Research and Artistry

Our students and faculty engage in meaningful scholarship as an essential part of academic life. Together and separately, faculty and students pursue a variety of interests and seek answers to an expansive range of questions. Learn about some of the achievements and interests of our faculty and students on this page. Explore our ongoing initiatives in scholarship and creative artistry for a sense of where you fit in the Department of English at CSU.

Student and faculty scholarly achievements and works of creative artistry

Andrew Altschul portrait with his book The Gringa

Launching in Place

September 21, 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 in March set the stage for a summer at home for most people, including Andrew Altschul, who had spent the last eight years writing a novel, which he expected to publicize heavily with a tour of in-person reading events.

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Natalia Sperry Feature Portrait

The Student Experience

September 2, 2020

CSU English senior Natalia Sperry recounts studying abroad, collaborations with professional writers, department community.

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Words for the Earth: English professor and Guggenheim fellow Camille Dungy shares environmental poems

April 22, 2020

CSU English professor and Guggenheim fellow Camille Dungy reads three poems in acknowledgment of the space we share with our planetary co-habitants.

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Ramona Ausubel portrait

The world in words

March 4, 2020

Assistant Professor Ramona Ausubel captures the world and the human condition in books; she teaches students to do the same.

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Erika Szymanski behind book

The language of science

February 4, 2020

Erika Szymanski, assistant professor of rhetoric of science at CSU, uses language to make the invisible visible. That’s a challenge when you study microbes. Read more about microbiomes and about how our perceptions bring them into being.

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Abigail Chabitnoy

In Poems: Claiming a culture

January 19, 2020

In how to Dress a Fish, Abigail Chabitnoy examines effects of forced assimilation of Native American People on descendents like herself. Click for excerpts.

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Each year, students enrolled at CSU are invited to participate in the Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase. Held in April, this event culminates in an awards ceremony honoring the finest work of our students.

Creative & Performing Arts Scholarships

Conducted by the the Creative Writing Program, this annual university-wide scholarship competition offers undergraduates the opportunity to submit submit 3-5 poems, 1 short story, or 1 creative nonfiction essay. 

Highlights and Accomplishments

Grants and Awards

  • Professor of creative writing Camille T. Dungy was awarded the 2021 Academy of American Poets Fellowship and a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, associate professor of English, was awarded a prestigious NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in Prose in 2022. Fellowships of $25,000 each enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career development.
  • Dan Beachy-Quick, professor of English, alongside former Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Kelly Long, received, a Teagle Foundation/National Endowment for the Humanities planning grant (whose mission includes expanding access to liberal arts education). The $250,000 Teagle Foundation Cornerstone/NEH Planning Grant will fund two years of innovation in the undergraduate core curriculum.
  • Zach Hutchins, professor of English, received a 2016 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete research in early American newspapers about representations of the slave trade.
  • Vauhini Vara, visiting professor of English, was named a finalist for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her debut novel, The Immortal King Rao.
  • Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, professor of English and director of the CSU Writing Project, completed a two-year grant in 2015 from the National Science Foundation to work with the Fort Collins Discovery Museum on improving the science literacy of underserved elementary students in Fort Collins.
  • The Center for Literary Publishing and center director Stephanie G'Schwind were awarded a twelfth grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2023.
  • Sasha Steensen, professor of English, was named the 2023 John N. Stern Distinguished Professor. This award is presented annually by the College of Liberal Arts to honor faculty who have demonstrated exemplary accomplishments in all aspects of their professional responsibilities over an extended period of time.
  • Lynn Badia, associate professor of English, was awarded a 2023 Ann Gill Faculty Development Award for her projects, “Imagining Free Energy: Fantasies, Utopias, and Critiques of America,” which focuses on how society would be transformed by “limitless” energy, and “A Century’s Quest for Free Energy,” which is an article that examines an FBI file Badia obtained after making a two-year Freedom of Information Act appeal to the FBI.
  • Rosa Nam, assistant professor of English Education, was awarded a 2023 Ann Gill Faculty Development Award for her project, “Dual Pandemics and the Racialized Experiences of Asian American Students, Staff, and Faculty at an AANAPISI in the South,” which discusses and analyzes Asian Americans’ experiences in the south post the COVID-19 pandemic in a university setting.
  • Tim Amidon, associate professor of English, along with Tiffany Lipsey, received two significant national grants to test the usability of new technology to help firefighters identify undetected medical conditions that could lead to cardiovascular injuries and empower them to develop individual treatment plans that could prolong their time in their career.

Faculty-Student Research

Zach Hutchins, professor of English, is leading an initiative to enable collaborative undergraduate student-faculty research in English studies. In fall 2017, he was awarded a three-year grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research. The first three projects will be completed in spring 2018.

Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker, associate professor of English, received a grant for a project titled, "Territory Identity of Russia and America through the Eyes of Young Generations." Sponsored by Tomsk Polytechnic University, the project brought together students from Russia and Colorado who visited each others communities to learn and write about features that would be of interest to visitors.

Student Research and Creative Writing

Author photo of Jake Friedman

Jake Friedman was awarded the
Academy of American Poets Prize in 2023.

AWP Intro Journals Project Awards

  • In 2022, John Kneisley won in poetry for his poem “Volunteering at an Alzheimer’s Unit."
  • In 2020, Esther Hayes received an honorable mention in creative nonfiction for her essay “Lineal Gaps."
  • In 2018, Emily Harnden won in creative nonfiction for her essay "9:47" and Catie Young received an honorable mention in poetry for her poem "Headwaters."
  • In 2017, Dana Chellman won in creative nonfiction for her essay, "How to Get to Heaven from Colorado."
  • In 2016, English had two winners and one honorable mention across all three genres in the Intro Journals Project. We were the only school in the nation to manage such a distinction in the history of the award. Cedar Brant won the poetry category with her poem, “Make Blood.” Nathaniel Barron won the fiction category for the first chapter from his novel-in-progress, From the Watchtower. And Emily Ziffer received an honorable mention in the creative nonfiction category for her nonfiction essay, “Moving Forward, In Russian.”

The Graduate Student Showcase

The Distinction in Creativity award is presented collaboratively by the Graduate School and Office of Vice President for Research. This award recognizes the passion and personal contributions of these talented graduate students, and honors their commitment and efforts in their area of work.

  • In fall 2022, Jake Friedman won 1st Place, C Culbertson won 2nd Place, and Chase Cate was named Honorable Mention.

The College of Liberal Arts Awards are presented to graduate students in liberal arts disciplines/departments for high achievements in the creative/performing arts and scholarly/research-based poster presentations.

  • In fall 2022, Edward Sarasty Salazar was named a Top Scholar and presented a $500 award.

Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC)

This annual university-wide competition showcases writing, oral presentations, service-learning, art, and research by CSU undergraduate students.

  • In 2023, Cayden Clark-Johnson was awarded Best in Show: Written Work at CURC for his poetry collection, Yellow Planet.

Faculty Publications

Our faculty are a diverse, vibrant, exciting group working on an amazing array of projects and collaborations, putting together texts that span all genres. We recently set up a bookshelf near the English department main office (between the elevator and the computer lab) where we are featuring recent faculty publications. To see a sampling of recent faculty publications — books, articles, book chapters, edited collections, poems, essays, short stories, book reviews, blog posts and other online publications — you can also check out our virtual “bookshelf.”

Read more about what's happening in the English department by visiting our news page below.