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Department of English

Student Achievements

DEPARTMENTAL HONORS

The English Department extends congratulations to the following 2019 graduates who have earned Departmental Honors:

Jane Lai, B.A., English with a Concentration in Creative Writing

Annabel Lamb, B.A., English with a Concentration in Creative Writing

Campbell Lee, B.A., English with a Concentration in Creative Writing

Alissa Malkemes, B.A., English


The English Department is pleased to announce the winners of its 2018-2019 awards. There were many eligible and competitive submissions for the writing prizes, and a strong field of candidates for all the awards. We congratulate this year’s winners, and thank our donors for their generosity.


Mallory A. Green – The English Merit Award
The annual English Merit Award honors a graduating English major for distinguished academic performance at Monmouth University. This year’s winner is Mallory A. Green of South Amboy, New Jersey, who has the highest overall GPA among English majors and has earned the respect of her professors for her consistently outstanding work in the classroom. Honored at this event two years ago with the department’s “Rising Junior” award, Mallory has fulfilled her potential not only by succeeding in her courses, but by working as an active tutor at Writing Services. Having, in her own words, “always had a love for writing,” her future ambitions include working in the publishing field, with the hopes of eventually working her way up to the position of editor, as well as publishing a book of her own and becoming a novelist. We are very happy to report that Mallory will be continuing to attend Monmouth this fall through our dual M.A./M.F.A. program.

Alissa A. Malkemes – The English Award for the Academic Writing Prize
The recipient of tonight’s English Award for the Academic Writing Prize is Alissa A. Malkemes. While she will be completing her B.A. and graduating with departmental honors in May, Alissa is currently starting our five-year program to earn her M.A. in English, and she is considering pursuing a future terminal degree. In her award-winning academic essay submission, “Approaching Alice,” Alissa discusses cinematic adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and considers how the famously surreal plotlessness of Carroll’s iconic works poses challenges and “sometimes opportunity” for their future adaptors. Elegantly written, theoretically fluent, and possessed throughout of an infectious love of its literary subjects, “Approaching Alice” is testament to the growing academic consensus that adaptation studies need not be a slavish exercise in book-versus-film comparisons.

Jenna C. Puglisi – The English Award for the Creative Writing Prize
This year, we have selected senior English major and public-relations minor, Jenna C. Puglisi, for our annual English Award for the Creative Writing Prize. Last summer, Jenna was the first English department student to participate in Monmouth University’s new Summer Scholars program, and she took advantage of that opportunity to produce a new collection of poems. Having an especially keen interest in creative non-fiction, Jenna is considering Monmouth’s new M.F.A. program while researching jobs in public relations. The award-winning submission is her short essay, “Misfits,” a lyrical ode to all broken and beautiful things, but especially treasured books, about which she writes: “I found myself wishing that the binding would remain stronger than my own body. I wanted my misfits to outlive me.” In these final words, she elegantly articulates the aspiration of her narrator as it overlaps with that of all artists–to create and preserve something singular, to honor the beauty of that which may seem broken to a less scrutinizing gaze.

Annabel K. Lamb – The English Award for Graduate Study
This year’s English Graduate Study Award goes to Annabel K. Lamb. A graduating English major with a concentration in creative writing, Annabel has been accepted to English M.A. programs at Fordham, NYU, and Southampton and a doctoral program at St John’s along with being waitlisted for a Ph.D. program at Boston University. She looks forward to one day teaching at the college level while maintaining an active scholarly research and publishing agenda. Earlier this year, as an undergraduate, Annabel presented her paper “Chronic Melancholy: The Duality of Memorialization in [Thomas Hardy’s] Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure” at the prestigious 33rd annual conference of Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) held in Dallas, TX.

Alexandra E. Zabel – The Caryl Sills English Teaching Award
The annual Caryl Sills English Teaching Award recognizes a graduating English/Education major who has exhibited both academic distinction and considerable promise as a future teacher. Our recipient this year is Alexandra E. Zabel, an English and elementary education major with a concentration in creative writing. Born in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Lexie has been inducted into a wide range of honors societies, including Sigma Tau Delta, Kappa Delta Pi (the International Honor Society in Education), and Omicron Delta Kappa (the National Leadership Honor Society), and she currently serves on the executive board for both the Council for Exceptional Children and the International Literacy Association chapter at Monmouth University. In her own words, she “aspire[s] to bring reading and writing into the classroom in an entertaining and educational way, so that students will gain a lifelong passion for literature.” We in the Department of English have every confidence that she will be a capable and transformative educator.

Felipe D. Estrada – The Rising Junior Award
Every other year, the Department of English bestows its Rising Junior Award on a sophomore English major who has demonstrated noteworthy academic potential. It is with singular enthusiasm that the Student Award Committee recognizes Felipe D. Estrada, an English and elementary education major of Long Branch, NJ, with this honor. An EOF Scholar, Felipe is also an active member of the Black Student Union and the Christian Club. He lists coaching, preaching, motivational speaking, and cutting hair as among his many altruistic community activities. In his deeply compelling literacy memoir, in which he memorably refers to the study of English as an “Endlessly Enthralling Endeavor,” Felipe credits a formative encounter with Homer’s The Odyssey as having helped him to appreciate what it might mean to “join the community of those who constantly talk about this epic.” Community is central to Felipe’s vision for his future, as he aspires to someday become a superintendent of schools and help to form “life-long readers and promote academic growth … not only in schools but in the community.”

Hunter W. Tedder – The David Tietge Memorial First-Year Composition Essay Award
Hunter W. Tedder, from Oakhurst, NJ, is majoring in business and minoring in journalism.  Hunter has always been attracted to controversy and welcomes the opportunity to write about topics he feels genuinely passionate about. Accordingly, he did not treat this winning essay as just another writing assignment, but instead wrote a provocative essay, entitled “The Charlatanic Culture of the University,” that strongly criticizes, but does not disparage, the post-secondary education system, contending that its ultimate aim should be to empower the student. Hunter’s essay argues, “An ideal education system would provide students with an opportunity to apply their special skills and knowledge toward their goal rather than being placed on a one-path track that is truly not fitting for them.” The Department of English could not agree more and is pleased to recognize Hunter with its First-Year Composition Academic Essay Award.

Angelina Sicoli – The David Tietge Memorial First-Year Composition Essay Award
The winner of this year’s First-Year Composition Researched Essay Award, Angelina Sicoli, is a business major with a concentration in economics. Angelina, who comes to Monmouth University from Pine Beach, NJ, aspires to become a market research analyst and is also considering the possibility of going to law school after graduation. Her essay, “The Bogeyman is the Savior of the 1970s,” explores the ways in which the “Bogeyman” and “Final Girl” archetypes in John Carpenter’s iconic slasher-film Halloween (1978) allegorize a conservative pushback against the increasingly hedonistic late 1970s culture of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, as well as how, in the film’s 2018 sequel, those conservative messages and archetypes are challenged and recalibrated via the depiction of a Millenial-era union of female empowerment ultimately defeating the “monster.”


Van Ness Book Cover

Sara Van Ness, student in the English Department’s M.A. Program, has written a book titled Watchmen as Literature: A Critical Study of the Graphic Novel, published by McFarland and Company in 2010.

The study began as a paper for an independent study and grew into her undergraduate thesis project, both under the direction of Dr. Stanley Blair of Monmouth University’s English Department. In addition, she completed some of her research and writing of the book during a graduate-level independent study with Dr. Blair in Spring 2009. The book explores the graphic novel’s reception in both popular and scholarly arenas, and how the conceptual relationship between images and words affects the reading experience. Other topics include heroism as a stereotype, the hero’s journey, the role of the narrator, and the way in which the graphic layout manipulates the reader’s perception of time and space.

Sara graduated summa cum laude in May 2008 from Monmouth University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and secondary education. Her thesis was awarded honors by both the Honors School and the English Department. As an undergraduate, she received the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Student Excellence and the New Jersey Distinguished Student-Teacher Award. She expects to complete her M.A. in English in Fall 2011.


MASTER’S THESES

Theses in Progress

Christopher D. Hankenson, “Long-Eared Epic: Watership Down and Questions of Readership.”

Theses Completed

Patrick O’Neill, Time As It Passed. Spring 2019.

Susan Schuld, “Dracula: An Intertextual, Byronic Romance.” Spring 2019. Distinction.

Sally Taylor Tawil, “The Measure of a Moment.” Spring 2019. Distinction.

Kaitlyn Trebour, “Technology and Composition: How Digital Technology Effects Adolescents’ Writing Processes.” Spring 2019.

Jeremy Mancino, “Terra Incognita.” Fall 2018.

Dawn McCloskey, “Conversing on Disability: Analyzing and Exploring How Scholars are Discussing Disability Studies, Discovering Disability in YA Literature, and Finding Disability Analyses in Composition Classrooms.” Fall 2018.

Daniel Murphy, Who is Daniel? Fall 2018. Distinction.

Michael Sefack, “What Do You Mean This Class Doesn’t Count? Negotiating the Challenges of Writing Placement in Two-Year Colleges.” Fall 2018. Distinction.

Connor White, “Waiting for the Sun.” Fall 2018.

Sara Basgaard, “Tentative Language Use in the Classroom: Who and Why, the Effects, the Influence of Gender, and Why Educators Need to Care.” Spring 2018.

Victoria DePaolo, “‘Thank You For Calling, How May I Help You?’ A Burkean Analysis of Agency as Established though Call Center Soft Skills Training Materials.” Spring 2018.

Christine DiBiase, “The Feminist Gothic: An Analysis of The Handmaid’s Tale. Preface: An Introduction to The Argument for Feminist Gothic.” Spring 2018.

John Francis, “The Queer Heroes of Horror: Gothic Entanglements with Queerness in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Let the Right One In, and Palimpsest.” Spring 2018.

Daphne Keller, “‘An Art of Humanity’: The Henry Street Narratives of Lillian D. Wald.” Spring 2018. Distinction.

Colleen King Oliver, “Unripe, Unsweet, Delicious.” Spring 2018.

Kimberly Morgan, “A Feminist Enquiry into Female Representations of the Sublime in Moby-Dick.” Spring 2018. Distinction.

Elizabeth White, “‘Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagined things’: Female Narrative Voice and the Young Adult Literary Canon.” Spring 2018.

Jenna Risden, “Re-gendering the Monarchy as The Queen’s Three Bodies: Spenser’s Use of the Body Politic as a Metaphor For England’s Political State in
The Faerie Queene.” Fall 2017.

Brian Turczmanovicz, “‘Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds:’ Mind Reading and Machiavellian Intelligence in Milton’s Satan and Shakespeare’s Cassius.” Fall 2017.

Kathryn Gehrsitz, “The Quest for the Female Hero and a Feminist Genre in Modern Young Adult Dystopian Literature.” Spring 2017. Distinction.

Ivy Hollander, “Incorporating Modernism into the Secondary Education Classroom through Studying The Sun Also Rises and Mrs. Dalloway.” Spring 2017. Distinction.

Kevin Holton,. Absolute Zero. Spring 2017.

Avi Lejbik,” Pride Prejudice and Zombies An Evaluation of Austen’s Vision of Socially Circulating Rhetoric.” Spring 2017.

Talon Ribsam, A Warm Chill Threatens. Spring 2017.

David Robbins, Cascadia. Spring 2017.

Nicholas Segreto, Monster City. Spring 2017.

Sara Haight, “Bipolar Chronicles.” Fall 2016.

Stefanie Kyak, “The Play’s the thing, Wherein I’ll Catch the Conscience of the King”: Mise en Abyme and Psychoanalysis in Christopher Nolan’s Inception and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.” Fall 2016. Distinction.

Heather Altz, “J.M. Synge’s Subversive Archetypes.” Spring 2016. Distinction.

Philip Blizzard, “The Guarantee Group.”  Spring 2016.

Courtney Castelli, “Every Colored Girl Had Been Born With One.” (Un)doing Race, Gender, and Sexuality in James Baldwin’s Another Country. Spring 2016.

Taylore Glynn, “Orchidelirium.” Spring 2015. Distinction.

Rebecca Gokberk, “Food for Thought: A New Approach to Analyzing Literary Cookbooks.”  Spring 2016.

Faten Hafez, “Jane Austen: The Acts of Implication in Two Centuries of Criticism.” Spring 2016.

Abigail Maguire, “Doll Parts.”  Spring 2016.

Christina Riso, “Welcoming Alternative Media into the Academy: Benefits of the Zine.”  Spring 2016.

Kayla Sorbara, “The Poem and the Pomegranate: How Ancient Greek Myth Influences Feminist Theory in Evan Boland’s ‘The Pomegranate’ and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill’s Persephone Suffering from SAD.'”  Spring 2016.

Ariana Tepedino, “Gilded Trans-America: The California Gold Rush and Maupin’s Tales of the City.” Spring 2016. Distinction.

Erin Fu, “Looking Through the Kaleidoscope: Into the Genre(s) of Moll Flanders,” Fall 2015. Distinction.

Md. Shahriar Kabir, “Carol Kennicott’s Articulation of Voice in Main Street by Sinclair Lewis,” Fall 2015.

Emily Scarano, “The Rhetoric of Slam Poetry and its Potential in the College Writing Classroom.” Fall 2015.

Lisa Sofranko, “Taking Care.” Fall 2015.

Chris Bogart, “The Beast,” Spring 2015.

Eric Brown, “The Movement of Words: Misprision, Re(mis)interpretation, and Meaning in Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker and Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz,” Spring 2015.

Lauren Freda, “Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: Fourth Wave Feminism,” Spring 2015.

Amara Hand, “The Other Side of the Game: The Rhetorical Alterity of Contemporary Hip Hop,” Spring 2015.

Megan Miguelino, “Through the War-Drobe: The Restoration of National Identity and Hope in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” Spring 2015.

Danielle Pelose, “‘Fire Is Catching’: Rhetorically Igniting the Spark between Young Adult Literature and “L”iterature,” Spring 2015.

Amy Schulze, “‘Such Odious Subjects’ as Sex and Sapphism: The Obscene, Unseen, and Mundane in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness,” Spring 2015.

Hannah Tichansky, “Paranoid Rhetoric and Spatial Obsession: Elizabeth Bowen, Kenneth Burke, and the Blitz,” Spring 2015.

Kerry Bogert, “Therapy for Muggles: Exploring Representations of Trauma and Mental Illness in Fantasy Fiction,” Spring 2014.

Corinne Cavallo, “Homeless Texts of Trauma: Elie Wiesel’s Night and the Argument of Omittance,” Spring 2014. Distinction.

Amanda Connelly, “Who the Fuck is Moi? The Effects of Consumer Culture on Identity and Reality in Brett Easton Ellis’s Glamorama,” Spring, 2014. Distinction.

Eric Farwell, “Minor Pisces,” Spring 2014.

Samantha Glassford, “‘Mysteries of Word and Glance’: Verbal and Nonverbal Traumatic Coping Mechanisms in DeLillo’s Falling Man,” Spring 2014.

Kayla Helfrich, “The Fire Starter,” Spring 2014.

Michael Mifka, “Chronicling Chinaski: Bukowski’s Ham on Rye and Lower-Class, Ethnic Male Adolescence,” Spring 2014.

Joshua Rademacher, “Were Here, We’re Queer, But Who Are We?,” Spring 2014.

Candice Belluscio, “Bound to Marriage: A Critical Analysis of Marriage in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice,” July 2013.

Alessandra Chai, “Writing the Self for Healing in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Are You My Mother?,” Spring 2013

Martyna J. Dobkiewicz, “Bite,” Spring 2013. Distinction.

Matthew Hall, “Bear in the Basement,” Spring 2013. Distinction.

Anita Komareth, “Clarissa’s Exemplary Morality,” Spring 2013.

Jennifer Lyons, “Of Canons and Cauldrons: Harry Potter, National Culture, and Canon Exclusivity,” Spring 2013.

Amanda Bennett Morey, “No Child Left Behind as a Rhetorical Situation: ‘Accountability and Flexibility’ Will Leave Schools Behind,” Spring 2013.

Bernadette Sabatini, “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue: Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse in the Middle Ages,” Spring 2013.

Lauren Schmidt, “(Ir)Responsible Rhetoric: Ron Unz and English for Children,” Spring 2013.

Patryk Zielonka, “The War to End All Boys,” Spring 2013.

Christine Bryant, “Lost Daughter,” Spring 2012.

Nicholas Cariddo, “The Morro Castle” a full length play, Spring 2012.

Erin Carroll, “Oranges, Lemons, and the Decline of the Traditional Mother Figure in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four,” Fall 2012.

Matthew Cinnirella, “Sleep With Me,” Spring 2012.

Nicole Evegan, “The Best American Short Stories: Illustrating the Tension in Race Politics,” Spring 2012.

Maria Geiger, “Chaucer’s Orthodoxy in the Age of Lollardy: Gentilesse in The Wife of Bath’s Tale, The Parson’s Tale, and “Gentilesse, Moral Balade of Chaucier,” Spring 2012.

Bruce MacBeth, “Making Me Sick: The Rhetoric of Pharmaceutical Marketing,” Fall 2012.

Audrey Marcu-McGowan, “Small and Large Collaborative Group Work to Promote Learning In Freshman Composition Courses at Community Colleges,” July 2012

Amy B. Monahan, “How to Polish the “Perfectly Polished Floor” and Write About It, Too: Life, Death, and the Domestic Aesthetic, or Poemesticity, of Linda Pastan,” Spring 2012.

Kimberly Morté, “Jumping the Great White: Kiana Davenport’s Shark Dialogues as American Literature,” Spring 2012. Distinction.

Linda Johnston Muhlhausen, “MY OUT- CAST STATE, An Elizabethan Tragedy. A play in III acts,” Spring 2012.

Elizabeth Myers, “Negotiating Between Adult Author and Young Adult Audience: Characterization in House of Many Ways,” Spring 2012

Pamela Quillamor, “Will the Real Prufrock Please Stand Up? Misogyny in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot and Eminem,” Spring 2012.

Kristin Dexnis Rosengrant, “Double Duty, A Novel in Progress,” Spring 2012.

Mariana Sierra, “Isla,” Spring 2012. Distinction.

John A. Tesauro III, “From the Inside Looking Out: Society’s Fringe,” Spring 2012.

Frank Gogol, “Broken” and “Weeds”: Short Fiction, Fall 2011.

Sara Van Ness, “Ah Pook is Where? Authorship, Textuality, and Contingency,” August 2011. Distinction.

Alexis Anderson, “Deconstructing Post Race, Reception and Language (Linguistics): Richard Wright’s Native Son,” Spring 2011.

Nicole Gough, “Cajun Dialect and Identity in Ernest Gaines’ A Gathering of Old Men,” Spring 2011.

Veronica Guevara, “Genre Subversion in Where the Senoritas Are: A Play in Two Acts,” Spring 2011.

Sara Krainski, “Waste,” Spring 2011.

Lois Levine, “Charlotte Temple and the Making of America’s First Best Seller,” Spring 2011.

Tracy Lisk, “The Role of Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote in the Progression of Female Characters and Writers from Romance to Novel,” Spring 2011.

Sharon Murphy, “Gender Entrapment in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss and Jane Campion’s The Piano,” Spring 2011.

Walter Przybylowski, “Written Screen/Filmed Page,” Spring 2011.

Brianne Sardoni, “Pedagogy of Composition Theory and Synthesis of Methodology,” Spring 2011.

Heather Steimel, “Domestic Disturbances,” Spring 2011.

Matthew Wheeler, “Enchanting Masculinity: Women and Warrior Culture in Malory’s Morte Darthur,” Spring 2011.

Shanna Williams, “Postcolonial Feminism,” Spring 2011.