English

Awards & Prizes

The department offers a number of prizes for students who excel in their academic work. For further information on how to apply for these prizes, please contact the main office at 818-677-3431.

Spring Awards

The Academy of American Poets Prize

The Academy of American Poets sponsors an annual poetry contest with an award of $100 given for the best poem or poems. Two Honorable Mentions may also be awarded. Students may submit up to three poems by early April to the Department of English. The contest will be judged by an established poet, and the winners will be announced during the English Department Commencement celebration. Submission guidelines are available in Sierra Tower 706. For further information please contact Leilani Hall (818) 677-3428 or Dorothy Barresi(818) 677-0911.

The Harry Finestone Memorial Award

A prize of $750 will be given each year to the graduate student with the most distinguished essay completed in the department's capstone graduate seminar, English 698D. The essay must be nominated by the faculty director, and the faculty panel will evaluate the nominated essays on the following criteria: originality of concept; potential scholarly impact; logical, effective organization; and clarity, coherence, and elegance of prose style. This award honors the memory of Harry Finestone who joined what was then San Fernando Valley State College, now California State University, Northridge, in 1962. Finestone established a reputation as a gifted teacher and innovative administrator. He was chair of the Department of English from 1966 to 1970 and then Dean of Academic Planning and Associate Vice President for Academic Programs from 1970 to 1983.

The Henry Van Slooten Scholarship in English

A scholarship of approximately $500.00 will be given to any student in English 258, English 259, English 275, or English 355 who has written an essay (open topic) that best demonstrates "a passion for the English language." Students cannot directly apply for this award.  Instructors must submit qualifying essays to Chair of the Awards Committee, either by e-mail or department mailbox.  Students: If you wish to have your essay entered into the competition, you may ask the professor you had for one of these courses if she or he would consider nominating your essay. 

The Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award

A prize of $500 given to an undergraduate CSUN student who is the author of the best written work on some aspect of the natural world or environment. Eligible work, whether scholarly or creative, must have been written in an English class or for a class-related conference or publication.

The Mahlon Gaumer Award

In memory of Mahlon Gaumer, a former Professor in the Department, an annual prize of $500 established by his family will be awarded to a CSUN graduate student who is the author of the best critical essay on English literature--with an emphasis on the use of language--submitted during the academic year. Application guidelines are available in Sierra Tower 706 and are due in early May. The award will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English.

The Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English

In memory of Mitchell Marcus, a former Professor in the Department (1958-1983), a prize of $3,000 will be awarded each spring semester to the graduate student whose achievements in the study of English are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished. Application guidelines are available in Sierra Tower 706 and are due in early May. The award will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English.

The Robert apRoberts English Honors Essay Prize 

To commemorate Robert apRoberts, Professor Emeritus and founder of the Honors Program, an annual prize of $250 will be awarded to the English Honors student whose paper completed in the Honors Revision Seminar (497A) is judged to be the best submitted during that academic year. Application guidelines are available in Sierra Tower 706 and are due in early May. The award will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English.

Fall Awards

The Eva Latif Writing Prize in Children's Literature

To commemorate Eva Latif, her colleagues and friends offer an annual prize of $400 to the author of the best piece of writing, critical or creative, by a student on the subject of children's literature. Faculty may nominate students for this award by submitting their papers to the English Department office, and students may nominate themselves by similarly submitting their papers.  The award will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English.

The Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship

In memory of Linda Nichols Joseph, an English major who graduated from CSUN cum laude in 1981, up to four prizes of $2,000 each will be awarded every year to undergraduate English majors who have demonstrated excellence in their studies.  Particular consideration will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need, who have taken a non-traditional path to college, or who demonstrate engagement in the discipline and/or commitment to further study in English.  However, all applicants who meet the minimum GPA criterion are encouraged to apply. 

The Northridge Review Fiction Award

The Northridge Review Fiction Award is an annual prize to be awarded by the Northridge Review to the author of that short story judged to be the best published in the magazine during the academic year. The recipient, who must be a registered student for at least one semester during the year in which the story is published, will be awarded $100. The funds for the award are administered by the Chair of the Department of English.

The Oliver W. Evans Writing Prize

To commemorate Oliver W. Evans, his colleagues and friends have established an annual prize of $400 to be awarded to the author of the best piece of prose, critical or creative, submitted in an upper-division English course during the academic year. Faculty may nominate students for this award by submitting their papers to the English Department office, and students may nominate themselves by similarly submitting their papers.  The award will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English.

The Peterson Morley Award

An award of $1,000 will be bestowed annually upon a student currently enrolled as an English major at CSUN in either the undergraduate or graduate program, who plans to enter the teaching profession at any level.  Applications from students who demonstrate financial need to complete their studies will be given particular attention.  This award is given in honor of Annamarie Peterson Morley, a professor at CSUN from 1965 to 1980, who taught with warmth, grace, humor, and wisdom.  She was an elegant and humane woman, a model for teachers and students. 

The Philip E. Love English 205 Scholarship

A prize of $500 will be given each year to the student whose achievements in the study of Business Communication are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished.  This award honors the work and business contributions of Philip E. Love, a local entrepreneur whose success in the professional occurred before he could finish his bachelor’s degree, and kept him from returning to complete it.  This award, thus, was conceived both to encourage and recognize continuing academic achievement for students who are also committed to the professional business world.  The Philip E. Love award is funded by his family. 

The Rachel Sherwood Poetry Prize

To preserve the memory of Rachel Sherwood, her friends have established an annual prize to be awarded by the Northridge Review to the author of that poem judged to be the best published in the magazine during the academic year. The recipient, who must be a registered student for at least one semester during the year in which the poem is published, will be awarded $100. The funds for the award are administered by the Chair of the Department of English.

The Richard Lid and Helen Lodge Scholarship

The Richard Lid and Helen Lodge Scholarship is an annual award of $500 given to a graduate student enrolled in English and/or Secondary English Education to help pay fees for graduate work. The award honors Richard Lid, Professor Emeritus of English and Helen Lodge, Professor Emeritus of Secondary Education, who were the founders of the Northridge Writing Project. The applicant must concurrently be teaching in middle school or secondary school or be on sabbatical. The award is given in even numbered years by the Department of English and in odd-numbered years by the Department of Secondary Education.

The William L. Wilson Award

A scholarship of $1,600 will be given to an English major who plans to teach at the secondary level.  This scholarship has been established to honor the memory of William L. Wilson, a career Army officer who taught high school for many years upon his retirement from the U.S. Army.  He pursued his own continuing education throughout his lifetime and always taught by example the qualities of honesty, compassion, and justice.  The scholarship is intended to recognize and encourage students who work diligently to get their degrees and achieve their career potential in spite of additional obligations such as work or family.