“I started to fall in love with Ancient Greek when I learned the origin of the word ‘anthology.’ said Ciara “C.C.” Barrick ’15, who will be going to the Republic of Cyprus on a Fulbright award later this year. “‘Anthos’ in Greek translates to ‘flower,’ and ‘ology’ is a collection of something. So the meaning of ‘anthology’ is a ‘collection of flowers.’ It’s kind of tender,” said Barrick, exuding a passion for language.
When Barrick wasn’t accepted into an honors-level Spanish class her freshman year of high school, she was determined to challenge herself, so she signed up for Latin to meet the language requirement. It was then that she began to take private lessons in Ancient Greek with her Latin teacher after school. At Stockton, she continued pursuing Greek studies, earning an Ancient Greek minor in addition to her B.A. in Literature this spring.
In a few months, she will be traveling to the island country in the eastern Mediterranean where Greek and Turkish are both official languages. Barrick will work in the English Department at European University Cyprus from September through May, teaching English Foreign Language (EFL) students and working as a cultural ambassador to enhance relations between Cyprus and the United States. The work is made possible through a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship, one of the academic world’s most prestigious student awards.
Barrick chose to apply for a Fulbright in Cyprus because she was fascinated by the “cultural footprint” caused by the divide between the Greek-administered South and the Turkish-administered North, which she experienced on her first visit there in November 2013.
North of Egypt, south of Turkey, east of Greece and west of Syria and Lebanon, Cyprus is a melting pot of culture. The island is divided by “the Green Line,” a demilitarized U.N. Buffer Zone which runs 112 miles, east to west.
“The capital city, Nicosia, has a European feel – the way you would imagine Greece. But there is this wall that divides the city to separate the Turkish- and the Greek-ruled sides, and it’s riddled with bullet holes. It’s truly a living history,” Barrick explained.
In addition to the teaching assistantship in Nicosia, C.C. has also been offered an internship at the Cyprus literary journal “Cadences,” where she hopes to expand her knowledge of Modern Greek in print. Though she loves teaching, in the future, she may be interested in working at a journal, magazine or museum.
“I’m not ready for graduate school,” Barrick said. “When you apply to a Ph.D. program, you sort of need to have a project in mind. Right now, I have so many interests that I want to explore and that is what I hope to do during this Fulbright experience.”
C.C. credits Stockton faculty and staff for their mentoring during her tenure, as well as experiences at the university for shaping her academic career.
Barrick put her passion and knowledge of language to use as a tutor in the university’s Writing Center under the tutelage of Coordinator Pam Cross.
“Working as a tutor has prepared me for teaching students of all levels and various nationalities. While my time in the classroom has provided me with knowledge and stimulated my curiosity, it is the community of the Stockton University Writing Center which has been indispensable to my happiness here,” Barrick said.
“Pam Cross is an amazing teacher, adviser and friend. She has created an environment which allows both tutor and tutee to grow and prosper,” she continued.
C.C. also credits various faculty members for her academic growth, pointing to Dr. Deborah Gussman, associate professor of American Literature; Dr. Lisa Honaker, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities; and Dr. David Roessel, professor of Greek Language and Literature.
Dr. Roessel exposed Barrick to Greece and the world of archival research, reshaping her understanding of literature and redirecting her passions.
“My experiences here at Stockton University, particularly those under the guidance of Dr. Roessel, have prepared me for the Fulbright,” she said. “The courses I took with Dr. Gussman and Dean Honaker have improved my reading and writing skills. I have been so fortunate to have had a number of travel-abroad experiences, including Greece and Cyprus. My experiences within the Literature program, as well as the opportunity to take Ancient Greek lessons, have been unparalleled.”
While Stockton has afforded C.C. four opportunities to travel abroad, she has never lived outside the states for an extended period of time.
“My parents gave me luggage as my graduation gift and I started to think about the specifics of living abroad. That was when reality started to sink in. I’m responsible for finding my own housing and for obtaining an international driver’s license. I also have no domestic skills whatsoever, so I think I’m really going to miss the amenities of home,” Barrick explained with nervous excitement.
The Ocean City, N.J. native most looks forward to creating and implementing her own lesson plans, integrating herself into another culture, and gaining greater knowledge of Cypriot art and literature. “The Cypriot culture really promotes the arts. It celebrates and values those things,” she said.