Our first Tommie Questionnaire for 2015-2016 profiles Dr. Ivancica Schrunk. A member of the history faculty for over twenty years, Dr. Schrunk is the fearless leader of student archeological digs in Croatia and Rome and helps organize the Collaborative Inquiry program on campus. She received her Ph.D. in Classical Area Studies/Archaeology from the University of Minnesota.
In addition to reading her answers to our 5 questions, make sure to read more about her work with students in Croatia in this Newsroom article, Remains of the Day.
What inspired you to become a historian & Why Ancient History?
My interest in the ancient, classical Mediterranean world started early. The middle and high school that I attended had the word “Classical”in its name. We started with Latin in the 5th grade and ancient Greek in the 6th. The subject of history was taught in every grade, with increasing complexity and world context, a swelling source of inspiration for me. Reading Homer, Virgil, Herodotus and Caesar sparked a desire to dig up those worlds. The borderlands of those ancient worlds were buried under where I lived or spent vacation by the Adriatic sea. University studies in archaeology, history, classical languages and art history set me on the course of life-long teaching, research and fieldwork.
What is exciting you with your current research?
Working and collaborating with students in various disciplines – history, geography, geology, biology, art history – in my fieldwork and research on Roman villas is the most exciting and inspiring.
What is your favorite thing about teaching history?
My favorite moments are when teaching history at the actual ancient sites or in the presence of ancient artifacts.
What are you up to when you are not on campus?
When I am away from campus and away from any professional reading, writing or grading papers at home, I enjoy creative cooking (no recipe, no measuring) and teaching Croatian language and culture to a wonderful group of enthusiasts.