Graduate Students


IMG 1942Molly Mata

Molly Mata earned a BBA in Business Management at Angelo State University in 2009, and after working for several years in the property tax field, rediscovered her love of literature and language and completed a B.A. in Classical Studies and Humanities at UTSA in 2014. She then earned an M.A. in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (with a Classics concentration) at the University of New Mexico in May 2018, and joined Rutgers Classics the same year. Molly wrote her M.A. thesis, titled “Drama as Dream: Sophoclean Tragedy and the Cult of Asclepius,” on drama as a corresponding ritual to incubation in the cult of Asclepius. Molly participated in the American School for Classical Studies Summer Seminar "Finding the Spartans" in 2019, and has presented at CAMWS conferences (2016-2018) and Temple University's Consortium on Women and Healing (2019). Her research interests lie primarily in Greek poetry and drama, ancient medicine, Greek religion, and Roman comedy, and especially how these segments of ancient life and literary genres imagined the mind, body, and emotions.


Madson Photo 99d5dLuke Madson

Luke Madson joined the Classics department in 2018 after receiving his B.A. in Classics and History from Knox College and his M.A. in Classics from Villanova University. He has participated in the AAR Summer School, ASCSA Summer Sessions, CUNY’s Greek and Latin Program, and excavated both at the Athenian Agora and with the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project at ancient Eleon with generous support from a number of grants and scholarships.
His research interests are broadly centered around status and ethnic identity in the ancient world, particularly: aspects of ancient slavery, subaltern populations, and socio-political conflict in archaic Greek history.
Luke completed an undergraduate honors thesis on diachronic skewing and classical reception of archaic martial elegy and during his M.A. his work focused on Messenian ethnogenesis. Luke has written pieces for Eidolon and presented papers at a number of conferences on problems in Messenian historiography, the political valorization of food consumption in Spartan historiography, and rituals of condescension amongst Roman elites. profile 


Becca McGinn Rebecca McGinn

Becca McGinn completed her BA in Classical Civilization at Yale University.  Before joining Rutgers Classics in the Fall of 2017, she completed an MA in Classical Archaeology with a Specialization in Museum Theory and Practice at Florida State University.  She received both the CAMWS 2013-2014 Excavation/Field School Award and the Etruscan Foundation 2014 Fieldwork Fellowship to participate in the excavations at Cetamura del Chianti.  She has presented in Greek Fest at Columbia University and Latin Fest at the University of Pennsylvania.  She will be presenting at the CAAS Fall 2019 Meeting on memory in Vergil’s Fifth Eclogue.  Her research interests lie primarily in Roman historiography and ancient conceptions of memory, as well as the Homeric Hymns.  Becca is excited to talk to anyone about Rutgers Classics.

IMG 7946Emmanuel Aprilakis

Emmanuel Aprilakis is a PhD candidate in Classics at Rutgers University. He earned his B.A. summa cum laude in Classical Studies from the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter College in 2015, where he wrote an honors thesis entitled "Human Suffering and the Question of the Gods' Justice on Lemnos and in Uz." Emmanuel has developed a deep interest in dramatic choral performance, which has engendered his dissertation entitled “The Figure of the Koryphaios in Ancient Drama.” Emmanuel’s broader research interests include ancient athletics, ancient diet, vase painting, sculpture, and museum ethics.
Emmanuel has presented his research at a variety of conferences both in the States, including at the SCS and CAAS, and abroad, in Oxford, St. Andrews, and Coimbra. At the annual meeting of the CAC in 2017, he received the award for best graduate paper for his work on the chorus of Menander’s Dyskolos. An avid traveler, Emmanuel spent the summer of 2016 as Bert Hodge Hill Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. He spent the summer of 2019 visiting every Roman theater in Spain thanks to an Andrew W. Mellon Summer Study Grant. At Rutgers, Emmanuel has taught courses in Latin, Greek, and ancient athletics. He also co-organized the conference “Food and Drink in the Ancient World.” 
For the academic year 2020-21, Emmanuel has been awarded a Fulbright Bulgaria-Greece Joint Research Award for his project, “Traditions of the Ancient Theater Space.”

Brandwood Dept ProfileSteve Brandwood

Steven Brandwood came to Rutgers Classics in 2014 after undergraduate study at Yale and a few years of secondary school teaching in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has published articles and chapters on Herodotus, Aeschylus, and Catullus and was the Virginia Grace fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens in 2018/19. Steve's dissertation project, Cult-Song and Religious Revival in Hellenistic Athens, considers the traditions of choral poetry associated with revived festival performance contexts in Athens, Delphi, and Delos in the late-Hellenistic period. His research interests include Greek poetry and performance, epigraphy, and religion.

Clough photo v1Isaiah Clough

Isaiah Clough earned his BA in Classics from the University of Arizona. He returned and completed his MA in Classics in 2010. His research interests include Greek and Latin poetry, especially epic and Latin love poetry, as well as the work of Petronius.

RickHale v1Rick Hale

Rick Hale is a current PhD student in the department of Classics at Rutgers University. He studied Film Theory as an undergraduate, and holds a BA in Communication Arts (Radio/TV/Film Focus) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  In 2012, he earned a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from Rutgers.  His current research interests include Orphism and Greek Religion, Classics in Cinema and popular culture, numismatics, and education & rhetoric in the Ancient world.

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Victoria Hodges

Victoria Hodges, after earning her M.A. in Classics at San Francisco State University, joined the Rutgers Classics Department in Fall 2019. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology at Texas A&M University in 2016, where she focused on the archaeology of the Mediterranean seascape. Developing from this interest in the relationship between the early Imperial Romans and the sea, Victoria wrote an M.A. thesis, titled “Mare Quidem Tota Nostra Est: An Analysis of the Marine Metaphor in Roman Epic,” in which she discusses storm and sea imagery within Imperial literature as related to Roman ship construction. Victoria presented a paper further discussing her research on marine literary metaphor (CAMWS 2020). During the summer, Victoria worked on the excavations at Stobi, Macedonia as an intern (2016) and on the Via Consolare Project (VCP) at Pompeii as a trench specialist (2017-2020). She was also a post-excavation specialist for the VCP, during which time she co-authored the post-excavation report and compiled a 3D scan of the archaeological area. Her current research interest focuses on the balance between material culture and gendered literature in the Roman Novel (SCS 2021).


Kate Stevens

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW thumb 63ebKate Stevens earned their BA in Latin and Greek Literature at Oberlin College in 2016, where they wrote an undergraduate thesis focused on Catullan intertexts in Martial Epigrams Book 9. Kate joined Rutgers Classics as a PhD student in 2017, and has presented at Latinfest and CAAS. Their interests lie primarily in the literature of the Roman imperial period (with an emphasis on Latin epigram) as well as epigraphy, paleography, and ancient magic.


Nowbahar Phot v1Nicole Nowbahar

Nicole (Nykki) Nowbahar earned her B.A. in English and Classics from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Queens College. As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, she completed her honors thesis on ideas of justice within the writings of Cicero and Seneca. Her research interests focus predominately on Roman social history, gender and sexuality, and Roman poetry. She is currently working on her dissertation titled “Dress and Transgressions of Roman Women,” which uses modern fashion theory to examine the ideal dress of Roman women, contrasting this with her central focus of cross-dressing women in Roman literature.

During her time at Rutgers, Nykki has presented papers at CANE, CAAS, and SCS annual meetings. She has co-hosted two conferences, including the Food and Drink in the Ancient World conference at Rutgers, and Sportula’s Naked Soul Online Conference. Nykki is passionate about teaching and creating equity within the field of Classics, and is happy to talk to anyone about the Rutgers Classics program.


John Griffin

imageJohn Griffin earned a B.A. in History and Classical Studies from Villanova University in 2018 before joining the Rutgers Classics Department as a first-year M.A. student in the Fall of 2019.  An ancient historian by training, John completed an honors thesis as an undergraduate entitled "Iron and Rust: The Transformation of the Roman Empire in the Third Century," in which he analyzed the changing political and culture landscape under the Severan dynasty and during the Crisis of the Third Century that brought about the end of the Principate and the beginning of Diocletian's Dominate.  His research interests primarily include cross-cultural contact in the ancient Mediterranean world, particularly under the Roman Empire, although he also enjoys studying direct and indirect Classical influences on modern popular culture. 

Outside the classroom, John is an avid theater fan, having served as technical director in his undergraduate theater group, and writes for the website Pinstripe Alley, the Yankees-themed subsidiary of