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Alumni Stories

Alexis Jones (BA 2018)

Alexis graduated in 2018 with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Latin Language & Literature. In the Spring of 2018, she won a prestigious award, the Bonderman Fellowship, allowing her to travel far and wide for enriching studies. We asked Alexis a few questions about her time with Classical Studies: 

What did you think your field of study would be when you first started at U-M?

When I started at Michigan, I knew that I was going to study the sciences; however, I had enjoyed taking Latin throughout high school and did not want to stop studying it. I chose to minor in Latin to complement my degree in Biochemistry. 

What specifically about Classical Studies interested you?

From fairly early on in my studies, I fell in love with the idea that despite the thousands of years of separation between when things were written to now the themes of humanity have not changed much. I felt as though many of the works I read had relevance today and told us about the nature of humanity. 

What important life and/or career skills did you learn because of Classical Studies? More broadly, how did Classical Studies have an impact on you?

Classical Studies taught me to read carefully and to pay attention to detail. In reading Latin, word order plays such an important role and often times the text can seem like a puzzle. This complemented my work in biochemistry nicely and was also a nice break from the hard sciences. 

What do you think is important for undergraduates to know / understand about Classical Studies as a major?

I think it is important to realize that the Classics have relevance in today’s world. It is not simply about reading ancient texts but about applying what you read to the world in which we live. 

Would you recommend Classical Studies to undeclared students? Why?

Regardless of whether or not you chose to major/minor in Classical Studies, I think it’s important to take a class or two to understand the role that the classics played in shaping our world today.