemble of NYC-based actors whose main focus is to reimagine the classics for a modern audience. Career highlights include Broadway's, The Visit in concert, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and originating the title role of The Light Princess at the A.R.T. Rebecca currently teaches theater throughout the tri-state area. She is a teaching artist and program advisor for Arts Connection, where she helps jump start theater programs in New York City public schools. She also teaches acting workshops for grades K-12, focusing on opening her students individual creativity through technical voice, movement and text work. Rebecca also teaches yoga and mindfulness in NYC public and private schools and in the corporate work setting. She has been featured in yogajournal.com and ties her yoga background into her theater classes by helping her students build focus and relieve tension in the voice and body. She has been a proud member of Actors Equity for over 10 years.
Amy Tomasso graduated from Stanford University in 2016 with a degree in urban studies and Italian. She credits the ingenuity of the Italian piazza for her academic interest in urban planning and public space. While at Stanford she spent five months in Rome studying public art in the Roman periphery. As an Italian tutor at Stanford, she shared her love of the Italian language and culture with her peers. Amy also works with younger students as an Outdoor Leader, facilitating wilderness backpacking trips and fostering a strong, environmentally-conscious community. In her free time, Amy adores writing, reading, and spending time in nature. Amy has been a chaperone and Italian teacher in our Florence program.
Allie Ulrich recently earned a Masters in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and has worked for the past few years as a chaplain in various healthcare settings with people of all ages. She also has significant intercultural experience, having lived and volunteered abroad in such places as Ghana, Guatemala, and Germany. She completed her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, where she studied English and Art History, and first developed a love for studying the ancient world and Greek and Latin languages. Allie will be our chaperone in Greece.
Jeff Ulrich earned his Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania where he has taught Latin and Greek, as well as Greek and Roman Mythology and Critical Writing. At the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute, he was an instructor in both the Basic and Upper Level Latin courses. Before entering Penn’s graduate program, Jeff earned his B.A. at Rutgers, with a double major in Classics and Mathematics, then taught mathematics at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY for two years. He currently teaches Latin at UPenn and a course on Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World at Haverford College. Jeff will be teaching Greek in the Calder Classics program in Thessaloniki this summer.
Scott Wilson has taught Latin, English, and history classes to students in grades 6-12 at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, since the fall of 2005. He earned his BA in Classics and English at John Carroll University in Ohio, and an MA in Comparative Literature at Dartmouth. His favorite experiences as a classicist include leading his Columbia students on three trips to Rome and Pompeii, serving as a guest judge for the Scribo creative writing competition, and attending many ACL, CANE, and NJCL conferences. Scott currently lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with his wife and two sons.
Becky, Collomia, Meg, Rebekah, and Zari photos by Joey O’Loughlin.
Interested in becoming a Calder Classics Scholar? Contact us →