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Classics students win awards

By Kyle Schut '13
June 11, 2012

Two St. Olaf College Classics students won top honors at the national Maurine Dallas Watkins Translation Contests, and three received the college's Groomis Award.

This year Emily Marie Sandquist '13 (left) and Grace Koch '15 helped St. Olaf continue its record as the nation's top producer of Maurine Dallas Watkins Translation Contests winners.

Emily Marie Sandquist '13 won first place in the Advanced Latin Translation category of the Watkins contests, following up her third place win in the same category of last year's event. Grace Koch '15 claimed third place in the Intermediate Latin Translation portion of the national contest. St. Olaf has had at least one winner at the Watkins event every year since 1980, and has the best record in the competition of any school in the country.

Sandquist is also one of this year's recipients of the Groomis Award, an annual honor bestowed upon St. Olaf students pursuing independent Classics-related studies. Co-founded by St. Olaf Professor of Classics Anne Groton and Kenneth and Kathleen Loomis, parents of Latin major Stephen Loomis '97, the awards include a monetary sum to be put toward the purchase of hard-to-find texts. This year's other recipients are Natasha Hellen '13 and Kris Coffman '13.

Sandquist plans to use her award to acquire two volumes of a 4th-century Latin commentary by Hilary of Poitiers titled Tractatus Super Psalmos. She will continue her efforts to translate the work, most of which appears to have never been translated into English before.

Hellen, an ancient studies and biology major, will take an interdisciplinary approach to the Classics and plans to purchase six volumes on the topics of forensic science, anthropology, and archaeology in order to work on a project documenting the similarities between archaeology and crime scenes. Her aim for the project is to combine her affinity for the sciences and ancient history.

Coffman, a religion major and previous recipient of the Groomis award, will spend this summer comparing Norwegian and Norwegian-American immigrant liturgies at the University of Oslo. His award will go toward the purchase of a rare Norwegian-Latin dictionary.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or