English Academic News

Two College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences students from Virginia Tech were selected to participate in the National Humanities Center Graduate Student Summer Residency: Brooke Covington, English, and Jessica Herling, sociology.

Participants spend the month of June at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, pursuing research on their humanities-related project.

Joseph Eska, a professor and interim chair of the Department of English, published “Laryngeal Realism and Early Insular Celtic Orthography,” North American Journal of Celtic Studies 3 (2019): 1–17.

The following College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences students accepted the invitation to become members of Phi Beta Kappa during the 2018-2019 academic year: Micaela Albright, criminology and sociology; Katherine Avdellas, public relations; Rachel Beisser, literature and language and professional and technical writingJessica Brady, international relations; Madeleine Cáceres, political science; Mary Anne Callahan, literature and language; Hannah Casey, international studies and SpanishRachel Dougherty, Spanish and psychology; Victoria Driggs, music and Spanish; Courtney Ebersohl, French and history; Neeka Eghbali, public relations; Elizabeth Finnan, French and environmental policy and planning; Emily Friedman, political science; Hannah Goode, professional and technical writing; Samantha Hart, communication studies and political science; Paige Hartian, professional and technical writing and economics; Catherine Hayes, Spanish and biochemistry; Logan Hughes, political science; Austin Huppert, political science; Rachel Iwicki, Russian and mechanical engineering; Dana Kelly, literature and language; Maeghan Klinker, creative writing and literature and language; Kathryn Kowalski, literature and language and professional and technical writing; Matthew Krusiec, history; Lisa Lane, international relations; Eleanor Matheson, criminology and sociology; Bonnie McGowan, human development; Victoria McMahon, political science; Kelsey McQueen, Spanish and food science and technology; Timothy Miles, religion and culture; Michael Mills, music; Benjamin Nicoll, philosophy and business information technology; Caroline Nicotra, Spanish and biological sciences; Hayley Oliver, literature and language; Haley Olsen, criminology; Taylor Perdue, multimedia journalism; Samantha Piszcz, political science; Kathryn Rappold, public relations; Caroline Ritchey, French, history, and national security and foreign affairs; Jayne Ross, creative writing and professional and technical writing; Johanna Scalzi, communication studies; Sahara Shrestha, philosophy and environmental policy and planning; Elizabeth Street, multimedia journalism; Emily Sutphin, classics and religion and culture; Luca Thoms, national security and foreign affairs; Victoria Upton, public relations; Hans Werner, criminology and sociology; Logan White, political science; Morgan Wood, human development; and Taylor Zelman, criminology and political science.

Four of the seven Virginia Tech Fulbright recipients for 2019–2020 are CLAHS students: Elizabeth Ebeling, Spanish and public and urban affairs, English teaching assistant in Mexico; Morgan Gallagher, French and environmental science, study and research on “Consequences of River Intermittency for Microbial Greenhouse Gas Production” in France; Leslie Jernegan, a MFA student in creative writing, English teaching assistant in Argentina; and Casey Molina, multimedia journalism, English teaching assistant in Spain.

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences staff member Elizabeth (Jane) Harrison, School of Performing Arts, was recognized for 45 years and faculty members Shoshana Knapp, English, and Michael Saffle, Religion and Culture, were recognized for 40 years of dedicated service to Virginia Tech and commitment to upholding the university’s mission.

A complete list of employees recognized this year for 10 or more years of service (in five-year increments) can be found here.

The following College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences faculty members were awarded a Niles Research Grant during the 2018–2019 academic year: Mark V. Barrow, Jr., History; Shannon Elizabeth Bell, Sociology; Dwight Bigler, School of Performing Arts; Brian Britt, Religion and Culture; Toni M. Calasanti, Sociology; María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Mauro Caraccioli, Political Science and ASPECT Core Faculty; Koeun Choi, Human Development and Family Science; Katharine Cleland, English; Amanda C. Demmer, History; Katherine Haenschen and Daniel J. Tamul, Communication; Sharon P. Johnson, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Karin Kitchens, Political Science; Bryan Klausmeyer, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Allan Lumba, History; Richard Masters, School of Performing Arts; Deborah Milly, Political Science; Gonzalo Montero, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Carol A. Mullen, School of Education; Charles Nichols, School of Performing Arts; Corinne Noirot, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Philip Olson, Science, Technology, and Society; Michael Saffle, Religion and Culture; Carolyn Shivers, Human Development and Family Science; Brandi Watkins, Communication; Chelsea Woods, Communication; and Tingting Zhao, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.

The 2019 College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Awards and Honors Ceremony and Reception took place on April 2 in Owens Banquet Hall. Presenting this year’s awards were Dean Rosemary Blieszner, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research E. Thomas Ewing, and Joseph Pitt, Philosophy and chair of the college’s Honors and Awards Committee.

Certificate of Teaching Excellence recipients were: Nancy López-Romero, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Paul Quigley, History; Robert P. Stephens, History; Vinodh Venkatesh, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; and Abby Walker, English.

Excellence in Advising Awards were presented to Nancy Bodenhorn, School of Education, and Sarah Sierra, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.

Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award recipients were: Aarnes Gudmestad, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures; Brett Jones, School of Education; and Brian ThorsettSchool of Performing Arts. Recognized as Land Grant Scholars were Barbara Allen, Science, Technology, and Society, and Katrina M. Powell, English.

Those presented with an Excellence in Outreach and International Initiatives Award were Yasuko KumazawaModern and Classical Languages and Literatures, and Paul Quigley, History.

The Diversity Award winners were Carmen Gitre, History, and Annie Stevens, School of Performing Arts.

Heather Gumbert, associate chair, History, garnered the Excellence in Administration Award.

This year’s ceremony included a staff award in addition to faculty awards. Katie Akers, fiscal technician Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, received the Staff Employee of the Year Award.

The featured speakers at this year’s ceremony were Kumazawa, Sierra, Thorsett, and Walker.

Silas Cassinelli, a post doctoral associate in the Department of English, published “‘It was Akiko 41; it was me’: Queer Kinships in Nora Okja Keller’s Mother-Daughter Narrative,” Asian Diasporas, special issue for Women’s Studies Quarterly 47.1 and 2 (2019): 193–208.

The following students were recognized as the 2019 Steger Poetry Prize winners at the Nikki Giovanni Celebration of Poetry.

Senior creative writing major Emily Webb won first prize, $1,100, for her poem, “Veritas Filia Temporis”; Webb also received “the Steger,” a piece of handcrafted art by local jeweler Faith Capone created for the occasion.

The second-place prize of $500 was presented to Kyle Siecker, a junior creative writing major, for “In winter I dream of things with wings.”

Senior communication studies major Karim Eltawansy was the recipient of the third-place prize, $300, for “Starring as an Arab American Kid.”

Earning honorable mention status were: Samuel James, a senior philosophy and literature and language major; Susan Rodriguez, a senior biology and literature and language major; Julia Simpson, a junior biology and Spanish major; Valerie Tran, a sophomore literature and language, political science, and creative writing major; Cam Wheatley, a senior Creative Writing major; Hannah Wynne, a senior creative writing major; and Avy Zhao, a sophomore literature and language, professional and technical writing, and creative writing major.

University Distinguished Professor of English Nikki Giovanni, for whom the event is named, established the competition; English faculty members Aileen Murphy and Joe Scallorns serve as co-directors.

The event, now in its 14thyear, was held April 9 in the Moss Arts Center; the student finalists read their entries, alternating with poems chosen and read by faculty members in the Department of English as well as invited guests.

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