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Department of English

Student Achievements

The English Department is pleased to announce the winners of its 2016-2017 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.


Brittany T. Cote – The English Merit Award
Little did Brittany Cote suspect, when she transferred to Monmouth in 2016 and decided her major would be English, that by her Senior year, she would have earned one of the highest GPAs among graduating students in the major, the respect of her professors for her outstanding work in the classroom, and their sincere appreciation for her service as a student worker in the department. During her time at MU, she has parlayed her self-described “passions in the field of English” into positions as an Associate Editor for The Monmouth Review, a Contributing Writer and Copy Editor for The Outlook, and an Editorial Intern at Entangled Publishing, a boutique press whose titles are distributed by MacMillan. Upon graduating this spring, she is looking forward to finding a full-time position in publishing and enrolling in a master’s program in English.

Malia L. Padalino – The English Award for the Academic Writing Prize
This year’s undergraduate prize for Academic Writing goes to Malia Padalino for her essay, “Challenges and Strategies of Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition in Adults.” In this discussion of why learning new words in a second language can be difficult for adults and methods that can assist them in this process, Malia showed an ability to synthesize challenging, often technical information into an engaging discussion. Malia is an English major with a Concentration in Creative Writing and minors in Professional Writing and Spanish. She is a member of the Honors School, as as the Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Tau Delta, and Sigma Delta Pi honor societies, and this year, is serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Monmouth Review and Vice President of the International Literary Association (ILA). In the future, Malia hopes to work in publishing and further her English studies in graduate school.

Annabel K. Lamb – The English Award for the Creative Writing Prize
The winner of this year’s undergraduate Creative Writing Award is Annabel Lamb, for her short story, “The Lobster and the Filling Pot.” Throughout this moral mediation, diagram of heartbreak, portrait of a psyche, and homage to a master, Lamb’s propulsive and lyrical prose captivates, arresting the reader’s attention with such haunting lines as, “Everything tastes better when it’s shot through with fear.” Annabel is an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing and is being inducted tonight into Sigma Tau Delta. She has been actively researching graduate programs in English, with goals of pursuing either an MFA or PhD.

Madison B. Hlavach – The English Award for Graduate Study
Every year, the English Department’s Graduate Study Award recognizes a student who will be commencing graduate study in the upcoming academic year. This year’s recipient is Madison B. Hlavach, who will be pursuing a Masters degree in English with a concentration in Composition and Rhetoric here at Monmouth. She is an active member of Sigma Tau Delta and a familiar face to many student writers at Monmouth, thanks to her dedicated work as an Undergraduate Writing Assistant in the university’s Center for Writing Services. Madison particularly credits her fervent interest in the study of Rhetoric to the late Dr. David Tietge. In her own words, she notes that if not “for Dr. Tietge and the four classes that I was lucky enough to take with him, my love for rhetoric, language, and composition would have never flourished. His everlasting influence, love for language, and teaching will always guide my studies.”

Susan E. Schuld – The Caryl Sills English Teaching Award
This year’s winner of the Caryl Sills English Teaching Award, offered annually to a senior English & Education double major who demonstrates academic excellence and outstanding promise as an English teacher, is Susan Schuld. She was the first student to pilot Monmouth University’s new Teacher Residency Program and is currently student teaching at Middletown High School South. She competed her Honors Thesis in Service-Learning Education and recently presented at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education National Conference in Baltimore, MD. Her future plans include completing her Masters of Arts in English Literature here at Monmouth University through the Five Year Program and obtaining a full-time secondary teaching position that will enable her to share with her students her love for theatre and her commitment to service-learning education.

Daniel M. Murphy – The Joyce Carol Oates Award
This year’s winner of the Joyce Carol Oates Award for graduate creative writing, a prestigious prize made possible through the generosity of the eponymous author herself, is Daniel Michael Murphy. A graduate of Towson University with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Murphy is currently in his second-year at Monmouth as an English M.A. student with a concentration in Creative Writing. In addition to serving the English Department as a graduate assistant, he has provided fact-checking for Professor Alex Gilvarry’s recent novel, Eastman Was Here and has worked as a Teaching Assistant with Dr. Courtney Werner and Dr. Mary Kate Azcuy. A 2018 New York State Summer Writers Institute Scholarship Nominee and a 2017 Chautauqua Writers’ Festival scholarship recipient, his creative work has appeared in Proto, Black Heart Magazine and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Daniel won the prize on the basis of a superb excerpt from his novel in progress where his protagonist (also named Daniel Murphy), struggles epically to overcome both such banal problems as retrieving $20 from the floor of a deli and such serious problems as a stolen car, estrangement from his family, health and insurance issues, and a case of mistaken identity that results in his becoming embroiled in a scandal involving the so-called alt-right and a fringe “men’s rights” group. In this deft and relevant farce, the real Daniel Murphy insightfully tackles the schisms of identity that result from technology and ambition run amok and crafts a clueless everyman for our time. Funny and forceful, this excerpt showcases the talents of a fiction writer on the rise. After Monmouth, Daniel plans on continuing his fiction studies and pursuing opportunities as a college professor.

Gianna T. Marano – The First Year Composition Essay Award
The winner of this year’s First-Year Composition Academic Essay Award, Gianna Marano, is a biology and secondary education major from Toms River, New Jersey. Gianna discovered that writing seems to come naturally to her while taking an AP English course in high school. Her essay, entitled “Social Media, Attention Deficit, and the Generation Paying the Price,” reflects her interest in human biology, evolution, and social issues. In her thoughtful and timely discussion, Gianna speculates, “Technology could be the cause of a culturally-induced evolutionary change in our genetics–one that could lead to generations of attention deficit disorders and an inability to form concrete social skills.”

Megan E. Free – The First Year Composition Essay Award
Megan Free, winner of the First-Year Composition Researched Essay Award, is a nursing major from White Township, New Jersey. Megan’s study of anatomy and physiology in high school helped her discover her calling, yet she is also fascinated by the humanities. Her researched essay, simply titled “Science and Religion,” examines the age-old conflict between these two ways of knowing. Drawing upon history, religion, physics, and literature to build a strong case for why science and religion need not be seen as incompatible, Megan concludes that “even on this modern plane of existence…science and religion have the capacity to coexist peacefully and harmoniously within a person’s life.”


Van Ness Book Cover

Sara Van Ness, student in the English Department’s MA 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 MA 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

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.