Department of English

Awards Convocation



Literary Contest Winners

Presented by: Timothy Schaffert

Graduate Student Winners

Vreeland Award for Poetry

Jessica Poli

Vreeland Award for Fiction

Tryphena Yeboah

Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Awards for Fiction

Ilana Masad

– First Place –

Ber Anena

– Second Place –

Kasey Peters

– Third Place –

Gaffney/Academy of American Poets Awards for Poetry

Syble Heffernan

– First Place –

Malik Rasaq

– Second Place –

Erika Luckert

– Third Place –

Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship

Blake Kinnett

Sunita Jain Award for Excellence in Poetry

Bianca Swift

Hough Teaching Award

Presented by: Julia Schleck

Chaun Ballard

– Creative Writing –

Benjamin Reed

– Literature –

Erica Luckert

– Compositon & Rhetoric –

Hough Teaching Award

Arden Hill

– Lecturer –

Undergraduate Winners

Presented by: Laura White

Vreeland Award for Poetry

Madison Sides

Vreeland Award for Fiction

Emma Krab

Marjorie Stover Short Story Awards

Robin Emmons

– First Place –

Pyper Haarala

– Second Place –

Undergraduate Poetry Awards

Karla Hernandez Torrijos

– Irby Wood Prize –

August Fritton

– First Place Gaffney Prize –

Connor Beck

– Second Place Gaffney Prize –

Gaffney Scholarly Essay Award

Sarah Guyer

Gaffney Personal Essay Award

Grace Barney

Ted Kooser Award for Outstanding First-Year Writing

Melissa French-Sloan

Instructor: David Henson

Presented By: James Brunton

Douglas C. Beckwith Film Studies Excellence Best Essay Award

Samuel Phillips

Laurus  Awards

Presented by: Pascha Stevenson


Noah Hadley

– First Place –

Alexandria Rinne

– Second Place –

Kate Mulloy

– Third Place –


McKenna Sender

– First Place –

Jennifer Jimenez

– Second Place –

Ellie Russell

– Third Place –

Visual Art

Levi Robertson

– First Place –

Mya Miller

– Second Place –

Oliver Estes

– Third Place –

Readings by Graduate Contest Winners

Jessica Poli

Vreeland Award for Poetry

Tryphena Yeboah

Vreeland Award for Fiction

Undergraduate Awards & Honors

Presented by: Kathleen Lacey

UNL Honors Program Graduates

Sarah Guyer
Thara Michaelis
Madison Sides
Abby O'Brien
Emma Krab
Dana Andersen

Graduations with Distinction

December 2022

High Distinction

Cecelia Bialas
Sam Cohen
Maddie Condon
Kaylen Michaelis

June (Patrick) Burkholder

May 2023

Highest Distinction

Dana Andersen
Sarah Guyer
Emma Krab
Thara Michaelis
Madison Sides

High Distinction

Shelby Crays
Emily De Graff
Alyssa Farrens
Tucker Hazell
Seth Householder
Colin Mallisee
Audrey Smith
Tillie Stanton


Jason Han

ESAB / Peer Mentors

Sam Cohen (Fall ’22)
Tillie Stanton (May '23)
Anna Hoffman (May ’23)
Cooper Rohde (Aug. ’23)
Elena Watts
Hailey Brundage
Louie Iannuzzelli
Canyon Skare
Hannah Huynh 
Megan Jerabek

Women of Courage, Character & Commitment Award

Jessica Dunn

Readings by Graduate Contest Winners

Syble Heffernan

Gaffney/Academy of American Poets · First Place

Malik Rasaq

Gaffney/Academy of American Poets · Second Place

Faculty Awards & Honors

Presented by: Marco Abel

University Awards & Appointments

Annis Chaikin Sorensen Award

Tom Gannon

College Awards

College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award

James Brunton

College Outstanding Research and Creativity Award

Kwakiutl Dreher

College of Arts & Sciences Research Impact & Engagement Grant

Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mũchiri

UNL Women’s Center Women of Courage, Character, & Commitment Award

Melissa Homestead

National & International Awards & Grants

National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Melissa Homestead

National Endowment for the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant

Melissa Homestead, Andrew Jewell, and Emily Rau

National Council of Teachers of English Annual Intellectual Freedom Award

Julia Schleck

Nebraska English Languange Arts Council Award for Intellectual Freedom Award

Julia Schleck

ACLS Digital Justice Seed Grant Award

Adrian Wisnicki and Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mũchiri

National Historical Publications and Records Commission Grant

Kenneth Price, Matt Cohen, and Ed Folsom

2022 Citywide Read by Omaha

Timothy Schaffert, for The Perfume Thief

2022 Nebraska Book Awards (Nonfiction Biography)

Melissa Homestead, for The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis

2022 Nebraska Book Awards (Fiction)

Timothy Schaffert, for The Perfume Thief

2022 Nebraska Book Awards (Special Poetry)

Marco Abel, Timothy Schaffert, and Jessica Poli, for More in Time: A Tribute to Ted Kooser

2022 Nebraska Book Awards (Poetry Honor)

Grace Bauer, for Unholy Heart

Prince George's County Film Festival 2022 (Best Animation)

Kwakiutl Dreher, William Thomas, and Michael Burton

Order of Distinction ("Commander") in Jamaica

Kwame Dawes

Readings by Graduate Contest Winners

Ilana Masad

Sandoz Fiction

Ber Anena

Sandoz Fiction

Kasey Peters

Sandoz Fiction

Graduate Student Awards & Honors

Presented by: Stacey Waite

May 2022 Graduates


Jamaica Baldwin (Kwame Dawes)
Ilana Masad (Timothy Schaffert)
Olufunke Ogundimu (Kwame Dawes)
Teo Shannon (Kwame Dawes)
Ava Winter (Stacey Waite)


Lauren Franken (Melissa Homestead)
Leah Hedrick (Shari Stenberg)
Khadizatul Kubra (Matt Cohen)
John Kuligowski (Chigozie Obioma)
Kasey Peters (Chigozie Obioma)
Jocelyn Spoor (Rachel Shah)

Placement News


Ashlyn Stewart - Digital Scholarship Specialist, Boston College

Charlotte Kupsh - Assistant Professor of English & Director of the Writing Center, Ball State University

Jamaica Baldwin - Assistant Professor, Ithaca College

Olufunke Ogundimu - Assistant Professor, Mississippi State University

Jaclyn Swiderski - Lecturer, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

Paul Grosskopf - Lecturer, University of Wisconsin, Platteville

Rachel Cochran - Assistant Professor, Marian University, Indiana

Scott Guild - Assistant Professor, Marian University, Indiana

Katie Henson - Assistant Professor, Ursinus College, Pennsylvania

David Henson - Ursinus College, Pennsylvania


Jocelyn Spoor - High School English Teacher, Aspen Creek Middle School, Gretna

Department Awards

Stuff Fellowships

Jonathan Wlodarski
Avee Chaudhuri

John Robinson Award for Scholarly Papers

Ian Maxton

Instructor: Tom Gannon

Louis Crompton Prize

Co-Winners Keshia Mcclantoc and Alina Nguyen

Office of Graduate Studies Awards

Folsom Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

Elva Moreno del Rio

National Awards

Elizabeth George Foundation Grant

Uche Okonkwo

National Endowment For the Humanities For the Arts Fellow in Literature

Katie Schmid Henson

2023 Pushcart Prize

Jamaica Baldwin

2022-23 UNL Nebraska Goverance & Technology Center Fellow

Ashlyn Stewart

EGSA Awards

Excellence in Teaching Award for Doctoral Students (Creative Writing)

Caroliena Cabada

Excellence in Teaching Award for Doctoral Students (Composition & Rhetoric)

Erika Luckert

Excellence in Teaching Award for Doctoral Students (Literary & Cultural Studies)

Maliq Rasaq

Excellence in Teaching Award for Master's Students

Trevor Bleick

Outstanding Service Award

Kathleen Dillon

Star Professor Award

Matt Cohen

Readings by Graduate Contest Winners

Bianca Swift

Sunita Jain Award for Excellence in Poetry