Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Columbian College seal. A group of honors students wear crowns at an induction ceremony.

2022 CNELC Newsletter

Message From the Chair
Department Spotlights
Alumni Class Notes
Faculty Kudos

 


Message From the Chair

 

Chris Rollston

 

The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (CNELC) sends along its warmest greetings and kind regards to all of our alumni near and far!

As you know, our department is a broad, diverse and yet cohesive set of four program units: Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies (CANES), Arabic, Hebrew and Persian. Our department is a vibrant one, in terms of teaching, research and activities with the academic guild. Along those lines, we have been delighted to be back to in-person teaching this academic year, after a year of teaching virtually. And this spring saw the launch of an exciting new combined degree program in CANES and Museum Studies. In short, life is good and getting better all the time.

Within this newsletter, you will read about some of the faculty and student activities and achievements of this past year, and we intend to continue to build on these for the coming year. We are grateful that you are taking the time to read this newsletter and we would love to hear from you. Please send us a note and let us know how you are doing!

Sincerely,

Christopher Rollston
Chair of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

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Department Spotlights

Maggie Thielens Begins Theological Studies at Harvard University

Maggie Thielens under a blue sky by some ruins

 

 

Maggie Thielens, BA ’21, a former double major in Arabic and Middle East Studies, began pursuing her master’s in theological studies (MTS) at Harvard University last fall, after taking several courses in Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

Maggie shared her GW experiences with us:

“Though I once fancied myself a future politician or CIA operative, I realized during my time at GW that policy was not where my passions lay. I better enjoyed history and Arabic so I took classes that more closely aligned with those interests and enrolled in several courses in Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies during my senior year, hoping to reconcile my passion for history and culture with the background in Middle East politics I’d acquired over three years. It clicked for me. Not a month into Dr. Christopher Rollston’s class on Literature of the Ancient Near East, he became an advisor to me, encouraging me to apply to divinity school and assuring me my Arabic education would serve me well. It did, and now less than a year later I’m living in Cambridge and I will begin my MTS at Harvard University in the fall. The CANES and Arabic Programs at GW have supported me beyond the knowledge I gained in their curricula and I am so grateful. Raise High!”

SJ Matthews Delivers Commencement Address to Class of 2020

SJ Matthews in a suit sitting on the Capitol steps

 

 

SJ Matthews, BA ’20, delivered the commencement address for the Class of 2020 during the delayed October 2021 commencement on the National Mall. She earned her BA in classical studies and now works on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent for Representative Jennifer Wexton of Virginia. She was profiled in GW Today.

 

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Alumni Class Notes

  • Alexander Dolan, BA ’15, moved to New York City in the summer of 2021 where he works as a French and Arabic language research analyst for an economic data company focusing on the operations of global markets, stock exchanges and central banks.
  • Chance Williams, BA ’16, is a project officer working with the Liberation Route Europe foundation in The Netherlands on developing sustainable tourism products and preserving historic sites from the Second World War in Europe.
  • James (Drew) Zebley, BA ’11, is a general surgery resident at The George Washington Hospital with plans to pursue a career in trauma surgery.

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Faculty Kudos

 

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