Sienkewicz Receives Prestigious National Award
Photo: Tom Sienkewicz receives a well-deserved Meritus award from the American Classical League.  Gratulationes! At the 67th Summer Institute of the American Classical League, held at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, Thomas J. Sienkewicz received a prestigious Meritus award. The American Classical League's Merita/Meritus Awards, established in 2000, are intended to recognize sustained and distinguished service to the Classics profession generally and to ACL in particular. In order to be considered for this award a candidate must have been an ACL member for at least five years and a current or retired teacher of classical languages or classical humanities, broadly defined, at any level K-12 or college/university. Recipients are selected each spring by an awards committee consisting of teachers at the elementary, middle-school, high-school, and university levels and are recognized by the ACL President at the annual ACL Institute banquet. The American Classical League was founded in 1919 for the purpose of fostering the study of classical languages in the United States and Canada. Membership is open to any person who is committed to the preservation and advancement of our classical inheritance from Greece and Rome.

Sienkewicz receiving his award from ACL President Peter Howard.

Here is the text of Sienkewicz’ citation as read by ACL President Peter Howard of Troy University in Troy, Alabama.

This Meritus honoree, a man of great experience, definitely has a passion for the classics, devotion to the art of teaching, and is a master teacher. He is experienced in teaching all areas of classical studies, but also in the much needed realm of training new teachers. Devotion to teaching, students, and classics has taken him to various colleges as a professor, guest lecturer, evaluator, and author.

A frequent presenter at ACL, as well as at local and regional events, his topics have ranged from pedagogy to literature, to archaeology, travel, language skills, and mythology. One particularly popular ACL presentation involved showing how inscriptions can be a useful tool in teaching Latin students at all levels. Participants learned to look for culture clues in the inscriptions, use them as a means of teaching and reviewing culture, abbreviations, case uses, and other linguistic items.

Realizing the needs of teachers, as well as the influx of technology tools, he co-authored, with his friend Ken Kitchell, a Latin text series integrating technology tools for both students and instructors. In a similar inspection of needs, he has written, spoken, and led drives to attract new teachers of the classics for all levels. This has resulted in posters, articles, workshops, and other special events aimed at prospective teachers. Behind this, there is his availability for advice, ideas, and encouragement for those already in the classroom.

The list of this honoree’s publications, books, articles, chapters, lectures, covers many pages. The list of publications is almost as long as the list of his participation, office-holding, and service to national, regional, and local classical organizations. Among these services are his years on numerous boards and committees for ACL, as well as serving as ACL vice-president. We should not forget his sponsorship of the annual Bernice L. Fox Writing Contest for high school students. This is a mark of his commitment to teachers and students at both the secondary and collegiate levels.

A true student himself, this honoree continues to read, research, write, and explore the field of classics. As with Pliny, there always seems to be something, somewhere, which needs to be looked at, described, and passed on to future students and teachers.

Students over the years have benefited from his personal touches on trips to Italy and Greece, which he has integrated into the curriculum at Monmouth College. He, often with the company of his wife, Ann, has taken students to many parts of the classical world. An interest in archaeology from his earliest academic years lends a special quality when he leads students to Rome, Greece, or Asia Minor.

Previous honors for our colleague have come from many sources. He has received an OVATIO from CAMWS, as well as awards for his teaching excellence from several organizations and schools. He was honored by the governor of Illinois for his contributions to the teaching of foreign languages. The University of Edinburgh, Scotland honored him with an honorary fellowship for his work in humanities studies. The list is lengthy.

For his many accomplishments and contributions, plaudite quaeso