Katherine M. Petrole

 Loire Valley castle at twilight  Loire Valley castle at twilight
 Florence cityscape at sunset  Florence cityscape at sunset
Colloseum in Rome Colloseum in Rome

Head shot of Katie PetroleKatherine (Katie) Petrole has spent four years as the Steinmetz Family Foundation Museum Fellow at Corinth Excavations in Ancient Corinth, Greece. Her work in this tiny, traditional Greek village leads back to her discovery of Classics in the small town of Oxford, Ohio. 

Katie graduated from Miami University in 2009 with a degree in Classical Humanities. In reality, her field of study started with a bit of luck.

In the Spring of 2006, Katie wanted to take a class with her brother, Doug, ’06, a senior History major who had signed up for “Roman Spectacle”, a Classics course created by Dr. Steven L. Tuck about the role of entertainment in the Roman world (and not just about gladiators, despite Doug’s wishful thinking).

A popular new offering, only a last-minute drop allowed Katie to register for the course, making her the only freshman in the room. The challenge of keeping up with upperclassmen (as well as some good old-fashioned sibling rivalry) encouraged Katie to study hard and succeed in the class. While waitlisted for the Interior Design major, Katie registered as a Classical Humanities major, and true to the subject matter at hand, the rest is history. 

While at Miami, she developed lasting connections with not only fellow majors, but also with professors who created a strong sense of community within the department. As Co-Consul of Miami’s Classics Club and Co-Project Director of the Eighth Annual Undergraduate Conference in Classics, plus being employed as a Student Aide in the Classics office, time spent alongside students and professors extended learning beyond the traditional Classical Humanities classroom. When Dr. Stephen Nimis organized a Spring Break study trip to Egypt in 2008, she met Miami alumnus Jacob Butera, who later offered advice on living in Athens based on his time as a member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). The department was particularly helpful in arranging the alignment of Miami credits for external study abroad courses, which allowed her to study in Greece and Italy, including seeing in person the archaeological sites discussed in that fateful Roman Spectacle course during a Vergilian Society tour with Dr. Tuck in 2008. Over her four years at Miami, Katie had the same professors for a variety of classes who were able to truly comment on her growth as a scholar over her undergraduate career in letters of recommendation for graduate studies. At the end of her senior year, she won the Bishop-Elliot Prize for excellent academic achievement in Classical Humanities.

Following Miami, Katie attended graduate school at Indiana University in Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she received an MA in Museum Studies in 2011. During her MA program, she completed two internships that combined her undergraduate work in Classics with the museum field. She researched archaeological laws for a training manual for the Archaeology Lab inside The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’s National Geographic’s Treasures of the Earth exhibit, and interned at the ASCSA Athenian Agora Excavations in Athens, Greece, to clean, photograph, and inventory 3,500 marble sculptures.

In total, Katie spent six summers excavating and supervising archaeological collections management projects at the Agora Excavations, volunteering alongside fellow Miami Classics alumni. (Shout out to Lisa Mays, ’09, and Stephen Clatos, ’10!) Her projects included organizing and inventorying over 15 drawers of pottery, 1,100 amphoras, and a coin collection from north slope of the Acropolis, plus designing new labels for the amphora collection.

Katie led archaeology and paleontology programs for five years at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the largest children’s museum in the world. Over 1.2 million annual visitors can experience the daily archaeology programs she researched, wrote, and implemented.

In 2014, she was awarded a fellowship to develop educational outreach initiatives for the ASCSA Corinth Excavations in Ancient Corinth, Greece.

As the Steinmetz Family Foundation Museum Fellow, Katie researched archaeological finds at Corinth Excavations to discover the stories of the people who lived in Corinth over thousands of years. While managing the collection of over 300,000 artifacts and records, she produced K-12 lesson plans for an active archaeological excavation, a first-of-its-kind endeavor in Greece (and perhaps worldwide) which enables students from around the world to share in the rich natural and cultural heritage of ancient Greece.

She fostered international partnerships with the Microsoft Educator Community and Skype in the Classroom to lead the first digital distance learning program in Greece. Her initiatives at Corinth Excavations have been a resounding success counting some 180 virtual sessions and 5,180 participants from extremely diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages, abilities, and locations in Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Georgia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, the USA, and Vietnam! Her research and archaeological outreach results keep her active in the museum and classical worlds, including lectures in locations ranging from San Francisco to Lithuania. In January 2018, she presented a paper and poster at the Fourth Annual Conference for Heritage Educators during the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Annual Meeting.

Recently, Katie was awarded three J. M. Kaplan Fund Scholarships for Executive Leadership Development in exhibit development, natural and cultural heritage interpretation, and strategic planning to support her initiatives that combine education, archaeology, and museums. She has been named a Skype Global Learning Expert and Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, and has been recognized with four other awards from the Microsoft Educator Community including the Microsoft Educator Community Influencer Award. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide with Interpret Europe.