40 under 40 — Alan van den Arend

Psi, 2010 — Recognized in: 2020

Headshot of Alan Van Den Arend.Alan is a doctoral candidate in History at the Johns Hopkins University, where he specializes in the intellectual history of late medieval and Renaissance Italy, especially in relation to classical reception and Neo-Latin literature. His dissertation focuses broadly on the idea of “stupidity” in humanist thought during the long fifteenth century (~1350-1550). Alan holds an AB in Latin and Ancient Greek (Cornell ‘10), an MA in Classics (U. Kentucky ‘17) with certificates in Latin Studies and Social Theory, and an MA in History with distinction (Johns Hopkins ‘20). COVID permitting, this fall Alan will be the Charles Singleton Center for the Study of Premodern Europe’s visiting student at the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick (Coventry, UK).

Prior to returning to graduate school in 2015, Alan excelled as a public high school teacher in New Jersey, where he delivered courses at all levels on Latin, Ancient Greek, and Philosophy. He’s been widely recognized for his teaching and educational leadership, and is especially committed to developing student-centered and interactive learning opportunities like the use of medieval manuscripts, incunabula, and early printed books as regular tools for study in the classroom. Before his transition to history, Alan had published on and served as a referee for professional journal articles about historical and comparative Latin pedagogy. He’s been recognized three times as a student-selected Distinguished Teacher, was a recipient of the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award, and has most recently been awarded the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award at Johns Hopkins.

Beyond research and instruction, Alan remains committed to addressing the logistical and administrative needs of his affiliated departments through service and organizing. He was a key member of the South Brunswick Education Association Research & Advocacy in Education team; a long-term member of school-based professional development planning committees; and a student-selected representative to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Kentucky. He presently serves as the Undergraduate Recruitment & Retention Liaison for Johns Hopkins’ History Department, where he works collaboratively with key faculty and staff to develop, implement, and improve all aspects of the undergraduate major and minor program experience.

Alan credits much of his success in these areas to the support and encouragement of his Brothers in Tau Kappa Phi, especially Br. Maurice Ducoing (Psi ’03) whose mentorship and engagement through the Membership Development Committee laid much of the groundwork for Alan’s career in education. Alan served as Alpha Phi and a multiple-term member of the Supreme Council for the Psi Chapter as an undergraduate. As an alumnus, he held the position of Sigma in the Elder Chapter and remains a member of its Board of Directors. Alan is a senior faculty member of Zeta Psi’s Leadership Training Institute, a Worthy Brother in the Torch of Zeta Psi, former Chair of the Ritual Committee, present co-chair of the Membership Education Committee, and occasional Parliamentarian pro tempore of the Grand Chapter.

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