"Students who are committed to their intellectual,
cultural, and social
development are successful in the language department, which offers
them the opportunity to become fluent in another language and
literate in another culture. Those who feel they lack oral
proficiency can seek tutoring in French, Italian, or Spanish
or enroll in Latin or ancient Greek, both of which are taught
as literary not spoken languages."
Dr. Ann Raia
Professor Modern Foreign Languages
School of Arts & Sciences
The College of New Rochelle
What is your educational background, Dr. Raia?
I attended Hunter College
High School in Manhattan and received a Bachelors degree in Classics
from Queens College. I was awarded an NDEA fellowship to Fordham
University, where I received a Masters and PhD degree in Classical,
Medieval, Humanistic Philosophy & Philology.
How long have you been at The College of New Rochelle?
I was hired to teach classics
at CNR directly from graduate school, intending to stay for a few
years. The warm welcome I received from Ursulines and lay faculty made
it impossible for me to consider leaving. The college has played a
major role in my life, as I met my husband, a part-time teacher of
Italian, here and my son attended the CNR pre-school program.
What do you teach here, Dr. Raia?
Presently I am teaching
Latin, Greek, and “The Comic Spirit.” I have taught Freshman Seminar,
Western Cultural Heritage, College Essay, Greek Tragedy, The Heroic
Quest, and several different seminars in the Honors Program. I have
led summer study-tour courses to Egypt, Italy, and Greece.
Besides teaching, how are you involved in the College Community?
Currently I am teaching
half-time. I was the founder and Director of the Honors Program for 28
years, and have served multiple terms on a wide variety of college and
What do you think makes CNR a special College?
This is a holistic community
that is sensitive to the physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual
development of all of its members. A talented staff of scholar-teachers
offers a supportive value-added strong liberal arts education for
students of a wide range of abilities and commitment levels. A close
network of faculty colleagues and staff work to orient students to the
college's traditions and culture of respectful civil discourse.
Attentive to the future, the community honors its founding principles
and its mission to educate the underserved, particularly women.
Tell us something about
your website and publications?
I wrote The Worlds of Roman Women,
published in March 2005, with two co-authors. I conceived this
anthology of essays and Latin texts about and by Roman women while
preparing to teach the Lation course Roman
Women: Puella, Matrona,
Meretrix at the college in Fall 2002. It is a sourcebook
intermediate level Latin student, so a full commentary appears on the
page facing the Latin passage. In the final pre-publication stages it
became clear that the book could not accommodate all the illustrations
and texts we authors had discovered. In December 2005 I began to
design The Online Companion to The
Worlds of Roman Women and published it with my co-author
in June 2006. The website is much more user-friendly in that it offers
a multiplicity of images and links to a wide array of linguistic,
bibliographic, pedagogical and cultural resources. This past year I
have given presentations at five regional and national classical
meetings about the effectiveness of both the text and the website for
Latin teaching. A work in progress, I have invited other faculty to
join this communal web project which is free and open to all.
Why should students learn another language?
It is important for college
students to know at least one other language and to become
knowledgeable about other cultures for their own personal development
and to live fully and wisely in the modern world, which has become a
global village. Cultural ideas and habits of thought are embedded in
language and defy easy translation into another language.
What are the advantages of studying Latin, or a foreign language while
Studying a foreign language
is linguistic training in the great liberal arts tradition. It offers
students another mode of development of their critical abilities at a
time in their lives when they have the leisure to study intensely. It
enables students to read literature which illustrates the cultures of
other traditions in the words of the members of that culture. It
challenges students to step out of a monocultural perspective to see
other ways of thinking and living. Having a language ability offers
classic ideas in the words in which those ideas were framed. It expands
the arsenal of communication open to students, allowing them to better
understand their own language. It clarifies the notion that there is no
real possibility of "translation" of words and ideas without
understanding of cultural mores
What and where do your students go after leaving CNR?
Language students from The
College of New Rochelle enroll in graduate school and enter the world
of work in a variety of fields. Comfortable with their ability to
communicate, they seek foreign travel and employment abroad as well as
in the US. Students who major in Classics often go onto earn
advanced degrees, but not always in the Classics. Many have entered
teaching careers at the high school and college levels or work in
libraries or museums, law offices or the corporate world.
The Online Companion to The Worlds of