2019-20 Undergraduate Recognition Ceremony
English Department Scholarships
Louise P. Herring Scholarship
Established in honor of Louise P. Herring, who earned her master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1930 and her doctorate in 1932, this scholarship recognizes excellent students with a commitment to English studies as a preparation for life.
While Shalini Jasti has discovered a love for creative nonfiction and memoirs within EPB, she has grown to be a more empathetic student, educator, and human throughout campus. She is ever thankful for the friends who have dealt with her assertive personality over the years. As her final year at Iowa comes to an end, she hopes to finish her honors capstone project with Professor Sunstein, grow further as an educator, and pursue her teaching career with a passion for international education and the globalization of the English language!
The Darwin T. Turner Award
The Darwin T. Turner Award was established in honor of Dr. Turner, chair of the African-American World Studies Program and Professor in the Department of English. The award recognizes an outstanding student of color who combines Dr. Turner’s devotion to literature and scholarship with his exemplary qualities as teacher and leader.
Sydney Gabrielle Mayes has spent most of the first year of her time at Iowa buried under piles of books and writing poetry about everything, from the carpet in Prairie Lights to the brick on the outside of EPB. She is excited to continue in this vein through the next three years of her schooling.
Helen K. Fairall Scholarships
Honoring Iowa-born and -educated juniors or seniors, this scholarship program also favors students interested in literature from 1900 to the present.
Caroline Brown has been aiming for the University of Iowa all her life, though she drastically underestimated the hills on campus until she got there. She would like to thank those who helped her though long nights at the library, highly caffeinated mornings, and that finals week where she was nocturnal. She's forever grateful for all of the love and support her family (blood and found included) continue to give through it all.
Grace Culbertson flunked her AP English exam and subsequently swore she would never attempt to write creatively again. Now, two years into her Journalism and Mass Communication and English and Creative Writing double major, she could not be happier. Grateful for the opportunity to write every day, Grace spends most of her time on essays for class or articles for the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics’ Department of Internal Medicine. After her graduation in 2022, she aims to continue exploring non-fiction storytelling and narrative journalism, hopefully as a graduate student at the University of Iowa.
Brittany Hunt looks forward to her graduation and the day she will get her own classroom. She would like to thank her many professors for their helpful feedback and communications, as well as her friends for fun times and much-needed support. She will always remember the searing heat of EPB and the numerous times she has tripped on the stairs.
Megan Lilly plans to use her English degree to pursue a career in publishing and editing. She has a specific passion for reading fiction and doing puzzles, not necessarily in that order. In addition to reading, Megan is an avid football fan and never misses a Hawkeye game in the fall. She would like to thank her parents for their support throughout her college career and for always being there to listen!
Kinsey Phipps began her creative writing endeavors at a mere eight years old when her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Ibb, tasked the class with imagining a version of the popular Magic Tree House novels. While the other kiddos wrote just a paragraph or two, she crafted an entire chapter book (pending publishing). Nowadays, instead of fictionalizing childhood travel, you can find her on an airplane with a book, pen and coffee in hand, exploring as much of the world as she can. With the support of her family, friends, and advisors, she aspires to contribute to the field of literary translation, where her love of language and literature merge.
Matteson Quint has enjoyed every moment of her academic journey at the University of Iowa. She is looking forward to combining her love of English and writing with her passion for ancient literature as she continues learning Ancient Greek and Latin, soaking up the world's most brilliant writing from Ovid to Shakespeare. Matteson is looking forward to being back on campus for lengthy discussions with peers and professors that share the same love and excitement for literature that she does.
Shay Shafer has used their time at Iowa to explore literary genre and has nurtured a growing love for creative nonfiction and autofiction. The word “essay” has never been as daunting to Shay as it often is to others, but now as a rising senior they think of essay writing with a level of relish that would make many non-English majors question their soundness of mind. Experiences in Iowa City have served as the muse for many creative projects and will likely continue to be fondly revisited in the coming years. They're looking forward to discovering what new essay fodder their final year as an undergrad and life beyond the walls of EPB will bring their way.
Ruth Gulden Holsteen and Charles Sophus Holsteen Memorial Scholarships
This joint award was established by Jon Holsteen and Nancy Holsteen Lerner in honor of their parents, Charles Sophus and Ruth Gulden Holsteen, natives of Burlington, Iowa. Mrs. Holsteen graduated with a degree in English, and the award honors students who share her commitment to excellence in the field.
Caroline Meek spends most of her time either outdoors or in one of Iowa City’s many coffee shops. She writes poetry that interrogates the often-imbalanced exchange between nature and human, and she is excited to continue pursuing a career in publishing. She will live in New Zealand at some point in her life.
Katelyn Peters is a big fan of eating entire bags of black jelly beans, screaming about her novels, and spending time with her immortal fish Emu. A proud Hawkeye from a family of Wisconsin Badgers, she is grateful for the opportunities Iowa has presented to improve her writing craft and develop a community of people who love hoarding books as much as she does. Katelyn plans to study abroad in Tasmania in spring 2021, not get bitten by anything too poisonous, and pursue a masters’ degree in library sciences post-graduation.
Helen Aicher and Kenneth Ward Nelson Scholarships
This award has been established for individuals who intend to teach at the high school level following completion of their studies.
Emily Jane Yin Gumal
As a Melanau-Chinese from Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, Emily Gumal has come to the University of Iowa to pursue her love for creative writing and dance. She would like to thank her parents for their hard work and the support that enabled her to get this far; she is grateful as well for all the others who have helped her along the way. Her latest passions include but are not limited to murder mystery novels, Instagram live ballet classes with Tiler Peck, Starbucks pink drinks, and Eleve Dancewear leotards!
Kate Struckman-Johnson is a third-year student who has a hyphenated last name. But she still tells store clerks to check for her book order under “Johnson,” which is where they usually end up finding it anyway. Asking a reader to name a favorite book is normally a terrible idea, and the same goes for Kate, who currently finds herself in the never-ending loop of collecting interesting books and having no time to read them. Her current interests lie in elegies from the Elizabethan era, mostly because expressions of grief are the subject of one of her final projects.
Alec Glisson is thrilled to be able to pursue his passion for writing at one of the top writing schools in the country. He plans to be a teacher; whether it’s at the high school or college level, in the United States or abroad, is yet to be determined. Not only has he learned valuable writing techniques and made unforgettable memories in Iowa City, but he's also learned never to trust his weather app. It'll always be colder than what the temperature says. He thanks his family for constantly encouraging and supporting him throughout his endeavors.
Margaret Leuz and Fred Einspahr Scholarships
This award recognizes excellent students who plan to pursue a career in teaching. It was established by John Einspahr in honor of his parents, Margaret Leuz and Fred Einspahr. Margaret graduated from the University of Iowa in 1912 with high honors in English.
Thanks to her passion for English from the days she began to read and write, Katie Hedegaard plans to be a secondary English teacher by 2022. She has enjoyed pursuing her dreams as an English educator at the University of Iowa. She wants to thank her parents, friends, and family for pushing her to meet her goals.
Molly Hill has been studying for the last year at Oxford University. Although she had to return early from her program, her experience in England is a highlight of her academic career during her time at Iowa. Molly will be graduating in December 2020 with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Philosophy. She will miss the comfort of the dimly-lit hallways of EPB, her position as a Writing Fellow in the Writing Center, and the hours spent discussing her favorite books with her fellow classmates and professors.
Scott A. Anderson Memorial Scholarships
Scott Anderson received his B.A. in English with highest distinction from the University of Iowa in 1984. He was an honors student, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a winner of the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion. After graduation, he worked as a writer for the UI Foundation and in the television industry in New York and Los Angeles. This scholarship honors students who share his love of writing.
Molly Allen can always be found on campus with an open book, completely engrossed in a great story. It’s truly a miracle that she got through any classes that contained numbers, although it was painful. No matter where she ends up after graduation, she will always remember EPB as the place she could be herself and nerd-out over books. Determined to stay in the best city on earth, she will be implementing her writing skills this summer as the Strategic Communications Intern at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Madison Coleman may be one of the only people on campus to enjoy writing inside EPB. She prefers places bustling with fellow writers because they inspire her to create unique characters and new worlds. Over her past two years at the university, Madison has discovered her passion for writing short stories as well as screenplays, and she continually aims to develop a voice that informs, inspires, and entertains. She would like to thank her mother and father for supporting and encouraging her to write stories about mystical worlds
Natalia Cruz-Aguayo has felt thoroughly enriched by everything UIowa has allowed her to read about, write about, and think deeply about. Although Iowa City’s location and climate are very far from that of her home island, Puerto Rico, she believes that this was where she was meant to study. She would like to thank absolutely all of her professors for being so engaging and encouraging, and she hopes one day to write a novel that will encapsulate all she has gained from this one-of-a-kind Bachelor's experience.
Vince Filippini thinks the stray cheerios at the bottom of the cereal box are poetic. He stands mid-pour and postulates their place in the universe, softy humming a Bob Dylan lullaby. Meanwhile, the milk turns room temperature, the first artificially intelligent being wins the Palm d’Or at Cannes, and the last independently owned bookstore goes out of business; dogs rise up to lock their owners in cages, cages become homes with utility bills and 3.15% APRs, a new microbrewery opens up swearing its new lagers cure cancer, and Flex-Seal©️ is offering their valued customers a once-in-a-lifetime discount offer on everything! And Vince, our poor old wrinkled Vince, raises a futile spoonful to his mouth. He croons to the stale strays on the end of his spoon, “In you, I see the universe,” munching away into the outward edges of the galaxy.
Three years ago, Taylor Geldermann only had to step inside Prairie Lights once to know that Iowa City was where she belonged. Always dreaming about a life of books (or stepping inside of one), she wants to pursue a career in editing to combine her longtime passions of reading and writing. She is very thankful for the faculty and peers she has gotten to work with so far on projects involving the written word: editing for literary magazines, assembling anthologies, and designing books. Excited not to leave the loving embrace of old EPB just yet, Taylor is ready to pen the last chapter of her time at the University of Iowa and see where the story takes her.
Katie Ann McCarver
Katie Ann McCarver is an Oklahoma-born, Germany- and Texas-raised, Iowa student who has her parents, sisters, and AP English teachers to thank for her pursuit of a Creative Writing degree. Katie Ann also majors in Journalism and Mass Communication and can usually be found in EPB’s charming and fashionable neighbor, the Adler Journalism Building, where she is hunched over a laptop and copy editing in the Daily Iowan newsroom. Given the choice, however, she will always opt for a day spent reading and re-reading Pride and Prejudice, writing autobiographical prose about an ambitious college journalist, and drinking a good cup of coffee. Just don’t tell her editors.
Mishma Stefni Nixon
Mishma Nixon has become annoyingly nice after two years in Iowa and still hasn’t figured out how football works. She often misses the beaches back home in Sri Lanka, but she copes by writing stories about warmer and sunnier places. She wishes to write and research children’s literature and hopes to create more diverse and inclusive stories for kids around the world. #nomorepeterpan!
Jeff Piekarz is extremely excited that he still has two years at Iowa to devour as much knowledge about writing, publishing, and book design as he can. He is incredibly honored by those who have recognized his talents and especially grateful to those who helped him find new ones. He's hoping to minor in both Philosophy and ASL before (possibly) diving into the world of publishing and continuing to write on the side.
Nichole Shaw has spent the last few weeks of this semester picking herself up out of a downward spiral by the saving grace of her friends, reading good books, and relying upon the art and craft of writing. Because I am interested in English and Journalism, these two majors have required me to learn more about myself through my connection to other people and humanity in general. I have come to accept my identity wholeheartedly because of various workshop classes I've taken and essays I've written chronicling my experiences as a woman of color who has finally found her voice. I plan to spend the next year or so sharing the voices of those who often go unheard and discovering where their stories take me.
Sherry Simmons Loring Memorial Scholarship
Established by Eric Loring, in honor of his late wife, Sherry Simmons Loring, who earned her B.A. in English at the University of Iowa in 1970. The award recognizes students who, like the Lorings, have demonstrated their commitment to and pleasure in the life of the mind at the University of Iowa.
Jenny Eikre has spent over two hundred and twenty-seven hours in EPB during the eight weeks of the Spring 2020 semester, and she will miss spending so much time in that building when she graduates. She has loved having the opportunity to grow as a writer and an editor, working with incredible authors, and meeting many adorable squirrels in Iowa City. She is so grateful for the aid and encouragement from her family as well as the professors and graduate students that she has had the honor to work with at the University of Iowa.
Sean Wu Memorial Scholarship
Endowed by David Wu and Una Yang in memory of their son, an English and creative writing student who was also on the Bijou Film Board and active in KRUI radio. The scholarship supports a freshman English major in Creative Writing who shows promise in this area.
Sydney Gabrielle Mayes hopes one day to be able to work a job that involves writing poetry and to have enough books to make her mother concerned. She would like to thank her partner, her friends, her instructors, and her mother for helping to make her first year spectacular.
Emily Wagner Memorial Scholarships
This award honors Emily Wagner, who received her B.A. in English from the University of Iowa in 2002. After graduating, Emily pursued her love of reading and writing by joining the Teach for America Corps. Challenging and engaging middle-school students, she continued her career as an inspiring English teacher until her death in 2010. This scholarship supports an English major who shares Emily’s love of literature, demonstrates academic excellence, and is a graduate of an Iowa high school.
Natalie Holmes is a quarrelsome reader, an employed library book stamper, a fandom conspiracy theorist, and a local Iowa City gal. She recently decided that English wasn’t quite enough reading, so she added a major in religious studies to throw into the mix some weird ancient mythology. Her main stress relief comes from hip-shaking-jazzy-handed dance fitness. Through the turbulence, she is grateful to have an incredible family that relentlessly champions her goals and passions.
Ellie Zupancic is a writer, artist, and editor. When she’s not working as the Editor-in-Chief of Fools Magazine, writing poetry, or developing her honors thesis in Philosophy (under the wonderful guidance of Dr. Asha Bhandary), you can find her adding to her queue of books to read. In the fall, Ellie plans to apply to graduate programs in Philosophy.
John C. McGalliard Prize for the Best Essay on Medieval Studies
This award is given to an English or comparative literature major who submits the most outstanding essay on a medieval subject.
“Beowulf and the Dragon: Hoarded Gold”
Ben Yusen has spent three years developing his passion for Medieval and Epic language, literature, and translation. Most recently, he has been analyzing the humor and intent of the Icelandic Sagas for an independent project guided by Jonathan Wilcox. He is grateful for his family, his loved ones, and his bandmates. Their support has helped him grow as a writer and a human.
Miriam Gilbert Prize for Shakespeare Studies
Each year this award is given for the best essay on Shakespeare, renaissance literature, or drama and performance. The prize honors Professor Miriam Gilbert, who taught Shakespeare at the University of Iowa, as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, until her retirement in 2013.
Mishma Stefni Nixon
“Language of Violence and Desire in Shakespeare’s Poetry”
Mishma Nixon wants to give special thanks to Adam Hooks for rejuvenating her interest in Renaissance literature and for making her realize how much she loves John Donne’s poetry. Who would’ve thought?
Elizabeth Dietz Poetry Essay Prize
Given for the best essay on poetry, this award honors Elizabeth Dietz, who was a poet, a professor of Renaissance Literature at Rice University, and a graduate of both the Iowa Writers Workshop and the doctoral program in English.
“Where There Is Grief, There Is Also Joy”
Ellie Zupancic is so honored to have been awarded the Dietz Essay Award and the Emily Wagner Scholarship from the Department of English. She offers immense gratitude to her professors, family, and peers for continually challenging and believing in her.
Honors in English
(with capstone projects and advisors)
Ryan Chaglasian has read many novels for classes during his four years in Iowa City, and he now regrets that he never took a course that included Love in the Time of Cholera or Station Eleven, now unexpectedly relevant. He wishes to thank his teachers and classmates for fostering so many enjoyable discussions, as well as the English Honors Program for accepting such a latecomer. His post-BA plans are to continue sheltering in place, followed by applying to graduate school.
Jessica Davis will never forget the honor of being in so many eye-opening and truly enjoyable classes at the University of Iowa. She wishes she could thank Professor Linda Bolton especially for teaching her how literature, social justice, and philosophy can be used to help oneself and to help others. She would also like to thank her lovely friends Roxanne, Mayo, and Mariel, who have read through countless pages of Jessica’s writing and listened to her many rants about anything and everything; without their support and laughter, she wouldn’t be where she is today. After graduation, Jessica will continue assisting the Domestic Violence Intervention Program and working towards her goal of becoming a lawyer.
Kelly Lynch has spent the last three years in the department building relationships with professors and classmates whom she will cherish for a lifetime. She has stumbled, wanted to switch majors, didn’t, stood back up, learned, and ultimately succeeded. Thanks to all of the amazing people in EPB, she has grown as a writer more than she ever knew she could, and she plans to use these skills as she ventures across the river, a few buildings over, to the University of Iowa College of Law. She wouldn’t be where she is today without leaping into an English major during the second week of her freshman year.
Willow Miller, “Select ‘New Woman’ Novels Explored with Python”
Advisor: Florence Boos
With her English degree on the way, Willow Miller wants to thank everyone who supported her at Iowa, like Dr. Boos and her English advisor Kate, who recommended that she try the B-School. After graduation, Willow will continue in the Master of Finance program at the Tippie College of Business. She is excited to apply what she learned in her English coursework to her emerging field.
Sanjana Sivakumar is tremendously grateful for the Interpretation of Literature class that made her stumble into EPB, where she fell in love with English and out of love with STEM. She is thrilled to have taken part in the Irish Writing Program and listened to the Guinness-fueled masterpieces of her peers. After graduation, she will put her two degrees, in French and English, to work by moving to France and teaching English to non-native speakers of our lovely language.
Winner of a Golden Pledge Scholarship for 2017-18 and Helen K. Fairall Scholarships for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020
Rachel Zingg never thought she would be crossing a virtual stage for graduation, but she is so thankful to her professors, parents, and friends for helping prepare her to rise to any challenge she might encounter. She's never met an English class she didn't absolutely love, but she is especially fond of the inklings she gained in her first-year J.R.R. Tolkien course, the literary rants she participated in during her Shakespeare’s Romans course junior year, and the research skills she honed in her three senior Honors Seminars! She plans to put her reading, writing, and analytical expertise to good use when she attends law school in the fall.
Honors in English and Creative Writing
(with capstone projects and advisors)
Jen Anne Becker
Jen Becker used to worry about the fact that she would be approaching 50 by the time she finished her BA. Could it really be worth it at this stage in her life? Her best friend told her, matter-of-factly, “So, then you’ll be 50 with a bachelor’s degree.” Now Jen has earned her degree in English and Creative Writing on the Publishing Track with honors, and an exciting future awaits. While at the University of Iowa, she was a member of Sigma Tau Delta ATI, The English Society, and Fools Magazine, and an editor of the 4th Annual Iowa Chapbook Prize. This summer she will attend the Denver Publishing Institute and pursue a career in publishing while working on her memoir. Carpe Diem!
Jay Biggs, “Cloud Walker”
Advisor: Lori Branch
Jay Biggs expected many things when she decided to attend the University of Iowa: late nights spent writing essays, frozen treks to class, and oftentimes grueling coursework. What she didn't expect was to find a home. Jay is excited to remain in Iowa and has accepted an 8th Grade Language Arts teaching position at Fort Dodge Middle School.
Cassie Birk hails from the Pacific Northwest, but she has been running around Iowa City for four years doing a little bit of everything. With two majors, two minors, three jobs, three clubs, one summer abroad and another in an Iowa City internship, she has embraced and excelled in multiplicity. Her future plans remain elusive. Maybe they will come to her when she finally grows to like ranch dressing.
Sarah Bridgeport, “île flottante”
Advisor: Jeff Porter
Sarah Bridgeport is one of many Sarahs. To specify, she is from Columbus, Ohio, and has enjoyed being in multiple forms of honors programs through the years. Honors at Iowa has allowed her to explore and strengthen her writing, for which she is grateful.
A double major in Dance as well as English and Creative Writing, Emily Buttolph has just reconceived her final performance as dancing for film. In "A Redirect Again," a dance choreographed around so many childhood relocations, she has traded the stage for a rocky terrain that foregrounds the perpetual need to adapt. She is the Lead Teacher/Curriculum Director for the university's Ballet Club, a member of the International English Honors Society, and President of Alpha Tau Iota, the department's English Society.
Rebecca Carey, “Carlos Iturra, Crime and Pardon”
Advisor: Claire Fox
Becca Carey wants to extend a solemn ‘Thank you’ to Kathleen Diffley, along with the rest of the English department, for keeping on in these unforeseen circumstances. She is also grateful for Kate Torno, Claire Fox, and Stephen Voyce, all of whom were impactful educators/counselors during her last semester in the fall. She is currently a business development and distribution assistant at Greenleaf Book Group in Austin, Texas.
Alexandra Chasteen, “In Every House I’ve Ever Lived: Three Stories on the Pseudo-Autobiographical Literary Domestic Space”
Advisor: Louisa Hall
Alex Chasteen has spent a potentially illegal amount of time in EPB and feels it’s appropriate that she is no longer allowed to go there. She would like to thank her advisor, Louisa Hall, and her professors for their endless generosity and guidance. After graduation, she plans to teach English in France and try to avoid graduate school, as one dodges pianos dropped from apartments overhead.
Winner of a Helen K. Fairall Scholarship for 2019-2020
Ajla Dizdarevic is thankful for the English Department and her time at the university. After graduation, she will go to Croatia through the Fulbright Program.
Faith Ellington is happy to be graduating with her degree in English/Creative Writing. She gives a special shoutout to the incredible Professor Kathleen Diffley and the quiet study space on the fifth floor of EPB. She is going on to pursue a PhD in English at LSU.
Hannah Frame, “(RE)UNITED”
Advisor: Lisa Schlesinger
Winner of a Scott A. Anderson Memorial Scholarship for 2018-19
Hannah Frame has tried just about every genre of writing from erasure poetry to short form screenwriting and has found that her passion lies in all that English has to offer. She would like to thank her family, friends, professors, and mentors for bearing with her as she tries to make sense of the mess she’s made. After graduation, Hannah hopes to make it out to the west coast to pursue acting, writing, and all things creative.
Winner of a Helen K. Fairall Scholarship for 2017-2018
Hannah Gulick has spent her time at Iowa exploring the intersection of poetry and astrophysics while simultaneously getting lost in the spaces in between. She is forever grateful to the professors who have pulled, thrown, and turned her poems inside out, and she would not be the poet she is without the creative home she found with Fools Magazine and the Fools editorial board. After graduation, Hannah will continue writing—now outside of the academic universe—while attending UC-Berkeley to pursue a PhD in astrophysics.
Amy Jones, “Legends Never Die”
Advisor: Brooks Landon
Amy Jones has spent the past four years studying hard, living life, and writing in pursuit of a dream. She has pursued many experiences both abroad and at the university, and she strives to make fantasy a more recognized and respected genre. She would like to thank her teachers for their lessons and encouragement; they have made all the difference. She is looking forward to writing out in the real world and seeing where that path takes her.
Kathleen K. Lohnes, “One Moment Event Horizon”
Advisor: Harilaos Stecopoulos
Kate Lohnes has loved every moment at the University of Iowa. She especially enjoyed spending her last year working hard on her two honors capstone projects— one for each of her majors. She could not have succeeded without the endless support of her family, friends, and the wonderful staff in the departments of English and Philosophy.
Brigid Martin has been blessed to have the best of both worlds: she has been jumping between theatre and creative writing as she worked her way through these last four years. Her best English memories include making Harry Potter wands with the English Society and attending open mics to hear the words of her fellow writers. She hopes that her words will find their way to you someday!
Winner of a Margaret Leuz and Fred Einspahr Scholarship for 2019-2020
In the recesses of EPB, Gabbie Meis has spent most of her time in the English program studying fiction, creative nonfiction, and all-things-literature from wonderful faculty and alongside talented and graceful students. She thanks each of her classmates, friends, and professors, as well as Fools Magazine, for introducing her to the creatives that have become her life-long friends. After graduation, Gabbie will be taking to the outdoors (hopefully) in a welcome year off before pursuing graduate school in English and translation studies.
Winner of a Scott A. Anderson Memorial Scholarship for 2019-2020
Ashleigh Monaco took a travel writing seminar during the first semester of freshman year. That class was the catalyst for her pursuing a life of adventure, always exploring with a notebook and pen close at hand. Her experiences studying abroad in Dublin, spending spring break taking a kayaking class with other UIowa students in Utah, working in Grand Teton National Park, and hiking through Iowa’s many state parks have only increased her love of traveling and her appreciation for the environment. After graduation, she hopes to continue working for national parks while writing about her encounters with the natural world.
Tyler Nestvedt is a transfer student who has spent the last two years poring over novels, short stories, and poems, only to realize that he’s got a long way to go. He would like to thank his family for their unending support, the many mentors who have provided him the opportunities that have led him to this moment, and his roommates for putting up with the many, many repetitions of the question: "Hey, would read my paper/story to see if it’s any good?"
Winner of a Scott A. Anderson Memorial Scholarship for 2018-2019
Owen Rehling is graduating with a major in English and Creative Writing and a Minor in Mass Communication. He hopes to find a job in the editing and publishing field while beginning work on a novel.
Carla Seravalli, “Burial and Belonging: Post-human Ecology in Poe”
Advisor: Matt Brown
For the Iowa City Book Festival in 2017, Carla Seravalli read aloud a chapter of Moby Dick detailing the extraction, storage, and uses of ambergris, and she was accompanied only by Professor Stapleton on the steps of the Old Capitol Museum. She has basically spent all of undergrad since then trying to get back that rush. She is immensely grateful for all the brilliant and patient poetry instructors who have helped her develop her craft and for professors who taught classes on the gothic and American literature, which helped prepare her for her honors thesis on posthuman ecology in the works of Poe under the guidance of Professor Matt Brown. She plans to continue working as a freelance writer and educator before pursuing an MFA in poetry and a graduate degree in literature. She’s not sure which will come first.
Paige Stevens is armed with a Liberal Arts degree and is ready to use it. During her four years in Iowa City, she has discovered a warm, creative community filled with talented and passionate people, who have given her the courage to create the work that she loves. She hopes to take her University of Iowa approved writing skills to the entertainment industry in her pursuit of a career in television screenplays and making herself laugh.
Laura Timm, “The Deep Rest of Simple Places”
Advisor: Phillip Round
When Laura Timm first proposed her Honors Project to her Mentor/Advisor, it was little more than an idea stretched over the concept of a structure. She is grateful for Phillip Round's wisdom and guidance, as he consistently sent her back to dig deeper, to uncover various angles, and to consider how other great thinkers may have explored similar questions. She will miss the prompts and challenges presented by her other professors, the many helpful and inspiring discussions shared with several graduate students at the Writing Center or with her departmental advisor Kate Torno, and the many brisk walks between classes. From her experiences as a non-traditional student, Laura has gained a belief that friendship and wisdom are ageless and that everything is fascinating if you remain curious and listen.
Mary Walz, “Surrounded by Glass”
Advisor: Brooks Landon
Winner of a Scott A. Anderson Memorial Scholarship for 2019-2020
Mary Walz is happy to have spent her college years travelling to see the places she’s learned about in books she’s read as an English and Creative Writing major. Through the Land of the Muses trip to Greece, she was able to walk the same pathways as Socrates and see the shrines of gods she learned about in the work of Percy Jackson. During a semester in France, she stayed in the headquarters of the French Résistance and learned the language of Les Misérables. She is excited to continue discovering the world and maybe even writing about it someday.
Emily Ward will miss EPB dearly! While working on her English and Creative Writing degree, she was also employed by the English Department, first at the front desk for two years and then as an intern for The Iowa Review for another two years. Her big thank you’s go out to Anne Stapleton, Hannah Sorrell, Kate Torno, Cherie Hansen-Rieskamp, Claire Fox, Lynne Nugent, and Kate Conlow. She will be attending Marquette University Law as a 1L in the fall, but she will certainly be back to visit.
Sarah Weeks has spent more time in EPB than in any other building on campus, and she is certain it will remain the backdrop for many a dream and nightmare for years to come. Even now, she’s pretty sure she hasn’t read most classic works of literature. So while she departs the University of Iowa, she will keep a growing reading list near and dear to her heart.
Sigma Tau Delta Members, 2019-2020
Alpha Tau Iota is the University of Iowa Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society. Sigma Tau Delta’s central purpose is to confer distinction for high achievement in English language, literature, and writing.
(Names in bold designate graduating seniors)
Alicia Rossano (graduate student, Dept. of English)
We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the English Society officers to the department’s vibrant undergraduate culture.
Madeline Berner and Rose Simonson— Co-Presidents
Cailyn Snodgrass — Treasurer and Event Manager
Scott Magnuson — Publicist
John Lyons — Education Chair
Bruce Tanlim — Marketing and Outreach Chair
Kate Struckman-Johnson — Social Media Chair
December 2019 Graduates
May 2020 Graduates
August 2020 Graduates