Student Awards

Malametenia Wilson, Cal Poly
Malamatenia Wilson


Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus

Cal Poly took part in the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus during Winter and Spring quarters, assessing a sample of out-going seniors on their critical thinking and written communication skills. A total of 200 Cal Poly seniors took part, and English student Malamatenia Wilson placed third on campus. Malamatenia will receive a $100 award for her accomplishment.

Malamatenia placed within the 99th percentile of all seniors who took part this spring, across 157 institutions nationwide.


College of Liberal Arts Awards

Laura Parker, Cal Poly English


Shonna Davis, Cal Poly

English Department Outstanding Senior — Laura Parker
Parker was the President of the Writer's Collective, a Cru bible study leader and was in multiple Theatre and Dance Department productions. She plans to attend Cal Poly's Single Subject Teaching Credential program.




English Department Outstanding Graduate Student — Shonna Davis

As a graduate student, Davis served as co-editor of the English Department's graduate newsletter, The Medial Caesura, and as the English MA graduate representative.




Department Awards

The American Scholar Prize
This award, created by former English Department Chair and College of Liberal Arts Dean Linda Halisky, recognizes an English major whose passion for literature is palpable. The $500 prize is awarded to an English major who exhibits an interest in literature and language — someone who is “lit up” by literature. This year’s recipient is Rebecca Gates.


In her short essay, Rebecca writes that literature “is not the mere gathering of words. It is the creative mind with its hands dirty, finding the figure in the stone. It is the union of the original, the beautiful, and the prophetic.” Her essay demonstrates that she understands the power of literature and its ability to help us understand the human condition.


Dorothy Cooper Memorial Scholarship

The English Department is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Dorothy Cooper Memorial Scholarship for study abroad. English majors Margaret Foss and Ashlynn Ritter received $1,000 scholarships to help support their study abroad experiences this summer. Senior Margaret Foss studied in Valladolid, Spain, and sophomore Ashlynn Ritter studied in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.


Named for the grandmother of a Cal Poly English major alumnae, the Dorothy Cooper Memorial Scholarship provides financial assistance to Cal Poly English majors and minors participating in study abroad programs. Cooper believed in the promise of travel to learn about new cultures and people, and this scholarship is designed to support students who might not otherwise be able to travel. Collaboratively administered by the English Department and the Cal Poly International Center, each scholarship is $1,000.


Graduate Program Awards

Graduate Program Awards, Cal Poly English Department

Our graduate program continued its tradition of bestowing its own awards for excellence in the graduate program. This year's Outstanding Achievement Award was given to two students, Sarah Johnston (pictured right) and Shonna Davis (pictured left). 



S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship

Ian Fetters, Cal Poly

English Master's student Ian Fetters (English, '15) was awarded the S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, established by The Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press, to study the literature of horror-fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft


The fellowship provides a monthly stipend of $1,500 for up to two months of research at the John Hay Library at Brown University — home to the largest collection of H.P. Lovecraft materials in the world. Fetters competed with advanced graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars to be the sole fellowship recipient for 2017.

“I have been a fan of Lovecraft's work since I was a first-year high school student," Fetters said. "I decided I want to read all his works and write about them. He is really one of the reasons I ended up studying literature."


Though the English Department doesn’t offer a class on Lovecraft, Fetters was able to work on Lovecraft in a variety of different courses, beginning with his senior project. As a graduate student, Fetters deepened his knowledge base by reading Lovecraft through theoretical frameworks he learned in ENGL 502. “A shout out to the faculty who have really helped me—Dr. Brad Campbell, Dr. Ryan Hatch, and Dr. Jay Peters,” Fetters said.


Fetters began his two-month fellowship on July 1. The research and findings he compiles during that time will be summarized in a presentation at the conclusion of the fellowship. "The intention is to use archival material to develop a project for presentation at a public lecture alongside a panel with other Lovecraft scholars," Fetters said.


"The project I pitched to the committee this year is titled 'Lovecraft's Dark Continent: At the Mountains of Madness and Antarctic Literature.' I'm interested in looking at why Lovecraft chose Antarctica as the setting for his only novel, ‘At the Mountains of Madness.’"


Fetters will spend the majority of his time at Brown trying to answer that question before returning back to Cal Poly in the fall to complete his Master's degree.


Although Fetters' fellowship only lasts the summer, he believes he owes it to himself to keep on studying Lovecraft well after his time at Brown.


"I think my next step is to actually go to Antarctica," Fetters said. "Lovecraft never made it there, so I feel almost duty-bound to do it for myself."





See all the excited faces of our spring 2017 English Department graduates in the spring graduation photo gallery

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