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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Reed professor Alex Nice awarded National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship

PORTLAND, OR (June 27, 2005) - Alex Nice, visiting assistant professor of classics and humanities at Reed College, has received a $4,200 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to attend a summer seminar in Rome and pursue a summer research project on ancient Roman religion and culture.

The seminar, entitled "Roman Religion in its Cultural Context," will be lead by Professor Karl Galinsky, Cailloux Centennial professor of classics, in Rome in conjunction with the American Institute for Roman Culture. It will feature 115 professors and scholars from 35 states across America.

"I feel privileged to have been selected from a competitive pool of over 60 applicants," Nice stated. "The NEH grant offers an unparalleled opportunity to study Roman religion in its original context with colleagues from disciplines other than classics from a range of different colleges and universities."

Nice plans to use his grant to study the influence that the nobility in Rome exacted on the city’s religious institutions. He will pursue a research project entitled "The gens Marcia and Roman Religion in the Late Republic." The project stems from his Ph.D. thesis, titled "Divination and Roman historiography," and several papers Nice presented in South Africa and for the American Institute of Archaeology (AIA) in Portland.

"The study of archaeological evidence first-hand with experts in the field offers an incredible opportunity to broaden my own understanding of the complexities of Roman religion and to apply this experience to my own research and teaching," noted Nice. "I expect that the seminar will benefit my forthcoming course on Greek and Roman magic and help examination of the links between ‘religion’ and ‘magic’ in the Roman world."

Alex Nice
Nice received his Ph.D. from the University of Exeter in 1999. Before coming to Reed in the fall of 2002, Nice was the head of the classics department at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and a visiting assistant professor in classics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

National Endowment for the Humanities
The NEH is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is the largest funder of humanities programs in the United States. They believe that, since democracy demands wisdom, their grants and seminars will serve and strengthen the United States by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment seeks to accomplish their mission by providing grants for high-quality humanities projects in four funding areas: preserving and providing access to cultural resources, education, research, and public programs.

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Reed College
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit