The Department of English hosts its annual awards reception

The Department of English in York’s Faculty of Arts celebrated its own on Oct. 20 with its seventh annual Achievements & Awards Reception. The event honours the academic achievements of students, faculty and teaching assistants.

The 2007-2008 academic year was very successful in terms of books published and accomplishments for Department of English faculty and students, and a record 11 awards were handed out during the reception ceremony. In addition to the awards many notable faculty publications and achievements were lauded.

Professor Julia Creet, chair of the department, began the evening by recognizing the many faculty achievements of this past year, which included article and book publications, keynote addresses at conferences, teaching awards and successful grant applications and fellowships.

Above: From left, Christian Leveille; Department of English Chair Julia Creet; students Jenna Pilon and Andrew Menchynski; Allan Weiss director of undergraduate studies; students Gordon Shean, Maddalena Barone, Myrto Koumarianos and Evan Johnston

The evening’s awards were introduced and presented by Professor Allan Weiss, undergraduate program director for English. Among the student winners were Danielle Spinosa (BA Spec. Hons. ’08) and Nadia Dalchand (BA Hons. ’08), two recent graduates of the BA Honours program in English. Spinosa won two awards – the Avie Bennett Prize in Canadian Literature for the best essay in Canadian literature and the Ernest Daniel Stong Essay Prize for the best essay on a Canadian topic, awarded by Stong College. Dalchand received the Brian Hepworth Memorial Prize for best essay on a subject drawn from English literature, 1660-1800.

Right: Andrew Menchynski (left) and Professor Elicia Clements

Other awards went to third-year student Gordon Shean, who won two awards – the Lucille Herbert Memorial Scholarship awarded for travel to Europe in the summer and an honourable mention in the Faculty of Arts Essay Prize. For second year, Myrto Koumarianos won the distinguished Department of English Retirees’ Scholarship, which is awarded to the continuing English major/minor who has achieved the highest cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

Left: Christian Leveille, winner of the Teaching Assistant Award for excellence in teaching

In addition to winning the H.K. Girling Literature Prize for crafting the best essay in a 2000- or 3000-level English course and for commitment to literature outside the classroom, Andrew Menchynski also won the York University Faculty Association Undergraduate Scholarship for highest grade point average (GPA) after completing 60-90 credits in the Faculty of Arts, and the Ellen Baar Award for the highest GPA in the third year of studies in a division interdisciplinary program. Maddalena Barone won the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence for the highest CGPA in second year; Jenna Pilon won the Faculty of Arts Essay Prize for the best essay at the third-year level; and Evan Johnston won the Elizabeth Sabiston Prize for Excellence in Academic Writing for best essay in a first- or second-year course in English or humanities, awarded by Stong College. The Teaching Assistant Award was shared by York PhD candidates John Hoskins and Christian Leveille, both of whom received high praise from their students on their superior teaching skills.

By Monika Pilchak, undergraduate program secretary, Department of English, Faculty of Arts