Classics grad finds big funding in ancient studies
Bronwyn Rideout is modern proof that there's plenty of opportunity for those who study antiquity.
"Classics is a field that has wider research applications than some people would ... believe," she recently wrote. "There is significant funding interest for the discipline."
When she graduated in May 2006 with her BA (Hons) in Greek and Roman Studies, she was offered a full fellowship for graduate studies at the University of Toronto’s Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science.
But just as she began that program, the Canadian Bureau for International Education informed her that a Commonwealth Scholarship had become available for her to do the master's program that had been her first choice - at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. She changed her plans, and in 2007 started classes in Canterbury's History and Philosophy of Science program.
Ms. Rideout asserts that one of the best choices she ever made was to study Classics at Memorial: "Since every course examined the complementary influences of politics, religion, literature and philosophy, not only did I have an opportunity to appreciate the variance that these elements created between Greece and Rome, but I have been able to use the analytical and theoretical skills in areas outside academia."
For example, last fall she completed an internship at CopperHeart Entertainment, an independent Canadian production company in Toronto that makes films such as the Oscar Award-winning short "Ryan."
"I mainly did script reviews, but I also had a chance to watch and critique cuts," she explained. "Everything that I had gained from Classics came into play."
The future is bright for this student of the past, but her success has been bittersweet. Her father, Robert Rideout, also a Memorial alumnus (B.Comm (Hons.) '82, MBA '85), was working in Qatar as the VP Finance at the College of the North Atlantic campus in Doha. He traveled home for his daughter's convocation, and was "more than pleased," she recounts, to learn of her University of Toronto fellowship. Unfortunately, just after her convocation and before the news came of the Commonwealth Scholarship, Mr. Rideout became suddenly ill and died.
"Given the value he placed on education and the support he gave me during my own studies," Ms. Rideout notes, "I have no doubt about how he would have felt about my winning the Commonwealth."