Randolph-Macon College student Richard Bock ’16 is a history, classical studies, and archaeology major and film studies minor. This fall, he will begin graduate school at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG), where he will pursue a master’s degree in history. The Winchester, Virginia native also plans to pursue a Ph.D. at UNCG, and to have a career as a college professor.
Bock is a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and a tutor in the Higgins Academic Center, and he was formerly on the tennis team. He is passionate about nature, so it’s fitting that he is a member of Macon Outdoors, one of RMC’s many student organizations.
“Macon Outdoors is all about getting outside to do something energetic, adventurous and fun,” he says. “We participate in activities like hiking, horseback riding, paintball and skydiving.”
Bock has studied abroad three times during his tenure at RMC. In 2015 he traveled to Italy in conjunction with the course Italy Before the Romans. Led by Classics Professors John Camp II and Elizabeth Fisher, travelers explored the great ruins and archaeological sites in Rome, such as the Forum and the Colosseum, and traveled throughout Pompeii, Syracuse, Agrigento, Motya, Palermo, and Eryx.
“My favorite site was just north of Rome, in Cerveteri, which is a massive necropolis of Etruscan-style tombs,” says Bock. “We got lost in there for hours. It was one of the most intriguing and exhilarating sites I have ever visited. I would say to students contemplating a travel course to do everything: learn the language as much as possible, talk to locals, explore. And always be sure you look at everything, really see things—don’t view your surroundings through the screen of your phone.”
In summer 2015, Bock jetted to Greece, where he participated in the Athenian Agora excavations.
“Professor Camp is the director of the dig at Athens,” explains Bock, “and the dig is coordinated through the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.” Bock and students from around the world worked as excavators from early morning to mid-afternoon.
“I recorded my daily experiences in a journal and did some research every day after work as part of my archaeology major capstone,” says Bock. “On the weekends, I traveled to different sites in Greece such as Crete, Delphi, Olympia, and Mycenae. I learned a lot about archaeology, history, and the people of ancient and modern Greece.”
In 2016 Bock again packed his bags—this time for a study-abroad trip to England during RMC’s January Term (J-term). J-term provides students the opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture, embark on an internship, or conduct groundbreaking research. On campus, J-term offers for-credit courses across the curriculum.
Led by History Professor Anne Throckmorton and English Professor Maria Scott, Bock and his fellow travelers immersed themselves in the culture and rich history of London for two weeks as they visited castles, cathedrals, museums, and other iconic landmarks. Travelers examined London from historical and literary perspectives and experienced the breadth of all that London offers, from a Shakespearean play to a medieval banquet to a tour of Westminster Abbey.
“It was a trip full of new experiences for me,” says Bock. “I was used to traveling to southern Europe, meaning that the lifestyle, culture, climate, and people of England were sharply juxtaposed in my mind to those of Italy and Greece.” Bock’s favorite part of the trip involved travel to Edinburgh.
“The city is ancient, historical, and exciting like London, but it also catered to my desire to explore the outdoors. For example, walking the city of Edinburgh was easier than London and there was also the Seat of Arthur, a large mountain in a city park, which we climbed as we watched the sun set. My study-abroad trips were the highlight of my college career.”