Anna Roche, History

Project shifts Roche’s career path toward graduate school and scholarship

Anna Roche

Anna Roche

Connections with East Carolina University faculty through Honors College courses and the signature honors project can completely change the trajectory of a student’s career.

History major Anna Roche met Dr. Helen Dixon, assistant professor in the Department of History, through faculty interviews during the first-year honors colloquia course. This quickly led to Dixon becoming Roche’s mentor for the project.

Roche used reception theory as a lens to examine how Nefertiti, Hypatia and Sappho have been perceived throughout time in art and literature compared to the earliest writings and images of them.

“I knew that I wanted to focus on ancient women and how they have been objectified, but through conversations and resources Dr. Dixon helped me find, I was able to hone my research into a more specific field,” she said.

One of the most helpful pieces of guidance was when Dixon listened to what Roche wanted to study and recognized that there was already an existing theory — reception theory — that she would be able to use as her theorical basis.

“This project, especially Dr. Dixon’s guidance in the project, is the reason I realized my passion for historical scholarship,” Roche said. “My experiences helped me make the decision to change my major and pursue graduate school.”

Roche completed her project during her junior year and has used it as a writing sample for her current applications to graduate schools.

“I feel much more comfortable in scholarly circles, which has been beneficial in the classes I have taken following my signature honors project completion and with the graduate school application process,” she said.