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English department honors 2014 student award winners

July 02, 2014

  • Erica Terpening Romeo B.A. ’14

The English department honored several students with special awards in 2014.

Dixon Award: Caitlin Degnon ’15, Lillian Tuttle ’15

Two third-year English majors received Dixon research-travel awards this year, Caitlin Degnon and Lillian Tuttle.  Each year, a third-year English major is awarded a $2,500 research and travel grant to enrich his or her current studies in preparation for senior year.

Tuttle plans to go to France (June 19-21, 2014) and attend the Katherine Mansfield and France conference in Paris, where she will learn about Mansfield’s connection to France within the context of the modernist movement in literature. She will also attend the Visual Culture Colloquium at Willamette University (October 3-4, 2014). Lillian is excited to combine this research project with her coursework in Rishona Zimring’s Woolf & Joyce class and in her senior seminar on Woolf this fall. 

Degnon plans to go to the Library of Congress over the summer to conduct research on Zora Neal Hurston’s anthropological field work. She is interested in how Hurston’s field research in the Caribbean and the Southern United States influenced her fiction writing. Caitlin developed an interest in Hurston while taking “Blackness in Latin America” (SOAN 298-03), and she is excited to be able to study Hurston in order to better understand Hurston’s depictions of race in her fiction.The Dixon Award was established in 2002 by the Dixon Family Foundation, thanks to the generous efforts of alumni Hillary Dixon B.A ’99 and Adam Dixon B.A. ’01.

Jerry Baum Award: Marly Williams ’15

This year’s recipient of the Baum Award is Marly Williams for her seminar paper titled “My Solitary Condition: Isolation and the Myth of Reform in Robinson Crusoe.” In her paper she explores ideas of criminality and imprisonment in Robinson Crusoe and other works by Daniel Defoe, within the historical context of the criminal justice system of 18th-century England.

The Jerry Baum Award was established in 2007 by the Department of English, alumni, family, and friends to honor the memory of beloved professor R. Jerold (Jerry) Baum. The recipient is a senior whose senior seminar paper addresses the relationship between literature and history and is recognized as outstanding by the English faculty. A $250 prize accompanies the award. 

Senior Fiction and Poetry Prize: Taylor Lannamann B.A. ’14, Talal Gedeon Achi ’14, Sara Balsom ’14

The 2014 Lewis & Clark Fiction Prize is awarded to Taylor Lannamann for his story entitled “Conversation Sixteen.”

This year’s co-winners of the Academy of American Poets Prize are Talal Gedeon Achi for “Scrutiny and Resistentialism at a Supermarket in the West Hills of Portland” and Sara Balsom for “The Ash Tree Brings You a Sister.”

Honorable mentions went to Laura Blum for “To My Medication” and Laura Houlberg for “Thoughts from the Pink Lake in Esperance, Australia.” 

Erica Terpening-Romeo B.A. ’14: Rena Ratte Winner and Senior Woman Recognition Award

English graduate Erica Terpening-Romeo is this year’s recipient of the college’s highest academic honor, the Rena Ratte Award. A Pamplin Society member, Erica also received the Senior Woman Recognition Award, given by the American Association of University Women. Never before has a graduating student received both of these prestigious awards. 

A version of this article originally appeared in Wordsworth, the English department newsletter.

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