Awards and Scholarships

Rachel Smith testimonial

"The best part of the English Department is the sense of community. It really is a family where everyone knows everyone and we care about one another. I don't feel like I'm in a competition with my peers; rather, we lift each other up and celebrate our accomplishments together."

Rachel Smith, '19

Department Awards 2018

Minnick Award, granted to a Sophomore Secondary Education Major: Emma Rikas

Heiges Award, granted to a Junior: Chris Carragher 

Steck Award, granted to a Freshman: Bailey Milnik

Campus Reflector Award, granted to a Senior: Heather Ritter

Lindner Award, granted to an English Major who excels in creative writing or prose: Derek Letts

Outstanding English Major

At the conclusion of every academic year, one student in the English department is chosen to receive the Outstanding English Major (OEM) recognition award. This award is given to a student that has demonstrated excellent academic endeavors and achievements within the English major.  

Read further for past OEMS. Find out where they are today and what being an English Major provided for them to succeed beyond our hallways. 

2018 - Rachel Smith 

2017 - Spencer Pechart

Spencer Pechart Outstanding English Major 2017 holding cap Spencer graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education for English and is now working as a sixth grade English Language Arts teacher for the Susquehannah Township School District in Harrisburg. He believes that majoring in English did more than prepare him for his career, but also helped to establish his identity in ways he previously couldn't before attending Shippensburg. Spencer says he learned two important lessons while studying English: there is more to English than grammar and Shakespeare and that the literary side of English is endless and inclusive which allows students to be empowered critical thinkers through literary theory. Spencer credits several in the English department for teaching him a variety of skills including how to craft graduate-level theses, produce polished portfolios, discover teaching philosophies, and approach "adolescent literature" in a more broader spectrum. He firmly believes English is an umbrella of necessary skills for life that will prepare any student to grow and develop appropriately toward the twenty-first century.

2016 - Shelby Sellers

Shelby graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education for English. She believes that majoring in English helped her to come out of her shell, master the art of conversation, and develop a unique writing voice. The program not only helped her gain confidence by allowing her to present ideas efficiently but also helped shaped her goal of working in a classroom one day via her pedagogy courses. These courses helped Shelby discover her teaching philosophy and realize that, although she loves her content area, she has a passion for teaching students to practice empathy when reading texts that explore diversity. Shelby has recently accepted an ESL position wtih Chambersburg Senior High School and is incredibly excited to put her various skills from Ship to use. 

2015 - Anissa Freeman 

Anissa Freeman Outstanding English Major 2015Anissa graduated in May 2015 with a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education for English along with a Spanish minor. She believes the English Department has thoroughly prepared her for the job market with its essential lessons in critical thinking, solving problems, and collaborating with others. During her student teaching, Anissa remarks that it was her Introduction to Literature courses that helped inspire her lesson plans.



 Academy of American Poets Poetry Contest

Each Spring, our department hosts an Academy of American Poets Poetry Contest. Karen Mason is our Spring 2018 winner. Congratulations Karen! 

all dogs 
by: Karen Mason

when you can starve a stepchild 
with a full cabinet,

when you can scare him into 
pissing into bedside jars,

there’s no question you’ll 
put off putting your dog down.

i think

if you try to stave off the bad shit
you’ll end up prolonging it,

and you can pull too hard
the tail of what you’re loving at,

give it cancer globules—fist-sized zits
coming out of its everywhere.

but i think about my husband
and what will happen when one of us goes.

he’ll stick around forever