Evelien Bracke works as a lecturer and Employability and Schools Liaison Officer in the Department of History and Classics. She mainly teaches ancient languages and pedagogy. Her PhD, done at NUI Maynooth (Ireland), explored the development of two ancient Greek mythological figures: Medea and Circe. Evelien always loved teaching – obviously influenced by her parents who were both secondary school teachers – and was set on a traditional academic route. But when she became a mother, she suddenly became much more aware of young people’s needs than she had been before. She started looking for ways in which she might be able to help her students prepare for life after university while also helping local school pupils with their early development. She therefore set up the Literacy through Latin project, a teaching project that allows students to get teaching experience by teaching Latin to primary age pupils, thereby helping to improve the literacy levels of pupils at the same time. Her life changed completely because of this project, as she was able to use her creativity to design innovative projects which she hadn’t thought possible: she now has approximately 30 students going into schools each semester, works on not just ancient languages but also ancient cultures with schools, does a lot of work with schools on transition from school to university, teaches her students how to teach (http://www.ltlresources.weebly.com), started up the online student journal Gorffennol (http://gorffennol.swansea.ac.uk), works on the development of student work placements, was made permanent and got the Excellence in Learning and Teaching award in 2013, was awarded Leverhulme research funding to measure the impact of Latin learning at primary school level, and has sabbatical leave lined up for next academic year to set up the Swansea Centre of Literacy. She loves her work, sees all the students helping her as her team, and works tirelessly on improving the profile of Classics in Wales through work with schools (for example through schools’ days in the university and teacher training INSET days) and communities (for example through the Ancient Languages in the Park Project and the Summer School in Ancient Languages, see http://www.swansea.ac.uk/artsandhumanities/hc/summerschoolinancientlanguages/).
When she is not working, she loves reading Roald Dahl with her son Morgan (who wants to be an Egyptologist/builder/bad cop) and playing the ukulele in her band NeQuidem, which, among other things, records songs in Latin (see http://ltlresources.weebly.com/latin-songs-with-resources.html for some examples) for use by schools.