Credentials: Quality Curator, Epic Systems
Majors: Classics and Latin
Year of Graduation: 2019
I’m currently employed as a Quality Curator on the surgical application “OpTime” at Epic in Verona, WI, where I split my time between software testing, coordinating a project team of other Quality Curators, overseeing my teams Foundation System quality, including that of our COVID-19 development, and, occasionally, translating employee documentation from Latin to English (yes, really).
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO STUDY CLASSICS IN COLLEGE?
Having adored calculus in high school, I had actually intended to pursue a degree in STEM. However, when it came time to choose my first semester courses, I decided to go a different route. Part of my reasoning was that I wanted to take a semester to explore a subject that had always been of interest to me, though I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my main motivation was wanting to see the look on my parents’ faces when I told them that I had signed up for an entire semester of courses on ancient history and a “dead language”. Much to my disappointment, they didn’t seem phased at all. Maybe they knew something about me that I didn’t, because by the end of that first semester I had fallen hopelessly in love with the study of Classics, particularly with Latin. I never looked back, and before I knew it I was pursuing a double major in Latin and Classics, hosting guest lecturers as a Consul of the Undergraduate Classics Society, and reading Horace on the weekends in my spare time.
HOW DID YOUR CLASSICAL HUMANITIES MAJOR IMPACT WHAT YOU DID AFTER COLLEGE, AND ARE DOING NOW?
Apart from the rare Latin document that needs translating, there has been little direct application of my studies in my current position. However, that’s not to say that my major in Classics and Latin hasn’t impacted what I do today. Far from it, actually. Throughout the course of my time studying Classics at UW, I developed the skills needed to grapple with complex languages and ideas, something quite invaluable when you happen to get a job at a software company despite having no prior experience whatsoever with coding languages or terminology. Studying Latin taught me to think outside the box, and to read and analyze unfamiliar information closely, quickly, and critically. Most importantly, studying Classics taught me to follow my heart. Sure, I could have went back to studying STEM after my first semester, but I chose to listen to my heart and continue down the path that that first semester had opened up for me. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR MAJOR OR CLASSES IN CLASSICS? WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS?
The connections I made in the department definitely stick out the most in my mind. I’ve never met as many incredible, kind, and intelligent people in one place as I did in my Classics courses at UW. No matter the subject, whether reading Petronius with Professor Dressler, Tacitus with Professor Nelsestuen, the Homeric Hymns with Professor Brockliss, or Virgil with Professor Pandey, every single day of class was a delight.