Skoutelas selected as classics and ancient Mediterranean studies marshal

Amanda Miller
April 28, 2020

As part of Penn State’s 2020 spring commencement activities, Charissa Skoutelas will represent the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts as the department’s student marshal. 

In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, orders from the state government and recommendations from global public health organizations, Penn State will hold its spring 2020 commencement ceremony via livestream on May 9. The virtual ceremony will recognize all Penn State undergraduate students and all graduate students in the Penn State Graduate School.

Skoutelas, a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in Classics and ancient Mediterranean studies and a bachelor of science degree in global and international studies, with minors in Greek, geography, and religious studies. Her faculty marshal is Anna Peterson, Tombros Early Career Professor of Classical Studies and assistant professor of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies. 

During her time at Penn State, Skoutelas has pursued her passion for the classics through a number of experiences. During her sophomore year, she served as an archaeology archives assistant with the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, helping to digitize and organize slides. Last year, she was a teaching assistant for a course on ancient Mediterranean civilizations. 

Skoutelas has several years of intensive training in Greek and Latin language, and spent time abroad utilizing both her language skills and knowledge of the Classics. In 2018, she was a fellow of the New York Life Center for the Study of Hellenism in Asia Minor and Pontos at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Athens, Greece. Skoutelas researched Greek oral archives and sites in Greece and Turkey to analyze refugee populations of the 1922 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. She spent the spring 2019 semester in Athens studying the history, culture and archaeology of Greece. Since returning from her semester abroad, Skoutelas has worked in the Education Abroad Office as a peer adviser. 

Last summer, Skoutelas held internships at two museums, which allowed her to develop a greater understanding of how to handle artifacts and tell their stories. At the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, she worked in the Museum Collections to re-house and catalogue various historical objects and research objects and local historical figures in library genealogical records. With the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Research Center at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, she helped to organize institutional archives and library collections. 

When reflecting on her experiences over the past four years, Skoutelas credits her liberal arts education for providing her with the skills necessary to succeed. “My liberal arts education, and especially a training in Classics, has cultivated my ability to communicate effectively, undertake intensive research, and approach the world analytically, skills that have already shaped the person and student that I am. In the future, I expect these skills will facilitate my entry into a variety of careers, whether teaching, in museums, or elsewhere.” 

After graduation, Skoutelas plans to pursue a master’s degree in classics before potentially furthering her education by earning a doctorate in classics or entering a museum career. 

Skoutelas encourages her fellow students in the College of the Liberal Arts to explore outside of their comfort zone. “If there's a topic you've always wanted to know more about, a question you're itching to explore, or even a language you'd like to learn, there's probably a course offered here at Penn State for it. This is your chance to take advantage of the expansive course offering in the College of the Liberal Arts at a major university. Also, study abroad!”

This is the 11th in a series of stories on the 24 student marshals representing the College of the Liberal Arts during the spring 2020 commencement activities.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 28, 2020