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. 

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT AWARDS

Possible in the Fall Semester

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. 

Application Requirement

minimum 3.5 overall GPA

Application Materials

Completed application form; letter discussing the applicant’s qualifications for the award, including issues such as financial aid, and/or engagement in the discipline, and/or commitment to further study in English (1-2 pages); résumé or curriculum vitae; two letters of recommendation; Financial Aid release form (attached to application form). 

The Oliver W. Evans Writing Prize

To commemorate Oliver W. Evans, his colleagues and friends have established two annual prizes of $500 to be awarded to the authors of the two best critical or creative pieces of prose—one for a paper on any topic and one for a paper on American literature—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. All papers should indicate which of the two award designations they are targeting: “General Topics” or “American literature.” The awards will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English.

Application Materials

One hard copy of the student’s paper

The Eva Latif Writing Prize in Children's Literature

To commemorate Eva Latif, her colleagues and friends offer an annual prize of $500 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.

Application Materials

One hard copy of the student’s paper

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 world 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.  

Application Requirements

Applicant must be a CSUN student enrolled in at least 6 units in the semester in which the award is bestowed, minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Application Materials

Completed Philip E. Love Scholarship application form (available in ST 706), faculty recommendation form completed by the applicant’s English 205 professor, business writing sample completed between January, 20, 2017 and November 17, 2017 (2-page maximum), personal statement describing applicant’s understanding and commitment to strong business communication skills (1-page maximum). 

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. 

Application Requirements

For any Undergraduate Student: registered as an English major, minimum 3.0 overall GPA, registered for at least 12 units in the subsequent semester. 

For Graduate Students:  registered in the English graduate program, minimum 3.25 GPA, registered for at least 6 units in the subsequent semester. 

Application Materials

Completed application form, personal vignette of a classroom experience that has motivated the applicant’s desire to teach (3-page max.), unofficial transcript, two letters of recommendation, Financial Aid release form (attached to application form).   

The Richard Lid and Helen Lodge Scholarship

An award of $500 will be given to a graduate student enrolled in English and/or Secondary English Education, to help pay fees for graduate work.  The applicant must concurrently be teaching in middle school or secondary school or be on sabbatical.  

Application Requirements

Application form, unofficial transcript with GPA, a letter explaining the applicant’s interests in and concerns about teaching English Language Arts (max. 2 single-spaced pages), letter of recommendation from a CSUN faculty member familiar with the applicant’s academic work.  

The Thomas Matthew Magness Graduate Memorial Fund

In memory of Thomas Matthew Magness, former English graduate student, this award will provide $1,000 tuition remission for a first-semester graduate student in the English MA program. Selection will be based on academic merit.

Application Requirement

Minimum 3.6 overall undergraduate GPA.

Application Materials

One letter of recommendation speaking to academic strengths and a 500-word personal statement detailing interests and goals in the English MA program. 

 

Possible in the Spring Semester

*** UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS ***

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. 
Application Requirement:  minimum 3.5 overall GPA
Application Materials: completed application form; letter discussing the applicant’s qualifications for the award, including issues such as financial aid, and/or engagement in the discipline, and/or commitment to further study in English (1-2 pages); résumé or curriculum vitae; two letters of recommendation; Financial Aid release form (attached to application form). 

The Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award
A prize of $500 will be given to an undergraduate 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. 
Application Requirements: Students will submit an application form and a copy of your essay to the English Department Office (ST 706). 

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 Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled in the English Honors Program.  And the student will submit an application form and a copy of the essay to the English Department Office (ST 706). 

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 honors 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.  The scholarship recognizes and encourages students who work diligently to get their degrees and achieve their career potential in spite of additional obligations such as work or family. 
Application requirements: Applicants must currently be either a junior or senior English major going on for a secondary single-subject teaching credential in English; possess people skills associated with the successful classroom teacher, such as maturity, purpose, and compassion; and be a strong student (CSUN GPA of 3.0 or higher). Applicants must submit the application form and a personal essay of no more than 350 words introducing herself or himself – including why she or he has chosen this field of study, and her or his personal circumstances and eventual career objective to the English Department Office (ST 706). A CSUN faculty member must complete the William L. Wilson Faculty evaluation form and submit it directly to the Chair of the Awards Committee.

The Deborah Averill Award in Creative Writing
An award of $250 will be awarded to a female student who has had more than a one-year absence from school and returned after overcoming obstacles.  The applicant, in either the undergraduate or graduate creative writing program, will submit a creative writing sample not to exceed ten pages (in any genre), as well as a 1-2 page personal statement.

 

*** GRADUATE AWARDS ***

The Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English
In memory of Mitchell Marcus, a former Professor in the Department (1958-1983), a prize of $4,000 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 Requirements: the candidate must have classified status as a graduate student, hold a minimum 3.75 GPA, submit the completed application form, two current letters of recommendation from English Department faculty, a personal statement (max. 2 single-spaced pages), and a writing sample (max. 20 double-spaced pages), résumé (max. 2 pages). 

The Mahlon Gaumer Award
In honor of Mahlon Gaumer, a professor of English at CSUN from 1969-1997, who specialized in linguistics and Medieval literature, an award of $500 will be given to a graduate student who is the author of the best critical essay on English literature—with emphasis on the use of language. 
Application Requirements: application form, essay (max. 20 double-spaced pages), the essay will not have been considered in previous English department competitions, the applicant must be enrolled as a graduate student, papers must analyze English or American literature with an emphasis on the use of language. 

The Harry Finestone Award in English
In honor of Harry Finestone, a gifted teacher and innovative administrator at CSUN from 1962-1983, an award of $750 will be presented each year to the graduate student with the most distinguished essay in the study of literature completed in the department’s capstone graduate seminar, ENGL 698D.  The essay must be nominated by the instructor of the course in which the student was enrolled. The Awards Committee 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. 
Application Requirements:  application form, minimum 3.5 GPA (verified by unofficial transcript), hard copy of the essay, letter from course instructor (submitted directly to the Awards Committee Chair) nominating the essay for this award. 

The Irene Clark Scholarship for Rhetoric and Composition
The Irene Clark Scholarship for Rhetoric and Composition awards $500 for a paper written by a Department of English graduate student on a topic in rhetoric and composition during the 2017-2019 academic year.
Application Requirements: application form, essay (max. 20 double-spaced pages), the applicant must be enrolled as a graduate student, essays must focus on a topic in rhetoric and composition.

The Angeline Olliff Memorial Scholarship
In memory of Angeline Olliff, a former graduate student and teaching associate in the Department of English, a $250 scholarship will be awarded in spring 2019 to a Rhetoric and Composition graduate student or a Teaching Associate in any specialization (creative writing, literature, rhetoric and composition).
Application Requirements: application form, a writing sample or detailed lesson plan, and a cover letter of no more than 500 words that explains how their own research or teaching practices showcase how the power of language can affirm agency and subsequently elevate one's voice, as asserted in Angie Olliff’s words: “Somehow I had learned early on that there is power in having a voice, and my writing shows my often inelegant struggle to find this power, to assert (and often defend) my place.  I am encouraged, though, because my increasing awareness of both my evolving literary voice and my sensitivity to my environment will enable me to write more consciously. As I write more consciously, I will wield the words most meaningful to me, and I will use my voice with agency.”  The writing sample should show the student's proficiency in research that exemplifies the power of language. Essays can be assignments previously written for a class. Lesson plans and/or essay prompts must detail the expected student outcomes and be clear on how the lesson reinforces the power of language and finding one's own voice.

The Deborah Averill Award in Creative Writing
An award of $250 will be awarded to a female student who has had more than a one-year absence from school and returned after overcoming obstacles.  The applicant, in either the undergraduate or graduate creative writing program, will submit a creative writing sample not to exceed ten pages (in any genre), as well as a 1-2 page personal statement.