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University Relations

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June 22, 2007
Contact: Richard F. Hardin, Department of English, (785) 864-2548.

KUís English department announces more than $39,000 in annual prizes

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LAWRENCE — The Department of English at the University of Kansas recognized 69 undergraduate and graduate students with $39,426 in awards and scholarships for outstanding academic performance, writing and teaching at an annual awards ceremony in May in the Kansas Union.

Some of the oldest of these recognitions include three honoring early 20th century KU English department faculty members. The Prof. Edwin M. Hopkins Scholarships were established in honor of a professor who joined the university faculty in 1889 and taught until 1946. The Helen Rhoda Hoopes Critical Writing Awards honor a KU faculty member who taught rhetoric and English from 1914 to 1947. The William Herbert Carruth Memorial Poetry Awards commemorate a teacher of German and English at KU from 1879 to 1913.

Among the more recently established awards and scholarships, the Merrill Award for Excellence in Research by graduate students was established in 1990 by Robin Spencer and Douglas Merrill of Phoenix, Ariz. Merrill was a KU honors graduate in English and humanities in 1975 and of the KU School of Medicine in 1978. Grant Goodman, professor emeritus of history, established the Grant Goodman Playwriting Award in 1993. Zarel and Ruth Spears established their scholarship for English majors in 1998. The Maxwell Nature Writing Award was established in 2000 by Laurie Maxwell Tenney. The Maud Jackson Scholarship for excellence in creative writing, established by her family after her death to honor the former KU English student, was first awarded in 2006.

KU Endowment manages the funds for the annual awards and scholarships presented by the English department.

The English department recognized five graduate teaching assistants, all doctoral students in English, with Outstanding Instructor Awards. They are: Keri S. Behre, Samantha Bell, Angela Glover and Gay Wynne Moore, all of Lawrence, and Alicia A. Sutliff of Rapid City, S.D.

The Student Association of Graduates in English presented Amy J. Devitt, professor of English, with its 2007 Mabel Fry Award for Outstanding Teaching in English. Maryemma Graham, professor of English, was selected by a faculty committee to receive the Edward Grier Teaching Award to recognize teaching excellence.

Other awards for outstanding work in the study of English literature or composition included the James A. Gowen Memorial Award for research, five James B. Kennedy Awards for undergraduates, two Kenneth Rockwell Awards, the Dr. Anne Marie Turner Award for research and the Selden Lincoln Whitcomb Award for teaching and scholarship.

Additional awards for outstanding writing included the Victor Contoski Award for fiction and Victor Contoski Award for poetry, Ilus W. Davis Award for scholarly writing, James E. Gunn Award for science fiction writing, Thomas J. O’Donnell Award for creative nonfiction writing, the Technical Writing Award and the Edgar Wolfe Award for fiction writing.

Other scholarships awarded were the William Albrecht Memorial Scholarship, Elsie Oravetz Scholarships and Peedee Brown Nontraditional Student Scholarships.

Students who received English department honors and gave permission to release their names are listed below by hometown, major, level in school, parents’ names and high schools (when available) and award or scholarship. Students listed multiple times have more than one major and/or honor.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045