Student Awards and Achievements

Submitted by Henry J Laufenberg on
Congratulations to English undergraduate Marquis Wright, 2019 Husky 100 awardee.

English Department Husky 100’s

Each year, the Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students in all areas of study who are making the most of their time at the UW Bothell, Seattle, or Tacoma campuses.  We are proud to announce that English department graduate student Sarah Faulkner and creative writing undergraduate student Marquis J. Wright are among the students selected for this honor.  Each student awarded this honor explains how their work relates to the Husky 100 Award’s core value of “actively connect[ing] what happens inside and outside of the classroom and apply[ing] what they learn to make a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future.”  Below, our department’s awardees explain how they fulfill this standard.

Sarah Faulkner -- of whom you are no doubt aware, given her prominence in English Matters past few issues (and this one too) -- describes her contribution as follows: “I encourage our UW and greater Seattle community to form meaningful connections to and through literature. Whether it’s celebrating the bicentenaries of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley through public scholarship events, teaching my magical Harry Potter composition course, or mentoring teachers through the UW in the High School program, I believe that the generative processes of reading and writing foster not only critical thinking, but also delight, passion, creativity, and interpersonal connections.”

Marquis Wright describes his good work thusly: “My time at the UW has been channeled into marginalized identity exploration through organizational work and writing projects, through groups like the Brotherhood Initiative, Delta Lambda Phi: Washington’s only queer-centered fraternity, and Queer People of Color Alliance. Last Spring, I was selected to be a Playwright for the Undergraduate Theater Society’s New Works Festival, and wrote “Ricochet” – a play about navigating the intersections of religion, club culture, and queer identity in 1985, performed in March 2019.”

Congratulations Sarah and Marquis!


Undergraduate Student Awards and Achievements

2019 President's Medalist Elise Stefanou
Elise Stefanou received the 2017-2018 Junior President's Medal.  Elise is one of only three undergraduates to receive this award, perhaps the most prestigious available to undergraduates campus-wide.  She is editor of the campus undergraduate neuroscience journal, Grey Matters (English Matters shakes fist in mock outrage at other publication’s similar yet clearly more clever title), a Thomas Lederman Endowed Scholar, and a student  in the Honors Program track.  Read Elise’s profile on the Undergraduate Academic Affairs’ webpage here.  Well done, Elise, congratulations!

Madeline Vaught, English undergraduate honors student (double major with Dance), has been awarded a position as gonfaloniere for this year's commencement ceremony.  Each year, the College of Arts & Sciences chooses six gonfalonieres—banner carriers—to represent the College at the UW Seattle Commencement ceremony and to lead undergraduate students into Husky Stadium.  Gonfalonieres are graduating seniors who exemplify the College’s core values of excellence, inquiry, community, accountability, integrity and citizenship.  Here you’ll find Madeline, along with all of UW’s 2019 Gonfalonieres, profiled for the occasion.  Congratulations!

Alyson Podesta is founding editor of the new campus arts and culture magazine, Pacific Wave, a spin-off of the UW Daily. In one of the publication’s first articles, Alyson used materials developed in Frances McCue’s Honors Seminar to write a fine sweep of Seattle literary history that includes much about our department. It’s a really nice piece you can read here.


Graduate student Awards and Achievements

Nancy Bartley was among six Fulbright Scholars chosen to address the World Affairs Council in late March.  Also worth noting is that Nancy’s feature-film script was a finalist at the Vancouver International Women in Film and Television conference.  And finally, her travel story “Almost Blonde in Nepal” received a gold medal from the Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing.  It will be included in an upcoming book from the Travelers' Tales series. 

Chelsea Grimmer was awarded a Simpson Center Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics grant in support of public scholarship titled "The Poetry Vlog: A Coalition for Public Scholarship Initiative."  Visit Grimmer’s The Poetry Vlog website, a cornucopia of media on all things poetry.

Jessica Holmes has been awarded a 2019 Mellon Summer Fellowship for Public Projects in the Humanities, supported by the Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics initiative at the Simpson Center.  The fellowship will support Jessica's project "Teaching Public Activism."

Rachel Yim has likewise been awarded a Simpson Center Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship grant for work on her project “Speculative Race and Technology in Narrative Hypertext.”

Marianne Manzler has been selected for the Vermont Studio Center Residency.  Marianne is a Fullbright fellow, co-founded the Black Jaw Literary Series, serves as Prose Editor for the Seattle Review, and maintains a highly-perusable professional website.  Enjoy Vermont Marianne!

Phillip Russell
Phillip Russell published a creative nonfiction essay in Entropy Magazine, “The Only Black Man in Medina, North Dakota.”  English Matters will grace you with the first paragraph, after which we’re 100-point-100 percent you’ll  click the above link and continue:

When we pulled in the campground owner was waiting for us in a pick-up truck that had seen better days. We’d called early asking for firewood. Rolling down his window he said, “I’ve got your wood all setup at your spot already.” He was a stocky man with brown hair peeking out from beneath his dusty baseball cap, his tanned skin like well-worn leather. When he smiled, wrinkles surfaced around his eyes. He had a carpenter’s hands, bulbous from years of abuse. I want to say that his truck was red with a wide white stripe racing around the sides, but that could simply be me projecting my idea of what it should look like to properly personify this place. He looked surprised to see us when we rolled down our windows, or maybe just me, the only black guy in the group. It made me wonder if I was the first black man he’d seen in the flesh in the last decade.

Ph.D. student Nancy Fox’s article, "Aretē: 'We As Black Women,'" was published in the Journal of Veterans Studies (February 2019). “Aretē” is a chapter from Nancy’s dissertation, “American Athena: A Feminist Sophistic Analysis of the Discourses of Women Servicemembers,” and was funded by the Andrew Hilen Graduate Fellowship.

Holly Gilman recently had an article published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Writing Assessment titled “Are We Whom We Claim to Be? A Case Study of Language Policy in Community College Writing Placement Practices.” Holly’s article focuses on tacit language policies embedded in the placement practices of a local community college. 

Two of our graduate students have been awarded the UW English Department’s Hermione and Louis Brown Graduate Publication Prize:

Patrick Milian, for his article “‘A Quickening of the Heart’: Night Mail, Paul Bunyan, and the Multimodal Rhythms of Late Modernism."

And Chelsea Grimmer for her article “Racial Microbiopolitics: Flint Lead Poisoning, Detroit Water Shut Offs, and The ‘Matter’ of Enfleshment."

Likewise, four more recent graduate students have secured the English Department’s Heilman Dissertation Prize for their outstanding dissertations:

 Erik Jaccard, dissertation "Speculative Fiction, Catastrophe, and the Devolutionary Imagination in Postwar Britain.”

 Jane Wong, dissertation "Going Toward the Ghost: The Poetics of Haunting in Contemporary Asian American Poetry." 

Emily Bald, dissertation "Affective Time: American Realism as Resynchronization, 1860-1910."

Zachary Tavlin, dissertation "Glancing Visions: American Literature Beyond the Gaze."

Congratulations to all of our students who’ve displayed the sort of distinction and excellence for which the University of Washington English Department is widely known.  Please note that the last six awards listed above are funded by munificent and concerned members of the English department’s greater community.  Our ability to provide quality education to the next generation of scholars and leaders in our field depends on people like you lending support to promising students like Patrick, Chelsea, Erik, Jane, Emily, Zach and many others.  Please visit the English Department’s support page today to explore myriad ways in which your generous contribution can be applied in advancing our constantly renewing crew of bright young minds.