Department Graduate Students

Egyptology & Assyriology Graduate Students

Vicky Almansa

 Mitu Choksi

 Maggie Geoga            

 Sara Mohr

 Zachary Rubin

Silvia Stubnova

Federico Zangani

Christian Casey

 Emily Drennan

Allison McCoskey 

 Tyler Roeder

Timofei Shmakov

 Jessica Tomkins


Graduate Student Profiles


Vicky, a second year Ph.D. student in Egyptology, got her B.A. in History (University of Seville, Spain, ‘13) with a thesis on the Tomb of Meryra II in Amarna, providing a new archaeological-philological approach to the monument and its texts. She obtained her M.A. cum laude in Egyptology and Near Eastern Studies (University of Pisa, Italy,’13) with a thesis on the passive voice in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Her research interests focus on the grammar and scribal traditions of the Pyramid Texts, and how the study of Egyptian funerary texts, semantics, iconography and cross-cultural comparisons can provide a better understanding of its religious principles and early vision of the universe and she has publications in Egyptology and Ancient History peer-reviewed journals. Her archaeological experience started in 2007 as a pre-college student when she volunteered drawing and digitalizing artifacts at the University of Huelva (Spain). She has participated in excavations in Sicily (Italy), and studied the collection of scarabs at the Museum of Huelva with a view to publishing six of the oldest scarabs ever found in the Iberian Peninsula. She also collaborates with the Educational Department of the Museo Egizio of Turin (Italy) since 2015. (

Vicky on siteVicky on site


Christian received his B.A. in Classics from the University of Texas in 2008. His thesis focused on the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor as an exemplar of Middle Egyptian hieratic and on new approaches to the study of Egyptian grammar. From 2008 to 2011, he traveled abroad in order to study modern languages, esp. Egyptian Arabic. He began his Ph.D. program in 2011 in the Department of Egyptology at Brown, specializing in the study of the ancient Egyptian language. In 2013, he was accepted into the Open Graduate Education program as a Master's student in the Applied Math department. This course of study has enabled him to pursue a variety of research projects, all of which rely on novel computational methods to study the ancient Egyptian language. His dissertation work focuses on codifying the Demotic script, so that data can be collected and used for analysis of Egyptian orthography and phonology to bridge the gap separating our current understanding of Coptic from earlier stages of the Egyptian language.

Christian CaseyChristian Casey


Mitu is a PhD student in Egyptology. Prior to coming to Brown, she earned master's degrees from Harvard University and the University of Washington, focusing on comparative religions of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. She has excavated at the ancient port city of Dor in Israel and worked as a conservation assistant at the Harvard Semitic Museum preserving cuneiform tablets from the site of Nuzi. Her research interests center on ancient Egyptian religion (particularly death and the afterlife, conceptions of the body/self, and,  human identifications with the divine in funerary texts), and the reception of ancient Egyptian religion in Western esotericism.

Mitu ChoksiMitu Choksi


 Emily Drennan is preparing her dissertation in Egyptology. She received her BA summa cum laude in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from CUNY Hunter College. She previously interned at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, working with the Associate Curator of African Ethnology. Her main research interest is warfare in the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period, both from a royal and private administrative perspective.  

Emily Drennan 2017Emily Drennan 2017



Maggie is a PhD student in Egyptology. She received her BA magna cum laude with highest departmental honors in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard in 2012. As a member of the Open Graduate Education program, she is currently working on a Masters in Comparative Literature, as well as preparing a dissertation on Egyptian literature. Outside of Brown, she has worked at the Field Museum in Chicago, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard’s Giza Project, and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include Egyptian literature, transmission and reception of Egyptian texts, Netherworld Books, archaism in literary and historical texts, pre-decipherment reception of ancient Egypt in Europe and its influence on secret societies, and authorship.


Maggie GeogaMaggie Geoga


Tyler is a second-year PhD studenty in Assyriology, from the northern suburbs of Philadelphia.  He did a joint BA and MA in Near Eastern Languages at the University of Chicago, focusing primarily on Akkadian and Sumerian. Tyler is interested in the science and religion of the ancient world more broadly, with a particular focus on astronomy, medicine, and other forms of divination in Mesopotamia. Otherwise, he really enjoys travelling, and hopes to get the chance to see the world as well as study it.



Tyler RoederTyler Roeder



 Zachary is a third year PhD student in Assyriology. He received a BA cum laude in Near Eastern Studies at the Johns Hopkins University and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. In addition, he has interned at the Babylonian Section of the Penn Museum, where he assisted with the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project. His research focuses on ancient Mesopotamian intellectual and religious history, particularly during the late second and early first millennia BCE. 

Zach RubinZach Rubin

Silvia Štubňová 

Silvia is a fourth year PhD student in Egyptology. She received her BA (1st class with Honors) from the University of Liverpool, UK (2012) and her MA (cum laude) from Leiden University, the Netherlands (2013). She gained a basic practical training in archaeology at the excavations at Eddisbury Hillfort in Wales. As part of her MA studies, she participated in a study program in Egypt, sponsored by the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo (NVIC). Her master's research involved a prosopographic analysis of the known Kenherkhepshefs at Deir el-Medina, with a particular focus on the life and personality of the scribe Kenherkhepshef. She continued that work, focussing on the oracular practices of the ancient inhabitants. She has had articles published in various journals. Her research includes ancient Egyptian, especially the understanding of its diachronic development. Her dissertation on verbal morphology is under the supervision of Dr. James Allen. Silvia collaborates with Aigyptos (Slovak Egyptological Foundation) and participated twice in their annual lecture series for the public in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Silvia StubnovaSilvia Stubnova

Jessica Tomkins

Jessica is preparing her dissertation in Egyptology specializing in Old Kingdom political and economic history. Her PhD thesis questions how power was expressed in the Old Kingdom provinces. She received her BA in Ancient History and Egyptology from University College London in 2009 and a Master of Studies in Greek History from the University of Oxford in 2011. She has presented her research internationally and been invited to give talks at ARCE-California. Jessica was awarded an Interdisciplinary Opportunity Fellowship at the Joukowksy Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World for 2017-18 to work on their collection of ancient objects and has previously been the proctor for Brown University’s Egyptian collection. She has been an intern in Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at the British Museum in both the departments of Egypt and Sudan, and Greece and Rome. She has also volunteered for the Giza Project at Harvard University and worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Laurel Bestock. Jessica is currently the Terrace Curatorial Research Associate in Egyptian Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Jessica TomkinsJessica Tomkins

Federico Zangani

Federico received a BA Hons in Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in 2014 from the University of Oxford, where he studied both Egyptology and Assyriology. He worked as a volunteer cataloguing and repacking cuneiform tablets in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and he interned in the Egyptian Museum of Turin, Italy, studying the corpus of ostraca from Deir el-Medina. His main research interests include Egyptian and Semitic languages, philology, the cultural and political history of Egypt’s New Kingdom, and the interconnectedness of the ancient Near East. He has recently been working on the Egyptian political involvement in the Levant during the Late Bronze Age, as well as aspects of diplomacy and exchange in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean.

Federico ZanganiFederico Zangani

Allison McCoskey

Allie is a first year Ph.D. student in Egyptology. She completed her B.A. with university and departmental honors at the Johns Hopkins University in May, 2017, majoring in Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology. Her thesis focused the introduction of iconographic elements during the mid-1st Dynasty and the socio-political changes they signaled. Her research interests lie in the archaeology, art, and history of the Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom. She has excavated at the Temple of Mut in Egypt and Boncuklu Höyük in Turkey where she developed an interest in human osteology. She also spent time working at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum cataloging and researching parts of the Egyptian collection. 

Alison McCoskeyAlison McCoskey

Sara Mohr

Sara is a PhD student in Assyriology. She received her BA with Honors in Anthropology from the University Chicago in 2015. Her experiences range from educational outreach with the Oriental Institute to archaeological excavation in Jordan. Her interests lie in the intersection of Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies, particularly in regard to ancient Mesopotamian intellectual history.

Sara MohrSara Mohr

Timofei Shmakov

PhD student Timofei Shmakov graduated with a degree in Economics in 2012 from Omsk State Agrarian University (Russian Federation).  He taught himself Egyptian since 2004. In his research he investigated a wide range of ancient Egyptian texts from classic literary texts to mortuary texts with interest primarily in Pyramid and Coffin Texts. He has co-authored several journal publications and has written many online publications ( and has also given invited talks on the Egyptian language. He will begin his Ph.D. studies in September, 2017 and plans to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of Egyptian culture, lexicography, grammar, phonology and religion with the goal of approaching the profound understanding of the most difficult type of Egyptian texts – mortuary and religious texts.

Timofey ShmakovTimofey Shmakov