New Honor for Dr. Katherine Schwab

Submitted by Nina M. Riccio on October 13, 2011

Art History Professor Katherine Schwab’s detailed research drawings of the Parthenon east and north metopes are displayed prominently in the Acropolis museum. Her connections within the Greek art world contributed to the Bellarmine Museum’s Gifts from Athens exhibit in 2010, and to the gift of 23 photographs from noted Greek photographer Socratis Mavrommatis. And most recently, Dr. Schwab’s Caryatid Hairstyling Project, in which she analyzed and recreated the elaborate hairstyles on the Caryatids, or maidens, forming the columns of the Erechtheion temple on the Acropolis, has garnered wide praise for its innovation and attention to detail.

The culmination of her years of research and scholarship in all things Greek has resulted in the attention of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), one of the country’s foremost Greek-American organizations. In September, AHEPA announced that they have named Dr. Schwab “Hellene of the Year for District 7,” which comprises 14 AHEPA chapters in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The award letter sent to Dr. Schwab praised her “dedication to researching the Hellenic Culture, including your publications of several book chapters and journal articles, and research for the Caryatid Hairstyling Project.” The formal award presentation will take place on Saturday, October 15 at the Fall Conference of District 7, which will be attended by the national AHEPA Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides and Supreme Governor Nicholas Nikas, at St. Barbara Orthodox Church in Orange, Connecticut.

“One of key points about AHEPA is helping young Greeks appreciate their culture, and we honor those who have contributed to the promotion of Greek culture and values,” explains Emmanuel D. Moshovos, Governor of District 7. “I’ve attended a couple of the lectures Dr. Schwab has presented and found them delightful. She is totally profound in her presentation and is clearly very enthusiastic. Her visuals are magnificent not only in research but in details.”

While there were many others considered for the honor, he added, “the committee of past district governors were all thrilled to have her.”

“It was a complete surprise to receive their letter [announcing the award], and I’m so deeply grateful and honored,” says Dr. Schwab, who had no idea she was even being considered for the honor.

On the other hand, Dr. Robbin Crabtree, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield, was not at all surprised to hear of Dr. Schwab’s most recent honor. “Kathy’s scholarly contributions have reached an extraordinary height of visibility in the past few years. She has made substantial — and quite unique — contributions to the study of Greek art and culture. Over the years, the University has helped support her work, which has culminated in this permanent display of her research drawings.”

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