The Monmouth University Department of English extends its deepest thanks and appreciation to Associate Professor Emerita of English Caryl Sills for her ongoing generosity. Dr. Sills, donor for the teaching award that bears her name, joined Monmouth’s Department of English in 1986, serving as chair from 1996 through 2006, the year of her retirement.
We also extend our sincere gratitude to Monmouth University’s First-Year Advising; in addition to the hard work they do all year around, they generously contributed to the First- Year Composition awards.
After graduation, she plans to return to her hometown of Miami, Florida to pursue a career in sports journalism and broadcasting. Sophia’s winning essay offers an engaging New Historicist foray into how Allen Ginsberg’s anthemic 1959 poem, “America,” emerged from and responded to its cultural context: the beats’ and squares’ battle for the soul of postwar America. Demonstrating an impressive fluency with documentary and archival evidence, Sophia draws on contemporary journalistic accounts and interviews to weave a rich tapestry of a fascinating period and consider how Ginsberg’s crucial poem captures the spiritual, quixotic, proudly profane, and deeply American voice of a movement.
Melanie hopes to inspire a love for reading (specifically mysteries!) in others, which she has sought to do by slipping more than a few of her all-time favorite mystery novels into the donation box for Sigma Tau Delta’s annual “Blind Date with a Book” series. She plans to continue writing mysteries in the future, along with adding to her collection of Agatha Christie novels, which she picks up at used bookstores in every city she visits.
Despite her being involved in all these varied organizations and activities, Skylar has somehow found the time to research and write two honors theses. For her English departmental honors research project, Skylar has worked with Dr. Courtney Werner to develop a project which examines the integration of service-learning into college English courses. And in her second thesis for the Honors School, Skylar has worked with Drs. Jeffrey Jackson and Sue Starke to develop a project that argues for the necessity of studying Victorian “penny dreadfuls” to fully appreciate the historical context that produced the anonymously authored nineteenth-century serial domestic romance, The String of Pearls (a.k.a., Sweeney Todd). Following graduation, Skylar plans on applying to graduate school to pursue an M.A. and an eventual doctorate in English with a concentration on nineteenth-century British literature, which she hopes will position her advantageously to attain her ultimate career goal of researching Victorian serial novels, British gothic fiction, and Victorian crime fiction through Marxist, Psychoanalytical, and historical lenses.
David M. Tietge Memorial First-Year Composition Essay Awards
Although membership in Sigma Tau Delta is offered annually to English majors who have demonstrated superior achievement in both general academics and in literary studies, the society’ s activities are open to all university students, faculty, and local communities.
Delta Sigma Chapter Executive Board
SIGMA TAU DELTA OATH
I shall endeavor to advance the study of literature, to encourage worthwhile reading, to promote the mastery of written expression, and to foster a spirit of community among those who specialize in the study of the English language and of literature, ever keeping in mind our international motto: Sincerity, Truth, Design.
Jenna Van Sant
“We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.”