2018-2019 English Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 English Award Winners!  Below are the scholarship recipients and the award qualifications. On May 1st there will be a banquet for the winners. Visit this website to see English major only scholarships and this website to see past award winners. 

Allison Rickert Memorial Award: Catherine Shehan

  • Awarded to a student from any class year with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or greater who contributes to the George Street Press or the Creative Writer’s Guild.

Dorothy J. Patterson English Award: Bryce Rinehart

  • Awarded to a rising junior majoring in the English teacher preparation program and working toward a Bachelors of Science in English Education with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in both the major and overall. The scholarship is renewable for two additional semester.

William S. Trout Memorial Award for English Education: Mariah Miller

  • Awarded to a senior English education major who has a cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 2.5, and 3.5 GPA in English courses. Candidates are required to document a commitment to creative writing through publication of original work.

Nadine Thomas Journalism Award: Vanessa Schneider

  • Awarded to a senior English education major who has a cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 2.5, and 3.5 GPA in English courses. Candidates are required to document a commitment to creative writing through publication of original work.

Eileen Carew Promising Writers Award: Shaakirah Ahmad-Tate

  • This scholarship is awarded to an English major with a declared Writing Studies Option who has achieved excellence or shows promise in writing. The student must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

Dilworth-McCullough English Award: Mary Beth Nolt

  • Awarded to a student who has achieved excellence in English literature.

Class of 1910 Award: Amanda Mooney

  • Awarded annually for excellence in English to a student at the end of his or her senior year.

Frank R. Heavner Memorial Award: Maria Glotfelter

  • Awarded to the English major with the highest average in at least nine hours of linguistics courses.

Alice R. Fox Memorial Award in English: Emily Perez

  • Awarded to a student who, in the judgment of the English Department, has achieved excellence in English.

Class of 1917 Award: Matthew Moyer

  • Awarded at the end of a student’s junior year to a person who, in the judgment of the English Department, excels in the general field of English.

Class of 1922 Award: Hadassah Stoltzfus

  • Awarded to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding proficiency in the use of English.

National Day of Action

Friday, April 20th is The National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools. Inspired by the brave students in Parkland, Florida, and across the nation, Millersville University students, parents, educators, school staff, administrators and community allies will join together to take up the students’ call of “No more” during the National School Walkout.

The last poster-making session will be on Tuesday, April 17th at 6pm in 310 Breidenstine. We will discuss the aims of Friday’s event, show examples of posters from recent anti-gun-violence rallies, and experts (art students) will be on-hand to help make posters. There will be plenty of supplies on hand courtesy of MU administration.

The group asks participants to research past shooting victims in advance, print out photos (with names, and which shooting) to bring to the poster-making session. These photos will go toward making a giant, participatory group collage, which will stand behind the stage on Friday, imprinted with the words: Enough is Enough! The New York Times published an article “After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings” by Jugal K. Patel; the group recommends using this resource to begin researching.

On Friday, April 20th, the main event will be held in front of the Library (if rain, in the SMC) from 10am-1pm. The movement is powered and led by students around the country to protest congressional, state, and local failures to take action to prevent gun violence.

America is the only country in the world where so many people are killed by guns, and yet our leaders do nothing about it. In many states it’s more difficult to register to vote that it is to buy a rifle. Apparently to some politicians, a vote is scarier than a gun. We’re changing that. Our Mission

As of this publication, the MU event is sponsored by:

  • African American Studies
  • The Alliance for Social Change
  • American Association of University Women at Millersville University
  • Art Club
  • Center for Civic and Community Engagement
  • Center for Disaster Research and Education
  • Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change
  • The English Department
  • Frederick Douglass Black Culture Celebration
  • The Gender Issues and Social Justice Committee of APSCUF
  • The Honors College Student Association
  • The MU Philosophical Society
  • NAACP College Chapter at Millersville University
  • Office of Diversity and Social Justice
  • Philosophy Department
  • President’s Commission on Gender and Sexual Diversity
  • School of Social Work
  • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • The George Street Press

For more information on the national event, visit this website.

PEN World Voices Festival Trip

On April 19th, Dr. Jakubiak’s New Dimensions to World Literature class will go on a trip to New York City to see a panel of writers at PEN World Voices Festival. The panel, called Cry, The Beloved Country, consists of authors from around the world: Ryszard Krynicki from Poland, Serhiy Zhadan from Ukraine, Marcos Aguinis from Argentina, Ngugi wa Thiong’o from Kenya, Hwang Sok Yong from Korea, and Negar Djavadi from Iran/France. The panel’s web-page writes, ” No matter their origin, writers across the globe encapsulate the spirit of resistance by giving a voice to the oppressed. In an evening of solidarity and community, writers from seven countries share their stories of pain, rage, and suffering while living under oppressive regimes. Hear the voices of the unheard; join us in celebrating these moments of resistance.”

Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o Photo credit

The class has already studied some of the work of the renowned Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a novelist and theorist of post-colonial literature. Ngugi will discuss the role of literature in autocratic regimes with his fellow panel members. This experience will give the students, all BSE majors, an opportunity to broaden their knowledge of world literatures and interact with the authors of books they have studied and may choose to teach in the future.

In addition to attending PEN World Voices festival, the group will take a guided tour of the new Tenement Museum of Immigration on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which will give the students a hands-on lesson on the history of American Immigration. The tenements housed over 15,000 working class immigrants from over 20 nations while the tenements served as residences, according to the Tenement Museum’s website. The museum wishes to preserve the history of immigration and enhance appreciation for the role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America’s evolving national identity.

Title Image Credit

MUsings: The Graduate Journal

The publication of MUsings: The Graduate Journal showcases the academic work of graduate students at Millersville University. The journal invites students to present highlights of their work in a venue that bolsters career-building experiences and celebrates their scholarly efforts. Graduate students from the English department serve on the Editorial Staff. Each issue may feature research articles, short stories, and literary essays. With this publication, MUsings seeks to encourage student creativity, commend innovative research, and generate student engagement in the academic and professional communities. Graduate students serve on the Editorial board.

This year, MUsings will appear at Made in Millersville. Graduate students Claire Porter, Rashid Noah, and Maria Rovito will present the Spring 2018 publication, showcasing the academic work of graduate students at Millersville University.

Submissions for MUsings will open in Fall 2018 for inclusion in the Spring 2019 Graduate Journal.

Photo courtesy of MUsings.

Made in Millersville English Events

There will be a strong representation of the English department at this year’s Made in Millersville. Read these quick summaries before you go check them out on April 17th in the McNairy Library! Visit this site for the full program list. 

Use and Perception of Google Translate in the Classroom: 8-9:15am Maria Glotfelter will present on the potential use of computer translators as instructional tools for learning languages. Past studies indicate that students frequently use computer translators and sometimes have inaccurate perceptions about them. Google Translate was chosen as a tool to gauge students perception and use of computer translators. Maria will analyze survey and interview data with the goal of making pedagogical recommendations for both teachers and students.

A Different Space: 8-9:15am Kaylee Herndon will present a feature-style profile piece on Elizabethtown College’s Writers House and its director, Jesse Waters. The story focuses on what the house is, how it connects with the local community and other Writers Houses, and some struggles it faces. She will go over the story’s content, the interviewing and writing process, and the design layout process in terms of layout for publication.

Writing Workshop Digital Portfolio Session: 10:50am-12:05pm Students in Dr. Farkas’ Writing Workshop class are going to be discussing the benefits of creating a professional portfolio and the different digital platforms available and which they recommend.  Students will also share their own processes of creating their portfolios, some of their writing samples that they are including in their portfolios, and examples of their digital portfolios.  Students in the course will be working in small groups of about three students each and will present these various aspects of the digital portfolio.

The Issue of the Lack of Feminine Products Available to Homeless Women: 10:50am-12:05pm Mary-Kate Helm, Jessie Garrison, and Eilish McCaul will present on why lack of access to feminine products in the city of Lancaster is such an issue through their collected research and interviews with women on their experiences. The students will also focus on what they did to make a difference in the community and their sustainable plan of action.

The Line: 10:50am-12:05pm Rashna Yousaf will present her short film The Line that revolves around the theme of racial discrimination and gender inequality.

The Final Phase: Millersville Strike Oral History Project and Its Aftermath: 10:50am-12:05pm Lauren Cameron and Ashley Sherman will present on the PA State system of Higher Education Faculty Strike in October 19, 2016 by commemorating the state system’s first actualized walk-out. The presentation reflects upon the findings of the project, examining the development of the interviewing team and the strike project, as well as the aftermath such efforts created and the subsequent importance of oral history.

Non-Western Literature Poster Session: 1:10-2:25pm All students enrolled in the class ENGL 336 New Dimensions of World Literature are participating in this poster session. The goal is to draw the attention of the university community to accomplished literary works from countries that are often overlooked in mainstream discussions about literature in America. Students, working with Dr. Jakubiak, will present on major issues raised by works of fiction, nonfiction and drama written by Maryse Conde (Guadeloupe), Khaled Hosseini (Afghanistan), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Ngugi Wa’Thiong’o (Kenya), Mo Yan (China) and Samar Yazbek (Syria). They will also explore the rich cultural and historical contexts of these works.

Susquehanna Stories Panel: 1:10-2:25pm This panel will be a presentation of the “Susquehanna Stories” written by students from Dr. Mando’s last semester ENGL 466 Writing Studies Special Topics: Environmental Advocacy Writing. Maddie Giardina wrote a piece for the English Newsletter that explains the project in detail. The students who will be participating are Rylan Harvey, Caitlyn Tynes, Amanda Mooney, and Gabrielle Redcay.

Hip Hop and Intersectionality Panel: 1:10-2:25pm Hip Hop & Intersectionality is a panel of undergraduates exploring how rap music provides a site of cultural intersection between the marginalized perspectives that developed the genre and the mainstream perspectives that largely consume it. These students combine their knowledge of feminist theory with popular culture to bring revealing insights. Eugene Thomas, Stassy Bonhomme, Evelyn Dais, Sandra Molina-Hill, Diavian Gunner, Skyler Gibbon, and Elizabeth Wright are involved in the panel discussion.

Prisoner City: Lancaster City’s Role as a P.O.W. Prison During the American Revolution: 1:10-2:25pm Domenic DeSimone will present on Lancaster City’s role during the American Revolution. Unprepared for the sudden influx of prisoners they were being tasked to house, Congress instructed the citizens of Lancaster to let the prisoners walk among them in the town as a show of goodwill. The unique way that Lancaster dealt with their new identity as a prison town would drastically change the lives of the cities residents, forever altering the city that many of us call home today.

The Power of Creative Writing Class Presentation: 2:35-3:50pm Students enrolled in Dr. Jakubiak’s ENGL 421 Creative Writing in Fall ’17 will read their poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. The presenters are Brett Killian and Molly Landfried.

Spoken Word Event: 2:35-3:50pm The Spoken Word event will be students performing their work on the theme of what’s not spoken about in school.  They will give voice to what they think is important but not spoken about on campuses. These students are preparing an experience that will dramatize the theme, too. Skyler Gibbon, Sean Domencic, Krystal Lowery, Jessie Garrison, Rylan Harvey, Taylor Schaal, Kyle Copenhaver, Rachel Cubbage-Opaliski, Xiao Tian Wang, Alyssa Matchett, and Shamera Burbank Green will present.

& Joy: 2:35-3:50pm Catherine Dillon, in her dramatic performance session, will highlight the joy present even among the tragedies of life through a poetry reading/spoken word. The poet will share various poems discussing the mental health and familial relationships within the context of joy.

Student Perceptions of Student Driven Inquiry Projects: 2:35-3:50 Bryce Rinehart‘s study is meant to provide an understanding of students’ perspectives on their motivation during an IBL project in order to enhance educators’ understanding of how inquiry-based learning, especially student driven inquiry, can function within the classroom to address students’ need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness as they work.

For the Journal You’ve Never Heard Of: 2:35-3:50pm Shaakirah Tate, Alexandra Attinger, Daniel Dicker, Sara Lipski, and Mikayla Steele are interns for the Made in Millersville Journal and will unveil the new issue of the journal and display the student work submitted throughout the school year. It will also serve as the ‘Grand Opening’ for their new website and social media platforms. The presentation will integrate the journal with the conference as a whole. Visit this previous newsletter article for more information.

MUsings: The Graduate Journal: All Day Claire Porter, Jay Barnica, Rashid Noah, and Maria Rovito will present the publication of MUsings, showcasing the academic work of graduate students at Millersville University. The journal invites students to present highlight of their work in a venue that bolsters career- building experiences and celebrates their scholarly effects.

Interview with Author Angela Prendergast

Overthought Thoughts of a 21-Year OldMillersville University alumna Angela Prendergast recently published her book of poetry, Overthought Thoughts of a 21-Year-Old. 

  • What year did you graduate from Millersville? What was your major? Were you involved in any clubs?

I graduated from Millersville University in May 2017. My major was English Secondary Education. I was involved in many clubs during my time at Millersville. Those clubs included: The University Activities Board, Millersville Women’s Choir (Public Relations Officer), Intermural Sports and National Society of Leadership/Success.

  • What have you been doing since graduation?

Since graduating in May, I have had two teaching experiences. I was lucky enough to be hired right after graduation as a long-term substitute at Souderton Area High School. In January, I recently started a new job at Wissahickon High School where I am teaching ninth grade English until the end of the year.

My most proud accomplishment since graduation was publishing my poetry collection “Overthought Thoughts of a 21-Year-Old.” After working on writing and formatting my book the past year, I finally published it in August, 2017. The past seven months have been focused around promoting my book. Millersville has been incredibly supportive of my new book. My English professors, especially Dr. Corkery and Dr. Archibald, have been extremely kind and helpful in allowing me to speak to a creative writing class at Millersville about how English majors can get their work published.

  • How long have you been writing poetry? Is there a specific medium you like to write in?
Angela Prendergast
Angela Prendergast

I have been writing poetry for about two years. I was inspired by Rupi Kaur and her prose poetry collection Milk and Honey. I like to write my poems in prose. I think the natural and organic flow of my poems is what makes them relatable. I have never been a fan of structure when it comes to poetry. For me, my poems have always been about being natural and flowing as a stream of consciousness.

  • One thing I noticed in Overthought Thoughts was your use of font. Can you speak more to this?

Great question! I chose to have my poems written in different font types because it makes each poem unique. To me, each poem has their own personality. I wanted the font to portray the poems as individuals and convey the emotions I was feeling during the time of writing.

  • When was the moment you knew you wanted to put together a collection of poems? Or have you always wanted to?

The moment I knew was during my senior year at Millersville. I was not in the best place in my life. I was sad, depressed and nervous for my future. I was writing poems in my journal and, as I reflected on them, I realized a lot of my friends were feeling the same way. I knew I had to publish my thoughts because it could help others. I knew so many people feeling the same way and it felt selfish to keep these thoughts to myself when people I loved could benefit from knowing that they are not alone.

  • What were the logistics of becoming published? How did you know self-publishing was the right path for your collection?

My senior year, I was doing lots of research and was in contact with publishing companies from all around the country. The reoccurring theme that I noticed was that by signing to a publishing company, I would be giving away my control and rights to my writing. It didn’t feel authentic to do this. My poems are my most personal thoughts and I wanted to have complete control of them. I did not want to sign them away to anyone else. Also, the companies I was talking to were asking lots of money from me. Therefore, self-publishing seemed like the best way to keep control of my poems. I am so happy that I chose to use Createspace to publish my poems. They work directly with Amazon to distribute to individuals and to bigger companies.


  • What are the differences between self-publishing and working with a publisher?

The major difference is the control of your writing. Working with a publisher means you will not have as much control over your poems. Self-publishing allows me to have control over what my cover looks like and how I format my book. The only downfall to self-publishing is that I have to market my book independently. I do not have a company that will promote my book for me. This makes getting my book out there to others more difficult. I have to put in a lot more effort to just be heard of. However, I truly believe that this was the right choice for my first book.

  • What are your plans for the future? More writing?

I definitely plan to write more in the future! I am already working on more poems for my next book. I plan to have multiple poetry collections. The next book will be called “Overthought Thoughts of a 23-Year-Old.” Keep an eye out!

Angela’s collection can be found on Amazon.

Made in Millersville Journal


Made in Millersville One of most significant aspects of Made in Millersville is the Made in Millersville Journal, a publication that seeks to promote and publish scholarly work.  Making its debut in the spring of 2016, the journal continues to look for applicants from a variety of fields. Anyone who presented at the Made in Millersville Conference is welcome to submit work for publication.

There are five students behind this year’s publication: Allie Attinger, a dual major in Secondary English Education and Inclusive Education; Daniel Dicker, a double major in English and Communications; Sara Lipski, an English major; Shaakirah Tate, an English major; and Mikayla Steele, an Art Education major. These students work with Dr. Kerrie Farkas and Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol to make Made in Millersville a professional showcase for the students who are engaged in independent creative or scholarly projects or who have completed projects as part of class assignments.

The journal is an online interactive database featuring current and previous years of student and faculty projects. Visit the website and follow mim_journal on Instagram, madeinmujournal on Snapchat, mimjournal on Twitter, and Made in Millersville Journal on Facebook.

If you have any questions, visit the journal’s contact page or email.

Dr. Timothy Shea and Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr FoxAs many of you know, Dr. Timothy Shea, Associate Professor of English at Millersville, has been teaching secondary humanities at an international school in Kenya for a two-year leave of absence. Here is his story of directing his first middle school play. (Photos courtesy of Dr. Shea)

Though it has been over a decade since I last directed a show, I always hoped I would be able to do it again. I was able to experience this reality in February when I directed the middle school production of the Roald Dahl classic, The Fantastic Mr. Fox at Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. Directing any theatrical production can be a challenge in the best of conditions but doing so in a developing country has its own unique challenges like finding the right paint for the set or the appropriate makeup that works with all skin tones or even how to amplify sound in the middle of a torrential tropical storm. Thankfully, I have directed plays in other countries before (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), so I was prepared for the unexpected. I was also lucky that my school has a rich tradition of theatrical performances with high standards and a talented community who is willing to do whatever they can to pull off a good show.

Fantastic Mr FoxI must admit, I had forgotten just how much energy middle schoolers have and directing a cast of 30 energetic young teens felt at times like herding cats, but, what I discovered in the midst of the chaos and mayhem was that not only were these kids having fun, but they were also growing in ways that they nor I thought possible. They learned to embrace their fears and to try new things – new voices, new body poses because, after all, most of them were furry creatures! One of my goals as director is to get the entire community involved so that we could feel that it was OUR show and not MY show. I was blessed with parents and teachers who volunteered with makeup, costumes, set, lights, sound, and drama coaching. The end result was a memorable show that included a nasty farmer falling off the stage and a rat who acted a bit too drunk at times! Local critics (aka high school actors) lauded our show as “the best middle school school they had ever seen” and little kids stood in line after the show to get our young actors’ autographs.

I am glad I took the plunge and took on this show even though it has taken me 2 weeks to get back my lost sleep!

-Dr. Timothy Shea

Alumna Profile: Sherri Weaver

Sherri Weaver
Sherri Weaver

Sherri Weaver graduated from Millersville University in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in Education (BSE) in English. While at Millersville, Sherri took every opportunity to make sure she was getting the kind of education she wanted.  As a BSE student, teaching placements began sophomore year, something Sherri was very thankful for; she now sees the value in getting into the classroom as soon as possible. She first student taught at Lincoln Middle School working with 6th graders. While in her own classroom at Millersville, the classes were theory heavy, so from her schoolwork alone it would be hard to determine if teaching was the right career path; the sophomore placements eased much of that anxiety. Sherri also student taught at Lampeter-Strasburg, working with seniors in AP English and then taught 8th grade at Hand Middle School.

After receiving her undergrad degree, Sherri earned her first teaching job working with AP seniors at a charter school in York. Unfortunately, after Sherri worked there for 5 years, the school lost its charter. This taught Sherri about educational finance and handling of money in a charter; she eventually wrote her master’s thesis on charter school reform. After moving from that school, Sherri worked at Wheatland Middle School for eight months teaching 7th graders before moving to McCaskey East High School where she currently teaches.

To Sherri, the college experience is about getting the education you want. That might mean taking the more challenging classes on purpose and putting in the time and energy to succeed. Sherri found the upper-level college classes imperative to teach any upper level high school classes successfully. Similarly, because Sherri knew where she wanted to teach, in an urban environment, she fought for the placements and jobs that would fit her ideal working environment. That meant changing placements when she was assigned to non-urban areas and working with the university to make her plans possible.

One thing Sherri knows from being a student teacher herself and working with Professional Development Schools (PDS) and new student teachers is that it is important to have self-awareness and the ability to reflect on the people you will be working with. It’s okay to be picky to get the best experience out of student teaching.

“Little Stones” On-Screen/In-Person

little stones

On Wednesday, February 28th, there will be a showing of the award-winning documentary “Little Stones” with a pre-screening panel discussion. The film is designed to raise awareness about global women’s rights issues and to celebrate entrepreneurial, creative, and arts-therapy based solutions to the most pressing challenges facing women globally.

“I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone.” -Women’s Rights Activist, Alice Paul

The pre-screening panel discussion will begin at 6:15pm, the movie will begin at 7pm, and the talk-back with Sophia Kruz will begin at 8:30pm.

Director Sophia Kruz will be on campus Feb. 28 – March 1, available to visit classrooms, community groups, etc. and will be conducting a talk-back after the screening.

The pre-screening panel discussion will be led by:

  • Ms. Almaz E. Amante, Keystone Human Resources/CWS volunteer. (Ethiopian native experienced in women’s empowerment and micro-financing.)
  • Dr. Carol Davis, Franklin & Marshall College, Professor of Theatre (founder and artistic director of Nepal Health Project, an educational and charitable theatre company     that has served half a million villagers in rural Nepal.)
  • Ms. Brittany Leffler, YWCA Certified Trauma Practitioner.
  • Dr. Kimberly A. Mahaffy, Millersville University, Professor of Sociology and Director of Latina/o Studies / Coordinator, Office of Diversity and Social Justice
  • Dr. Wanja Ogongi, Millersville University, Professor of Social Work (Interest in Human Rights with focus on women and children.)
  • Ms. Julie Peachey, Director, Innovations for Poverty Action
  • Dr. Elizabeth Powers, Millersville University, Professor of Education (Chair of Commission on Status of Women)

You can watch the trailer here. Tickets are $7 for Adults, $5 for students or free if you contact Barry Kornhauser while available.

little stones

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