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  • Student Achievements

    The English Department is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015-2016 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.

    Gage H. Sands - The English Merit Award
    Gage has distinguished herself by her contributions in the classroom and by earning an exceptionally high grade point average in the English major. According to her instructors, “Gage is not only prepared, but is genuinely invested. Her comments demonstrate forethought and reflection, as well as an uncommon ability to connect ideas and speak to their relevance across different courses in the major.” For all these and other reasons, she is this year’s winner of the department’s highest honor.

    Sarah Lewis - The English Award for the Academic Writing Prize
    Sarah Lewis is this year’s winner of the Academic Writing Prize, awarded annually for the best scholarly essay submitted in an undergraduate course in the major. Lewis’s well-researched and thoughtfully positioned essay, “Resisting Colonialist Discourse: An Analysis of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,” provides an insightful discussion of the strategies Achebe deploys in order to create a powerful novel that effectively resists the will of colonial discourse to assign Africa to the category of “Other.”

    Michelle M. Bermudez - The English Award for the Creative Writing Prize
    Michelle Bermudez, the winner of this year’s Creative Writing Prize, shows the strength of a writer who can convey emotion without overstatement through scene, character, and dialogue. She’s using all of the right tools to depict the complex and nuanced nature of close relationships. Like Junot Diaz’s New Jersey, Bermudez gives us her world, both recognizable and personal. Under her careful eye, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. 

    Sarah M. McGrail - The English Award for Graduate Study
    This year's English Award for Graduate Study, recognizing English majors for their meritorious academic achievements in English with a prize that will help defray tuition costs for the first year of full-time graduate study in English, has been awarded to Sarah McGrail. An exceptionally talented writer of psychologically astute and evocative short fiction, Sarah is a former winner of the English department’s Creative Writing Prize and will begin her studies toward an MFA at Adelphi University this coming Fall semester.

    Zachary C. Bessette - The Caryl Sills English Teaching Award
    The Caryl Sills Teaching Award honors juniors and seniors double-majoring in English and Education with a minimum GPA of 3.0 who, in addition to academic excellence, exhibit great promise as teachers. This year, the award goes to Zachary Bessette, one of the department’s top majors who, in the words of one of his instructors, evidences considerable potential not only because he is “conscientious, thorough, and engaged” but because of his “willingness to acknowledge the difficulties and challenges that teaching presents and his commitment to using these challenges as opportunities for personal growth as a future educator.”

    Taylore A. Glynn - The Joyce Carol Oates Award 
    Thanks to a generous gift from novelist, Joyce Carol Oates, the English Department is fortunate to be able to announce Taylore Glynn as the winner of this annual award for outstanding achievement in graduate-level creative writing. Her work reminds us that poetry is the destiny of language. Her series of nine unique poems demonstrates an accomplished voice, full of exuberant expression and experience. Longing, wisdom, seduction, love—these are Glenn’s platforms in which she searches for emotional truth.

    Megan F. Fleitz - The Freshman Researched Essay Award 
    The winner of the English department’s First-Year Research-Based Writing Prize is Megan Fleitz. Her moving essay, “The Effects of the Syrian War on Children,” draws on a range of sources to make the case that we should be deeply concerned about the war’s impact on the education and mental and physical health of not only this generation, but also future generations of Syrian children. Megan is a political science major with plans to also minor in chemistry.

    Roushan Damaghi - The Freshman Academic Essay Award
    Roushan Damaghi’s thoughtful and assured essay, “Physical and Empathetic Connections,” which argues that empathy can develop through virtual relationships, is the winner of the English department’s First-Year Academic Writing Prize. Roushan, who began to think of herself as a writer after taking AP Language and Composition in high school, is currently undecided as to her major but has a strong interest in the sciences.

    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.


    Theses in Progress

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

    Theses Completed

    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'sThe 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.