04 December 2013 Volume :1 Issue :14

Classics Student Wins Whiteley Prize

Classics Student Wins Whiteley Prize
Sim Whiteley prize-winner in Classics, Ms Claire Brown.

Classics student Ms Claire Brown has been awarded the Sim Whiteley prize for hard work and dedication in her study of Latin.

The prize is awarded to a student proceeding to second-year in Classics who is adjudged to have gained the best results in a Classics course (preferably one of the languages) at first-year level.

This award is in honour of Professor Sim Whiteley, a former member of the teaching staff of the Classics Discipline, who is remembered for his humanity, his profound knowledge of Classics, and as a benefactor of the Classics Discipline. He made several grants to Classics over a period of time to enable it to purchase books and other requirements which the allocated budget could not provide.

‘The prize means so much to me because I love Classics and it’s rewarding to know I’m good at what I love, it makes all the studying and hard work worthwhile,’ said Brown.

‘The prize money is also great because it’s intended to be used for books. I’m an avid reader but with the price of books so high, I usually have to borrow them from a library or friends.

‘Now that I have a good allowance for books I can buy the ones that I think are helpful or that I think I’ll want to read over and over throughout my life. Professor John Hilton encouraged me to start a personal library but I had already started collecting books years ago,’ said Brown.

Brown had initially signed up for the first two modules in Classics as she’d always had an interest in ancient culture. ‘I’m especially fascinated by mythology. At first I couldn’t believe that you can get a degree in something that has always seemed like fun to me. Then once I started those modules I fell in love with Classics and eventually changed my English and Media Studies majors to English and Classical Civilisations, and then went on to take my Honours in Classics.

‘I think the reason I perform so well in Classics is because I still see it as something enjoyable and the homework readings are things that I might have looked up in my own time for leisure reading. In Latin, we translate the actual works of ancient authors; how many people can say they’ve read Cicero in his original words?’ explained Brown.

She is also grateful for the support received from all the academic staff and her family and advised other students to attend lectures, have work prepared ahead of class and ask lots of questions.

Claire plans on studying for a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) next year and thereafter pursue a career in book editing. ‘I hope to eventually work for one of my favourite book publishing companies.

I’ll have teaching to fall back on if I don’t enjoy editing, or I might switch to teaching when I have children one day and want to have a similar schedule to them. But I think my passion lies in books and editing,’ she said.

-          Melissa Mungroo

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