English Department 29th Annual Awards Banner

Greetings from the Department Chair

Louann Reid

Professor and Department Chair

Hello, and welcome to this digital celebration of student success. The awards ceremony is one of my favorite events of the year because we can publicly recognize student accomplishments and donor support. This year we are together apart. Just as in other years, though, when we could be together in person, I encourage you to pick up an appetizer or snack and a glass of lemonade or iced tea. Relax and enjoy the talent, achievements, and promise of the students in our community.

English undergraduates and graduates hold a total of 43 university and departmental scholarships and six literary awards for the 2020-2021 academic year. As a further testament to the strength of this student cohort, the English department has also selected 10 winners of the Creative and Performing Arts Awards.

This page serves as a virtual stage for recognizing their achievements.

I'd like to extend special thanks to the Scholarship Committee: Tony Becker, Loni Thorson, Kristie Yelinek, and Matthew Cooperman. Thank you to Sheila Dargon, who provided substantial support to that committee and helped arrange this celebration.  Thank you also to Gabe Saldana, who designed this page to bring us all together in one place. I would also like to thank those who donated to any department scholarship in the past year. We appreciate the difference you make in the educational experiences of our students.

And thank you to the friends and families of our award winners who join us in this digital space and who have supported their studies over the years.

Welcome to all,

Louann Reid Signature Black

Louann Reid
English Department Chair

Graduate Distinctions

English graduate students can earn recognition for excellence on a final project, portfolio of work, or thesis.

Matthew Noorwood-Kingstedt

Matthew Norwood-Kingstedt

Recognized for distinction of thesis in Writing, Rhetoric & Social Change

Raed Alzahrani

Raed Alzahrani

Recognized for distinction of TEFL/TESL portfolio

Undergraduate: Creative & Performing Arts Scholarship Awards in Creative Writing

Fiction

Casey Forest

Casey Forest

“The Quickening”

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Kevin Cole

“North Ranger”

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Emma Kerr (BA '19)

“The Portrait Room”

Creative Nonfiction

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Darwin Shire

“Skin of the Sky”

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Rachel Lozano

“The Judas Rider”

Poetry

Natalia Sperry

Natalia Sperry

“Ideal-l”, “to all my almost soulmates”, “in the café we visit to pretend that we’re artists” and “holywell grove”

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Charley Mahaffey

"Obscurantism", "The Desert is a Women”, “The Child”, and “wORMS wORMS”

Herman Chavez

Herman Luis Chavez

“My cul-dl-sac”, “dry”, “Leviticus” and “a self-portrait, the eyes of one me in the of one hunter”

Sabrynne Buchholz

Sabrynne Buchholz

“Berceuse”, “Woolgather”, “Pupate”, Heilgenschein” and “I do not have the Moon”

Andrea Day

Andrea Day

“This is not a sad poem”, “Clairvoyance of Autumn”, “I am Rome” and “Citrus of Summer”

Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts Awards

Esther Hayes

Esther Hayes

Hayes' essay “Lineal Gaps” received honorable mention in the 2020 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Intro Journals Project for Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction.

Jess Turner

Jess Turner

Turner's poem "My Family Left the House in the Woods" won 1st place in The Academy of American Poets Prize.

Robin Walter

Robin Walter

Walter's poem "Begin with" won honorable mention in The Academy of American Poets Prize.

Department Scholarships and Fellowships

Recipients of department scholarships and fellowships receive a certificate, inscription on the departmental perpetual plaque, and scholarship or fellowship funding. Current students select a faculty member to say a few words about them and to present the award. The following students received scholarships for 20-21.

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Yong Woon Lee Scholarship

The Yong Woon Lee Scholarship is awarded to a new or returning student in the MFA program. An alumnus of the MFA program endowed this scholarship to support students and to enhance the national profile of the program. The recipient for this year is Nicole Piasecki, who will join us in the fall.

Katherine Smith

The Smith-Schamberger Literature Fellowship

The Smith-Schamberger Literature Fellowship is given to a new or returning full-or part-time graduate student in the MA literature program. The recipient is Katherine Smith.

Remarks about the recipient, Katherine Smith, from Assistant Professor Lynn Shutters

Sithen the sege and the assaut was sesed at Troye,

The borgh brittened and brent to brondes and askes,

The tulk that the trammes of tresoun ther wroght

Was tried for his tricherie, the trewest on erthe.

-Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, lines 1-4

I begin writing about Katherine Smith, recipient of the Smith-Schamberger Literature Fellowship, by first writing about the fourteenth century English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Katherine wrote her final essay for my graduate course on medieval literature and emotion on this poem. For modern-day readers, Sir Gawain is both immediately appealing and tremendously intimidating. It features magic, beheadings, a bizarre kissing game (girl on guy, guy on guy…), and a giant green knight, bearing holly but wielding an axe- what’s not to love? Yet the poem is written in Middle English, features mind-bogglingly complex formal patterning, and is steeped in the medieval past. This is a poem that induces pleasure but requires patience, a careful teasing out of linguistic, literary, and historical elements. In other words, to write a really good essay about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, you have to be a really good student of literature. And that’s what Katherine is. In her essay on Sir Gawain, Katherine close-reads poetry written in Middle English, noting, for example where the phrase “my five wyttes” repeats in the text, or how clusters of Christian terms (“chapel,” “kyrk”) are applied to the natural world. She delves into ecocriticism (one of the many things we lit scholars do) but connects nature in Sir Gawain to human emotion in ways that are surprising and fresh. Her writing is clear, convincing, seemingly effortless, yet you know (or at least I know!) that so much effort had to go into it. Katherine’s effort to think with a poem, to give it the time and attention it deserves, is what, to me, makes a great literary scholar and makes literary scholarship worthwhile. In sum, Katherine is a really talented and dedicated scholar—the department’s literature faculty are all so happy to have her in our program and to present her with this award.

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Schwarz Hammond Fellowship in Creative Writing

This fellowship is awarded to an incoming or currently enrolled graduate student in the Creative Writing MFA program. Funded annually by an emeritus faculty member and his family, it is a merit fellowship based on the quality of the application and portfolio. This year’s recipient is Megan Lear, who will join us in the fall.

Jamie Suto
Jamie Suto

The Diane Keating Woodcox and Larry G. Woodcox Scholarship

Endowed by an alumna of the English department, this scholarship is awarded to a full-time junior or senior undergraduate major with an overall minimum 2.5 GPA. The student must have held gainful employment or have participated in a paid or unpaid internship and exhibit exceptional focus and determination as a student. Preference is given to a graduate of a Colorado high school. This year’s recipient is Jamie Suto.

Remarks about the recipient, Jamie Suto, from Assistant Professor Ricki Ginsberg

Jamie Suto is a future English teacher who is going to make a great difference in schools—she’s already making a big difference in our program. Her passion, energy, and commitment to the profession are remarkable. One of our class assignments was to write a manuscript for potential publication. Jamie dived into the research, developing an article that she titled, “Cultivating Language-Inclusive Classrooms through Peer-Mentoring for Emergent Multilinguals.” I learned a lot from her article and loved the ways in which she grounded her work in existing scholarship and recommended activities for teachers to use in their classrooms. Her paper will be the exemplar that I use the next time I teach the course. In her paper, Jamie developed a new term for teachers to use which would better position emergent multilingual students as a resource and an asset both socially and cognitively (wow!). When the journal’s peer reviewers (who likely assume Jamie is a practicing teacher) asked Jamie to share examples of student work, she continued to pursue the publication and approached a former teacher to ask if she might try out the activities in the classroom setting. Jamie did not give up because she does not have her own classroom of students. Instead, she took the initiative to find a solution to continue to write for publication (months after class had ended). Jamie is finishing the last round of revisions now, and if the article is accepted (which I think it will be), it will be published in a journal that is read regularly by tens of thousands of English teachers. This is no longer a class assignment. So early in her career, Jamie is taking the extra step to contribute intellectually to the field. For me, this embodies Jamie’s personalityshe cares deeply for teaching and for young people, and we are incredibly fortunate to have her in our program.

Sarahy Quintana Trejo
Sarahy Quintana Trejo

The O’Connor-Miller Scholarship

This annual scholarship is given by an alumna of the English department and parent of a former CSU student who studied electrical engineering, computer science, and string bass performance. The recipient of this award must be a full-time graduate or undergraduate student, or a part-time graduate or undergraduate enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts in the Department of English. The recipient is Sarahy Quintana Trejo.

Remarks about the recipient, Sarahy Quintana Trejo, from Luciana Marques

Sarahy is a brilliant student. Insightful, attentive, her work is always of excellent quality. Participative, her comments in class are always relevant, and her analyses show she has what it takes to be a Linguist. She is on the shy side, but don’t let her personality fool you. An English major in the Language concentration, Sarahy is more than worthy the OConnor Miller Scholarship.

Anna Harvey
Anna Harvey

The Donna Weyrick Memorial Scholarship

The Donna Weyrick Memorial Scholarship honors the memory of Donna Weyrick, a 1962 graduate of the Department of English.  This endowed scholarship for undergraduates is made possible by contributions from the Weyrick family and friends. This year’s recipient is Anna Harvey.

Remarks about the recipient, Anna Harvey, from Assistant Professor Ricki Ginsberg

Anna Harvey was a student who enrolled in my co-taught, interdisciplinary elective dedicated to understanding social movements and collective action. Anna is an activist at heart who wants to make a great stamp on the world—and she certainly will. Thus her activist positioning made her an extremely good fit for the course. For her social campaign, Anna developed an outward-facing plan and a resource website for high school, college, and other survivors of sexual violence. Her website provides a wealth of information and resources that teachers and survivors can use with schools and students. Specifically, Anna recognized that schools do not support or prepare young people for surviving sexual violence, and her project aimed to make a difference. When I listened to her public presentation at the end of the semester, I yearned for her to continue this work because it would make a powerful impact on schools today. Anna is driven by a passion and care to help people and change the world, and I am confident that she will make a difference. She is a very inquisitive student who positions herself as a learner. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to her education, she has enrolled in diverse courses like poetry, law, microeconomics, and social movements. I admire how she can show such great success in so many courses which differ so vastly from each other, and she bravely enrolls in the courses which will help her think about the many questions that she (and we) have about the world. This knowledge is quite obvious in her intelligent, thoughtful contributions to class discussions. I have great respect for Anna and am looking forward to learning what she does in life. Whatever it is, she will do it well.

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The Community Engagement Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in English with a demonstrated interest in community service activities. It was established by Pattie Cowell, former chair of the English department and of the Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Program, and her partner Sheryl Pomering, whose career included education and counseling for children and women in Fort Collins and Larimer County. This year’s recipient is Rosabella Debty, who joins the English department in fall.

English Department Legacy Scholarship

This annual scholarship prioritizes support for  high-performing undergraduate and graduate students to finish their degree.

Luke Eldredge

Luke Eldredge

Cody Cooke

Cody Cooke

Remarks about the recipient, Cody Cooke, from Assistant Professor Lynn Badia

I am so pleased to congratulate Cody Cooke as an inaugural recipient of the English Department’s Legacy Scholarship. I know Cody as an uncommonly perceptive, rigorous, and original thinker and writer. As a member of my course, E339: Literature of the Earth, Cody’s genuine curiosity and thoughtful comments enriched every meeting. Cody’s work for this class brilliantly considered representations of natural and cultural landscapes in diverse works of literature and film. For instance, his final research paper analyzed representations of complex Louisiana landscapes—such as swamps, petrochemical plants, coasts, and extraction sites—and how they speak to a land crisscrossed and shaped by natural forces, material economies, ambitions, and values. He drew from his knowledge of the lived realities of Louisiana, but he has deeply enriched that knowledge with original analysis and research (and with some amazing archival documents he uncovered in the process!). Always invested and inquisitive (and bolstered by a positive and good-natured disposition), Cody is an incredible student of literature and culture. A most worthy recipient of the Legacy Scholarship, I am confident Cody will make extraordinary contributions wherever he chooses to invest his time and intelligence. Congratulations, Cody!

Natalia Sperry

Natalia Sperry

Remarks about the recipient, Natalia Sperry, from Professor Barbara Sebek

The deep intelligence of Natalia Sperry is hard to encapsulate. I re-read her posts for the summer study abroad “Shakespeare in Oxford 2019” class blog, thinking I’d find the perfect snippet to showcase her stylistic flare, her capacity for critical insight, her attuned ear for poetry, at once playful and profound.  Her blog posts set me afloat in a sea of choices. Virtually any chunk of her writing puts all this and more on dazzling display.  In her post “Beyond Athens, Arden, and Ashmolean,” she offers:

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said the words “Green World” in the last month—something, I’m sure, my housemates are perhaps grown a bit tired of. But in truth, it’s difficult to live in the worlds of these particular comedies of Shakespeare without getting a little lost in such spaces. (A fact only compounded by the green Oxford of summer we’ve been so fortunate to dwell in whilst studying those other worlds.)  That said, I can’t say that I walked into the Ashmolean expecting to find the Green World. In many ways, a museum can be a space antithetical to the liberty and release of such a notion; they are places of order (“Please don’t touch,” “Stay behind this line,” “No flash photography,” and so on), rooted largely in Victorian traditions of societal structure and status defined through what is considered to be “High Art.” Museums, especially those as ornately decorated as the Ashmolean, serve as anchor points of civilization wherein the elite can mark progress through portraits, collected (or stolen) artifacts, and other remnants of wealth and power. Yet, even walking through these pristinely curated rooms of a museum I lived near for weeks without ever stepping foot inside, I was struck once again by the prevalence of these forested worlds.

Given that lovely excerpt, it’s no surprise that Natalia wrote jaw-droppingly perceptive critical analyses for the study abroad course and for a subsequent regular semester course. My gratitude to Natalia extends beyond the work she submitted for classes; it includes a gift that she probably doesn’t remember giving. It was she (appreciator of Green Worlds, real and imaginary) who informed me, as we chatted on the train through the English countryside from Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon, not only that her middle name is Arden ("Yes, that Arden," she assured me), but that that day – that green, lovely day —was the solstice. Congratulations on the Legacy Award, Natalia, on the excellent work that it recognizes. Thank you for the long memory of the longest of happy days. You’ve already left a powerful legacy, but there’s much, much more to come!

The TEFL/TESL Scholarship

Funded by the INTO CSU English Language Program, the TEFL/TESL Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding student in the TEFL/TESL graduate program. The recipient is Dinara Seitova.

Dinara Seitova
Dinara Seitova
Remarks about the recipient, Dinara Seitova, from Professor Gerald Delahunty

Dinara Seitova is a most deserving recipient of this year's TESL/TEFL scholarship. She is just completing - under extraordinary circumstances - her second semester in the TESL/TEFL MA program. I am her advisor and she is taking the second of two classes with me. She took my course on sociolinguistics last fall, in which she earned an A, apparently with the greatest of ease. And she is set fair to earn another A in Syntax for ESL/EFL this semester.

Dinara's academic and professional life is extraordinarily rich. She is fluent in Kazakh, Russian, and English. Indeed her English is excellent, as it would have to be for the success she achieved in all of the professional and academic positions she has fulfilled and her impressive accomplishments as an academic and as a human resources development professional. Her deep understanding has enabled her to function at high levels in Kazakh, Russian, and American cultures.

Dinara came to our TESL/TEFL program with an ambitious plan: to get the credentials, the knowledge, and the skills to return to her native Kazakhstan and help develop the educational policies and infrastructure that will enable Kazakhs to learn English at the level required to compete in a world in which English is the only global lingua franca. She used the two papers required in the sociolinguistic class to help her prepare for her plans. These were analyses of the current sociolinguistic and language planning and policy situation in her native Kazakhstan. She prepared these papers as a preliminary report on the basis of which she hopes to develop an English language program when she returns to Kazakhstan. These papers were based on her careful review and clear presentation of a truly enormous range of highly technical government and academic sources.

Such ambitious plans require an intense work ethic, perseverance, and resilience, virtues that I know Dinara has in abundance. She is most deserving of the TESL/TEFL Scholarship, which will go some small way to helping Dinara realize her most worthy ambition.

The Cross-Cultural Understanding Scholarship

The Cross-Cultural Understanding Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to international/cross-cultural issues and education. The recipient is Ha Lim Park.

Ha Lim Park
Ha Lim Park
Remarks about the recipient, Ha Lim Park, from Luciana Marques

It is my pleasure to congratulate Ms. Ha Lim Park for the Cross-Cultural Understanding and The Ann Osborn Zimdahl Memorial Scholarship Ms. Park is a graduate student in TEFL/TESL with an excellent academic record, and strong interest in cross-cultural issues related to ESL/EFL. I have been Ms. Park’s instructor in E514 – Phonology and Morphology for ESL/EFL, and I can say I have been most surprised with her performance in my class. While she can be quiet, she did put great effort in the class, which paid off with her excellent grade, which is reflected in her GPA. Ms. Park knows her career goals and is working towards them. She wants to be an ESL teacher and knows how important it is to be aware of cultural differences in this field. Originally from Korea, she has had the chance to study and work in Japan, China and now here. I believe this experience has strengthened her interest in working with students with different backgrounds and how this difference can help them build a community of international English speakers. Her own status as an international student gives her a vantage point in this issue. Ms. Park has clearly demonstrated her potential in my class, and I do believe that, with the right education, she will become an excellent ESL teacher. I am confident that she will graduate from our department with excellent grades. She has a brilliant future ahead, and the Cross-cultural Understanding and the Ann Osborn Zimdahl Memorial Scholarships can help her get there.

The James J. Garvey Graduate English Language Scholarship

This award is given in memory of Professor James Garvey. It is presented annually to a graduate student in their second semester or beyond in the TEFL/TESL graduate program, or a student in the Rhetoric and Composition or English Education graduate programs. The recipient must have shown a strong interest in advanced language study. Recipients of this award may be first-generation students. The recipient is Ha Lim Park.

Remarks about the recipient, Ha Lim Park, from Assistant Professor Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker

I was very happy to support Ha Lim’s application for the James J. Garvey Graduate English Language Scholarship. Ha Lim has been a student in two of my graduate courses this academic year, and I believe that she is a great candidate to receive this scholarship, as demonstrated by her commitment to teaching and her diverse language and cultural experiences. 

Ha Lim became interested in language learning while studying Literature in Japan. It was her first time overseas and she quickly learned the benefits of having the knowledge of an additional language to be able to thrive in a different culture. Because of her interest in studying languages (Korean, Japanese, English, and Chinese), Ha Lim was able to experience various cultures from different angles, by participating in home-stay programs and volunteering as a Japanese-Korean translator in Japan, working as a logistics specialist in Japan and China, and now pursuing a graduate degree in English at CSU. It has been a pleasure to have Ha Lim in my classes as she always comes to class prepared and has excellent questions for me about the material. Ha Lim is a frequent visitor during office hours and I appreciate her focus on producing high quality work and pushing herself to go above and beyond with her course projects.

I congratulate Ha Lim on receiving the James J. Garvey Graduate English Language Scholarship and I am looking forward to hearing about her other accomplishments!  

The Sarah Sandra Collins Creative Writing Memorial Scholarship

Sarah Sandra Collins attended Colorado State University in 1970 and 1971. She discontinued her studies in Psychology and English to become a CSU police officer, due to lack of funds and a desire to help people.  Sarah was a profoundly honest and courageous person with great loyalty and generosity towards those she loved. Undaunted by difficult decisions in her work or personal life, she sometimes found herself enmeshed in controversy…an African American, poetry-writing police sergeant who converted to Orthodox Judaism in her thirties. She wrote poetry and short stories, serious and whimsical, throughout her life. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance for a CSU full-time undergraduate student and encouragement for the lifelong pursuit of creative writing. The recipient is Natalia Sperry.

Natalia Sperry
Natalia Sperry
Remarks about the recipient, Natalia Sperry, from Associate Professor Harrison Candelaria Fletcher

I am so happy for Natalia. These honors are a fitting testament to her talent, dedication and promise as a writer of essay, poetry and all forms in between. She and I have worked together in two nonfiction workshops. I have found her to be among the most adventurous young writers I have had the pleasure of working with. Natalia writes hard and true about what matters and is driven to explore form and language as instruments of discovery instead of mere ornamentation. Her lyric essays and image-text narratives examine the geographies of self and the soul and the imprints we leave on the people and places we love. Her writing is complex, courageous, ambitious and quite beautiful. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. I couldn’t be more proud of her. Congratulations!

The Ann Osborn Zimdahl Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded in memory of Ann Osborn Zimdahl, a 1981 graduate of the CSU MA TEFL/TESL program.  Ann taught in the Intensive English Program and contributed to the international community of the university and Fort Collins.  Her career also extended overseas where she held several different teaching appointments.  Ann was strongly committed to cross-cultural understanding and enthusiastically shared her love of new cultures with her students both here and abroad.

The first award is for an outstanding graduate student in the TEFL/TESL program who is committed to international education and language teaching in support of the second year of study. The first recipient is Ha Lim Park.

The second award is given to an outstanding graduate student in any program in English. The second recipient is Luke Eldredge.

Ha Lim Park
Ha Lim Park
Remarks about recipient Ha Lim Park, from Luciana Marques

It is my pleasure to congratulate Ms. Ha Lim Park for the Cross-Cultural Understanding and The Ann Osborn Zimdahl Memorial Scholarship Ms. Park is a graduate student in TEFL/TESL with an excellent academic record, and strong interest in cross-cultural issues related to ESL/EFL. I have been Ms. Park’s instructor in E514 – Phonology and Morphology for ESL/EFL, and I can say I have been most surprised with her performance in my class. While she can be quiet, she did put great effort in the class, which paid off with her excellent grade, which is reflected in her GPA. Ms. Park knows her career goals and is working towards them. She wants to be an ESL teacher and knows how important it is to be aware of cultural differences in this field. Originally from Korea, she has had the chance to study and work in Japan, China and now here. I believe this experience has strengthened her interest in working with students with different backgrounds and how this difference can help them build a community of international English speakers. Her own status as an international student gives her a vantage point in this issue. Ms. Park has clearly demonstrated her potential in my class, and I do believe that, with the right education, she will become an excellent ESL teacher. I am confident that she will graduate from our department with excellent grades. She has a brilliant future ahead, and the Cross-cultural Understanding and the Ann Osborn Zimdahl Memorial Scholarships can help her get there.

Luke Eldredge
Luke Eldredge
Remarks about recipient Luke Eldredge, from Professor Dan Beachy-Quick

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes the stars align, and I get to work with a set of graduate students for two semesters straight--& such has been the lucky astrology of getting to know Luke Eldridge. From last semester’s Form and Technique in Poetry, to this term’s Poetry Workshop, I’ve been able to be a kind of witness not only to Luke’s ever-deepening work in poetry, but even more movingly (to me), have watched, and listened, as his thinking has opened not only a furthering devotion to this work, but an expanding ethical dimension inherent in the actual practice of writing a poem. Like the truest students I’ve known, Luke is ever-becoming more a student; that is, he has the open-eyed humility (and humor) to learn over and over again what it is to begin. The promise of such an approach is past speaking—that is, is past what I know yet how to see, or how to say. Such is the worthy recipient of this honor. I’m very happy to offer my warmest congratulations, and hope you think to send him a happy little note of congrats, too.

The Karyn L. Evans Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students in memory of Karyn L. Evans, an alumna of the English department, and created through a gift from her estate. The recipients are Taylor White, Annie Egghart, Madison Rheinheimer, and Alyssa McCall.

Madison Reinheimer
Madison Reinheimer
Remarks about recipient Madison Reinheimer, from Assistant Professor Tim Amidon

Amidst a moment when so many aspects of our lives have been turned upside down, I find it incredibly fulfilling to share a few words of acclaim for Madison Rheinheimer, a recipient of the Karyn L. Evans Scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year. As a faculty member, I had the privilege of learning from Madison this fall in the pilot offering of “The First Year English Symposium.” With a cohort of other English Majors, Madison examined the theme of “creation” through the various frameworks, methods, and concepts central to five subfields of English Studies: Language, Literature, Creative Writing, Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy, and English Education. What immediately stood out about Madison was that she was not simply an active participant in the class discussions that unfolded across within large-lecture and small-section meetings, but also that she was an intellectual in her own right forwarding critical questions that prompted peers, graduate teaching assistants, and faculty members to pause and reflect. Madison’s writing—in both the informal sketchbook assignments and the culminating unit assignments—also reflected an eye that was becoming critically attuned to the ways that dominant ideological structures can shape the quality and practice of discourse in our society. Indeed, in her Final Portfolio, Madison remarked on the unit on copyright and authorship that I had taught, pointing out that the economies surrounding the production of knowledge production and art often result in authors and artists being separated from—failing to be recognized for or given ownership over—the works they have created. Madison is incredibly deserving of this scholarship, because—as a student and citizen—she exemplifies the land-grant mission of CSU: she has regularly volunteered in equestrian camps that provide access to children who would otherwise be unable to participate in horse riding and at a therapeutic riding center that serves individuals of all ages. Madison notes that she seeks to use her time at CSU to “soak up all the knowledge and experience in as many different aspects of writing and thinking as I can” and to “create for and inspire those like me to think beyond themselves… to make time to rally, march, and lobby for what and whom I care for…to contribute to a better country and world.” May you continue to think and act with as a bold humanist, Madison!

Congratulations -

Taylor White
Taylor White
Remarks about recipient Taylor White, from Assistant Professor Lynn Shutters

What can I say about Taylor White, or T White, as I know her? I first met T last fall, when she took my Shakespeare course. I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the fall semester; I’d been on teaching leave the year before, so my classroom skills felt rusty. Scanning my rows of students, whose faces and names I did not yet know, I quickly homed in on T. She was cheerful, focused, and made me feel like I was saying something interesting about Shakespeare. The more I got to know T, the more there was to admire. T regularly attended my office hours—she was one of those students who begin assignments in advance, not just because she wants to do well on them, but because she’s honestly interested in mulling over ideas. Time and again, her enthusiasm and thinking paid off—whether writing on rape, fountains, and Ovidian reference in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus; disability and the ambiguity of insult in Richard III; or the physicality of dancing gangs at the opening of West Side Story, T’s work was top notch. I would say that T’s the Platonic ideal of an English major, but that term seems too rigid and remote for her. She’s quirky, friendly, and smiles a lot; in the classroom, she combines acute attention to textual detail with camaraderie and laughter. Working with her is such a pleasure! She’s a real credit to our department, and I’m so happy that we’re awarding her the Karyn L. Evans scholarship. She deserves it!

Annie Egghart
Annie Egghart
Remarks about recipient Annie Egghart, from Professor David Scott Diffrient

When Sarah Polley, an actor-turned-filmmaker whose 2012 documentary Stories We Tell ranks among the greatest motion pictures of all time, was asked what the “trick” to writing is (during a recent interview), she responded, “Discipline. And readers who are honest with you.” Polley’s response sums up my attitude toward — and admiration for — Annie Egghart, a CSU student in the English Department who has consistently demonstrated the level of commitment needed to succeed as a writer as well as an openness to honest appraisal that hints at her maturity. Indeed, “discipline” is the word that immediately leaps to mind when I think of Annie’s work as a student who understands that both diligent practice and fearless experimentation are needed to hone one’s craft and cultivate a love for storytelling that is infectious.

I first began to appreciate Annie’s capacity for self-discipline in my Screenwriting as Communication class, where she dazzled me and her peers (who, like her, were new to the topic) with a feature-length screenplay that she developed incrementally: from a short logline to a longer outline to a formal treatment to a three-act script over a period of four months. Her completed screenplay, a 100-page romantic comedy that showcases her familiarity with the genre as well as her interest in deconstructing its most problematic gendered tropes, is among the best such works that I have read by a student.

Since that time, Annie has taken two other courses that I have taught, one devoted to international horror films and the other to women filmmakers. In each of these classes she has demonstrated critical-analytical skills that are just as impressive as her creative writing abilities. I am confident that Annie will go far, professionally, regardless of which path she takes; though I hope that others will have the opportunity to see, as I have, how talented she is as a writer. There is enough evidence, just from her work at CSU, to suggest that Annie will achieve a similar degree of success as filmmaker Sarah Polley, lighting up the world with her perceptive takes on the “stories we tell” and inspiring us all in the process.

Alyssa McCall
Alyssa McCall
Remarks about recipient Alyssa McCall, from Assistant Professor Ricki Ginsberg

I was very pleased to see Alyssa honored with a scholarship because she transformed my class in very positive ways. Alyssa is an adult learner and a parent, who realized she wanted to pursue her passion of becoming a teacher. In a class dedicated to the ways in which we, as teachers, write as professionals, Alyssa’s comments during class offered insight that shaped the classroom space for all of us. Alyssa is a dedicated learner. She soaks up information and integrates it all within her philosophy. When I think of Alyssa, I think of the great amount of experience and knowledge that she has in connection to young people, despite never having been a classroom teacher. She exudes a maturity and strength that we, the class, relied on. When Alyssa spoke, we all listened carefully. Her wisdom and quiet strength consistently captivated our attention. In one instance, students in the class were discussing the ways in which we communicate with parents. Alyssa offered sage advice about the ways in which parents receive and read emails, and students shared that her comments informed their thinking as they revised their letters. Academically, Alyssa rises to the top. Every assignment she completes demonstrates care and passion. She is the kind of person who will join any school system and department and make a powerful difference. I’d want Alyssa as my own colleague because she works extremely well with everyone, and she puts great thought and care into her work. When I think of Alyssa, I can’t help but smile. I feel very lucky to know her.

Department Awards

The Stephen Reid Award for Excellence in Teaching

This award recognizes the long-standing contributions and commitment to teaching of Dr. Stephen Reid, who taught in the Department of English from 1972-2014, and who is nationally known for his work in writing pedagogy.

Normally, the selection committee chooses a prize winner and an honorable mention, but this year two applicants were so outstanding the committee couldn’t find a way to rank one over the other, so this year we’re awarding the prize to two graduate teaching assistants: Esther Hayes and Alexis Nulsen.

Esther’s and Alexis’s approaches to teaching – where growth, reflection, community, and respect are paramount – echo Dr. Stephen Reid, for whom the award is named.

Esther Hayes
Esther Hayes

Esther Hayes

Esther began teaching CO150 as a GTA in Fall 2018, and during the past two years she has demonstrated a keen willingness to try, learn, and grow as a teacher. One of her faculty observers notes her strong understanding of course content, her keen ability to use a variety of teaching approaches throughout her lessons, and the way she “has established a strong sense of community within her classroom.” Esther, too, explains that she has worked to create a sense of community with her students. By first interrogating her own undergraduate experience, she was able to identify what qualities she personally valued in teachers and worked to model those same attributes. She writes in her application letter, “[W]hat I value in an educator is approachability, authenticity, fun, and the certainty that the educator cares about their students first as people,” and she has used those values to create “an atmosphere where my students feel comfortable asking questions, talking with each other and me, and admitting their mistakes and failures and struggles.”

Alexis Nulsen
Alexis Nulsen

Alexis Nulsen

Alexis also began teaching CO150 as a GTA in Fall 2018, and has developed a teaching philosophy that, in her own words, includes the mantras “Act with kindness,” “Embrace the change,” and “Support is the best medicine.” One way she supports her students, for instance, is showing them her own struggles with research, time management, and graduate studies. Within her classroom she is honest with her students about her own quest for balance, and Alexis explains, “The moment my students began being able to relate to me was the moment I learned how much more students empathize with an instructor they can see attributes of themselves in.” One of her faculty observers also highlights the respect and care within Alexis’s classroom, explaining that Alexis “listens genuinely to students’ questions and concerns and offers thoughtful responses. It is apparent that she has established a mutually respectful learning space.”

 The Outstanding Literary Essays Awards

These awards, selected by the English department's Literature program, recognize outstanding critical writing and interpretive work in literary studies. Applicants must be registered graduate or undergraduate English majors or minors.

Graduate

Madi Hopkins

1st Place — Madi Hopkins

Essay Title: “Desire Burdened with the Meaning of Freedom:” the “Monstrous Intimacies” of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

Yusnavy Ramos

2nd Place — Yusnavy Ramos

Essay Title: Gender Roles and The Expression of Romantic Love

Luke Eldredge

3rd Place — Luke Eldredge

Essay Title: “Now tyde me dethe, tyde me lyff”: The Functions of Prophecy in Le Morte Darthur

Undergraduate

Kelsea Altheim

1st Place — Kelsea Altheim

Essay Title: Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Continuum: A Look at Emily Dickinson’s Marriage Poetry

Madison Watson

2nd Place — Madison Watson

Essay Title: “Terrance Hayes: A Modern Black Identity”

Herman Chavez

3rd Place — Herman Luis Chavez

Essay Title: Queerness as Betweenness: Language in Eliot, Barnes, and Charles

Outstanding Writing Awards in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy Studies

This award recognizes outstanding writing and research in composition, rhetoric, and/or literacy studies. It is intended to recognize innovative ideas, critical thinking, and stellar communication in the broad area of writing studies. Multimodal and print submissions are welcomed as entries.

Shivon Pontious

Graduate — Shivon Pontious

Essay Title: "Felipe Guáman Poma de Ayala's Third Space."

English Department 29th Annual Awards Banner

Undergraduate — Stephanie Brownlee

Essay Title: "How Disappointing My Dad Paid Off."