Award Season: Faculty and Student Honors

Spring semester brought well-deserved recognition to English department teachers, writers, and scholars
People at tables looking at speaker at podium; at top left, screen with text Daniel Philippon and head shot photo of person with glasses and short dark hair
Professor Daniel Philippon receives the CLA Motley Exemplary Teaching Award this spring.


Associate Professor Elaine Auyoung was named an Institute for Advanced Study Residential Faculty Fellow for spring 2023. Her project is entitled “Unselfing: What We Can Ask of the Arts."

Professor Timothy Brennan's book Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021) was a finalist for the Elizabeth Longford Prize.

Associate Professor V. V. Ganeshananthan was awarded a McKnight Presidential Fellowship (2022-2023 to 2024-2025), recognizing the most promising University of Minnesota faculty members who have been granted tenure and promotion to associate professor in an academic year.

Associate Professor Douglas Kearney won the 2022 Griffin International Poetry Prize and the 2022 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry for Sho (Wave Books, 2021) as well as a 2022 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers-Loft Award in Creative Poetry.

Professor Nabil Matar created and helped inaugurate the Matar Family Lecture in Arabic Studies for the Institute for Global Studies, honoring his late sister.

Associate Professor Dan Philippon was awarded an Arthur "Red" and Helene B. Motley Exemplary Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts.

Professor Andrew Scheil published Beowulf—A Poem (Arc Humanities Press, 2022).

Professor Kim Todd was promoted from associate professor. Her book Sensational: The Hidden History of America's Girl Stunt Reporters (HarperCollins, 2021) was a finalist for the 2022 Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction.

Assistant Professor Rachel Trocchio was awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society for research at the Connecticut Historical Society and the Clements Library.

Edelstein-Keller Writer in Residence Kao Kalia Yang was honored with a 2022 A.P. Anderson Award for her significant contributions to the cultural and artistic life of Minnesota.

PhD Students

English PhD students who successfully defended dissertations this spring:

  • Jennifer Easler, "The Futility of Prophecy: Prophecy and Poetry in English Narratives of Troy" (Advisor Andrew Scheil)
  • Elizabeth Howard, "The Parted Voice: Polyvocal Utterances in Victorian Elegies" (Advisor Andrew Elfenbein)
  • Laura Price, "Things Fall Apart: Decapitation and the Quest for Certainty in Early Modern English Literature" (Advisor John Watkins)
  • David Rodriguez Martinez, "The Sensibilities of Film Noir" (Advisor Siobhan Craig)
  • Laura Scroggs, "A-Lines: Dresses, Texts, and 1960s Icons" (Advisor Paula Rabinowitz)
  • Sungjin Shin, "Personal and Vernacular Voices: Reimagined Relationship with the Past in Early British Romantic Literature" (Advisor Brian Goldberg)
  • Anne Marie Wirth-Cauchon, "Dressing Disaster: Apocalyptics After '68" (Advisor Tony Brown)

Doctoral candidates Chris Bowman and Moinak Choudhury received Department of English Graduate Student Teaching Awards for 2021-2022.

PhD students Isabel Bethke, Morgan Graham, Nyla Numan, and Kerstin Tuttle received Early Career PhD Merit Grants from the Department of English, meant to recognize "exceptional levels of academic engagement on the part of a beginning PhD student" and to encourage the student's future research agenda.

MFA Students

MFA in Creative Writing students who successfully defended their creative theses in May:

  • Fiction: Sruthi Narayanan, Tim Reynolds, Julian Robles, and Asha Thanki
  • Nonfiction: Sandesh Ghimire, Emma Kaiser, Matthew Pockrus, Said Shaiye
  • Poetry: Steve Blythe, Tarik Dobbs, torrin a. greathouse

greathouse won the 2022 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.

Narayanan was selected as a Kundiman Fellow this summer.

Robles will do research in Mexico on a Fulbright Award.

Shaiye's memoir Are You Borg Now? (Really Serious Literature, 2021) was a 2022 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in Memoir.

Thanki was selected as a Kundiman Fellow this summer, as well as a Bread Loaf Scholar and a Sewanee Writers Conference Scholar.

The Creative Writing Program's annual Gesell Prizes were awarded to greathouse (poetry), Robles (fiction), and Kaiser (nonfiction).


For the second year in a row, The Tower literary magazine was awarded a Gold Crown for College Print Literary Magazine from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Three English majors were honored with a 2022 President’s Student Leadership and Service Award: Valerie Paul, Marley Richmond, and Ethan Voss.

Share on: