Photo Credit: Year in review graphic
by Ellen Kratzer Wed, 06/03/2020 - 08:25

Although the school year ended in a way we could not have foreseen, we are grateful to be able to look back on the year as a whole with a sense of pride for everything the department has accomplished.


This year our department has gone through several changes and growing experiences that we are able to both celebrate and mourn.

John Turner

  • We mourn the loss of John Turner, one of our core faculty members who passed away October 26, 2019. Turner was Cotner Professor of Religious Studies and Mach University Professor of Classics and History at UNL. He was still teaching and researching at the university and his death came as a shock to the department. Turner was influential in creating the religious studies program at UNL and his loss is felt deeply by colleagues and students alike.
  • We also mourn Valdis Leinieks who was chair of the department from 1967-1995. During his years as chair, Leinieks saw the department safely through some tough times. Leinieks passed away in October, 2019.
  • We were delighted to welcome two new faculty members at the beginning of the academic year:
  • Our move and first academic year in our new offices and classrooms in Louise Pound Hall is complete! We are adapting to the new space and excited for what we will accomplish in it.
  • We are grateful to Stephen Lahey for his service as chair of the department these past five years. The faculty thank him for his strong leadership and advocacy for every member of the department.
  • The department welcomes Dan Hoyt as interim chair. He brings extensive university experience to the unit while we search for a permanent chair. 


Battle of Actium poster

We were honored to be able to host a number of speakers and activities this year to benefit our students and department.

  • In October, we hosted a lecture by Candy Gunther Brown, who spoke on the topic of yoga and mindfulness classes in public schools.
  • Our annual Halloween battle reenactment was organized by graduating senior Steven Winston and was a reenactment of the Battle of Actium (poster pictured).
  • In November, we established the John Turner Memorial Lecture Series and hosted the inaugural lecture given by Dr. Kevin Corrigan. Corrigan spoke on Plato’s Symposium and Republic. The lecture series is dedicated to the memory of Dr. John Turner who passed away in October, 2019.
  • In March, CLRS student Brooke Mott worked with a team of students and faculty from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources to host the inaugural CASNR Classics Crossover (flyer pictured). The event was a reading of Hesiod’s Works and Days at the new East Campus dairy store.

CASNR Crossover poster

  • This year, the department celebrated its 150th year, as one of the first departments established by the university.

Faculty Accomplishments

We're proud of awards, recognition, and publications that our faculty have achieved this year.

The Hussites book cover

  • In October, Stephen Lahey published his book, The Hussites, a survey of the Hussite movement: their "events, people, and ideas" (book cover pictured).
  • The Society for Classical Studies recognized Mike Lippman for his work on establishing the annual UNL Homerathon in their blog post on Classics Everywhere. Lippman also published issue 15 of Didaskalia, his second issue as editor-in-chief.
  • In December, Max Mueller's article “The ‘Negro Problem,’ the ‘Mormon Problem,’ and the Pursuit of ‘Usefulness’ in the White American Republic” was published in Church History and won the Jan Shipps Best Article Award from the Mormon History Association. Mueller also published "When Wakara Wrote Back: The Creation and Contestation of the “Paper Indian” in Early Mormon Utah" in Essays on American Indian and Mormon History.
  • This spring, Yaroslav Komarovski was promoted to full professor. He will be recognized at a ceremony to honor promoted faculty in the fall. Komarovski also published a book this spring, Radiant Emptiness: Three Seminal Works by the Golden Paṇḍita Shakya Chokden.

Student Accomplishments

  • Over the summer, five of our students were awarded a UCARE grant to conduct research at Oxford's APGRD. The research will be used to compile an interactive ebook on performances of Antigone.

Homerathon screen

  • With support from members of Classics Club and from professors Hart and Lippman, student organizer Ellie Churchill successfully moved our annual Homerathon to a digital format so that the show could go on despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Congratulations to the 17 undergraduate students who graduated with a major in Classics and Religious Studies in the 2019-2020 academic year:
    Brooke Adam, minor in Latin
    Nichole Brady, major in classical languages
    Stephen Cass
    Joanna Castro
    David Clawson
    Nicholas Fauss, minor in Latin
    Dallas Jipp
    Sophia Knudson
    Alex Markey
    Olivia Miller
    Brooke Mott
    Jakob Olsen
    Whittney Rittscher
    Jacob Scheele, major in classical languages
    Ryan Schmid
    Nicholas Stevens
    Steven Winston

We are grateful for all that we've been able to accomplish this year, and are looking forward to coming back to campus in the fall.