Month: May 2016

CWP 2016 Recognition Night

On May 11, the Connecticut Writing Project celebrated the 28th Annual  Student Writers Recognition Night . The writing contest garnered 1700 submissions—200 more than for previous contests—from first through twelfth grades. Nearly 1000 teachers, family members, and friends filled the Jorgensen Auditorium to honor the students and hear them read their original work.  Author Linda Mullaly Hunt (One for the Murphys and Fish in a Tree) delivered the keynote speech.

Mentorship Award

In recognition of the pivotal role that mentors play in supporting undergraduate research and creative activity, Professor Dwight Codr has been honored by the Office of Undergraduate Research with a 2016 Mentorship Excellence Award. The award was presented by Giorgina Paiella (’16), who has completed several research grants and projects under his advisement.

In her presentation speech, Paiella noted, “There are some people with whom you cross paths who end up having a tremendous impact on your life. Professor Dwight Codr is one of those individuals. I met him almost four years ago, when I was a freshman in his Introduction to Literary Studies course. That class was the first English course of my college career, and to this day, it is one of the best classes that I have taken at UConn. The course, more commonly known among English students as “the Frankenstein course,” is renowned in the department for being an engaging, creative approach to literary interpretation. He is unsurprisingly a favorite professor to many students of English.

“Professor Codr has guided me through one class seminar, two independent studies to prepare me for my thesis work, a summer research paper, an exhibition that I curated in the Dodd Center, and my University Scholar project. This fall, I applied to graduate school. Professor Codr guided me through writing my personal statement and gathering my application materials. The application process would have been difficult were it not for Professor Codr’s constant support and encouragement of my promise as a student. He is a tireless mentor who responds to student emails late at night far beyond what is required of his duties as an instructor. He encourages office hour visits and calls in order to work through research questions and other inquiries, and he does this all out of a passion for student learning and growth. Professor Codr is an exceptional researcher, an engaging and passionate instructor, and at the same time humble and caring. It is rare to find these qualities combined in a person, and even rarer in a mentor.

“I am happy to say that I will be pursuing a graduate degree in the fall. It is my goal to become a university professor, where I hope to pay forward the support that I have received at this university and aim for the exceptional mentorship standard that Professor Codr has set.”

Tenure Track

Congratulations to Shawn Higgins (PhD ’16), who accepted a position as Assistant Professor of English at New Mexico Tech; to Patrick Lawrence (PhD ’14), who has been accepted as Assistant Professor at University of South Carolina, Lancaster; to Jared Demick (PhD ’16), who accepted a position in English at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina; and to Katie Kornacki (PhD ’15), who has a position at Caldwell University, New Jersey.



Graduates with Honors

Nine English majors received recognition at the Honors medals ceremony. One of these students is also a University Scholar. Congratulations to all!


University Scholar Project

Paiella, Giorgina. “Woman a Machine: The History and Gendered Semiotics of Female Automata.”

Honors Theses

Capron, Emma. “‘I Died in Auschwitz’: An Examination of Literary Haunting and Representations of Trauma in the Works of Charlotte Delbo and Primo Levi.” Breen.

Kurzawa, Theresa. “What Can Young Adults Learn from Dystopian Fiction?: Social Critique in Fahrenheit 451, Ender’s Game, and The Hunger Games.”

Lisi, Brandon. “The Emperor Must Die” (creative: fiction).

Machado, Danilo. Title TBA. August 2016 graduation.

Miller, Shannon. “Transgender and Intersex Issues in Athletics.”

Monica, Katherine (Kate). “A Brief Summary of July” (creative: fiction).

Troy, Kaitlin. “History Through Comics: A Closer Look at Historical Graphic Narratives.” August 2016 graduation.

Wong, Calliope. “Between, Beyond: A Collection of One Trans Woman’s Fictions” (creative: poetry and fiction).


Kaitlyn Jenkins and Stephanie Koo

Congratulations to English majors Kaitlyn Jenkins and Stephanie Koo, UCONN IDEA grant award recipients.

Kaitlin Jenkins ’17 (Elementary Education, ED; English)

Empathy in Young Adult versus Classical Literature: An Analysis of Teachers’ Choices

Kaitlin’s project will explore teachers’ choice of classroom literature (classical versus young adult literature) and the types of empathetic responses they want to elicit from their students. The project comprises an empirical research study, a literary analysis, and an original curriculum guide.

Stephanie Koo ’17 (English & Biological Sciences)

Where My Family Calls Home: A Novel Exploring Chinese Diasporas through Family History

After investigating her family history and traveling abroad in Malaysia and Singapore, Stephanie will write a novel that discusses the Chinese diaspora and its influence on her family. A website and travelogue will accompany the novel to reach a broader audience.

The UConn IDEA Grant program awards funding to support self-designed projects including artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other creative and innovative projects. Undergraduates in all majors at all UConn campuses can apply. Applications are accepted twice per year from individuals and from small groups who plan to work collaboratively on a project.

The next application deadline will be in December 2016.

More information on the UConn IDEA Grant program can be found at