Luby Kiriakidi

Class of 2018

Hometown: Rochester, NY

What is your College Scholar project?
The focus of my College Scholar project is Poetry in Theatre and Theatre in Poetry. I want to consider what both art forms have shared at different times and in different cultures while examining ancient Greek, Latin, Russian, and English texts. While theatre has generally become less poetic, less structured over time, and poetry has lost the necessity to be uttered aloud, both forms still have a voice that demands recitation. I wish to explore the interactive aspect of performance that also gives the audience power in the experience. By looking from the perspective of the playwright and poet, I hope to pursue the connection between pressure and creativity in both theatre and poetry: the carrot of sponsorship in tolerant systems and societies and the stick of regulation and threats under oppressive regimes. The classes I have taken in the departments of Classics, English, and Performing and Media Arts have helped shape my ideas.   

I attended the Living Latin in NYC 2016 Conference that sparked my interest in the Paideia Institute. When I applied for the summer programs, I was generously awarded a Summer Language Study Fellowship from the Cornell Classics Department. 

What are your most important extra-curricular activities?
My sense of community at Cornell has come from joining Humor Us!, a sketch comedy group that writes, directs, and performs original sketch comedy shows every semester, and I am delighted and terrified to be its next president. Additionally, I have performed in plays presented by the Department of Classics. My freshman year, we put on Seneca's Trojan Women; last year we took on Euripides' Orestes. I was given the opportunity to work closely with a wonderful professor, Professor Ahl, improve my ability to memorize copious amounts of lines, and imagine how these plays were experienced by an ancient audience. Besides being on stage and studying dead languages, I enjoy getting my fair share of bruises from the addicting sport of fencing and playing with Russian language and culture with my two awesome mentees from the Cross-Cultural Adoptee Mentorship Program (C-CAMP).  

Talk about any summer internships or programs you’ve attended?
In 2015, I was a multi-media intern at the City of Rochester Communications Bureau in City Hall. I researched information for the Mayor's events; wrote media advisories, news releases, and briefings; and worked at the front desk. This past summer, with a closer connection to my research, I studied abroad in two programs from the Paideia Institute: Living Latin in Rome, and Living Greek in Greece. Latin and Ancient Greek were brought to life through a passionate group of instructors and equally enthusiastic students as we spoke, read, wrote, and even sang in the respective languages. Connecting the context of the beautiful cities to the ancient texts not only inspired my mind, but pulled heavily on my emotions.         

What do you dream of doing after graduation?
While I do not have a specific career in mind, I have found what brings out my passion, and I know my purpose will come from connecting with others and sharing that passion. I hope that will involve bringing dead languages to life and making people smile and laugh in the process.