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Award and Scholarship Winners for 2020-2021

The Department of English is happy to announce its award and scholarship winners for 2020-2021.

English Department Faculty Writing Awards

The English Department Faculty Writing Awards are presented to students of at least sophomore standing who have submitted winning portfolios (these are blind submissions) of critical and/or creative writing.

The winner of the Faculty Award in Critical Writing is Katarina Dulude.  Of her essay, “The Subtle Classism of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Our Culture Industry,” the Honors Committee noted that her thoughtful, theoretically grounded, and sustained inquiry into a contemporary and relevant text.  The committee was also impressed with substantial research employed.  

The winner of the Faculty Award in Creative Writing is Elizabeth Sullivan. Of her portfolio, the Creative Writing Faculty wrote, "Her work is often playful and even a bit absurd, searingly humorous, but it also burns with the serious effort to use language to make sense of the world.  Voice and character and sensory detail harmonize.  One wants to know her characters, the places they live, and to enjoy their fun, their innocence, and ultimately their understanding and pain."

Amy Thompson Prize in Children’s Literature

The Amy Thompson Memorial Prize in Children’s Literature is awarded to a student for work in the analysis and/or creation of Children’s Literature. This year’s awardee is Bethany Cataldo.  In her application, Ms. Cataldo  writes, “Children’s literature, whether it be picture books, chapter books, or middle grade novels, empower young readers who might not feel as though they have a voice.”

Donald F. Lyons Scholarship

The Donald F. Lyons Award is given to a full-time junior or senior pursuing an English undergraduate degree who expresses the desire and aptitude to enter the field of teaching. This year’s winner is Grace Kimmel.  Ms. Kimmel wrote with passion about her intended profession as a teacher.  Her recommender, Dr. Maureen Reddy, wrote of her, “Grace is both very talented and a very hard worker, a perfect combination of attributes for someone who intends to be a high school teacher.”

Dr. John J. Salesses Scholarship in British and American Literature

The purpose of the Dr. John J. Salesses Scholarship is to support an English major with a focus in British or American Literature. The student must be at least a junior, and have at least a 3.0 GPA in the major. This year, the award will be split between Katarina Dulude and Steven Fraielli.  The committee was impressed by both candidates.  Of Ms. Dulude, the committee noted the thoughtfulness of her application.  She writes of  American literature that it represents “capsules not of the time period. . . , but of the ideas that occupied people’s minds.”   Of Mr. Fraielli’s application, the committee was struck by his description of the sheer joy he felt in discovering Beowolf in a Brit Lit class, “the same story that I’ve read ad-nauseum since middle school, but it was different this time.” 

The Daniel F. Scott III Scholarship is awarded each year to an English major in the junior year with the highest GPA and at least 16 hours in English at RIC. This year the scholarship goes to Jordan Tiburcio. 

Cathryn Annette Ducey Awards

The Ducey Awards, funded by a generous bequest from the estate of Dr. Cathryn Annette Ducey, recognize substantial achievement by English Majors. Dr. Ducey was a much-beloved professor in the English Department of Rhode Island College. Awards by faculty nomination and are based on merit and financial need as determined by the College’s Financial Aid Office.

This year’s Ducey Scholarship winners are:

Amanda Fournier
Of Ms. Fournier, her nominator Dr. Barbara Schapiro wrote:  “Amanda was one of only two students in my English 200 course of 20 to receive a full "A" as a final grade. She didn't miss a single class all semester and was always super prepared for discussion. She had not only read the assigned text, but had clearly thought about it, written notes, and prepared questions as well.  Amanda is also a clear and graceful writer whose papers were a pleasure to read. “

Emily Gamble
Of  Ms. Gamble, her nominator Dr. Mark Anderson wrote:  “She returned [to RIC] this semester and has produced some very impressive fiction in my Introduction to Creative Writing class, wonderfully precise and emotionally evocative in both imagery and diction.  I have seldom seen work at such a high level of sophistication in the introductory course.  I look forward eagerly to what she will produce in her next years here.”

Grace Kimmell
Ms. Kimmel was nominated by two of her professors, Dr Maureen Reddy and Dr. Barbara Schapiro.  Of Ms. Kimmell, Dr. Reddy writes: She is a terrific writer. Last term she began using those writing skills as a writer for the Anchor and I always look forward to her byline because her pieces are invariably thoughtful and well written. Last term, Grace served as the peer mentor for the HONR 150 (the equivalent of our new RIC 100 course). The students in the course raved about her. Dr. Schapiro writes:  “Always prepared, she consistently brought thoughtful questions and sensitive observations about the readings to discussion. She is also an exceptionally hard worker.”

Zachary Lopez
Of Mr. Lopez, his nominator Dr. Sue Abbotson wrote: “He is one of the best English students I have met at RIC—not only does he clearly LOVE literature, but he is well-read (both criticism and primary materials), thoughtful, and inventive—in other words all that we dream of our students being. He is constantly making insightful connections and shows no intimidation when faced with even the hardest material. He has the mind of a graduate student in an undergraduate body.”

Elizabeth Sullivan
Of Ms. Sullivan, her nominator Dr. Carrie Shipers writers:  “I was very impressed by her willingness to experiment with form and subject matter, as well as her insightful comments on class texts and other students' work.  She absolutely embodied the best qualities for a class like that--inquisitive and serious about learning her craft, but also brave and playful.”

Harrower Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a student of exceptional promise who has been accepted into the Masters degree program in English.  This year’s recipient is Danielle Lund.  Danielle has done superb work as a graduate assistant this year, working at the Writing Center and with Prof. Michaud, and she continues to excel as a student as well.

Barbara Schapiro Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a graduate student pursuing an MA in English who has at least a 3.0 GPA.
This year’s recipient is Danielle Lund.  It should be noted that the Graduate Committee was unanimous in its decision to award both these scholarships to Ms. Lund.

Betty M. Challgren Endowed Fund for Faculty Development this year is awarded to Dr. Carrie Shipers.  This award, endowed by Betty Challgren, a RIC MA in English, is given to a full-time faculty member for the purpose of research and/or creative endeavor.

Graduation with Honors in English and Honors in Creative Writing

To graduate with Honors in English or Honors in Creative Writing, a student must successfully complete an honors thesis.  Students explore in-depth projects of particular interest to them; they are afforded the opportunity to work intensively one-on-one with a faculty member of their choice; and they develop research, critical, and creative writing skills beyond the scope of the normal major. And, since theses are bound and catalogued in Adams Library, as well as digitized, students completing honors projects become published writers who are able to share their work with other students, academics, and the public. This year there are four students who will

Honors in English

Jessie Glantz: Catching a Tiger by the Tail: Calvin and Hobbes as Social Satire   May 2020 (advisor:  Dr. Joseph Zornado)
Few comics have had the following of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. Watterson’s power as a satirist is evident in his ability to both aately represent Calvin's childhood world and, at the same time, deconstruct it until its ridiculousness resonates with readers on a deeper level. Watterson’s biting wit betrays a deeper satirical vision: Calvin’s penchant for mayhem is a form of protest against the dominant ideology within which he finds himself confined; Calvin’s efforts to free himself—or at least his imagination—represents Watterson’s satire of the world as he saw it.  

Honors in Creative Writing

Sarah Hackworth, Taking off the Rose-Colored Glasses, Fall 2019 (advisor--Karen Lee Boren)
Sarah's thesis uses the theme of sexual coming-out as the jumping off point to consider just how wrenching it is to be human.  Experimenting with form, her stories challenge the notion that coming out is a moment, instead revealing it to be the multi-faceted and sometimes years-long process of exposing one's true self to others.  With bold language and a strong voice, Sarah's writing compels readers to take notice of what has been right in front of their eyes all along.

Alana Perez, Hushed Pulse, Fall 2019 (advisor--Carrie Shipers)
Alana has the ability to splash around in the deep end of history and still feels absolutely NOW.  Her distinct voice carries through with a range of diction any writer would admire, but she never loses control of her language despite her pushing form in compelling ways.

Anders Viera Dones, Lacunae, Fall 2019 (advisor--Karen Lee Boren)
Anders's thesis explores the most intricate elements of style.  Using the page as his playground, his stories range from the desolation of a dropped ice cream cone to the heartbreak and dislocation that distance and time foster in a family.  From the first word of his thesis, one can see Anders loves language, and through his storytelling, he translates this love to the page.

Sarah Carr, Ruptures: Trauma in Short Fiction, Spring 2020 (advisor--Karen Lee Boren)
In mature, insightful stories, Sarah's thesis explores the use of trauma as a narrative tool to shape plot and characterization through rupture.

Alexander Langlois, Minorities of One, Spring 2020 (advisor--Karen Lee Boren)
In timely stories with intriguing plots and strong character development, Alexander's thesis examines dystopian societies corrupted by ideologies taken to extremes.

Jordan Payeur, Other Worldly Glimpses, Spring 2020 (advisor--Karen Lee Boren)
Jordan's thesis demonstrates the use of different methods of world building in both "low fantasy" (in which a fantastic story takes place in a more or less realistic world) and "high fantasy" (set in a world very different from our own) through the use of granular detail and strong characterization.

Christine Quiroz, Love, a Friend, Spring 2020 (advisor--Carrie Shipers)
Christine's thesis explores issues of mental illness, the power of the mind to encourage or debilitate us, and of how we place ourselves in the world both personally and socially, in poems that are alternately raw and delicate, with an emphasis on formal experimentation and a remarkable ability to extend metaphors.

Sigma Tau Delta is the international honor society for English.  Nominations are by faculty and can be for undergraduate or graduate students or faculty.  This year’s inductees are Dr. Alison Shonkwiler, Chair of the English Department; graduate students Danielle Lund, Alexander Taber, and Alexandra Tilden; and undergraduate students Yesenia Abreu Moreira, Zachary Lopez, Victoria McGurn, and Anders Viera Dones.

Cap and Gown Awards

The Cap and Gown awards are graduating senior awards typically presented at the Cap and Gown Convocation.  We would like to take this opportunity to recognize the winners here.

The Spencer and Marguerite Hall Graduating Senior Award in English
The Spencer and Marguerite Hall Award is given annually to a graduating senior English major who has exhibited exemplary scholarship within the department as determined by GPA and the successful completion of an honors thesis.  This year's Hall Award goes to Jessie Glantz.

The Jean Garrigue Award for Creative Writing is given to a graduating senior English major who has submitted a portfolio of creative writing and won the annual competition.  This year’s Garrigue Award goes to Alexander Langlois.

Matthew Dicks, this year’s Garrigue judge, has chosen Alexander Langlois' "Funeral for a Crow" for this year's Garrigue Award.  He wrote, "One might think that the timeliness of judging a story about a pandemic during an actual pandemic might help separate it from the pack, but in truth, it was the clarity of the prose, the relentlessness of the plot, and the way that I found myself caring about these characters by page two that made the story land in my heart and mind with such force.  Congratulations to this talented writer."

The Jennifer S. Cook Award
This award recognizes a student who embodies the characteristics of Dr. Jennifer Cook, a revolutionary teacher and writer who saw her work as a calling and who modeled both the intellectual and human work of teaching every day in her own classroom. Dr. Cook was a champion of change, empowerment, voice, patience, perspective, and empathy in our classrooms and in our schools. This year’s Cook Award goes to Heather Kolaski and Kimberly Tack.

Page last updated: April 24, 2020