Congratulations to our 2011 University Scholars

0 Commentsby   |  06.01.11  |  Student Spotlight

On April 14, four English majors were honored as University Scholars in a special ceremony in the Chapel on the Hill.

Bethany Bradshaw, Sara Morris, Katherine Sinclair, and Kaleigh Wyrick were selected for this competitive honor which recognizes soon-to-graduate students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher who “excel in scholarly activity appropriate to their discipline.” Students are nominated by faculty within their departments.

This year’s English honorees provide a glimpse into the varied fertile explorations ACU English majors are making and how they are producing work worthy of the attention of others.

Prof. Al Haley, who nominated Bethany Bradshaw, lauded her ambition and drive which led her to further her experience of creative writing in a highly practical fashion; in the summer of 2010 Bethany went to New York City and knocked on doors until she found an internship at the Bent Agency.

After a summer of reading through the slush pile, meeting writer clients, and attending readings, Bethany returned to ACU where she was co-editor of The Shinnery Review and planned on-campus writing workshops and readings. She also took Prof. Haley’s Eng. 323: Poetry Workshop where she proved herself to be such a stellar poet that by the end of the semester she had had two poems accepted for publication in an international undergraduate literary magazine.

This fall Bethany will be attending the North Carolina State where she will begin work on a Master’s in literature.

Sara Morris was nominated by Dr. Shelly Sanders who emphasized Sara’s exceptional work in writing short stories. At the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s writing festival last February, Sara read “Losing Eden, Gaining Eve,” a quasi-feminist science fiction story about scientists who create a female android without realizing what they’re getting into. Sara reprised her story to much acclaim at the ACU Undergraduate Research Festival in March.

Sara, who graduated in May, has a job working in film art direction in Hollywood.

Prof. Sanders also nominated Katherine Sinclair, singling out a paper written as part of an Honors contract, “That Not My Wife”: Paranoia in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers Films.” In Dr. Sanders’ words Katherine’s paper “demonstrates her ability to bridge disparate fields of knowledge and produce insightful, cohesive analysis.” The paper, which was presented at the ACU Undergraduate Research Festival, analyzed the Body Snatcher films and the societies and times in which they were made, exploring the various ways in which the aliens infiltrate the planet highlight the most prominent paranoia of each film’s decade.” Katherine’s paper was nominated by the Honors College to be in the running for the Boe Award at the GPHC.

Upon graduation Katherine began work at Milsoft in Abilene as a technical writer.

The English Department’s final scholar, Kaleigh Wyrick, was nominated by Dr. Nancy Shankle who noted how Kayleigh’s love of learning is manifested by her having three minors: Spanish, Women’s & Ethnic Studies, and Bible, Missions, and Ministry.

Prof. Shankle particularly appreciated how Kaleigh went beyond class requirements. She noted that in Linguistics, “Kaleigh not only made the highest score on every exam, but she explored far beyond the exam topics, often sharing articles or readings she found.  For example, in a unit on dialects in American English, Kaleigh found a news article that described a dialect coach who teaches British actors to speak with American accents.” 

Kaleigh has twice participated in the ACU Undergraduate Research Festival. This year her paper “Mothers, Daughters, and Matrophobia in American Literature,” explored the way Nathaniel Hawthorne and Kate Chopin used the expected mother-daughter relationship of the 19th century in their novels to promote feminist ideas about womanhood. Comparing these 19th century novels to two feminist books from 2004, Kaleigh looked at the cultural views of motherhood in that century and those of today, showing how the mother-daughter relationship still has a powerful effect on women.

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