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 2021

Minnick Award, granted to a Sophomore Secondary Education Major: Megan Gardenhour 

Heiges Award, granted to a Junior: Jailah Wilson 

Steck Award, granted to a Freshman: Emily Dziennik

Departmental APSCUF Award, granted to an outstanding English major: Haley Bennett 

SU Teacher Education Award - Secondary, granted to a Secondary Ed. Major: Andrea Kling 

Campus Reflector Award, granted to a Senior: Angela Neil

Lindner Award, granted to an English Major who excels in creative writing or prose: Ariana Tomb and Nell Behta

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. 

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 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.

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 2021 winner. Congratulations, Ashleigh! 

by: Ashleigh Kennedy 

            after the Rembrandt painting

Why do you want to know

my name? I am

my mother’s son, but here

I am, a scavenger, drinking

these plains of dust

and bone, my footsteps shiftless

as a sojourner, no flesh

of my flesh to call

a home. Yet what

is a body but a land

to ignite, my inheritance

I drink and drown

each night? I rest my head

on graying ground; the land

sucks its teeth at me, its stones a bed

for jackals’ sons. Even my mother

named me deceiver, one

who grasps each hours’ heel. This is

the only river I can fill, and yet

I met a man tonight, my arms lacing

into his sleeves, the earth beneath us holy

and howling as I clutched

what’s mine of a God

who breathes. Oh, to be cradled

and be crushed, his hands nestling

my neck, my hip, crying Bless me,

bless me! as he waxed

my thigh, a new name wrestling on

my lips.