2019 Department Award Winners

April 29, 2019

2019 Department Award Winners

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On Monday, April 22, the Department of English recognized its 2019 award winners at the Annual Awards Ceremony. Read below for a comprehenive list of recipients.

Business and Professional Writing

The Kitty O. Locker Undergraduate Professional Writing Contest

$750 awarded to the first-place student group and $250 to the second-place group for demonstrating excellence in professional writing produced in English 3304. Honoraria are also awarded to the instructors.
1st Place Winners
  • Alexandria Vereb
  • Allison Mellor
  • Devon Pries
  • Professor Christa Teston, instructor
2nd Place Winners
  • Kitty Stevens
  • Bill Tucker
  • Alex Singer
  • Christiane Buuck, instructor

The Kitty O. Locker Travel Grants

Grants to subsidize travel for graduate students attending conferences or presenting research on professional communication.
  • Rebecca Hudgins
  • Chris Morris
  • Yanar Hashlamon

The Kitty O. Locker Research Grants

Grants awarded to subsidize research-related expenses of graduate students studying business and professional 
  • Gavin Johnson
  • Samuel Head

The Kitty O. Locker Prize for Excellence in Business Communication

$1,000 awarded for an outstanding graduate-student conference presentation, publication, or dissertation on professional communication.
  • Sean Kamperman

Minor in Professional Writing

Chen Ya and Siuha Anita Liu Fund for Professional Writing

This $4,500 award is given to an undergraduate student and is to be used for the improvement of their professional writing abilities. Candidates must be majoring in any science, technology, or engineering discipline and minoring in Professional Writing in the Department of English.
  • Nicole Osborne

Creative Writing

Reba Elaine Pearl Burkhardt Roorbach Award in Creative Nonfiction

$100 for the best essay or nonfiction book chapter by an undergraduate student
  • Gwynnie Ball, “Romeo, Romeo”
Honorable Mention
  • Brendan Walsh, “Liberty Park”

Haidee Forsyth Burkhardt Award in Creative Nonfiction

$100 for the best essay or nonfiction book chapter by a graduate student
  • Robert Schumaker, “Self-Portrait with Smudged Makeup”
Honorable Mention
  • PhD student Sahra Ahmed, “American Makeup”

Jacobson Short Story Award

1st place $600; 2nd place $300; 3rd place $150 for the best short story by an undergraduate
1st Place Winner
  • John Kirian, “Snowfall”
2nd Place Winner
  • Austin Dunn, “Beautiful Figures”
3rd Place Winner
  • Madeleine Haas, “A Woman Who Looks Normal”
Honorable Mentions
  • Jay Beavers, “The Art of Squatting”
  • Whitney Kneffler, “Brilliant”

Gertrude Lucille Robinson Award

1st place $750; 2nd place $350; 3rd place $200 for the best piece of creative writing (any genre) by an undergraduate woman
1st Place Winner
  • Natalie Dalea, “Pa’ Antonio”
2nd Place Winner
  • Grace Day-Strosnider, “A Sonnet in Which a Girl is Taken”
3rd Place Winner
  • Kassidy Jones, “An Intuitive Grasp of Reality”

Citino Undergraduate Poetry Award

$1,500 for the best group of poems by any OSU English major
  • Brendan Walsh, A Denizen in Me
Honorable Mention
  • Kendall Lindstrom, Flower Shop & Other Memories

Academy of American Poets Award/The Arthur Rense Prize

$400 for the best poem or group of no more than three poems (open to graduate and undergraduate students)
  • Mags Colvett, “A Ghost Story”
Honorable Mentions
  • Emmalee Hagarman, “This Time of Night”
  • Molly Ortiz, “Old Growth”

Tara M. Kroger Award

$1,000 for the best short story by an MFA student
  • Krishna Mishra, “Away from Home”
Honorable Mentions
  • Scott Broker, “Marco Polo”
  • Meagan McAlister, “Inland”

Vandewater Poetry Award

$1,000 for the best poem or group of no more than three poems by a graduate student
  • Alyssa Froehling, “First Love,” “Estuary,” “The Hermit”
Honorable Mentions
  • Emmalee Hagarman, “Blood Moon” and other poems
  • Zoe Mays, “This Year,” “Carrie Nation,” and “My Woman”

Helen Earnhart Harley Creative Writing Fellowship in Prose

$1,000 for the best body of prose by a graduate student
  • Scott Broker, “The Arrivals”
Honorable Mentions
  • Kelsey Hagarman, “Non-vital and Other Essays”
  • Steffan Hruby, “The Universal Hologram”
  • Julie Garbuz, “Collected Essays”

Helen Earnhart Harley Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry

$1,000 for the best body of poetry by a graduate student
  • Molly Ortiz, On Whether The Ocean Will Want Us Back
Honorable Mention
  • Molly Brown, The Illustrated Catalogue of Fishes and other poems

The R.L. Stine Scholarship

This $11,000 scholarship is awarded to an Ohio State English major who has demonstrated a serious interest in Creative Writing. It may be used for tuition and fees, room and board, and other educational expenses. This scholarship has been generously provided by author R.L. Stine, an OSU English alumnus (B.A. 1965) and award-winning author of children’s horror stories including the famous Goosebumps series.
  • Jade Werner

Digital Media Studies

Digital Media Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Work

$100 recognizing outstanding student digital media project(s) completed in an undergraduate course in the Department of English.
  • Grant Burks
  • Mallory Wright
  • Peyton Sawyer
  • Rohan Sheth
Campus Hunt was created for English 2269 taught by Gavin Johnson and is a prototype for a mobile app helping students get familiar with Ohio State by participating in a scavenger hunt. 

Digital Media Prize for Outstanding Graduate Work

$300 recognizing outstanding digital media project(s) completed by a graduate student in the Department of English, either in a seminar or as part of the student’s research or creative work.
  • Ayendy Bonifacio Peralta, “Mapping El Clamor Público’s Reprint Poems (1855-1859)”

Eric Walborn Award for Excellence in Digital Media and English Studies Instruction

Established in memory of Eric Walborn, Coordinator of the Digital Media Project (formerly Computers in Composition and Literature/CCL) 1987–1993, this $500 award is intended to recognize excellence and innovation in computer‑supported teaching and/or the development of digital media instructional materials in any area of English studies by a GTA.
  • Samuel Head, “Personal Digital Exhibit on Literacy”; Course: Literacy Narratives of Black Columbus

First-Year Writing

The First-Year Writing Program Award for Outstanding Research Paper

$50 for a researched essay that best demonstrates excellence in analysis, use of researched materials, and academic form; sponsored by Cengage Publishing.
  • Lydia Tantalo, Essay: “Luxury and Interracial Sex: A Rhetorical Discussion of Stereotypical Fantasies”; Instructor: Robert Schumaker
  • Madison Conley, Essay: “Portrayal of Opiate Addiction in the Media”; Instructor: Rebecca Hudgins

Department of English Teaching Award for First-Year Writing

$200 for demonstrated excellence in teaching First-Year Writing by an experienced GTA, based upon review of syllabi, assignment prompts, student evaluations, and teaching philosophy.
  • Paige Busby

Award for Excellence in Teaching by a First-Year GTA 

$100 for a first-year GTA who demonstrates excellence in teaching First-Year Writing, based upon student evaluations and observations of teaching; sponsored by Cengage Publishing.
  • Robert Schumaker

Second-Year Writing

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate in Second Year Writing

$200 for demonstrated excellence in teaching Second-Year Writing by an experienced GTA, based upon review of syllabi, assignment prompts, student evaluations, and teaching philosophy.
  • Michael Shirzadian

Undergraduate Awards

The Arnold and Frances Shapiro International Scholarship

This scholarship of up to $1,000 was established by the late Arnie Shapiro, Professor of English at The Ohio State University from 1962 to 1991, and his wife, Fran, to help English majors and minors study abroad through the department’s study abroad programs. 
2018 Autumn Recipients
  • Alexandra Craig
  • Laurel Hilliard    
  • Danielle Macklin    
  • Alexis Page    
  • Devon Priess    
2019 Spring Recipients
  • Jennifer Coon
  • Emma McElderry
  • Faith Rush
  • Courtney Wheatley
  • Sasha Zborovsky

The Robert E. Reiter Prize for Critical Analysis

The $500 Reiter scholarship recognizes the finest critical and scholarly writing by an undergraduate enrolled in an upper-level Department of English course.
  • Stephen Gregory Carlsten, Essay: “Sentinal Songs: Monuments, Poetry, and the Lost Cause Narrative in Collective Memory”; Course: English 4552: Poetry in the Gilded Age; Instructor: Professor Elizabeth Renker

The English Undergraduate Human Rights Award

This $250 award is given to the best undergraduate academic paper or multi-modal project concerned with the literature, rhetoric, narrative, folklore, histories, laws, and/or cultural practices of human rights. 
  • Katie Fusek, Essay: “The New Slave Masters”; Course: English 4583: Special Topics in World Literature in English; Instructor: Professor Sara Crosby

The David O. Frantz Thesis Awards

Named in honor of Ohio State Emeritus English Professor David Frantz, this $500 award recognizes the most outstanding thesis completed by an English major during the previous three semesters.
  • Logan Householder, Thesis: “The Language of Architecture in Early Modern English Poetry”; Advisor: Professor Alan B. Farmer
  • Laila Ujayli, Thesis: “Appropriating a Golden Age: Models of Social Change in Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar’s A Mind at Peace”; Advisor: Professor Steven Fink


  • Matthew Martello, Thesis: “The Rhetoric of World-Building”Advisor: Professor James Phelan

The Rosemarie Sena Scholarship for Excellence in English Studies

The $500 Sena award is designed to recognize and encourage excellence in English studies at the undergraduate level. It is awarded to a student who shows tremendous potential as an English major.
  • Sasha Zborovsky

Virginia Hull Diversity and Inclusion Award

This scholarship recognizes excellence in an English major from an under-represented Ohio State student population.
  • Hamdi Mohamed

Undergraduate Research Award

This award supports English majors who plan to undertake a thesis project and want funding to support their work or who need funding to enrich their research experience—such as travel money to visit a research library or present at a conference.
  • Vince Bella
  • Laurel Hilliard

The Joseph V. Denney Award 

The Denney Award is the most prestigious award offered by the Department of English. This $500 prize goes to the most outstanding graduating English major.
  • Natalie Dalea
  • Madeline Anderson
  • Stephen Carlsten
  • Addie Clay
  • Michaela Corning-Myers
  • Shaelyn Hairston
  • Evelin Nunez-Rodrigues
  • Daniel O’Donley
  • Rosa Ubaldo
  • Brendan Walsh

Lord Denney’s Players

The Lord Denney’s Players Shakespeare Prize

These two awards are designed to recognize critical and scholarly writing by undergraduates enrolled in lower- and upper-division Shakespeare courses, including advanced English courses in which Shakespeare is taught.
Lower-Division Winner
  • Matthew Burns; Course: English 2220: Introduction to Shakespeare; Instructor: Professor Luke Wilson
Upper-Division Winner
  • Nathan Kudlapur; Course: English 4520: Shakespeare; Instructor: Professor Jennifer Higginbotham

The Lord Denney’s Players Sonnet Contest

Open to undergraduate students of all colleges and majors throughout the university, the Lord Denney’s Players sonnet competition is designed to encourage creative expression modeled on Shakespeare’s most famous poetic form.
1st place Winner
  • George Thomas, “Despite the Stars”
2nd place Winner
  • Joelle Odoguardi, “Bloom”
3rd place Winner
  • Mary Clare Van Hulle, “Breakups”
Honorable Mentions
  • Katherine Abram, “Cosmic Elegy for the Damned”
  • Landon Porter, “If in the light of misremembered days”
  • Emily Kattner, “Walking to the Grocery Store, Earbuds In”

Graduate Awards

Muste Dissertation Prize

John M. Muste (1927-2002) was the son of A.J. Muste, the political activist, and was a long-time member of the Department. He worked in twentieth-century literature and culture, wrote Say That We Saw Spain Die: Literary Responses to the Spanish Civil War, and numerous essays on writers such as Joseph Heller, Vance Bourjaily, and Thomas Pynchon. Like Marlene Longenecker, John was a stalwart citizen of the Department and served as Director of Graduate Studies and as Vice-Chair. In the years before his retirement in 1986, he served as Associate Dean of the College of Humanities. Upon his retirement, John and the College of Humanities established the fund for the prize for the best dissertation, and the Department decided to name it in his honor.
  • Matthew Connolly (Advisor: Jill Galvan)
  • Marie Franco (Advisor: Brian McHale)
Honorable Mention
  • Joey Kim (Advisor: Clare Simmons)

Estrich Paper Prize

The Robert M. Estrich Fellowship Fund was established October 5, 1990, by the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University, with gifts to The Ohio State University Development Fund from Alice E. Estrich of Columbus, Ohio, colleagues, friends, and former students in memory of Robert M. Estrich (M.A., English ‘29; Ph.D., English ‘35), Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University Department of English. Robert Estrich was chair of the Department of English from 1952 to 1964, during which he presided over the department’s enormous WWII growth. In both his brilliant hiring and his democratizing of internal governance, he was instrumental in transforming the department into both a model within the university and a national presence in the academic profession.
  • Andrew Bishop, “If it hadn’t been for that log: the Nature of Wood in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying”; Course: English 6766: Introduction to Graduate Studies in 20th Century Literature, 1900-1945; Instructor: Professor Jesse Schotter
  • Clinton “Clint” Morrison, Jr., “Peripheral Vision: Choreograping Description in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”; Course: English 6716: Introduction to Graduate Studies in the Middle Ages; Instructor: Professor Karen Winstead

Sacks Paper Prize

The Sheldon Sacks Award has been given since 1997 when James Phelan established it as a way to honor the teacher who introduced him to narrative theory. After receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in the late 1950s, Sheldon Sacks taught at the University of Texas and the University of California Berkeley before returning to Chicago in 1968, where he remained until his death in 1979. He is best-known as the author of Fiction and the Shape of Belief, the founding editor of Critical Inquiry, and an inspirational teacher and advisor.
  • Joey Ferraro, “Learning Our Lesson: Didacticism, Reynolds Price, and the Reading of Illness Narratives”; Course: English 6410: Introduction to Medical Humanities and Social Sciences; Instructor: Professor James Phelan

The English Graduate Human Rights Award

Established by the Department of English Human Rights Working Group in Autumn 2014, the English Graduate Human Rights Award is given to the best academic paper or multi-modal project produced in a Department of English graduate course or independent study in the past year. Submissions should demonstrate a critical engagement with the literature, rhetoric, narrative, folklore, histories, laws, and/or cultural practices of human rights. 
  • Yanar Hashlamon, “Learning the Market Ill-logic: Professional Writing Pedagogies for Neurodiverse Writers”; Course: English 7895: Seminar in Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition; Instructor: Professor Christa Teston

Presidential Fellowships

The Presidential Fellowship, awarded by Ohio State’s Graduate School, is the most prestigious award given to recognize the outstanding scholarly accomplishments and potential of graduate students entering the final phase of their dissertation research or terminal degree project. Each fellowship provides financial support so the recipient may devote one year of full-time study to the completion of his or her dissertation or degree project unimpeded by other duties.
Spring 2018 Department of English Recipients
  • Bethany Christiansen (Advisor: Leslie Lockett)
  • Chad Iwertz (Advisor: Margaret Price)
Autumn 2018 Department of English Recipients
  • Daniel Knapper (Advisor: Hannibal Hamlin)
  • Rachel Miller (Advisor: Jared Gardner)
Staff & Faculty Awards
English Department Staff Member of the Year
The Department of English Staff Member of the Year award goes to a person whose energy, creativity, skills, and intelligence have made the work lives of faculty, students, and fellow staff members more productive and enjoyable. Our staff is a high-functioning team, and every member contributes to the Department’s continuing success. This award is not meant to single out one member as more important to the team, but to recognize and reward superb attitude and effectiveness.
  • Kathleen Griffin

EUGO Associated Faculty of the Year and Professor of the Year

These two annual awards recognize, respectively, an English Associated Faculty Member and an English Professor, each of whom has demonstrated remarkable commitment to students, taught a course in a truly unique way, and/or provided students with an exceptional learning experience. The English Undergraduate Organization (EUGO) oversees the selection process for these awards, inviting all English majors to participate in an online voting process and collaborating with the winners of the previous year’s awards as necessary to determine the current winner.
  • Clarissa Surek-Clark, Associated Faculty of the Year
  • Karen Winstead, Professor of the Year

EGO Professor of the Year

This award, organized by the English Graduate Organization, recognizes a professor in the Department of English who has demonstrated commitment to graduate student success through excellence in teaching and advising. All Department of English graduate students are invited to nominate and to vote.
  • Margaret Price

The Marlene Longenecker Award for Teaching and Leadership

This award was originally endowed in 2008 by the Department of English Alumni Advisory Board in honor of Marlene Longenecker, on the occasion of her retirement from the faculty. It honors each year a faculty member selected for his or her combination of distinguished teaching and outstanding Department and University service and citizenship.
  • Alan Farmer

Faculty and Staff Retirements, 2018-2019

The Department of English would like to recognize the following individuals for their many years of service, and we wish them the best in their well-deserved retirement.
Sebastian Knowles (Professor)
Tracee Mohler (HR and Fiscal Associate)

External Awards

Throughout the past year, members of the Department of English have received numerous awards at the College and University levels, as well as from professional organizations, and we are proud to recognize them here.

Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring

This award, established in 1996, recognizes a college faculty member who has sustained record of both excellent teaching across a range of undergraduate courses and outstanding out-of-class service to students. Nominations are solicited from students, colleagues, alumni and parents, and the winner is selected by a committee composed of the dean of the college, two department chairs, a member of the university’s Academy of Teaching and two undergraduate students.
  • Frederick Aldama

Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award

This award recognizes a faculty member, staff member or student from within The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences who has demonstrated outstanding mentoring to and/or leadership on behalf of women or other historically underrepresented groups at the university. The award is granted to an individual, irrespective of gender, rank and status, who has generously and unselfishly served others in an effort to promote equity, fairness and equal opportunities for all members of the university community.
  • Frederick Aldama

Distinguished University Professor

The Office of Academic Affairs awards the permanent, honorific title of Distinguished University Professor on a competitive basis to full professors who have truly exceptional records in teaching, in research, scholarly or creative work, and in service. One to three appointments may be awarded annually to faculty members who have been at Ohio State for at least five years; Ohio Eminent Scholars are not eligible for this award. Distinguished University Professors automatically become members of the President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee. In addition, recipients are awarded a $30,000 one-time grant to support their academic work and are expected to maintain a regular program of teaching, research, scholarly or creative work, and service.
  • Frederick Aldama

Distinguished Staff Award

The Distinguished Staff Award annually honors 12 individuals for their outstanding achievements, service, leadership, and dedication to The Ohio State University. The Distinguished Staff Award is the highest honor bestowed upon staff at the university since its inception in 1984.
  • Kathleen Griffin

Outstanding Staff Award

To recognize staff members in the Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated sustained excellence in overall job performance and have improved or enhanced work life and services of faculty, staff, students, and/or the university.
  • MaryKatherine Ramsey

Graduate Associate Teaching Award

This award, granted by Ohio State’s Graduate School, is the university’s highest recognition of the exceptional teaching provided by graduate students at Ohio State. Award winners receive $1,500 and are recognized at the annual Graduate School awards reception.
  • Jacinta Yanders

Fulbright Award

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.
  • Jessica Wong