2021 Phillips Classical Prize and Modern Greek Prize Award Winners

Every year we count on a set of celebrations in the Department of Classical Studies to mark the culmination of the academic year. The Philips Awards ceremony is one of the happiest of these events. It brings together students, family, friends, and faculty in a beautiful event honoring outstanding student performance. The Phillips Classical Prizes are a long-standing tradition in the department to promote and encourage the study of Greek and Latin. They originate from an endowed scholarship fund, bequeathed to the Department in the will of Henry Phillips, who died in 1895. The Phillips Classical Prizes are awarded annually to outstanding undergraduate students who, by virtue of a special examination, prove their excellence in the various levels of Latin or Ancient Greek.  Modern Greek Prizes have been awarded annually since 1993 to undergraduate students at an intermediate and advanced-intermediate level for excellence demonstrated in the Modern Greek translation competition.

With this announcement, we honor, with pride and joy—and a book prize of their choice—the winners of the Phillips Classical Prize competition and the Modern Greek Prize competition.  Students, we are proud of your accomplishments.

The Department of Classical Studies is pleased to announce this year’s winners:


Undergraduate Award Winners


Recipient of the Phillips Classical Prize for Latin 1

Taewon Chung is a sophomore at the University of Michigan, who unsurprisingly happens to love Latin because he thinks that Roman dramas are pretty dramatic.  Taewon is also a four time gold medalist of the National Latin Exam and used to be a part of the New Jersey Junior Classical League back in high school. He is also a big fan of using time-resolved lasers and x-rays to study complex molecules and is an aspiring chemist with an experiment-everyday personality.  In his free time, Taewon likes to play tennis, CS:GO and War Thunder.  His greatest accomplishment thus far has been building a Roman style ballista designed to fire a water balloon by more than thirty feet (mirabile visu) for a high school final Latin project.



Recipient of the Phillips Classical Prize for Latin 5

Catharine Fennessey is a senior graduating with a degree in Classical Languages and Literature. She is a member of Eta Sigma Phi and is particularly interested in post classical reception and interpretation of classical literature.  She received the Phillips Prize for Latin 1, Latin 3, and Latin 5 in her first three years at the University.  This year she again received the Phillips Prize for Latin 5 and completed a thesis, "Transformation of Terence in Hrotsvitha's Dramas," which was awarded the John J. Kennedy Prize by the Honors Program.  She plans to pursue teaching Latin at the secondary level.  She is grateful to everyone in the department for their support and encouragement, and would like to especially thank Dr. Donka Markus, her thesis advisor, Dr. Ruth Caston, her second reader, and Dr. Netta Berlin, an incredible mentor and instructor.



Recipient of the Phillips Classical Prize for Greek 3

Bellina Gaskey is a senior graduating with a major in Classical Languages and Literature. She loved starting her Greek and Latin journeys in the Michigan Classics department and hopes to study them more in graduate school in the future. Her favorite classical author is Ovid.



Recipient of the Phillips Classical Prize for Latin 4

Kara Kozma’s successful effort to earn the 2020 Phillips Classical Prize for Latin 1 impelled her, after another year of satisfying study, to attempt and achieve a complimentary accomplishment in Latin 4.  She is a sophomore majoring in both Classical Languages and Literatures and in English who has obtained University Honors in each of her three completed semesters as an undergraduate student, a performance that she hopes to repeat throughout many years of education until she acquires a doctorate degree and becomes a professor of Classics. She is a 2020 William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize recipient and a three-term James B. Angell Scholar. As a dedicated Latinist just beginning to learn Ancient Greek, she has become interested in the languages’ comparative syntax, and as a longtime logophile just starting to explore Ovid, she has become an admirer of his mastery of the use of words. Kara plans to continue her independent research to become a published author of articles on ancient polemology.



Recipient of the Modern Greek Translation Prize - Advanced Intermediate

Margarita is a junior from Omaha, Nebraska, studying Neuroscience and Modern Greek on a pre-medical track.  Margarita enjoys translating Modern Greek poetry and literature.  She has had several Greek translations published by the Press Project, Orthodox Path, and the University of Michigan Classics Department.  In 2020, she was awarded the Context for Classics Translation Award for her translation of Λοιμός (1972) by Ανδρέας Φραγκιάς.  In her free time Margarita enjoys cooking Mediterranean dishes, watching movies with her friends, and exercising!



Recipient of the Phillips Classical Prize for Latin 2

Ellie Randolph is a senior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts majoring in Political Science. She’s very passionate about the study of law and politics. After graduation, she will be applying to law school and hopes to eventually pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney.



Recipient of the Modern Greek Translation Prize - Intermediate

Conor Smith is a graduating senior with majors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and History, with honors.  He is highly interested in Modern Greek history, particularly with how perceptions of the past are utilized and reified in the present, and hopes to continue study of Modern Greek history in the future.  Finally, he is planning on visiting Greece in the fall to continue his language education.