The English Department Announces the American Scholar Prize Winner!


Congratulations to English Major Jenny Doan

“The scholar is that [person] who must take up into himself all the ability of time, all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future….[S/]he is the world’s eye.  [S/]he is the world’s heart.”
- excerpt from the essay, “The American Scholar,” by Ralph WaldoEmerson

The English Department is pleased to announce that Jenny Doan was chosen as the eighth winner of the department's American Scholar Prize.

The American Scholar Prize award was created by Dr. Linda Halisky, former English Department Chair and College of Liberal Arts Dean, to recognize an English major whose passion for literature is palpable.  The $750 prize is awarded to a Cal Poly English major who exhibits an interest in literature and language – someone who is “lit up” by literature.

In her short essay, Jenny cites Shelley’s “A Defence of Poetry” as having been an inspiration.  She notes that, in Shelley’s view, creative writers “influence the parameters of society and shape how individuals perceive the world. Most importantly, Shelley believes that every individual possesses a creative source and a poetic persona inside of them.”  Jenny argues that, “For me, literature has altered the metaphorical confine that I live in by propelling me to question the institutions of society and encouraging me to explore the outskirts of my beliefs.  Literature is not the simple consolidation of words to paint a visual or craft a story, but rather a way of life that intends to teach fundamental truths and morals.”

The English Department awards the American Scholar Prize annually in order to highlight and reward enthusiastic and bright English major scholars.

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