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Awards and Academic Excellence

The Battenfeld Award

This award is given each year in memory of David H. Battenfeld, a former professor of English and American Studies who was especially supportive of students who displayed a strong interest in the humanities and the creative arts. The award recipient receives $500.00 and is recognized at the Spring Honors Convocation. Each Spring semester the English department invites applications for the Battenfeld Award.

Heather Cory is the winner of the 2016 Battenfeld Award. She is a senior English major and Film Studies minor from Rochester, NH. In spring of 2016, she is employed as an intern at the Keene Public Library, in addition to being a Mason Library Research and Technology Fellow. She is passionate about literacy, reading, and writing, as well as other forms of storytelling, such as film. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year to work on writing and submitting pieces for publication, then apply to Masters in Fine Arts programs for Creative Writing.

Previous Award Winners

2012 Zachary Paone
2007 Nicole Jhondra
2006 Robin Forsaith
2005 Steven Glidden
2004 Benjamin Cammett
2003 Sarah Spykman
2002 Carolyn Fulford
2001 Eliza Sieswerda
2000 Heather Coughlin

For more information about the Battenfeld award, and application guidelines, please contact the chair of the English department.

The Fred Fosher Excellence in Writing Award

This annual award was established in 2005 to acknowledge the inspired work of a student in any discipline who rises to the intellectual challenge of writing clear and purposeful expository prose. The award is made possible by the generous support of Bruce Levine Mellion and Linda Zucker Mellion. It honors the work of Professor Emeritus Fred Fosher, who taught English at Keene State College from 1967 until 1992. The recipient receives $1,000 and is personally recognized at the Spring Honors Convocation. Applicants may apply or be nominated by a faculty member and must be full-time matriculated students with junior or senior status.

For more information about the Fred Fosher Excellence in Writing Award, or an application and portfolio guidelines, please contact the department chair, Dr. Kirsti Sandy.

Arline Votruba is the winner of the 2016 Fosher Award for Excellence in Writing and was last year’s winner of the Eder Creative Writing Award. Arline is  a senior from Oakham, Mass., and the host of Arline Live on WKNH in Keene. She also writes for the opinions section of The Equinox and is currently an intern at the Keene State College Center for Writing. She plans to attend Iowa State University in the fall to begin her MA degree in rhetoric and composition.

Previous Award Winners:

2015 Jocelyn Lovering (English, writing concentration)
2014 Hersh Rothmel (American Studies and Women and Gender Studies)
2013 Christina Anderson (Mathematics)
2012 Nathan Gray (Economics and Political Science)
2011 Erin Stewart (English)
2010 Samantha Bardell (English)
2007 Abigail L. Bucklin (English)
2006 Steven R. Glidden (English)
2005 Sarah Spykman (English)

The Academic Excellence Conference

The Keene State College Academic Excellence Conference has several goals. The faculty want students, who are producing excellent work, to be given the opportunity to share that work with a broad audience. Another goal is to help students prepare for submitting proposals for presentation at professional conferences. Each year English department faculty take pride in sponsoring student work at the Academic Excellence Conference. The presentation titles below demonstrate the reading and writing activities of advanced students in the department:


Autumn Minery: These Stories Make a Storyteller is a memoir focusing on the development of a young writer whose family background, and strong connections to literature from the earliest years of her life, helps to shape her as an individual as well as help her explore the reasons behind her career choice and love for sharing her life with others through writing.

Katelyn Franco: I Will Pay You to Fire Me: My Life as a Custodian is a memoir that explores the inner workings of a job that most of the population views poorly and shows the reader the job and the person behind it from a whole different perspective.

John White: Ossian, Johnson, and Wordsworth: Authors and Authenticity – were James Macpherson’s 1760 collection, "The Poems of Ossian" forgeries, as Samuel Johnson claimed?

Nicole Danish, Randii Elie, and Brianna Hankel: Tooth Decay Dreams is the new collaboration of spoken word poetry presented by The Alive Poets Society slam poetry team.


  • Loren Madore, “An Ethnographic Look into the Lives of Keene Tattoo Artists” (Mentor: Katherine Tirabassi)
  • Meredith Allen, Abbie L. Brown, Nicholas D. Jadaszewski, Jonathan D. Way, Christopher R. Wardlaw, Jay J. Sahasakmontri, and Scott T. Cole, “Black Music / Blues Nation (Mentor: Michael Antonucci)
  • Julia Janson, “Creating a Magical Language” (Mentor: Anne-Marie Mallon)
  • Victoria K. Davis, Jessica Montenieri, and Dylan J. Freni, “Gender, Race and African American Writing” (Mentor: Michael Antonucci)
  • Michael Sanborn, “How The Keene State College Gaming Guild Functions as a Social Network” (Mentor: Katherine Tirabassi)
  • Samantha Lewis, “The Importance of a Good Character in Spandex” (Katherine Tirabassi)
  • Jessica Montenieri, , Danielle Ireland, and Samantha Turcotte, “The Relevance of Rhetoric” (Mentor: Kirsti Sandy)
  • Hillary Bailey, “The Walking Girl: A Journey Through the History of Keene” (Mentor: Katherine Tirabassi)


  • Hillary Bailey, “Grief and Separation as Unifying Forces in the Memoir Brother I’m Dying” (Faculty Sponsor, Carol Bailey)
  • Brian Watson, “A Medieval Creation Story: The Construction of the English State in Medieval Literature” (Faculty Sponsor, Meriem Pages)
  • Philippa Naugle, “A Love of Nature: Putting the ‘Camp Fire’ Back in the Camp Fire Girls” (Faculty Sponsor, William Stroup)

Past Presentations (2000–11)

  • Larissa Miller, “Testimony of a Mother-Witness: Anna Akhmatova’s Requiem” (Faculty Sponsor, Anna Schur)
  • Samantha Bardell, “Minstrelsy and Mimicry: The Black Female Factor in the Policed Pursuit of Black Masculinity in the Jim Crow South” (Faculty Sponsor, Michael Antonucci)
  • Caitlin Spencer, “Resisting the Written Word: Oral Tradition in American Indian Literature” (Faculty Sponsor, Sally Joyce)
  • Kelly Wass, “The Glorious Corruption: An Examination of Andrei Sinyavsky’s The Trial Begins and Yuri Olesha’s Envy” (Faculty Sponsor, Anna Schur)
  • Thomas Simmons, “Where the Romantic Meets the Modern” Faculty Sponsor, William Stroup)
  • Trisha Simons, “Harry Potter and the Holocaust” (Faculty Sponsor, Meriem Pages)
  • Steven Gonzalez, “Redefining Gender: Fe/male Characterization in Science Fiction” (Faculty Sponsor, Ali Lichtenstein)
  • Kristen Loonie, “Abeunt Studia in Mores: Evolution of Education in the Essay” (Faculty Sponsor, Kirsti Sandy)
  • Chelsea Delnero and Melissa Dickie, “Other Feminisms” (Faculty Sponsor, Ali Lichtenstein)
  • Stephanie Allen and Sarah Bernatas, “Postsructuralist Gender Dynamics in Le Guin’s Novel The Lathe of Heaven” (Faculty Sponsor, Ali Lichtenstein)
  • Gary Beisaw, Caitlin Bramucci, Amanda Izzo, Lauren Ochs, “Paradox of Abundance” (Faculty Sponsor, Ali Lichtenstein)
  • Thea Anderson, “The Role of the Trickster in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We and Richard Wright’s The Man Who Lived Underground (faculty sponsor: Anna Kaladiouk)
  • Katharine Schillemat, “A Holy Fit: The Sacred Connection in After and Before the Lightning” (faculty sponsor: Sally Joyce)
  • Sarah Cushing, Rebecca Houle, Jahleh Ghanbari and Cate Reynolds, “Final Projects from English 203: Women’s Writing: Rhetoric and Representation” (faculty sponsor: Kirsti Sandy)
  • Monique L. Reno, Nicole Shippee, and Torin Hjelmstad, ” Integrity in Action: Writing with Moral Courage” (faculty sponsor: Ali Lichtenstein)
  • Jeffrey Stein, “The Genealogy of the Value of Morality in the Old Testament” (faculty sponsor: Michael Haines)
  • Katharine Schillemat, “Walking with Dorothy: Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journals as Literature of Place” (faculty sponsor: William Stroup)
  • Martha Schmidt, “Keats and Nature” (faculty sponsor: William Stroup)
  • John McDermott, “Walking the Appalachian Trail” (faculty sponsor: Mark C. Long)
  • Grisel Levene, Nancy Roberts O’Neill, Nicole Simonson, Rebecca Soderberg, “Women of Many Ages: A Diverse Writing Course” (faculty sponsor, Ali Lichtenstein)
  • Steven Gravelle, “Speak Up! A Trilogy of Plays for Social Change in America” (faculty sponsor, Robin Dizard)
  • Bethany Lasko, “The Downfall of Man in Place of Eve in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (faculty sponsor, William Stroup)
  • Elizabeth Biron, Steven Gliddon, Lauren Baggott, “Who’s Your Hero? A Conversation with a Few Modern American Novelists” (faculty sponsor, Anne-Marie Mallon)
  • Heather Bogardus, “The Importance of Historical Context: George Orwell’s Animal Farm” (faculty sponsor, William Stroup)
  • Elizabeth Lounder, “Subconscious Threading,” (faculty sponsor, Robin Dizard)
  • Barrett Richard, Kelly Gennett, Derrick Glow, Danielle Spardo, John Skelton, “Academic Writing: Using Amherst Writers and Artists Methodology in the College Classroom” (faculty sponsor, Ali Lichtenstein)
  • Laura Bogart, “Shelley’s Theory of Natural Diet and its Relation to Modern Society (faculty sponsor, Dr. William Stroup)
  • Mark Metevier, “The Cultural Influence of China: Mona in the Promised Land (faculty sponsor, Dr. William Stroup)
  • Cathleen Brennan, “Land of the Free, Home of the White: The Chinese Struggle to Gain Citizenship in Ninetennth-Century America” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Mark C. Long)
  • Shawn Kelly, “The Will of a Vampire, the Fate of the Vampire” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Anna Kaladiouk)
  • Gregory Gilewski, “‘Ode to a Nigthingale’: A portrayal of Becoming One with Heidegger’s ‘Authentic Self’” (faculty sponsor, Dr. William Stroup)
  • Judith Grophear, “Dostoevsky’s Prince and the Women’s Question” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Anna Kaladiouk)