The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents honored UW-Green Bay Frankenthal Professor of History and Humanistic Studies, Gregory S. Aldrete, April 10 for his outstanding achievements in teaching. Aldrete received the 2015 Regents Teaching Excellence Award, UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff.
Aldrete started teaching at UW-Green Bay in 1995 and since has been awarded several distinguished titles for his contributions in teaching and research. In 2012, he was selected as Wisconsin Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement of Education (CASE). In 2010, he was selected as the recipient of the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level (the national teaching award given annually by the professional association of classics professors). Aldrete was selected to hold the Frankenthal Professorship at UW-Green Bay through 2017, and he received the UW-Green Bay Founders Association Awards for Excellence in the categories of teaching (2003) and scholarship (2006).
In addition to his role as professor, Aldrete has excelled in the field of research. His research has been honored with a number of prestigious fellowships, among them, two year NEH Humanities Fellowships, and the Solmsen Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities in Madison. The Archaeological Institute of America, the professional association of archaeologists, selected him as one of two Joukowsky National Lecturers for 2014-15, an honor which included a lecture tour of 14 universities across the United States. Additionally, he was chosen as a fellow of two NEH seminars held at the American Academy in Rome, was a participant in an NEH Institute at UCLA, and was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome.
His interest of all things ancient Rome makes its way to his classroom and beyond. He regularly teaches eight different courses of approximately 450 students per year, as well as numerous independent studies. His teaching methods include analyzing primary documents, holding debates, role-playing and other hands-on activities.
Recently, Aldrete developed an innovative interdisciplinary course on military history in which students learn through “living history.” An example was the multi-year Linothorax Project, in which his students helped him re-create the lightweight linen armor that Alexander the Great wore during his conquests. Their testing firmly established that linen armor would have provided superior protection and a major tactical advantage for Alexander’s forces. Aldrete’s published results of that research garnered international attention on Public Radio International, U.S. News and World Report, Der Spielgel, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Military History, Ancient Warfare Magazine, the Canadian network History Television, and in internet stories in more than two dozen languages and countries around the world.
Recently, he has begun making video lecture courses with The Teaching Company/The Great Courses, and his offerings include: A History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective, Decisive Battles of World History, and History’s Great Military Blunders and the Lessons they Teach (forthcoming).
Aldrete has written and recorded dozens of video lectures for The Teaching Company, with the first series entitled, “The History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective.” Aldrete gives frequent public lectures, including local venues as well as, recently, Iowa State University, Boston University, and the University of Manitoba in Canada. His students frequently comment on his depth of knowledge and passion for the subject of history and for teaching.
His interdisciplinary scholarship spans fields including History, Archaeology, Art History, Military History, and Philology. Among the books he has written are: Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome (1999); Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome (2007); Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia (2009); The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done For Us? (2012, with Alicia Aldrete); The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life I: The Ancient World (editor, 2004); and Reconstructing Ancient Linen Body Armor: Unraveling the Linothorax Mystery (2013, with S. Bartell and A. Aldrete).
Aldrete joins other esteemed UW-Green Bay faculty who have recently received the UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award: Clifton Ganyard, Humanistic Studies (2014) and Regan A.R. Gurung, Human Development (2011). The UW-Green Bay Professional Program in Education received the UW System department of the year honors in 2011.