Penelope Foudeas

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Penelope Foudeas. There will be a Trisagion service in the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Columbus on Thursday, April 1 at 3pm followed by viewing of the funeral service in Alaska at 4pm in the Reception Hall.

A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Penelope came to Ohio State in 2017 to study Psychology with a Minor in Modern Greek Studies. Over the course of her undergraduate career, she took a range of classes in Modern Greek language and culture and, with her friends, produced several memorable videos, including one documenting her father’s journey to the United States from Greece.

As a student of Modern Greek, Penelope excelled in all her courses. Her careful preparation and lively personality were always in evidence. She continued to the fifth semester, Modern Greek 4002, and earned excellent grades. With ten of her peers in the Modern Greek Program, Penelope participated in the THYESPA 2018 summer course in Modern Greek at the University of Athens. Her joyful, considerate, and responsible character cemented friendships and made the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

After graduation, she attended Case Western Reserve, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition while working as a patient care advocate at the Cleveland Clinic.

Her professors in the Modern Greek Program remember her often insightful and always enthusiastic participation in discussion, and her bright, cheerful presence in class.

She was loved and appreciated by her peers as an unusually kind and considerate person who worked well with other students and was very much a team player. An enthusiastic member of Sigma Epsilon Phi for three years, she attended meetings with passion and optimism.

Penelope’s studies in Biology reflected her longstanding interest in the field. Already in high school she aspired to a career in a biomedical field, particularly physiology. Her interest in physiology constituted an important aspect of Penelope’s life that shaped her character.

Penelope was a dancer. Having danced ballet since she was 10 years old, Penelope continued ballet at Ohio State’s distinguished Department of Dance. She did gymnastics in high school, and also danced tap, hip hop, jazz, and acrobatic dance. Contemporary dance was her favorite. She taught at the Marjorie Jones School of Dance and continued to develop as a dancer. Dance was inseparable from her personality, part of what made her such a disciplined, conscientious, but also fun, expressive, delightful, and authentic human being.

The faculty and students of the Modern Greek Program at Ohio State as well as her fellow members of Sigma Epsilon Phi will miss Penelope greatly. May her memory be eternal.

The students of Sigma Epsilon Phi in conjunction with the Modern Greek Program are establishing a fund in Penelope’s memory to provide an annual scholarship to a deserving member of Sigma Epsilon Phi. A link will soon be posted for donations to the memorial fund.

The 32nd Annual Thomas E. Leontis and Anna P. Leontis Memorial Lecture in Modern Greek Studies

Leontis Memorial Lecture Flyer 2021

The 32nd Annual Thomas E. Leontis and Anna P. Leontis Memorial Lecture in Modern Greek Studies
March 24, 2021
6:30PM – 7:30PM
Islands on Fire: Fighters, Pirates, Slaves in the Greek Revolution
Sakis Gekas, Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History, York University
Please register in advance for this event here:
The Lecture
When we think of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, land battles often come to mind. Yet events in the Aegean and Ionian Seas determined the course of the Revolution. The sea engulfed refugees and the enslaved alike, while revolutionaries, pirates, merchants, and battleships were riding the waves and determined the course of the war. Moreover, the battles and many victories of the Greek navy sustained the war and turned the tide in favor of the Greek cause. At the same time, loyalties were shifting and the revolutionary war left some islands and many lives in a desolate state. In 1830 only some of the Aegean islands formed part of independent Greece. Τhis lecture shifts the gaze away from the “continental” point of view towards a maritime history of the revolution and focuses on piracy, slavery and the plight of refugees to shed light to previously little-known aspects of the great event.
The Speaker
Sakis Gekas (ΒΑ History, Ionian University; ΜΑ, Ph.D. History, University of Essex) is Associate Professor and holder of the York University Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair in Modern Greek History. He teaches history of Modern Greece, history of Greek migration in the 20th century, and Mediterranean and European history. In 2012, he co-founded the Greek Canadian History Project and between 2017-2019 helped “build” a virtual museum of Greek immigration to Canada (Immigrec). His recent book projects include, Xenocracy: State, Class, and Colonialism in the Ionian Islands, 1815-1864 (New York – Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2017), which will be published in Greek as «Ξενοκρατία.Οικονομία, Κοινωνία και Κράτος στα Επτάνησα 1815-1864» (E.A.Π. (Hellenic Open University Press, 2021). Another forthcoming book is «Τα λείψανα του αγώνος». Απόμαχοι, χήρες και ορφανά των αγωνιστών της Επανάστασης, 1821-1850 [“The Relics of the Struggle”: Veterans, Widows and Orphans of the Revolution, 1821-1850] (National Research Foundation, Athens 2021).

The Lecture Series

The Thomas E. Leontis Lecture in Modern Greek Studies was established in 1987 by the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University with gifts from Dr. Thomas E. Leontis. In 1995, Anna P. Leontis made additional gifts in memory of her late husband to create the Thomas E. Leontis Endowment in Modern Greek. The purpose of the Endowment is two-fold: first, to serve as a catalyst in the Modern Greek Program at the University in generating a keener awareness of the importance of Greek history and culture, especially since 1204; and second, to bring annually to the Ohio State campus a distinguished speaker of international reputation who will contribute to the cultural growth of the University and the community by offering new ideas and historical and cultural interpretations of important past and current situations. In addition to the lectureship, the Endowment supports regular conference activities.