Latin for the Next Generation of Leaders

Rachel Mullervy

Rachel Mullervy MHC ’11, ’19/Masters in Classics, University of Maryland-College Park

When I decided to double major in Art History and Classics, I had no idea it would lead me back to where it all began. I had studied Latin in high school, but I was determined to study Art History at Mount Holyoke, and never take Latin again. After a Roman History class my sophomore year, I shifted my studies from a cultural and artistic focus to a linguistic one so I could hopefully study abroad in Rome my Junior year. My time as a student in the ICCS program in Rome solidified my love of Classics and my decision to double major. Since graduating Mount Holyoke in 2011, I have stayed connected to Classics. The year after graduation, I worked as an intern in Manhattan at the American Numismatics Society as one of the founding participants in the OCRE project, cataloging Roman Coins. I then completed a Masters in Classics at the University of Maryland where I honed my language skills in preparation for a future PhD. I always envisioned myself staying in higher education, but I was surprised to find how much I loved teaching young women when I began teaching at a private all-girls school in Maryland -- it was like being at a little Mount Holyoke. Every time I spark interest and cultivate my students' love and understanding of Ancient Rome, I am transported back to myself in my MHC classes when I first fell in love with the subject. Outside the classroom, I wanted to help my students build their own leadership skills and have the opportunities I had at MHC. I completed Mount Holyoke's Masters program in Teacher Leadership in 2019 which has enabled me to take a more active role in my school outside of Latin and support my students in and out of the classroom. I create opportunities for these young women to become empowered leaders in their own community and on a global scale. Of course, there is a direct connection between my majors at MHC and my career, but besides teaching Latin, the skills I learned as a Classical Philologist, helps me as an educator daily.

Problem solving, logical and deductive reasoning, a strong memory, patience, to name a few, are some of the skills translating Greek and Latin have given me. I remind my students regularly that even if they do not continue in the language beyond high school, it is skills like these that will propel them to success in any field. After this long journey of studying Latin, I had no idea I would end up in a high school classroom again, but I'm grateful everyday to mold future Latin enthusiasts and strong leaders.