Two Jefferson Fellows help uncover ancient history in Pompeii, Italy

January 23, 2017

When Rebecca Frank (JF ‘19) and Janet Dunkelbarger (JF ‘20) joined the Jefferson Fellows Program, they were eager to become part of an interdisciplinary community and engage in collaborative conversations with doctoral students from a wide range of departments and disciplines. Rebecca, a doctoral student in Classics, and Janet, a doctoral student in Art and Architectural History, discovered they share a mutual love for the process of trying to better understand the human story through their respective disciplines.

Having both been involved in numerous excavations in the past, they recently found reason to put their passion, experience, and studies to work in Pompeii, Italy through the Via Consolare Project (VCP).

Together, they excavated two trenches just outside of Pompeii’s city walls, in areas associated with the Villa of the Mosaic Columns, a sequence of street-level shops, and the Necroplis outside Porta Ercolano. Their work supported one of the main goals of VCP, which is to understand better the character of Pompeii’s urban and suburban environments (and how the evidence at Pompeii can be used to interpret evidence from the rest of Roman Italy).

Read about their participation and efforts with VCP here.


Rebecca Frank

Harrison Family Foundation Jefferson Fellow

Janet Dunkelbarger

Penny S. and James G. Coulter Jefferson Fellow



The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

Read more


The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, like its namesake, knows that virtue and talent come from all walks of life. Indeed it is this knowledge that drives the Foundation to search the world over for its recipients.

Read more


The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

Read more