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Hunter’s Catherine Venturini Wins Fellowship to Explore the Italy of Caesar and Vergil

Catherine Venturini--a double Hunter alumna who now teaches at the College as well as a leading New Jersey high school--will be traveling to Italy this July as the recipient of the David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship for Study and Travel in Classical Lands.

Thanks to the fellowship, which is awarded to outstanding secondary-school teachers of Greek or Latin, Venturini will participate in the Vergilian Society's 2012 summer program, titled "The Italy of Caesar and Vergil: A Workshop for Teachers." Designed for high school Latin teachers, the program will combine classroom sessions in successful pedagogical practices with site visits that illuminate the lives and works of Caesar and Vergil. Sites include Rome, Cumae, Lake Avernus, Pompeii, Lavinium, Herculaneum, Paestum, and Baiae.

The fellowship is administered by the American Philological Association, the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages. In announcing the award, the Association noted that Venturini was chosen "from among a strong field of applicants," and added that the selection committee "was impressed with the strong support Ms. Venturini's application received from college professors, former students and administrators in her school." 

Venturini received her first Hunter degree, a BA in classical civilization, in 1997, and her second, an MA in Latin secondary education, in 2003. She is the lead Latin teacher at Ridgewood (New Jersey) High School, where, in addition to teaching grades 9-12 (including advanced placement courses), she advises the Latin Club, administers the National Latin Exam to all Latin students, leads students to the annual New Jersey Classics day lectures, and will lead students to Italy in spring 2013, among many other activities.

She has also been an adjunct lecturer at Hunter since 2010, teaching Roman Verse Satire and Methods of Teaching Latin.

David D. Coffin and Rosemary H. Coffin were longtime educators at Phillips Exeter Academy. When notified of the fellowship, Venturini said, "It moves me deeply to know that in some way I am part of the continuum of the work of Rosemary and David Coffin, and that with the aid of this wonderful award, I can impart even more knowledge and love of classics to my students."

Noting that Venturini “has taught Hunter’s Latin teaching methods course required for our MA students,” Hunter classics professor Ronnie Ancona said: “It’s a nice full circle because she was a product of that same MA program.”

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