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  • 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.

    Lauren E. Niesz - The English Merit Award
    The English Department's Academic Merit Award recognizes an English major whose high academic performance is matched by real distinction in serving and contributing to the department and university community.  Those of us in the department who have had this year's winner, Lauren Niesz, can attest to her perceptive, eloquent writing and consistently engaged, mature presence in the classroom.  An active Sigma Tau Delta member since 2016, Lauren has displayed leadership at the university level in her capacity as Lead Commuter Mentor in Monmouth's Commuter Student Mentor Program.

    Susan E. Schuld - The English Award for the Academic Writing Prize
    This year, the departmental prize for academic writing goes to Susan Schuld in recognition of her book review of acclaimed poet Stephen Dobyns's fourteenth collection, The Day's Last Light Reddens the Leaves of the Copper Beech.  Her submission offers what many of us seek and revere in exemplary academic writing: a fluency in sophisticated terms and concepts wedded to an engaged and expressive voice.  To write well about poetry through prose is no mean feat but Schuld manages to capture what she - writing of one of Dobyns's self-reflective poems - calls "the depth and complexity of poetic language, and the beauty it can reveal to those who can fully appreciate it.
    Annabel K. Lamb - The English Award for the Creative Writing Prize
    This year's winning submission for the departmental Creative Writing Prize, Annabel Lamb's "Dead and Buried," is a work of creative nonfiction as structurally and thematically sophisticated as it is lyrically written.  It chronicles the essayist's journey into the heart of England's Winchester Cathedral, and into her own questions about mortality and faith.  By the time she ultimately arrives at the door to the church's innermost crypt, stepping over names engraved in the stone that have been "pounded to shadows," she has reflected on our constant proximity to death; the remote promise of immortality; the various (broken, crumbling, but enduring) legacies of past human efforts at cross-temporal contact; and how we might nearly touch the past and future ("the pigments touched by men who are now dust").  This piece is all the more impressive given that Lamb is only in her second year at Monmouth.  We are glad to recognize Annabel for her literary achievements this year, and look forward to supporting what promises to be a remarkable scholastic and literary career.   

    John Bazley - The English Award for Graduate Study
    Each year, our department provides an award for a graduating student who will be starting graduate school in the coming fall.  John Bazley, our recipient this year, has been accepted in celebrated MFA programs at Sarah Lawrence, Temple, and Texas State.  Bazley's fiction is remarkably wise and inventive.  As we know, an MFA in creative writing is an enormous opportunity for a young writer to develop his or her craft, and we're happy to honor John with this year's graduate study award.

    Sarah M. Lewis - The Caryl Sills English Teaching Award
    Sarah Lewis demonstrates an enthusiasm for teaching, as well as a willingness to step forward and accept challenges.  She not only responds well to suggestions for improvement, but encourages these suggestions.  Organized, thoughtful, self-motivated, and industrious, Sarah sets high expectations for herself - and is very likely to set high expectations for her future students.  With her skills, her focus, and her passion for teaching, Sarah is sure to provide a nurturing and supportive classroom environment where her students will flourish.

    Colleen A. King - The Joyce Carol Oates Award 
    The Joyce Carol Oates Award for outstanding graduate-level achievement in Creative Writing goes to Colleen King for her incisive, incantatory essay "Horseshoes."  Like Oates, King writes with unusual candor and insight about subjects that are often addressed obliquely, if at all.  In this essay about her uncle's alcoholism and death from cancer, her prose is clear and sharp and her observations are unflinching.  She begins, "My uncle is dying.  He's been dying for a year, dying since he first got drunk under the bridge at twelve, my mother tells me."  Yet she writes with such redemptive generosity - extended to her uncle, her mother, and herself - that the piece itself feels like a lucky horseshoe, with heft, power, and a measure of magic.

    Joseph W. Breen - The First Year Composition Essay Award
    Joseph Breen from Middletown, New Jersey, is a business major with a concentration in accounting also minoring in Spanish.  He believes that no matter what career path a student will ultimately follow, the ability to effectively convey one's ideas is a vital skill.  As a result, he constantly searches for better ways of presenting his ideas in a clear and concise manner.  In any endeavor he pursues, Joe knows that his interest in writing will be an asset.  Joe's essay entitled "Social media, Performance Culture, and the Desensitizing of Society" effectively analyzes the anxieties and complications that social media has injected into performance culture.

    Julia M. Hoover - The First Year Composition Essay Award  
    Julia Hoover has not yet declared a major, but she has a strong interest in marketing.  Julia, who comes from Edison, New Jersey, has always enjoyed writing but was particularly motivated by the topic she chose for her essay.  Originally, she was interested in the effects of technology on communication skills, but a course on the history of love and marriage inspired her to research how technology specifically affects marriages and relationships.  Her original and provocative essay entitled "Technologically Communicating in Marriage" considers the possibility that divorce can be avoided through electronic communication.

    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


    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'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.