Professor Alejandro Santana
Photo by W.C. Lawson
Starting fall 2014, UP will be offering the Hellenic studies minor, which will cover many aspects of ancient Greek culture.
“My idea was to create a minor that was interdisciplinary in nature,” Professor of Hellenic studies Alejandro Santana, also a philosophy professor, said. “It provides structure and flexibility for the student, and you get a better sense of the intellectual roots that the world has inherited.”
After the University received a gift from E. John Rumpakis in 2012 to help fund the minor, Santana applied for the Professor of Hellenic Studies Position and was appointed to the position. This semester, the minor passed in Academic Senate.
“We couldn’t have gotten this done without the help of so many people who made this possible,” said Santana.
The minor will have one required introductory course, as well as a summative course, both taught by Santana. Courses in between range from a variety of topics. Santana said that this minor is relevant to all students, no matter what they are majoring in.
“If a drama student wants to to know more about ancient Greek theater, there will be a class for that. If a history student wants to learn more about ancient Greek history, there will be a class for that as well,” Santana said. “The goal is to make this minor flexible for our students.”
Santana and a few of his colleagues in the proposal committee surveyed 41 students from three courses this past fall semester: HST 330 Ancient Mediterranean World, PHL 471 Ancient Philosophy and PHL 472 Medieval Philosophy. Results indicated that almost 60 percent of the students surveyed were interested in the minor. Jason Smith, sophomore and President of the Philosophy Club, would like to complete the minor if he has enough time.
“It is such a rich subject,” said Smith. “Focusing on the Greeks contains some of the most potent, natural philosophy.”
Santana is excited to get this minor started and welcomes all students interested in taking its courses.
“If a student wants to learn more about the world they live in, this might be a great place to start,” he said.
Sourced from Beacon