Even in quarantine, English Department parties on with awards ceremony

During a virtual ceremony on May 19, the Department of English celebrated the accomplishments of English majors in the Class of 2020.

English majors in the Class of 2020 were recognized May 19 by the Department of English during a virtual awards ceremony and party,

The English Department’s traditional end-of-year party and awards ceremony went virtual this year as photographs of graduating seniors screened one-by-one and Miles Davis’s “All Blues” played in the background.

On the last day of finals on May 19, three screens of English majors, minors and faculty members Zoomed at 5 p.m. to celebrate the achievements of all 28 graduates and to honor three in particular.

Laura Braley ’20 received the English Scholar Award which recognizes superior academic achievement by a graduating senior. Maeve Riley ’20 won both the English Leadership Award for her outstanding contributions to the life of the department as well as the English Department’s student-worker-of-the-year award. Anne-Tillery Melson ’21 received the Betty Gerow Scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year.

Besides these departmental awards, students in senior seminar courses were awarded for their semester projects.

  • Valerie Medlin’s paper, “‘Even in Death’: Exposing Institutional Oppression through Grave Robbing in Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Underground Railroad,’” won the Outstanding Literature Senior Seminar Research Award.
  • Hayden McConnell received the Outstanding Professional Writing and Rhetoric Senior Seminar Project for “Making the Topic of Rhetoric More Accessible to New and Current Members of the Field of Rhetoric.”
  • Angela Myers received the PWR junior ePortfolio Award for PWR and ENG Majors and PWS Minors.

Post-award entertainment was interactive: one Kahoot! (involving baby pictures of faculty members) and one old-fashioned, hand-raising vote for the summer’s shelter-in-place Book Club. After the awards ceremony, guests stayed around chatting, not wanting the party to end.