Canton (Ayios Haralambos)

On Sunday, April 14, 2019, students and faculty of the OSU Modern Greek Program visited St Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church in Canton, Ohio. On completion of the fundraising drive to establish a chair in Modern Greek studies at Ohio State, the MG Program plans to expand its outreach to Greek communities around the state. Since many of our past and current students come from Canton, St. Haralambos was an ideal place to begin.

We were guests of AHEPA Canton chapter 59 and its president, Mr. Paul Koskovich, and Mrs. Linda Andrews-Natale of the local GOYA chapter. We were welcomed by Mr. Koskovich and AHEPA #59 Vice-President Mr. Dimitri Xides, Mr. Tasos Kalantzis, Mr. Bill Zantopoulos, and other friends of the OSU Modern Greek Program, including the Gaitanos, Kazes, Pirovolos, and Volas families. Our hosts supplied an abundant buffet meal and warm Canton philoxenia.

OSU MG alumna Marissa Kazes and three current OSU MG Program students, two of them Canton residents, addressed several dozen members of the Canton Greek community, including Mrs. Eleni Paxou, longtime director of the St Haralambos Greek Dancers, and Mr. and Mrs. Stergiades.

Marissa spoke about her experience as a Modern Greek Major, her study in Greece via THYESPA, and the lasting friendships she made via the Modern Greek Program. Marissa is currently in her third year of student teaching in North Canton schools and will soon be relocating to Columbus to continue her career as a secondary school teacher.

We then watched a movie Marissa and Marina Kouvaris made as OSU undergraduates about their summer study at THYESPA.

Michael Pirovolos, a Canton native, spoke about his experience of learning the Greek language at OSU as an enrichment to his Greek heritage. We then watched a film noir on the adventures of Detective Pirovolos, to much laughter and applause. We also listened to excerpts from Michael’s recent Greek radio broadcasts on THYESPA and Sigma Epsilon Phi, including an interview with Mr. Michael Kazes who was in the audience. Several people commented on Michael’s remarkable progress in Greek since studying in Athens and preparing his Greek radio broadcasts.

Eleni Volas, also of Canton, talked about her experience as a first year student of Modern Greek and the value of the Modern Greek Program to her as she has been getting used to life at Ohio State as a freshman.

The last speaker was Nerea Lopez Carrasco, a doctoral candidate from Málaga, Spain, currently on a three month visit to OSU for dissertation research. Nerea is currently attending MG 4001 (fourth semester) classes. She talked about her love of Greece and the value of Modern Greek to her as a student of Ancient Greek who participates in archaeological excavations at Despotiko in Greece.

Thanks to our friends in Canton who made this event memorable and enjoyable for all of us.