Shanti Kozuch, MPH
Credentials: Institutional Review Board (IRB) Coordinator, Office of Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin
Major & Certificates: Anthropology and Gender and Women’s Studies, Certificate in Classical Studies
Year of Graduation: 2017
My name is Shanti Kozuch: A Wisconsin native, dog mom to Phillip, and explorer of the world with my trusty travel buddy, my husband Michael. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017—On Wisconsin! I then moved onto Emory, Rollins School of Public Health to study Research Methods and Ethics. I am so excited for winter because that means I get to take my Siberian Husky, Phillip, out bikejoring in the snow! You can always find me with a good book and tea in my hand. Right now, I am reading The Greek Experience of India: From Alexander to the Indo-Greeks by Richard Stoneman and loving every page!
What motivated you to study Classics in college?
Throughout my childhood I was enthralled with the culture, history, and languages of Italy and Greece. I wanted nothing more than to pack my bags and move there (I actually begged my mom to let me move there on several occasions). While I didn’t quite live that dream out, I did have the opportunity to spend a few weeks exploring Italy and Greece prior to attending UW-Madison. By the end of the trip, I was certain a Classics degree would be in store for me—and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. Going into the program I had a lot of preconceived notions of what I would learn or what it would be like—it was so much more!
How did earning the Classics certificate impact what you did after college, and are doing now?
Earning a Classics certificate was incredibly helpful during my Master’s program. Studying Classics illuminated the world past yet is deeply applicable to our present. I studied Public Health and Ethics in my Master’s program and having a significant competency in analytical and critical thinking was crucial. Luckily, I considered myself well-rounded in those areas directly because of my Classics degree. Being able to pull from ethical discussions and historical context I encountered during my Classics coursework helped me more than once while writing and researching my thesis. In my current role, working for the MCW IRB, I have never been more thankful for the experiences and classes I took under the Classics department. A lot of my work consists of reading lengthy and complex documents, summarizing the key takeaways, and writing/discussing ethical responses. All these skills were taught and exemplified during my Classics coursework, thank gosh! Lastly, although it felt tedious at the time, taking Latin has come in handy more times than I can count! Many people were confused why I chose to study Classics, they weren’t sure how that was a marketable skill/knowledge set—boy were they wrong!
What do you remember about taking classes in Classics? What were the highlights?
As cliché as it sounds, I remember loving every minute of my Classics coursework. Although I had other certificates and majors whenever my parents would call and ask how school was going, I always told them about whatever I was learning in Classics classes that week. There were two professors that were the absolute highlight of time in the Classics department (I seriously took every class they taught) — Dr. Grant Nelsestuen and Dr. Nandini Pandey. Dr. Pandey was one of the most influential and inspirational professors I have ever had the pleasure of learning from. Dr. Pandey also played a large role in my decision and acceptance into Emory, Rollins School of Public Health.