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Awards and Scholarships

Angela Neil testimonial

"Shippensburg's English Department is where I grew into the leader I am today with the guidance and instruction of my amazing professors. They helped me develop my writing, public speaking, and leadership skills so I could follow my dreams of becoming a teacher. I'll never forget the impact Ship's had on me and I truly appreciate the time I spent there."

- Angela Neil, '21


Department Awards 2023

Minnick Award, granted to a Sophomore Secondary Education Major: Annikka Stangil

Heiges Award, granted to a Junior: Theresa Weber

Steck Award, granted to a Freshman: Tomi May

Departmental APSCUF Award, granted to an outstanding English major: Alaina Conaway

SU Teacher Education Award - Secondary, granted to a Secondary Ed. Major: Megan Gardenhour

Campus Reflector Award, granted to a Senior: Alaina Conaway

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

Wagner Excellence in Humanities Awardgranted to a student that has demonstrated academic success and professional commitment in their field of study: Piper Kull

CAS Dean's Award for the Arts and Humanitiesgranted to an accomplished student in the area of scholarship and service: Megan Gardenhour

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. 

2022 - Ashleigh Kennedy

2021 - Haley Bennett

2020 - Anna D'Orazio

2019 - Ash Chapman 

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 Susquehanna 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.

Shelby Sellers OEM2016 - 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. She currently works in Chambersburg School District as a Secondary ESL teacher. She teaches 11th and 12th grade English, as well as Reading classes for "newcomer" EL's (meaning that it is their first or second year in the district). She also has an emergency certificate to teach ESL, but will soon begin classes to get her certification and Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language.


Academy of American Poets Poetry Contest

Each Spring, our department hosts an Academy of American Poets Poetry Contest, titled the Laura A. Rice Poetry Prize. Ashleigh Kennedy is our Spring 2022 winner. Congratulations, Ashleigh! 

self-portrait as the local legend
by Ashleigh Kennedy

after Mary-Kim Arnold

what you’ve heard about me

just might be true. i am

nobody’s daughter but

my own; nobody knows

where i come from. the days

get hotter, and i spend them

like change, dip my toes

in different dive-bars, sip

my summers among

the strange. silly

humans. they see me dance on knives

and call it art,

mystique. pain, to them,

is mere tragedy.

maybe they’re right. what am i, after all,

but performance? dinner

and a show? but they don’t know

what it means to straddle

an ocean, to strut as if

you’ll never

fall. and here

is my little secret: each night

i answer the moon’s

slow crawl, press

my body into

blue, the slap

of seafoam on
my skin. i name

the river’s mouth

my mother, its kiss

my only next

of kin, and when

the tide drafts a bed

of sand, and the river

merchant calls me

his own, his love for me

a fevered sound, I tell him there is

a catch: you must unearth

me in the sweetest

deep; to love me

you must dream

and drown.

Contact the English Department Dauphin Humanities Center 128 1871 Old Main Drive Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1495 Fax: (717) 477-4020