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Austin College Classics Professor Honored
Article By: by Austin College
Posted: 4/26/2013 Views: 1691  Impressions: 12619
Categories: Education

SHERMAN, TEXAS-Dr. Robert Cape, professor of classics at Austin College, has been honored by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) with an Ovatio, the organization's highest award for service to CAMWS and the classics profession. The award was made in Latin at during the group's annual meeting in Iowa City, Iowa, earlier this week.

Cape was recognized for contributions in promotion of the study of Latin in Texas and throughout the United States and for his work as chief reader of the AP Latin Exam, according to Tom Sienkewicz, secretary-treasurer of CAMWS and professor of classics at Monmouth College. Peter Knox, president of CAMWS and professor of classics at the University of Colorado Boulder, added, "Professor Cape is highly regarded as a scholar in Roman political history and political rhetoric, so his devotion to teaching and his advocacy of Latin are all the more deserving of this recognition."

Cape has taught Greek, Latin, and ancient history at Austin for 19 years and has received national awards for his teaching and research. He has been a leader in developing support for Latin teachers and students across the country and has chaired state, regional, and national committees to support classical education.

According to Cape, enrollments in Latin and classics are growing in high schools, middle schools-and even elementary schools. Professionals are now designing new curricula and new materials that will keep students energized about studying classical civilization. Part of the increase, he said, is from the charter school interest in the subjects, but also a general push to help students develop language skills that will help them in other areas. And, he said, there is a lot of interest in the classical world, adding that references in the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series create a buzz. Those that know classics have had a leg up and know some of the "secrets" of the stories, Cape said.

"A major challenge for us with the growing Latin enrollments around the country is to find Latin teachers," Cape said, adding that teachers probably are needed in every state in the U.S. "That's an area where Austin College has an advantage; the College has a reputation for preparing great Latin teachers."

"The way Latin is taught emphasizes how language functions in general so it helps students understand their own language better and gives an advantage when studying other languages," Cape said. "Learning any language gives students an understanding that other people do and have thought differently about the same issues and don't express them the same way."

Latin is also recognized as an aid in increasing vocabulary. "About 60 percent of English is Latin- and Greek-based, mostly Latin," Cape said.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives.

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