2021 English Undergraduate Awards

Outstanding First-Year Students

Haylee Blystone
Grace Buckley
Andrew Corey
Valerie Fiore
Amanda Haman
Hailie Hearn
Alexis Jackson
Heather Jackson
Emily Kline
Michaela Lenhart
Garrison Lutch
Christina Lyttle
Abigail McKibben
Jenna Painter
Payton Smathers
Rebecca Sulava
Kailey Swope
Joshua Tozer

Wendy Carse Sophomore Scholars

Kylie Barrett
Regan Covert
Katelynn Cramer
Leslie Folino
Haley Hibsman
Luke Kennelly
Julie Kopp
Jessica Morse
Casidhe Shetter
Tanner Snyder
Delaney Stitt

T. Kenneth Wilson Junior Scholars

Leah Bogert
Jared Burkhardt
Emily Buseck
Gabriella Byrne
Allison Carl
Samuel Cunningham
Marti Easter
Sydney Edwards
Shaye Emerick
Kevin Figueroa
Jacie Martin
Bryce McElhinny
Dana Minser
Elijah Minteer
Alayna Pesce
Kaycee Reesman
Isis Truxon

William Betts Senior Scholars

Amiranda Adams
Cassidy Black
Haley Cook
Triona Fant
Elizabeth Heller
Sadie Jobe
Toni Juart
Taylor Juszynski
Nicole Pomazanski
Asher Rehn
Michael Shuss
Sasha Slater
Quinn Smith
Ryn James
Jared Swansboro
Shania Turner
Shania Turner
Hollie Williams

First-Year Student of the Year – English Education

Abigail McKibben

Second-Year Student of the Year – English Education

Regan Covert

Third-Year Student of the Year – English Education

Shaye Emerick

Valedictorian – English Education

Hollie Williams

First-Year Student of the Year – BA English

Valerie Fiore

Second-Year Student of the Year – BA English

Leslie Folino

Third-Year Student of the Year – BA English

Leah Bogert

Valedictorian – BA English

Nicole Pomazanski

Outstanding English Intern

Shania Turner

Undergraduate Writing Awards

Creative Nonfiction

First Prize: Quinn Smith, “To Even Exist”

This piece captured settings with feeling and gripping details. The writer reveals the reality of stress, both financial and academic, and the idea that a gig can also be a welcome distraction.

Second Prize:  Dana Minser, “Epistle to Writing Freedom”

Clever! The writer personifies bad writing pedagogy in schools while inspiring in us a hope for a better way to learn to write.

Third Prize:   Samuel Richard Cunningham, “My Time as The Pizza Guy”

Great storytelling about rural Western PA roads, settings, and people. The writer brings each situation to life.

Honorable Mention:  Kylie Barrett,  “I Brought You Flowers”

A lovely testament to the writer’s father through reflections on place and pivotal moments.

Critical Essay

First Prize:  Jacob Wilt, “’Truth is a Hungry Thing’: Exploring Critical Patriotism in Randy Ribay's Patron Saints of Nothing”  The judges called this essay “thoughtful and original” and suggested that it “had the most potential direct impact.”

Second Prize:  Kylie Barrett, “A Walkthrough of Asian American Racism.”  The judges called this essay “timely, important, and well-written. It deals with a crucial topic in our times and does so in a researched and expository fashion.”

Third Prize:  Quinn Smith, “Shakespeare Companions: Friendship as a Plot Device.”  The judges said that “the essay was quite an original approach and highly engaging.”

Short Fiction

First Prize:  Hannah Young, “Panic Room.”

Second Prize:  Kylie Barrett, “Aphelion”

Third Prize:  Maren Krizner, “Seven Things You Should Know”

Honorable Mention:  Devan Ghee, “The Accident”

Pedagogical Writing

First Prize: Quinn Smith, “Story Device for Hybrid Teaching”

This lesson plan is designed for seventh graders studying dystopian literature. It presents diverse techniques, such as Flashback, Suspense, Cliffhanger, and Foreshadowing, that are part of stories the students read. After the teacher defines and discusses each technique, the students identify them in the stories presented to them at the end of the unit. This allows the students to understand the definition of each story device before identifying them from the story, and ultimately drafting a sample

Second Prize: Katherine Neiswender, “ESL Personal Narrative Unit Plan”

This lesson plan shows strong detail in planning and clear anchors in research for choices made. The sections on how English Language Learners are accommodated in subject content courses as well as the procedures demonstrate clear understanding of the utility of personal narrative assignments for Learners with diverse linguistic repertoire. This is good work, evidencing clear thinking and demonstrating valued pedagogical moves.

Play- and Screenwriting

First Prize: Maren Krizner, “Funeral for Nan”

A Black Mirror-esque, metaphysical tour-de-force, this staggeringly effectively experimental piece brilliantly plays off the concept of the Rorschach test. As the narrative unspools, siblings at their grandmother’s funeral switch between interpreting the meaning of lighthouses, broken dishes, and houses on fire projected onto an otherworldly blank screen to sharing their innermost thoughts about one another as they grope for some sense of comfort amidst their grief.

Second Prize: Hailie Hearn, “I’mma Dragon You to Court”

This playful pun-and-joke-filled deconstruction of traditional fairytale tropes, imagines an (alleged) princess-abducting dragon, the princess herself, and a knight of questionable judgment battling it out in court to win not treasure but the label of truth for their skewed version of events. A fun ride through the legal system and the subjectivity of the stories we tell, this piece deserves a place beside such comic triumphs as The Princess and The Bride.

Poetry

First Prize: Quinn Smith, “The Stranger”

In “The Stranger,” the poet employs strong imagery and sensory detail to create an emotionally evocative scene that reverberates long after reading. The judges especially admired how the speaker’s act of remembering of a childhood experience is connected to their sense of smell, and how the theme of alienation is captured in an exploration of a family member's substance abuse.

Second Prize: Maren Krizner, “2053: A Vanishing Act”

This set of interconnected poems set in the future showcases an impressive facility with several different poetic styles and voices connected by startling, ethereal imagery and gripping sensory detail.

Workplace Writing 

First Prize: Leslie Folino, "The Integration of Meeting Owl Pro Cameras in Bethel Park: A Proposal”

Leslie Folino's formal proposal is a timely and professional business proposal to sell five Owl cameras to Bethel Park High School. for the purposes of remote instruction. Her document clearly demonstrated how strong academic writing skills should transition to the professional and future career environment of students.

A Special Message:

The faculty organizers and judges of the writing contests would like to extend their appreciation to all English majors who submitted entries and through their writing help keep literature alive.