grad hatHonors Day recognizes the excellent work of our undergraduate and graduate students within the department, as well as the superb teaching by our faculty and teaching assistants. Our annual event also serves as the departmental graduation ceremony, where we recognize our majors in the more intimate setting of the Fine Arts Theatre. This year our speakers included a graduating senior, Rachael Dier, President of the Undergraduate English Association.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Mariah Parker, aka Hip Hop artist LINQUA FRANQA. LINQUA FRANQA is the hip hop project of Athens, Georgia-based linguist-turned-legislator Mariah Parker, whose passion for social justice and scientific fixation with hip hop language are obvious in the intricate, self-aware rhymes she interweaves with boom bap beats. Parker holds a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Georgia, where she now pursues a PhD in Language and Literacy Education. Her lyrics, garnished with haunting neo-soul hooks, tell unflinching tales of chemically-induced heartbreak, racial violence, reproductive justice, and feminist swagger. In the wake of a critically acclaimed first album and narrowly-clinched election to the Athens city council earlier this year, Parker has garnered the attention of CNN, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, The Nation, Afropunk, The Root, The Bitter Southerner, Performer Magazine and others for her outspoken commitments to racial and economic justice and her electrifying live performances, which call listeners to self-reflection and critical action in their lives and their communities.

Faculty Recognition

Bedingfield Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Esra Santesso

Deb FYC
Dr. Deb Miller, Kyra Posey, Sarah Riggs, Jacqueline Kari, and Joshua Wade 

First Year Composition Awards, Presented by Dr. Deborah Miller, Interim Director of FYC

Donald E. Barnett Awards

English 1101: Sanjana Rao, “The Reality of Parachuting Doctors and Voluntourism,” nominated by Sarah Shermyen

English 1102: Kyra Posey, “On Patriarchal Subjugation of the Erotic in ‘Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta’”, nominated by Aviva Kasowski

Michael G. Moran e-Portfolio Awards

English 1101: PengQi Zhou, nominated by Danielle Bray

English 1102: Sarah Riggs, nominated by Anthony Galli

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards

Claire Cronin, Connor Fisher, Jacqueline Kari, Jacob Sunderlin, Joshua Wade, Joe Seale, Lindsay Tigue

Richard Grads
Dr. Menke introduces the graduates

Undergraduate Awards, Presented by Dr. Richard Menke, Undergraduate Coordinator

Digital Humanities Scholarship

Katie Belle Curry, “Privacy Policy Analysis,” nominated by Elizabeth Davis

Undergraduate Essay Prizes

Research Essays

Teresa Tran, “The Incorporation of the Black Panther Party in The Hate U Give,” nominated by Barbara McCaskill

Honorable Mention: Luke Vines, “A Pathology of Currency and Commerce in Swann’s Way and Within a Budding Grove,” nominated by Andrew Zawacki

Essays Focused on Primary Sources

Colleen Hein, “Saunders’ Semantics: Manifest in Lincoln in the Bardo,” nominated by Barbara McCaskill

Honorable Mention: Sally Smith, “'Man’s Work’: A Masculine Code in Imperial Context,” nominated by Adam Parkes

Joshua David Brown Scholarship

Sarah Haley Jacobsen, nominated by Casie Legette

Virginia Rucker Walter Award

Kelsey McQueen, nominated by Casie Legette

H. Grady Hutcherson Memorial Scholarships

Kelsey McQueen, Sally Smith, Kristen Gragg

Prigge Family Scholarship

Nele Langhof

Reg McKnight on Stage
Reginald McKnight presents the Creative Writing Awards

Creative Writing Program Awards, Presented by Reginald McKnight, Director of Creative Writing

Judged by Johnny Damm (UGA PhD 2017), author of The Science of Things Familiar (The Operating System, 2017) and three chapbooks, including Your Favorite Song (Essay Press, 2016). His work has appeared in Poetry, The Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA, serves as editor-in-chief of A Bad Penny Review and Opo Books & Objects, and teaches English and Creative Writing at San José State University.

Virginia Rucker Walter Poetry Award

Anthony Gagliardi, “[The Name]”

Diann Blakely Poetry Award

Ginger Ko, “A Species with Milk for its Young to Remove”

Graduate Awards, Presented by Dr. Cynthia Camp, Graduate Director

Cynthia Grad
Dr. Camp and Jessica Brumley

The Alice C. Langdale Awards, for exceptional graduate students in English

Renee Buesking, nominated by Roxanne Eberle

Holly Fling, nominated by Tricia Lootens

Anna Forrester, nominated by Sujata Iyengar

Danielle Gilman, nominated by Adam Parkes

Robert E. Park Essay Award

Nathan Dixon, "Bells Between US: The Folks' Obscure Indictment in Interwar Southern Photography,” nominated by Susan Rosenbaum

James B. Colvert English Graduate Awards

Danielle Gilman and Genevieve Guzmán

Robert H. West Award: Outstanding Graduate Student in Creative Writing

Amy Bonnaffons, nominated by Reg McKnight

Robert H. West Award: Outstanding Graduate Student in Literary Criticism

Elizabeth Swails, nominated by Cody Marrs

Robert E. Park Essay Award

Nathan Dixon, "Bells Between US: The Folks' Obscure Indictment in Interwar Southern Photography,” nominated by Susan Rosenbaum

R. Baxter Miller Graduate Award

Elizabeth Clayborn and Kimberly Waters

Christy Desmet Graduate Award

Sarah Mayo, nominated by Sujata Iyengar

McAlexander Graduate Award in American Literature

Paula Rawlins, nominated by John Lowe

Graduating Doctoral and Masters Students

Holly Gallagher, Holly Fling, Jessica Brumley, and Zachary Bordas
Holly Gallagher, Holly Fling, Jessica Brumley, and Zachary Bordas

Zachary Vincent Bordas, MA

"Constant Surveillance: Criticism of a 'Disciplinary Society' and the Paradox of Agency in Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire and Mohsin Hamid's Exit West"

Major Professor, Esra Santesso

Jessica Ann Brumley, MA

"'That Bold American:’ The Construction of Race in the Letters of Christopher Wren Bunker” 

Major Professor: Cody Marrs

Andrew Karl Filler, MA

"Through a glass, darkly: Collective Memory in the Works of Cristina Garcia and Ana Menendez"

Major Professor: John Lowe

Holly Elizabeth Fling, PhD

"The Walrus Through the Looking-Glass: Modern, Dynamic Boundaries in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing"

Major Professor: Tricia Lootens

Holly Marie Gallagher, PhD

“Why Always Cleopatra: Gender, Affect, and National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Spaces of Art”

Major Professor: Tricia Lootens

Lindsay Tigue, PhD

"With Love from All of Us: Stories"

Major Professor: Maggie Zurawski