2019 Department of English Scholarship and Writing Awards


On April 26, 2019, the Department of English honored its scholarship and award recipients, 2018/2019 degree-earners, and generous sponsors at the annual Scholarships and Awards Ceremony. This year, the English Department proudly awarded 26 scholarships, 20 creative writing awards, and two special undergraduate awards. Additionally, English faculty earned three teaching/mentor awards, and the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society invited four graduating seniors to become members.

Interim Chair Dr. Caroline Maun opened the ceremony with these inspiring remarks: “Our today, and yesterday, and tomorrow, along with our thinking, memory and writing, layer together to create an English Department, a Wayne State University.”


Recipients of the 2019 Joseph & Mary E. Yelda Scholarship include (from left to right) Avery Zimmerman, Cham Smadi, Nicole Saez, Claire Dingwall, Kristine Anderson. Not pictured: Gabrielle Harris, Negwa Nagi


Recipients of the Loughead-Eldredge Endowed Scholarship in Creative Writing include (from left to right) Cham Smadi and Jasmine Pruitt. Not pictured: Amy Salter

Julia Hill received the Stephen H. Tudor Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing


Many of our faculty members were also in attendance! Pictured here (from left to right) are Professors Caroline Maun, Lisa Maruca, M.L. Lieber, Chris Tysh, Renee Hoogland, Richard Marback, and Donovan Hohn.

Creative writing awards & scholarships

Judith Siegel Pearson Award

  • First place: Kim Shegog, “Breath to Bones”
  • Second place: Emma Fagan, “‘So Punk”

Phillip Lawson Hatch, Jr. Memorial Award

  • First place: Laura Kraftowitz, “Birthright”
  • Second place: Ariel Mokdad, “Decent Recipe for Tabbouleh” and other poems
  • Honorable mention: Minahel Munir, “A Blossom of Ink”

John Clare Award in Poetry

  • First place: Robert Laidler, “Immured” and other poems
  • Second place: Isaac Pickell, “Imbrute” and other poems
  • Honorable mention: Teddy Auberle, “A Life in the Day”

Tompkins Award (Nonfiction)

  • First place: Laura Kraftowitz, “Birthright”
  • Second place: Renee McKendrick, “Unknown Legend”
  • Honorable mentions: Joseph Gjelaj, “Under Lights”; Vicky Beacham, “My Anthem of Absolution”; Delani DeGrosky, “Meditation on Toilet Seats”

Tompkins Award (Fiction)

  • First place: Saima Mirza, “The Cut”
  • Second place: Isaac Pickell, “Fictions of My Mother”
  • Honorable mentions: Minahel Munir, “Most Things”; Jaymi Gittens, “Third Grade Circa 2007”

Tompkins Award (Drama)

  • First place: Isaac Pickell, “Waiting for the A”
  • Second place: Ni-Gea Dufeal, “Constancy”

Tompkins Award (Poetry)

  • First place: Robert Laidler, “Immured” and other poems
  • Second place: Lindy Lenk, “hems and locks”
  • Honorable mentions: Isaac Pickell, “Today’s Lesson”; Saima Mirza, “Connecting Realms”; Amy Loji, “Enmore

The Christopher T. Leland Endowed Scholarship in Creative Writing
Laura Kraftowitz

The Daniel Keyes Family Graduate Scholarship in Creative Writing

  • Creative nonfiction & poetry: Renee McKendrick
  • Fiction: Brody Cunningham
  • Auto-fiction: Mallory Lectka

The Loughead-Eldredge Endowed Scholarship in Creative Writing
Jasmine Pruitt, Amy Salter, Cham Smadi

The Stephen H. Tudor Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing
Julia Hill

Undergraduate scholarships and awards

The Joseph J. & Mary E. Yelda Endowed Merit Scholarship for English
Kristine Anderson, Claire Dingwall, Gabrielle Harris, Negwa Nagi, Nicole Saez, Cham Smadi, Avery Zimmerman

The Gilbert R. & Patricia K. Davis Endowed Merit Scholarship
Michelle Niemi

The Marion K. Ringe Endowed Scholarship
Marcella Robinson

The Dustin Rose Memorial Scholarship
Julia Hill

The Frank X. Williams Memorial Annual Scholarship
Bailey Meyerhoff, Gabrielle Harris

Phi Beta Kappa
Rachel Hackett, Mark A. Lawyer, Amal Shukr, Colleen Kingsbury

Special undergraduate awards

Essay Award
Kristine Anderson, “The Performance of Reading: Looking Toward a Reflexive Process”

Distinguished Graduating Senior Award
Lindy Lenk

Graduate and Combined Scholarships

The Paul and Barbara Couture Scholarship in Rhetoric and Composition
Sarah Primeau

The Thomas R. Jasina Endowed Graduate Scholarship in English
Robert Laidler

The Terrance King Endowed Memorial Fellowship in English
Rachel Dortin

The Albert Feigenson Scholarship

  • Undergraduate: Elizabeth Horejs
  • Graduate: Hillary Weiss

The Professor Arnold Goldsmith Annual Scholarship
Saima Mirza

The Daniel Keyes Family Endowed Scholarship
Ray Arquero, Cham Smadi

The Doretta Burke Sheill Endowed Memorial Scholarship

  • Undergraduates: Kristine Anderson, Negwa Nagi, Cham Smadi
  • Graduate: Molli Spalter

The Pearl A. Warn Endowed Scholarship in English

  • Undergraduate: Farley McRae
  • Graduate: Mark Lane

2018/2019 Faculty and Teaching Awards

Wayne State University President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
Lisa Ze Winters, Associate Professor

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Award
Hilary Fox, Assistant Professor

Garrett T. Heberlein Excellence in Teach Award
Clare Russell, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Department of English Excellence in Teaching of Writing Award
Molli Spalter, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Wayne State University Distinguished Faculty Fellowship
Jonathan Flatley, Professor

WSU Graduate School Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award
Chera Kee, Associate Professor

Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award
Jonathan Flatley, Professor; Chera Kee, Associate Professor

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Champion of Diversity and Inclusion Award
Simone Chess, Associate Professor

WSU Humanities Center Marilyn Williamson Endowed Distinguished Faculty Fellowship
Sarika Chandra, Associate Professor

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