Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins' doctoral thesis at Columbia was an ethnographic examination of the intersections of garbage, sewage and waste markets with the changing nature of local governance and occupation in post-Oslo Palestine. In 2012-2013, she presented papers on aspects of her research at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (in San Francisco) and at the Middle East Studies Association (in Denver). She received the Sheldon Scheps Memorial Fellowship. In September 2013, she will begin teaching at Bard College in upstate New York, where she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Program.  

Jessica Aldridge recently completed two Master degrees at Yale: an MBA and a Master of Environmental Management (MEM). She is now moving back to New York to work under Governor Cuomo's aggressive statewide push toward a greener New York State. After a semester last year in China she looks forward to returning to her Greek this summer.


Demetri Arnaoutakis
My name is Demetri Arnaoutakis and I took Modern Elementary Greek I and II with Prof. Karen Van Dyck. I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Florida College of Medicine. My heritage is Greek so I was really excited that my schedule allowed me to take these classes during my senior year. I definitely was able to improve my grammar and speaking skills and even continue to refine them each time I visit family in Greece.

Karen Emmerich
Karen Emmerich is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon in Eugene. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia’s Department of English and Comparative Literature in 2010; she has a B.A. from Princeton University (2000) and an M.A. from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2002). Her dissertation, entitled Seeing Things: Visual and Material Poetics in Twentieth-Century Greek Poetry, explores the importance of visual and material form to the interpretation and translation of poetry. Karen is also a translator of Modern Greek poetry and prose; her recent translations include Margarita Karapanou’s Sleepwalker and Rien ne va plus, Ersi Sotiropoulos’s Landscape with Dog and Other Stories, Amanda Michalopoulou’s I’d Like and Why I Killed my Best Friend (Open Letter, 2013), and Miltos Sachtouris’s Poems (1945-1971), which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. She also co-translated (with Edmund Keeley) Yiannis Ritsos's Diaries of Exile (Archipelago, Fall 2012). Karen is the recipient of translation grants and awards from the NEA, PEN and the Modern Greek Studies Association, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University for 2010-2011.

Chenni Xu
I have very fond memories of Greek class with Prof. Karen Van Dyck. She made the class interactive and fun by bringing in movies like Zorba, and her friend who talked to us about Greek music in the 60s, and we even put on a shadow puppet show (Karaghiozis). I remember that Prof. Van Dyck only ever spoke to us in Greek and this made the class interesting and filled with these new sounds that we had to figure out. I also liked that she brought to the class the history, culture, and poetry of the language. I'm a Master's student in International Relations now at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and am continuing to learn new languages. I am always listening to Greek music and reading notes or small pieces of news online and translating them in my spare time. I wish I had started earlier with Prof. Van Dyck (since I took the Greek beginners I and II courses during my senior year at Columbia) and had time to attend some of the summer language and culture programs in Greece.