Western Kentucky University

Student News

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Student News 2012-2013

 English majors and minors were recognized for department scholarships on April 14, 2013 at the PCAL Awards Ceremony.

scholarship ceremony

Pictured above: English students who received scholarships and awards alongside their faculty mentors.


The English department also revealed their craftier side in creating these centerpieces (pictured below) that were used during the PCAL Awards Ceremony.



In other news, Shawna Felkins is the recipient of a graduate assistantship in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi, and will start graduate work in the fall of 2013.


Student News 2010-11

2010-11 Undergraduate News

  • Beth Tinker (an English and Allied Arts major) was accepted into the Lanauge Education M.A. program at Indiana University
  • Nick Asher found a job at the National Oark Service
  • Isiah Fish (Creative Writing) won the Sarabande Flo Gault poetry contest for Kentucky undergraduates
  • Bianca Brown (Professional Writing) has been invited to the White House in recognition of her work for WKU's Public Achievement program
  • Lindsey Houchin (English for Secondary Teachers) won a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study at the University of Johannesburg
  • Recent graduate Morgan Eklund had her poem "News Stories" accepted by the prestigious ABZ: A Poetry Journal for their 7th annual volume coming May 2012.

Three May 2010 graduates were awarded Fullbrights and spent 2010-11 abroad:

  • Jennifer Dooper (Argentina)
  • Dawn Reinhardt (Germany)
  • Eileen Ryan (South Korea)

Four December 2010 English graduates were PCAL Scholars of the College:

  • Andrew Burchett graduated with majors in English and Anthropology. He is off to the University of Hawaii for graduate work in Anthropology.
  • Regina Durkan majored in English and Broadcasting, and she has a job with CMT in Nashville.
  • Caleb Ernst graduated in English and Allied Language Arts and plans to attend graduate school.
  • Mandy Simpson finished with a major in English and News Editorial. She has a job with the daily paper in Danville, Kentucky.

Two more English graduates enjoyed this same distinction in May

  • Sarah Crites, with a double major in English and History will attend law school in May.
  • Jill Own, with a double major in English and French and will earn an M.A. in May.

Jennifer Kiefer was accepted into the Teach for America Program.

Jaime Ogles is in the Peace Corps.

Sam Ford, 2005 graduate,co-edited The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Ear, and taught a class on the soap opera for the new Popular Culture major.

Morgan Eklund, who is completing an internship with Sarabande Books, recieved the competitive Next Generation Nonprofit Leaders Program internship award. Morgan also win first place in the writing category for the WKU ALIVE Center's Engage & Exchange Challenge; she also received a Next Generation Nonprofit Leaders Program Scholarships.

This year's Outstanding Major Awards went to:

  • Kari Keech (Professional Writing)
  • Molly Koeneman (Literature)
  • Jennifer Kiefer (Creatie Writing)
  • Danielle Bullock (English for Secondary Teaching)

Our graduate students were also honored:

  • Chet Breaux, Outstanding Graduate Student
  • Michael Gray, Wood Graduate Student
  • Icy Trent, Gladly Award

Lauren Deese, Shawna Felkins, Audrey Gearheart, Jennifer Kiefer, Molly Koeneman, and Matt Whitman were invited to read academic papers and/or creative writing at the national Sigma Tau Delta Conference this spring. Kiefer and Gearheart won 1st and 3rd place for their fiction, respectively.

The department was well represented at the WKU Research Conference this year:
Undergraduates Ethan Millspaugh, Ryan Hunton, Kristen Houser, Kasey Vaught, Nicholas Asher, Brittany Cheak, Thomas Cherry, Adrianna Silver, and Meagan Harris, as well as graduate students Kyle Sanders, Kristen Eller, Martin Broadwell read papers. Kasey Vaught an Kristen Eller took "best in panel" honors.

Students selected to read at the English Department's Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture were Morgan Eklund, Meredith Wadlington, Katie King, Kat Michael, Nick Asher, Andrew Burchett, Nasir Ali, Jessica Vonderheide, Katie Gibbs, Audrey Gearheart, Molly Koeneman, Nathaneal Hovee, Alex Acquisto, Ethan Millspaugh, and Mandy Simpson.

Creative Writers who published and/or won awards this year include:

  • Jesse Knifely, Molly Koeneman, and recent graduate Sara Holcombe had stories included in Commutability, a short fiction anthology edited by David Bell and Molly McCaffrey.
  • Cameron Stringer's "Do Barbies Dream of Plastic Sheep? A True Story of My First Failed Relationship" was published in Thoreau's Rooster: a national undergraduate journal of creative nonfiction
  • Mason Broadwell published two poems in poemleon: a journal of poetry
  • Morgan Eklund published two poems in The Peacock's Feet
  • Tracy Jo Ingram earned an honorable mention in the Sarabunde Books Flo Gault students poetry competition.
  • Brent Fisk was the runner-up for fiction for the Iron Horse Discovered Voices Award
  • Molly Koeneman, Seanna Wilhelm, and Andrew Marlowe Bergman took first, second, and third place at the Jim Wayne Miller Celebration of Writing workshop led by novelist Sharyn McCrumb

The Zephyrus award winners:

  • Marianne Hale, Jim Wayne Miller Poetry Award
  • Hannah Morris, Browning Literary Club Poetry Award
  • Audrey Gearheart, Ann Travelstead Fiction Award of the Ladies Literary Club
  • Will Hollis, Wanda Gatlin Essay Award

Five English Majors wrote one act plays featured in this year's Famous for 15 Minutes New Play Festival: Ashley Alvord, Nick Asher, Andrew Marlowe Bergman, Blaine Corless, and Nicholas Stafford Weller.

Several recent graduates are attending various graduate programs in the fall:

  • Sarah Crites is going to law school at Washington University
  • Jill Owen is pursuing an M.A. in French at UK
  • Felicia Stinson is studying creative writing at Kingston University in London
  • Beth Tinker was accepted to the Language Education M.A. at Indiana University
  • Jesi Williams, whi had been teaching in South Korea, will pursue an M.A. in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University
  • Brittany Szabo has been accepted into the MFA program at Florida International University
  • Brooke Shafer completed her M.A. in German at Washington University and continues in the Ph.D. program.

Others have landed desirable jobs:

  • Savanah Sipple is teaching full time at Hazard Community and Technical College
  • Margaret Brown (M.A. 2007) is head of the English Department at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
  • Eileen Ryan will be an admissions counselor at the WKU Honors College
  • Nick Asher is working for the National Park Service

Recent graduates of the M.A. program have been accepted into PhD programs in literature:

  • Chet Breaux will study at University of Louisiana, Lafayette
  • Michael Sirles will study at MTSU
  • Kenny Morrison will study at Cornell

Other recent M.A. graduate success:

  • N=Bonny McDonald begins a Ph.D. in Performance Art at LSU this fall
  • Christy Hall completed her Ph.D. at MTSU
  • Leigh Johnson completed her Ph.D. at University of NEw MExico and has a tenure-track job at Marymount
  • Bobby Deignan completed his M.A. at University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Bianca Springgs published her first collection of poems, entitled Kaffir Lily



Goldenrod Finalists Front Row
 Last Modified 4/15/14