Tirza Harris

Tirza Harris

Connecting with the ancient world

Tirza Harris
Photo credit: Krystel V. Morin

Tirza Harris is fascinated by the Christian empire and the ancient world

“When I find something I love, I let it encompass me. I love running away with something and learning everything I can about it,” she says. The 21-year-old from Kingston, Ontario, will be doing just that this summer when she visits Ravenna, a city in northern Italy, to complete a two-week program where she will be making mosaics.

Thanks to the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund, the Classical Studies Honours student will be using the same techniques and methods that Byzantine artists did in the 6th century.

“That period was the height of the Byzantine Empire in terms of arts and politics. The artwork back then was politically engineered and used as propaganda. With this project, I hope to understand the artists’ perspective. There was so much hard work and dedication put into these works of art, hours and hours of skilled handiwork,” she explains.

“It’s amazing that Bishop’s has something like the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund. It’s giving me a one-of-a-kind experience that I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.”

Tirza’s opportunity lets her take what she’s learned in the classroom and expand on it. “I feel that students need the interplay of the inside and the outside of the classroom to further enhance their academic development. B.E.S.T. allows you to expand yourself, your perspectives, your mentality, and your understanding of things. I feel very grateful for this unique opportunity.”

Tirza plans on pursuing graduate studies in the hopes of eventually becoming a professor. As she prepares for her trip, she says: “This is a new way of learning for me. I think I will be more passionate and more connected to my interest in the ancient world. I love school, so this is just another means of learning something, but through a different medium.”

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What is B.E.S.T. ?

This story focuses on a recipient of the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund. B.E.S.T. is the premiere experiential learning opportunity at Bishop’s University. In 2010, an anonymous Bishop’s graduate made a gift commitment to establish this opportunity fund at the university. This unique possibility is meant to assist students, determine their career paths and realize their ambitions. It also gives the student the chance to learn outside of the classroom.

The funds are awarded to students whom the Selection Committee believes have the potential for significant achievement and impact once they graduate from Bishop’s. Find out more information about B.E.S.T.