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Student Awards and Scholarships

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Student Awards and Scholarships

The English Department is proud to offer the following awards and scholarships in recognition of the outstanding achievements of our students. Honorees are notified at various times throughout the fall and spring semesters and are formally recognized at the College of Arts & Humanities annual student recognition event, as well as the English Department's year-end awards and recognition ceremony. Recipients for all awards listed below (with the exception of the CAH Outstanding Student Award) are chosen by English Department faculty.


Alan W. France Memorial Writing Award
Eligibility: Students in General Education Writing Courses

Established in 2002 in honor of our esteemed colleague Al France (who taught in the English Department from 1989 until his death in 2001), this award is conferred each spring on a student in a general education writing course (ENG Q20, WRT 120, or WRT 200s) from the past twelve months. The award recognizes the best essay exploring relationships among language, thought, and culture. Students may be nominated by an instructor, with the student's permission, or may nominate themselves. Winners receive a cash prize, a memorial beret, and recognition at the English faculty's year-end party. Read tributes to Al France by his family, friends, and colleagues .

Past Recipients

Recipients of the Alan W. France Memorial Writing Award

  • 2018 Alexa Laskowski
  • 2017 Elizabeth Turbett
  • 2016 Joanna Trago
  • 2015 Melissa Heiseler
  • 2014 Rachel Alfiero
  • 2013 Brianna Kain
  • 2012 Eden Bentley and Anthony Thomas (co-recipients)
  • 2011 Laura Nitowski
  • 2010 Laura Blyton
  • 2009 Ryan Placchetti
  • 2008 Selina Carrera
  • 2007 Timothy Bruno
  • 2006 Diesha Elliott
  • 2005 Matthew Fogarty
  • 2004 Eli Wenger
  • 2003 Jennifer Hollak
  • 2002 Matt Kay

Best Seminar Paper Award
Eligibility: Students in ENG 400 Seminars

Established in 2005, this award is presented each spring to the student who has written the best paper in an ENG 400 research seminar for the given academic year (including the current semester and the previous fall, summer, and spring semesters). Individual faculty members nominate students from their own seminars, and the winner receives a cash prize.

Past Recipients

Recipients of the Best Seminar Paper Award

  • 2018 Samantha Mineroff
  • 2017 Chadd Heller
  • 2016 Meghan Gubicza
  • 2015 Angira S. Pettit-Pickens
  • 2012 Laura Blyton
  • 2011 Danna Tilford
  • 2010 Carol O'Brien
  • 2009 Timothy Bruno
  • 2008 Michael Stadnycki
  • 2007 Lisa McCann
  • 2006 Shannon Bernard
  • 2005 Eileen Gray

EAPSU Outstanding English Major Award
Eligibility: All English Majors

The EAPSU award is given each spring to an English major who has an outstanding GPA, has participated in English-related extracurricular activities, and has authored a distinguished essay in an English course. Four nominees with the highest GPAs and 80-110 credits are identified by faculty and asked to submit one "A" paper of significant intellectual or artistic merit, along with a submission form and a list of activities. The winner then presents the paper at the annual EAPSU conference the following fall, and receives a cash prize, a plaque, and reimbursement for the cost of attending the conference.

Past Recipients

Recipients of the EAPSU Outstanding English Major Award

  • 2018 Jessica Amarant
  • 2017 Sarah Kratz
  • 2016 Valerie Lynn
  • 2015 Allison Cleary
  • 2014 Hailey Lucas
  • 2013 Jennifer Granato
  • 2012 Laura Nitowski
  • 2011 Kristin Solanick
  • 2010 Travis Pearson
  • 2009 Alyssa Conaway
  • 2008 Alex Bruce
  • 2006 Megan Trexler
  • 2005 Tyler Bradway
  • 2004 Sarah Bentz
  • 2003 Jill Purdy

English Department Faculty Scholarship
Eligibility: Incoming English Majors

This scholarship, funded by the English faculty, is awarded each spring to a declared English major who will be entering WCU the following fall, either as a first-year or transfer student. (The student's WCU application must be submitted by late February.) Nominees with outstanding GPAs and SAT/ACT scores are identified by the faculty and invited to submit a five-page, non-fiction writing sample. Scholarship funds are divided over the two semesters of the winner's first year at WCU. To retain the prize for the second semester, the recipient must attain a GPA of 3.0 in the first semester and must remain an English major and maintain full-time status in both terms.

Past Recipients

Recipients of the English Department Faculty Scholarship

  • 2018 Ruth U. Kneebone
  • 2017 Isabelle M. Menasion
  • 2016 Ashley Martindale
  • 2015 Stina Robberstad
  • 2014 Siobhan Gleason
  • 2013 Lauren Sufleta
  • 2010 Renae Donald
  • 2009 Tielah Williams and Caitlyn Rivera
  • 2007 Meghan Ward
  • 2006 Alan Walton

Herbert Mitchell Scholarship
Eligibility: Incoming English Majors

Established in 2014 after a landmark gift to the university by WCU alumni Herbert and Gloria (Hedley) Mitchell, this scholarship is awarded each spring to two incoming English majors who show exceptional scholastic achievement and community involvement. Nominees with outstanding GPAs and SAT/ACT scores are identified by English faculty and asked to submit statements detailing their accomplishments and future goals. Winners receive scholarship funds of $2,500 annually for four years. In order to retain the scholarship, the recipient must remain an English major, attend classes full-time, and maintain a GPA of at least 3.6 in the major and 3.4 overall.

Past Recipients

Recipients of the Herbert Mitchell Scholarship

  • 2017 Michael Nangle
  • 2016 Camryn Carwll
  • 2015 Siena Catanzaro
  • 2014 Christina M. Grandizio and Chandler J. McGowan

NOTE: Year designates the fall semester of the academic year in which recipients were first selected for the scholarship. Funds are awarded each spring semester.

John Feely Hopkins Short Story Award
Eligibility: Graduating Senior Creative Writing Students

Instituted in 2002, this award is presented each spring to a graduating senior whose portfolio of short stories exhibits imagination, artistic merit, high literary quality, and growth in content and commitment, as determined by members of the English Department's Creative Writing faculty. The winner receives a cash prize.

Past Recipients

Recipients of the John Feely Hopkins Short Story Award

  • 2018 Jamie Murphy Soika
  • 2017 Marielle Lipton
  • 2016 Thaddeus Catranis
  • 2015 Patrick Brogan
  • 2014 Ryan Nash
  • 2013 Eric Prestianne
  • 2012 Deanna Vasso
  • 2011 Nicole Welsh
  • 2010 Jeanne Martin
  • 2009 Adam Kaplan
  • 2008 Kieran Kenny
  • 2007 Joseph McDonald
  • 2006 Chris Timmins
  • 2005 La'Keisha Kelly
  • 2004 Courtenay Dunn
  • 2003 Ronda Jackson
  • 2002 Christopher Cameron

Viola Marple Scholarship
Eligibility: Non-Graduating Female English Majors

This scholarship, established in memory of former English faculty member Viola Marple, honors two non-graduating female English majors who exemplify the highest standards in scholarly achievement and service, as determined by the English Department faculty. Requirements include a minimum GPA of 3.51 and 61-90 credit hours earned. Nominees who meet these qualifications are asked to submit a brief statement, and the two winners are determined by an English faculty vote. Winners are named each spring, and scholarship funds are disbursed evenly over the following fall and spring semesters. The award is co-administered by the WCU Alumni Association.

Past Recipients

Recipients of the Viola Marple Scholarship

  • 2018 Hayley Annino and Mary Porter
  • 2017 Lisa Patrick and Julianna Balmer
  • 2016 Samantha Mineroff and Zoe Musselman
  • 2015 Marielle Lipton and Allison Cleary
  • 2014 Allison Velez and Anastasia (Ana) Amand
  • 2012 Jessica Rossana and Katherine Mills
  • 2011 Laura Blyton and Daryl Tubiello
  • 2010 Kelly Klick and Julia Traczuk
  • 2009 Jane Mahoney and Patricia Sunseri
  • 2008 Veronica Glasso and Susan Berberich
  • 2007 Katrina Dix (sole recipient)
  • 2006 Megan Trexler and Emily Chamberlin
  • 2005 Michelle Fendrick and Sarah Leventer
  • 2004 Amanda Davis and Christina Hoffmann
  • 2003 Rachel Cohen-Altomare and Emily Kimble
  • 2002 Krista Schroth and Kelly Virgin
  • 2001 Lizette Gill and Emma (Beth) McGinty
  • 2000 Michelle Dague and Jennifer Gentile

Walker Hamilton Award
Eligibility: Graduating Senior English Majors

This award, established by the family of David McKenty, a former professor and chair in the English department, honors the memory of another former colleague in English, Walker Hamilton. It recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a graduating senior English major. Winners receive a cash prize.

Past Recipients

Recipients of the Walker Hamilton Award

  • 2018 Abbey R. Bigler
  • 2017 Brianna Swartz
  • 2012 Laura Blyton
  • 2011 Kaitlin Tito
  • 2010 Alyssa Conaway
  • 2009 Ashley Thomas
  • 2008 Nicole Cheikh
  • 2007 Bethany Brownholtz
  • 2006 Michelle Fendrick
  • 2005 Christina Hoffmann
  • 2004 Emma (Beth) McGinty
  • 2003 Lisa M. McGillicuddy

CAH Outstanding Student Award
Eligibility: Graduating Seniors Majoring in any CAH Discipline

This award is given each spring to a graduating senior who is majoring in a College of Arts & Humanities (CAH) discipline and who demonstrates exceptional intellectual or creative achievement and strong extracurricular and service activities. Students must be nominated by a CAH faculty member and hold a minimum GPA of 3.5; nominees then submit an application form, personal statement, resume, and two faculty letters of recommendation. Nomination and application deadlines are usually announced by the CAH dean’s office early in the spring semester and typically fall in late March or early April. (Note: although this award is administered by CAH—and not the English Department—we list it here in order to make English students and faculty aware of this opportunity. English majors are well represented in the ranks of past winners.) For more information, please contact the CAH dean's office.

Past Recipients (English Majors)

English-Major Recipients of the CAH Outstanding Student Award

  • 2016 Allison Velez
  • 2015 Angira S. Pettit-Pickens
  • 2006 Tyler Bradway
  • 2002 Michelle Filling

Prior to 2017, this award was known as the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Outstanding Student Award.  The award was renamed following the reorganization of CAS into the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Sciences and Mathematics.