Professorships and Chairs

George Holmes University Professorships

One of the most prestigious of the awards that the university bestows upon faculty, George W. Holmes University Professorships are supported by the University of Nebraska Foundation from the estate of George W. Holmes, a prominent Lincoln businessman, civic leader and philanthropist in the 1920s. These professorships are awarded in recognition of an extraordinary level of excellence in various aspects of teaching, outreach, scholarly and/or creative achievement, and extensive involvement and service in the advancement of the university's mission.

Kwame Dawes (2021)
Stephen Behrendt (1993)

John E. Weaver and Aaron Douglas Professorships for Teaching Excellence

Established in 2008, John E. Weaver and Aaron Douglas Professorships are awarded to faculty holding the full professor rank who demonstrate sustained and extraordinary levels of teaching excellence and national visibility for instructional activities and/or practice.

Grace Bauer (2019)
Robert Brooke (2015)
Laura White (2014)
Stephen Buhler (2010)

Adele Hall Chair of English

Timothy Schaffert (2023)
Shari Stenberg (2022)
Jonis Agee (2000)

Willa Cather Professorships

Willa Cather Professorships are awarded to faculty who have demonstrated an exceptional record of distinguished scholarship and creative activity. Their work reflects the highest levels of achievement, quality and importance.

Marco Abel (2020)
Joy Castro (2018)
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster (2016)
Gerald Shapiro (2007)

Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professorships

Susan J. Rosowski Professorships recognize faculty at the associate professor level for their contributions in research and teaching, who show exceptional promise for future excellence, and who have achieved distinguished records of scholarship or creative activity.

Hope Wabuke (2024)
Jennine Capó Crucet (2021)
Stacey Waite (2020)
Timothy Schaffert (2017)
Matthew Jockers (2015)
Roland Végső (2015)
Joy Castro (2013)
Stephen Ramsay (2013)
Melissa Homestead (2009)

Hillegass University Professorship

The Hillegass University Professorship was established by the Cliffs Charitable Foundation for the English department in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Kenneth M. Price (2000)

James E. Ryan Associate Professorship

Chigozie Obioma (2020)

Faculty Awards for Research & Creative Activity

University Awards

University of Nebraska Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity

The Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award (ORCA) honors members of the University of Nebraska faculty who have conducted outstanding research or creative activity of national and/or international significance.

Kwame Dawes (2019)
Kenneth M. Price (2013)
Jonis Agee (2010)
Wheeler Winston Dixon (2006)
Susan J. Rosowski (2004)
Hilda Raz (2002)
Moira Ferguson (1995)
Oyekan Owomoyela (1994)
Stephen Behrendt (1992)
Louis Crompton (1986)
Paul A. Olson (1984)
Bernice Slote (1978)

College Awards

College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award

The Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award (ORCA) honors recognizes significant research and creative accomplishments of faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences over the last five years.

Roland Végső (2021)
Adrian S. Wisnicki (2020)
Jonis Agee (2019)
Maureen Honey (2018)
Kenneth M. Price (2016)
Stephen Behrendt (2015)
Kwame Dawes (2014)
Joy Castro (2013)
Gerald Shapiro (2007)
Wheeler Winston Dixon (2003)
Hilda Raz (2001)

College of Arts & Sciences Mentoring Award

Amelia María de la Luz Montes (2020)


Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant

Kwame Dawes and Lorna Dawes, The African Poetry Digital Portal (2022)

National Endowment for the Humanities Grants

Matt Cohen and Kenneth M. Price, The Walt Whitman Archive

“Walt Whitman’s Journalism: Finding the Poet in the Brooklyn Daily Times” (2020)
“Walt Whitman Archive Infrastructure Revitalization” (2020)
“Walt Whitman’s Annotations” (2016)

Matt Cohen, Kenneth M. Price, and Stephanie Browner (The New School), The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive

“Charles Chesnutt: A Digital Archive” (2018)

Julia Schleck

“Beyond East and West: Exchanges and Encounters in the Early Modern World, 1400-1800”, a summer institute for college and university professors (2017)

National Endowment for the Humanities/National Writing Project Building a More Perfect Union Grant

The Nebraska Writing Project (Robert Brooke, director) and Friends of Homestead National Park

“There's No Such Thing as Free Land: Understanding the Homestead Acts through Multiple Perspectives” (2022)

Purdue University Humanities Without Walls Seed Grant

Adrian S. Wisnicki (co-PI), “Recovering BIPOC Voices” (2022)

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant

Melissa Homestead (co-PI), The Women’s Print History Project, 1750-1830 (2020)

National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Grants

Ed Folsom (University of Iowa) and Kenneth M. Price, The Walt Whitman Archive

“Fame and Infamy: Walt Whitman’s Old Age Correspondence” (annual grants, 2016-2021)

American Council of Learned Societies

Joy Castro, Margaret Huettl, Jeannette Eileen Jones, Kenneth M. Price, and William G. Thomas III, New Storytellers: The Research Institute on Digital Ethnic Studies (2019-2021)

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar

Joy Castro

To participate in the summer institute “José Martí and the Cuban Immigrant Communities of Florida” (2019)

National Endowment for the Arts Individual Creative Writing Fellowships

Hope Wabuke (2017)

For her book The Body Family (Haymarket Books, 2022)

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends

Melissa Homestead (2017)

For her book The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis (Oxford University Press, 2021)

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant

Amelia María de la Luz Montes (2017)

Other Awards

Neustadt International Prize Finalist

Kwame Dawes (2022)

For his poetry collection Prophets (Peepal Tree Press, 2018 reissue)

PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing

Kwame Dawes (2021)

Windham-Campbell Prize

Kwame Dawes (2019)

The Booker Prize Shortlist

Chigozie Obioma (2015 & 2019)

For his first and second novels, An Orchestra of Minorities (Little, Brown and Company, 2019) and The Fishermen (Little, Brown and Company, 2015)

International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) Publication of the Year

Rachael W. Shah (2022)

For her book Rewriting Partnerships: Community Perspectives of Community-Based Learning (Utah State University Press, 2020)

Coalition for Community Writing Outstanding Book Award

Rachael W. Shah (2022)

For her book Rewriting Partnerships: Community Perspectives of Community-Based Learning (Utah State University Press, 2020)

Children's Literature Association's Honor Book Award

Gabrielle Owen (2022)

For her book A Queer History of Adolescence: Development Pasts, Relational Futures (University of Georgia Press, 2020)

Penguin Random House International “One World, One Book” Program

Timothy Schaffert (2022)

For The Perfume Thief (2021)

“One Book, One Nebraska” Selection

Jonis Agee (2022)

For her book The Bones of Paradise(2016)

Society for Textual Scholarship David Greetham Prize

Matt Cohen (2022)

For “Time and the Bibliographer: A Meditation on the Spirit of Book Studies”

Society for Textual Scholarship Richard J. Finneran Award

The Walt Whitman Archive (2022)

For the digital Leaves of Grass (1855) Variorum

American Academy in Berlin Prize

Marco Abel (2019)

18th Annual International Latino Book Awards — Best Latino/a-themed Fiction Book Winner

Jennine Capó Crucet (2017)

For her novel Make Your Home Among Strangers (MacMillan, 2015)

2017 Independent Publisher Book Award

Kwame Dawes (2017)

For editing the essay collection When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing and the Writing Life (Pacific University Press, 2016)

James V. Griesen 2017 Chancellor's Award for Exemplary Service to Students

Kelly Payne (2017)

Faculty Awards for Service & Outreach

Louise Pound-George Howard Distinguished Career Award

This award was approved by the Faculty Senate in 1989 to recognize an individual whose career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has made an exceptional contribution to the university community through teaching, research, administrative service, or a combination of those activities.

Fran Kaye (2016)
Barbara DiBernard (2011)
James A. McShane (2004)
Paul A. Olson (1999)
Fred Link (1995)

Nebraska Faculty Senate James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award

Julia Schleck and Marco Abel

Recognizes “an individual whose efforts have helped to preserve the most basic freedom of all, the freedom to seek and communicate the truth.”

Dr. Charles Riedesel Outstanding Academic Advising Award

This award recognizes exceptional faculty or staff members who go beyond basic advising duties to provide support, empowerment, coaching, counseling, and guidance to enable students to succeed.

Kelly Payne (2016)

James V. Griesen Exemplary Service to Students Award

This award recognizes individuals who go beyond the performance of their assigned work, devoting extra time and effort in serving the needs of students. The award acknowledges extraordinary and sustained performance on behalf of students.

Kelly Payne (2017)
Robert Bergstrom (1998)

Outstanding Contributions to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community

The awards recognize efforts to create an inclusive, respectful and safe climate for members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Timothy Schaffert (2022)
Stacey Waite (2017)
Joy Ritchie (2005)
Department of English (2004)
Louis Crompton (2003)
George E. Wolf (2003)
Barbara DiBernard (2002)

EGSA Star Professor Award

Presented by the English Student Graduate Association.

Amelia Montes (2017   2022)
Rachael W. Shah (2020)
Timothy Schaffert (2019)
Shari Stenberg (2018)

Outstanding Contributions to the Status of Women

The award recognizes outstanding faculty, staff and student efforts to create a climate that encourages women to succeed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and demonstrates a sustained and tangible impact on the campus community.

Barbara DiBernard (1995)

College of Arts & Sciences Engagement Award

The CAS Engagement Award honors people or units involved in exemplary engagement activities that have an impact beyond the university—within a community, the state of Nebraska, the nation, or the world.

Stacey Waite (2024)

Nebraska Writing Project (2018)
Robert Brooke, Director

Family and Friends Recognition Awards

These awards, presented annually by the Parents Association (and formerly known as the Parents’ Recognition Awards), honor faculty and staff who have made a significant difference in students' lives.

Kathleen Lacey (2015 & 2022)
Wheeler Winston Dixon (2014, 2016 & 2019)
Eder Jaramillo (2019)
Yulia Levchenko (2016 & 2019)
Robert Lipscomb (2019)
Beverley Rilett (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
Amanda Gailey (2016 & 2018)
Fran Kaye (2018)
Guy Reynolds (2018)
Stephen Behrendt (2014 & 2017)
Stephen Buhler (2017)
Jennine Capó Crucet (2017)
Brie Owen (2017)
Gregory Rutledge (2017)
Kelly Stage (2016 & 2017)
Shari Stenberg (2017)
Jack Vespa (2017)
Robert Fuglei (2016)
Brenda Ingraham (2016)
Michael Page (2016)
Kelly Payne (2016)
Pascha Sotolongo Stevenson (2016)
Joseph Goecke (2015)
Kelly Payne (2015)
Julia Schleck (2015) Stacey Waite
Grace Bauer (2014)
Richard Graham (2014)
Timothy Schaffert (2014)
Pascha Stevenson (2014) Laura White (2000, 2003 & 2010)

Faculty Teaching Awards

The Department of English was only the second department to receive the University of Nebraska’s system-wide departmental teaching award. Since that time, the department has continued to lengthen its record of teaching excellence. Our instructors are widely recognized for the innovative spirit that they bring to their classrooms. The deep commitment to our students that permeates the culture of our entire department has been officially acknowledged by the College of Arts and Sciences, UNL, as well as the wider profession.

For recognitions of our faculty’s teaching, visit our Excellence in Teaching page.

Student Achievements

Awards, honors, and recognition received by English and Film Studies students, past and present.

Graduate Student Awards & Honors

Undergraduate Student Awards & Honors