A research trip to Rome in 2009 led to an exciting discovery for Dr. Alison Jeppesen, a learning designer at Red Deer College, who found a rare inscription on a gravestone. Jeppesen was at the National Museum of Rome, conducting research on classical inscriptions of women recorded in the first through fourth centuries.
The research and scholarship surrounding her discovery has garnered Jeppesen the 2013 Award for Best Oral Paper presented by a Post-PhD scholar for ‘Aurelia Philematium and Maria Auxesis: Kept Woman or Wife?’ The paper was given at the 144th annual meeting of the American Philological Association in Seattle with the award presented at the 145th meeting in Chicago.
“I was conducting research for my dissertation in Italy at the time to compare the inscriptional and literary view of women in ancient Rome,” said Jeppesen who earned her PhD in 2010. “The inscription I came across was not well known in North America and it was a trigger for the paper I presented at the conference, which challenges the long-held assumptions about women and how they were categorized and viewed in antiquity.”
Jeppesen’s primary role at RDC is as a learning designer in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. She teaches in the Excellence in Teaching and Learning certificate program for faculty at the college where she supports instructors at RDC, regardless of length of service, to develop and grow as instructors. A key aspect of the program is the integration of scholarly research into teaching practice. Ongoing research and curiosity about the Humanities and Arts undertaken by RDC faculty and staff bring unique context to the classroom that helps create a well-rounded foundation for further study.
“We have inherited a lot of the biases and beliefs from classical thinking, and it’s important to be aware of those assumptions and views in our present day,” said Jeppesen. “Humanities and social science research impacts our culture and helps us understand the context of why we know what we know and enables us to be more independent thinkers.”
Jeppesen’s latest scholarly work on Roman culture is featured in the new textbook Themes in Roman Society and Culture published in 2014 by Oxford University Press. She received her award and a cash prize in early January 2014.