2016-2017 Awards and Announcements
Award Winning Students
Each spring, the English Department awards $20,000 in scholarships and fellowships for our graduate and undergraduate students. We are pleased to announce the following students were awarded English scholarships this spring for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Undergraduate Scholarship and Award Winners
Barbara & John Blackburn Scholarship– Emily Bryce Swain; Paul Blackford Scholarship – Rebecca Graham; Olive Fite Scholarship – Arielle Henry; Irving Garwood Scholarship – Courtney Bender; Robert Hodges Scholarship – Tess Tyler; Lila Linder Scholarship– Shelby Davin; Karen Mann Award – Emily Bryce Swain; Alfred Lindsey Scholarship – Kristen Dillender; John Merrett Scholarship – Anna Teggatz; Beth Stiffler Scholarship – Tess Tyler; Nai-Tung Ting Scholarship – Kelsey Renfro-Cline; Norman & Carmelita Teeter Undergraduate Research Award – Emily Bryce Swain and Rachel Troyer.
Scholar of the Year Scholarship– Anna Teggatz
Bruce H. Leland Essay Contest: English 100, Introduction to Writing 1st Place, Daniel White; 2nd Place, Margaret Voss ; 3rd Place, Andrea Przybylski. English 180, College Writing I 1st Place, Apryl Moore ; 2nd Place, Faith Buie; 3rd Place, Samantha Pryor. English 280, College Writing II 1st Place Kelly Crowley; 2nd Place, Lisa Crawford; 3rd Place, Adena Ruckoldt. Lois C. Bruner Creative Nonfiction Awards 1st Place, Afolarin Sanni; 2nd Place, Rebecca Gonner; 3rd Place, Sarah Radtke. Cordell Larner Award in Fiction 1st Place, Allen Dullen; 2nd Place, Cheyenne Rideaux; 3rd Place, Matt Gamperl. Cordell Larner Award in Poetry 1st Place, Allison Hartman; 2nd Place, Rachel Troyer; 3rd Place, Natalie Jacobson
Graduate Scholarship, Fellowship, and Award Winners
John Mahoney Research Fellowship – Kristen Dillender and David “Bo” Plumer; Ron & Leslie Walker Graduate Fellowships – Ftsum Asfaha and Kristen Dillender; Syndy M. Conger Essay Award – Kelly Schloss; Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award – Sheldon Gaskell.
A CAS Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund grant was won by Kristin Dillender.
Departmental and College Scholar Awards
The Departmental Scholar awards are sponsored by the Illinois Centennial Honors College. Each semester, departments select the top student in each of their majors graduating that semester. Students are selected based on g.p.a. as well as honors and activities. Those selected receive a medallion to be worn at graduation. Our winners for this year are Jocelyn James and Rebecca Gonner.
Cecile A. Christison Sterrett Award for Fall 2016 – Rebecca Graham.
Martin Dupuis Leadership Award for Historically Under Represented Communities – Arielle Henry.
Current Undergraduate Students
Katelin Deushane presented “Red Marbles” at the Sigma Tau Delta convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rebecca Graham presented “Noah’s ‘Nakedness’: Nudity, Sodomy or Incest” at the EGO/STD conference in Macomb and at the Northwest Research Conference at Purdue; “Beowulf: Anglo-Saxon and Judeo-Christian Values” at the Sigma Tau Delta convention in Louisville, Kentucky, which also won fourth place in the 2017 Phi Kappa Phi Research Competition; “Frankenstein: An Autobiographical Fiction” at the Northwest Research Conference at Purdue. She also published “Recreating Who I Am” in Wordy by Nature, the Sigma Tau Delta blog, which won third place in the Midwestern Blog Contest.
Haley Helgesen presented “Harry Potter and the Representation of Fatness” at the Sigma Tau Delta convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
Arielle Henry was elected to serve as the Sigma Tau Delta Midwestern Associate Student Representative for 2017-2018. She received a CAS Undergraduate Research Grant to travel to the national Sigma Tau Delta convention in Louisville, Kentucky where she presented her paper, “Just Get Over It.”
Max Keil received a CAS Undergraduate Research Grant to travel to the national Sigma Tau Delta convention in Louisville, Kentucky, where he presented his paper “Language and Monsterism in Frankenstein.” He received an Honorable Mention in the British Literature category. He also presented his paper at WIU’s Undergraduate Research Day. He also published “From Role-Player to Writer” in Wordy by Nature, the Sigma Tau Delta blog, which won first place in the Midwestern Blog Contest.
Bryce Swain received a CAS Undergraduate Research Grant to travel to the national Sigma Tau Delta convention in Louisville, Kentucky where she presented her paper, “Jane Eyre and the Quest for Christianity.” She also presented her paper at WIU’s Undergraduate Research Day.
Rachel Troyer received a CAS Undergraduate Research Grant to travel to the national Sigma Tau Delta convention in Louisville, Kentucky where she presented her paper “Smoke Signal’s Deeper Meaning.” She also presented her paper at WIU’s Undergraduate Research Day.
Current Graduate Students
Zachary Almqist is an intern at the office of Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17).
Klaira Strickland presented “Fan Subcultures in Dungeons & Dragons,” an excerpt from her thesis project, at the Popular Culture Association conference in San Diego. At the English Graduate Organization conference, she presented “Transnational Inheritance in Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows.” She plans to teach English in Japan next fall, and she is connecting with other schools to further her research in D&D and Fandom.
Eliza Wells presented “The Rhetorical Power of the Cartoon: Discussing Feminism and Gender in The Powerpuff Girls (1998)” at the Popular Culture Association conference in San Diego.
Laura Winton traveled to the Sigma Tau Delta conference in Louisville to present her a creative nonfiction piece “Words in My/Her.” At Craft, Critique, Culture in Iowa City, she presented a paper on Women’s Transgressive Writing. She won the QC Women’s History Month poster contest and the QC Iron Pen Contest for poetry from the Midwest Writing Center Association. She has been hosting the Coin-Op reading series at the Neighborhood Laundromat in Rock Island. She was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta and Phi Kappa Phi this year.
Christopher Bevard (M.A. 2007) Assistant Director for Educational Technology at John Marshall Law School, Chicago.
Chelsea Brotherton (M.A. 2016) accepted a position as an assistant editor at the American Health Information Management Association in Chicago.
Cody Cunningham (M.A. 2016) accepted a position as a Senior Copywriter at JLL Commercial Real Estate in Chicago Illinois.
Tiffany Dimmick (B.A. 2011) accepted a position as Office Support Associate for the Writing and Graduate programs in English at Western.
Julie Kaiser (M.A. 2016) was accepted into the PhD program in English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is currently a teaching assistant.
Justin Kim (B.A. 2016) was accepted into the M.A. in English at New York University.
Jacob Gamage (B.A. 2005) is an English teacher at Soundview Preparatory School in Bedford Hills, NY.
Christopher Ginn (B.A. 2016) is an intern with the McDonough County Voice.
Annette Glotfelty (B. A. 2008) was accepted to the Ph.D. program in Cognition and Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Stephanie Hoover (M.A. 2017) accepted a position at Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) as a Case Coordinator.
Brooke Hughes (M.A. 2003) teaches everything from developmental writing to freshman composition and upper-division writing at the California State University, Bakersfield. She also coordinates a University-wide adopted online program for grammar and writing help and oversees the student-run help center on campus for the program. She is currently writing a composition textbook that will be published in early 2018 by Fountainhead Press.
Ethan Knight (B.A. 2013) is a teaching assistant and doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Cassidy Litle (M.A. 2014) accepted a full-time faculty position, teaching English, Communication, and Theater courses at Otero Junior College in La Junta Colorado.
Emily Litle (M.A. 2014) accepted a full-time faculty position, teaching developmental English at Otero Junior College in La Junta Colorado.
Kristi Relaz (B. A. 2008) accepted a new position as Bridge Instructor and Career Coach at North Lawndale Employment in Chicago.
Marjorie Allison won the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Multicultural Teaching.
Rebekah Buchanan published “A Punk Pedagogical Approach to Genre” in Recontextualized: A Framework for Teaching English with Music. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam; She reviewed “Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith”; “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust and Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley”; “Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys”; “The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas.”; “Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein.” “A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry”; “The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass.”; “The Leaving by Tara Altebrando,” all for the 2017 PCA/ACA Mystery & Detective Fiction Reading List. She interviewed numerous authors for the New Books in Popular Culture Podcast, including “Mozlandia: Morrissey Fans in the Borderlands by Melissa Hidalgo“; “Nerd Ecology: Defending the Earth with Unpopular Culture by Anthony Lioi“; “Brat Pack America: A Love Letter to 80s Teen Movies by Kevin Smokler“; “Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination by Jack Hamilton“; “The Politics of Punk: Protest and Revolt From the Streets by David Ensminger“; “Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.” She also contributed many radio commentaries to TriStates Public Radio throughout the year.
Merrill Cole published poems including “This Fabulous Shadow,” Women’s Studies Quarterly; “Johnny in Lights,” Spoon River Poetry Review 42.1; “The Hip Poet,” Spoon River Poetry Review 42.1; “Defense Mechanism.” Spoon River Poetry Review 42.1; “Dirty Bits” concīs (Winter 2016); and “Warm Brother.” HIV Here & Now (20 November 2016). His non-fiction essay “The Blond Sheep,” appeared in Mayday Magazine 10 (Fall 2016).
Tim Helwig presented ““George Lippard and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Unlikely ‘Partners in Crime'” at the ALA Symposium on Crime Fiction in Chicago, and “Teaching Edgar Allan Poe and Periodical Culture to Different Student Populations” at the ALA Conference in Boston. He was also awarded a Faculty Summer Stipend to conduct research toward his book project, Writing the Working Class: The Literary and Rhetorical Discourses of Class Protest in Antebellum American Print Culture. In terms of professional service, he served as the Midwestern Regent for Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, the Treasurer for the Research Society for American Periodicals, and a manuscript reviewer for ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture.
Bill Knox presented “Planning and Teaching a Future-oriented Sustainability Honors Course” at the Upper Midwest Regional Honors Council Conference at South Dakota State University.
Barb Lawhorn published fiction including: “For Now, For The Time Being,” Helen: A Literary Magazine; “Holy Like That.” FemLit; “An Eye For Seeing.” Nebo: A Literary Journal; “Toward the Future.” Toad the Journal; “Everybody Knowing, But Pretending Not To.” The Longleaf Pine. “Cosmos.” The Fabulist; and “Easing Pain” in BLYNKT Magazine. She published nonfiction, including “‘On Writing, Rejection, and Janis Joplin.’ Bird’s Thumb“; “Wool Gathering” Dirty Chai.; and “Migration” in FemLit. She published poetry, including “Pears.” Naugatuck River; “Laundry.” Fox Adoption Magazine and “Blood Demands” FemLit. She reviewed books for The Mom Egg Review, including Joelle Biele’s Broom; Jennifer Karetnick’s The Treasures That Prevail; Samantha Duncan’s The Birth Creatures; and Susan Rukeyser’s Not On Fire, Only Dying. She also contributed many radio commentaries to TriStates Public Radio throughout the year.
Dan Malachuk published Two Cities: The Political Thought of American Transcendentalism, University Press of Kansas Press; “Disinterestedness and Liberalism” in L. Behlman and A. Longmuir, eds., Victorian Literature: Criticism and Debates, Routledge. He presented “Transcendentalism, Orestes Brownson, and Public Religion” at the American Literature Association, San Francisco. He served as a reviewer on the American Literature Peer Review Committee for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, and he was interviewed for the film Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul.
Mark Mossman published “Academic Capitalism, Student Needs, and the English MA” in Degree of Change: The MA in English Studies, eds. Margaret Strain and Rebecca Potter, NCTE Press, 2016. His essay “Atypical Bodies in Nineteenth-Century Britain” is forthcoming in The Cultural History of Disability, Volume 5: The Long Nineteenth Century, eds. Martha Stoddard Holmes and Joyce Huff. Bloomsbury.
Richard Ness chaired and was a participant in the workshop “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Film Music (But Were Afraid to Teach)” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference in Chicago. He signed the contract to write An Encyclopedia of Journalism Films for Rowman and Littlefield, scheduled to be published fall of 2018.
Shazia Rahman presented “Animalization in Pakistani Fiction” at the 45th Annual Conference on South Asia at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in October, 2016. From December 2016 to January 2017, she traveled to Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad, Pakistan where she visited family, friends, and colleagues as she squeezed in as much sightseeing as possible. Here she is in Islamabad.
Jacqueline Wilson Co-advised (with Barbara Lawhorn), SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace, in its second year of publication. Our magazine featured sixteen contributors from all the major branches of the service who submitted in four categories–fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art. We worked with a team of editors, all WIU–graduate students, Ryan Bronaugh (fiction), Luke Cummings (art), Jared Worley (non-fiction) and Dan Holst (poetry). She helped pilot a Writing Fellows project for English 100, and she published two poems: “Washing Deborah’s Hair” in The Fem and “Milkweed” in Ink-in-Thirds in June.