Alumni Profile

Samantha Harris '15

Graduate Student, University of Oxford

What did you appreciate most about Saint Michael's College?

What I most loved about St. Mike’s was that the College didn’t simply talk about the importance of “community;” it truly embodied this value. Professors at St. Mike’s are accessible, some even welcoming you into their own homes; students always look over their shoulder to hold a door open for fellow students; there are many chances to contribute to the surrounding community in Burlington. All this meant that St. Mike’s was not just somewhere that I spent several years studying; it became a home.

What are you doing now?

I’m currently living and studying in England where I am enrolled at the University of Oxford reading for the MSt in Latin and Greek Languages and Literature. The degree program is only nine months long, so my work schedule is quite intensive, however I certainly can’t complain about spending my days reading ancient poetry in beautiful Gothic libraries. I’ve been translating a lot of Latin—and drinking a lot of tea!

How have you applied what you learned at St. Mike's to your professional life?

I am currently seeking employment teaching Classics in a secondary school, and I hope to bring the same passion for my subject and elegance of its teaching, that I admired in my professors at Saint Michael’s, into my own classroom. I’m also very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with fellow students through the peer tutoring center at St. Mike’s, where I gained valuable practice in explaining some of the trickier aspects of learning and reading ancient language to other students. 

What advice would you give new, incoming students?

Don’t be afraid to enroll in a class that you might feel you have little prior knowledge about or that is outside your usual interests. Some of my favorite and most memorable classes came as complete surprises! If a professor is passionate about a topic, there is a way of making anything interesting and accessible, and students at St. Mike’s are lucky to have the freedom to explore huge varieties of subjects within the College’s liberal arts system. Who knows, ancient Greek might be “your thing”!

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