Angelo Mercado ’96 graduated magna cum laude from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in classics. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Latin and his Ph.D in Indo-European Studies at UCLA. He is currently a classics professor at Grinnell College, where he teaches Greek and Latin language, literature, poetry, and mythological traditions of the ancient Mediterranean. In 2012, he published “Italian Verse: A Study of the Poetic Remains of Old Latin, Faliscan, and Sabellic” (Innsbruck, 2012), which received critical praise. Within the last decade, Dr. Mercado has been invited to give presentations at Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, UCSC, and UCLA.
Why did you choose to study classics at LMU?
Rather, classics chose me. When I was a first-year, my advisor was in the Classics Department and convinced me to take Latin. It didn’t take much, because I was already interested. I fell in love with Latin immediately, so Greek was a natural next step.
What scholarly interests did you develop here?
[Classics professor] Matt Dillon piqued my interest in Latin and Greek phonology and metrics. These have since become my scholarly preoccupations.
Now that you are a classics professor yourself, what do you love about teaching?
I love working with students at the college level. Every time I teach a class in one of the languages or literatures, I remember my own encounters with them, and I hope my students, with me as their guide, likewise approach our subject with intellectual satisfaction and enjoyment.
What advice would you give a student who is considering studying classics or archaeology?
If you find yourself interested in classics and archaeology, and you’re good at it, go for it. But, in a world where your studies must be lead to a job, you need to have a plan. If you’re proactive, intentional, and creative about your future, you can have both your intellectual passions now and later the paychecks, too.