Carnegie Mellon University
Student Profiles

Two PhD students can add the 2016 English Department Graduate Student Teaching Award to their resumes. Rhetoric student Mary Glavan and Literary and Cultural Studies student Juliann Reineke are taking home this fall's award.

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Approximately 10 academics per semester are accepted as a Visiting Scholar at University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Fall 2017, Pierce Williams will be among those 10.

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From Sri Lanka to London to Houston, students of Carnegie Mellon University’s English Department spent their summers researching, writing and working across the globe. Here’s a sample of what just a few of our students were up to this summer…

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A dynamic doubles team and a determined, sharpshooting 1,000-point scorer were among the exceptional student-athletes this spring who brought distinction to Carnegie Mellon University athletics on the court and in the classroom.

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Carnegie Mellon University’s four Fulbright award winners for 2016 will research, study and report across three continents. One student and one alumna from the English Department are among the new recipients.

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This year’s co-winners of Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Graduate Student Teaching Award have one thing in common: excellence in teaching.

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Carnegie Mellon University senior Kaytie Ni-elsen has won a nationally competitive fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation. A Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA) student with concentrations in creative writing and directing, Nielsen is one of 18 students and young professionals selected to participate in the prestigious Luce Scholars Program.

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This semester, Andrej Panic, a junior majoring in creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom is honing his creative writing as an exchange student at Carnegie Mellon University through the English department’s study abroad program.

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Emmett Eldred, a junior double majoring in creative writing and professional writing, is currently studying and working in the nation’s capital through Carnegie Mellon University’s Washington Semester Program. Sponsored by CMU’s Institute for Politics and Strategy, the semester-long program gives students who are interested in policy work the opportunity to intern in Washington D.C. while taking classes.

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Melanie Diaz, an English major, has been awarded the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) fellowship for 2016. The fellowship program is designed to help students from diverse backgrounds attend graduate school, typically in the areas of public policy, public administration, international affairs and related fields.

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Since 2014, the Dietrich Honors Fellowship Program has supported the research and creative projects of 12 fellows who work closely with faculty advisors. Through the fellowship, students immerse themselves in their thesis research the summer before their senior year, and they develop lasting relationships with world-class faculty mentors that enhance their lives both academically and professionally.

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Elizabeth Agyemang, a junior double majoring in fine arts and professional writing, was selected as the 2016 winner of the English department’s Cohon Travel Award, a $1,000 grant to help defer the cost of studying abroad at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) in England. Agyemang is currently studying at SHU through the English department’s study abroad program

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With one summer and one semester under their belts, the current Dietrich Honors Fellows have made substantial progress on their Senior Honors Program theses.

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Since beginning his journey as a double major in Business Administration at the Tepper School and Creative Writing in the Dietrich College’s English department, not to mention playing on the men’s basketball team, Blake Chasen, BS ’16, has been infused with appreciation, predilection and perspiration surrounding the Carnegie Mellon community. So when he was presented with an opportunity to dedicate an additional year of his talents to the University as a Fifth Year Scholar, he gladly accepted.

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Ph.D. in rhetoric candidates Carolyn Commer and Ana Cooke were selected as winners of the 2015 Department of English Graduate Student Teaching Award.

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At this time of year, most Carnegie Mellon University technical writing and communication seniors are job hunting – boarding planes to interview at some of the best companies in the nation to become the next generation of copywriters and technical writers.

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Laura Pacilio (MAPW’16) was selected as the 2015 recipient of the Erwin R. Steinberg Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW) Scholarship. The award recognizes a third semester MAPW student who has excelled in the program’s Style course and exemplifies the values that characterized Steinberg’s career in scholarship, teaching, and administration at Carnegie Mellon. Those values include integrity, intellectual curiosity, and citizenship.

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Out of a pool of about 30 applicants, only two students are selected for Carnegie Mellon’s Posner Center internship each year. Literary and Cultural Studies Ph.D. student Matthew Lambert was selected for his proposed exhibit on the early nineteenth century American author, Washington Irving.

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Two majors in the English Department, Eleanor Haglund and Jenna Bodnar, were recently inducted into the national honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, which recognizes excellence in scholarship in all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society. Haglund, Bodnar, and other students will be inducted on April 26 during a ceremony in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center.

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Carolyn Commer, a Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric was a featured speaker at the university’s Integrated Intelligence: San Francisco and Beyond event in San Francisco, Calif. in February.

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Garrett Stack’s research project, “Damming the Romantics,” took one year to complete, but he only had three minutes to explain it to a panel at CMU’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®).

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This semester, undergraduate student Steve Epple is investigating the merging of live performance with digital technology in his Mediated Reality course. Undergrad, Eleanor Haglund, is learning about entrepreneurship. Haglund, however, is not a business major as one might think. And, Epple is not a drama major, nor a media design major.

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In mid-march, undergraduate Creative Writing and Japanese Studies major, Laura Berry, will travel to New Mexico to present her work at the International English Honor Society’s Sigma Tau Delta’s International Convention, which will draw an estimated 1,000 attendees.

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You won’t find English major, Mairéad Pettit, studying in her usual Squirrel Hill dorm room this semester. Instead, she’s studying abroad in Rome, Italy.

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Pavithra Tantrigoda, English Department Ph.D. candidate in Literary & Cultural Studies, has won one of this year's Carnegie Mellon University Asian Students Association Graduate Fellowship awards. The Fellowship encourages work in Asian languages and on Asia. With this funding, Pavithra will travel to archives abroad to examine legal texts and newspaper/magazine articles in Sinhala on ecological disasters that impacted Sri Lanka, such as the South Asian Tsunami in 2004.

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If you think courses like “Punk and the Politics of Subculture” and “Living Social in the Age of Social Media” would be interesting to take to satisfy CMU’s undergraduate writing requirement, you can thank Shelia Liming for creating them.

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A Ph.D. candidate in Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English, Julie Bowman began teaching at Carnegie Mellon as a first-year Ph.D. student. In addition to teaching the university's key service course, 76-101, Julie has twice served as a teaching assistant for the English department's Shakespeare course as well as designed and taught her own 200-level courses in Renaissance literature.

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Heather Steffen, a Ph.D.  Candidate in Literary in Cultural Studies, has received a $20,000 fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to support her dissertation writing.

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Two of the English Department's Creative Writing students, Caroline Kessler and Yulin Kuang, were selected to be part of the 2012 class of Andrew Carnegie Society (ACS) Scholars.

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We are pleased to announce that Heather Steffen and Alexis Teagarden have received the 2011-2012 English Department Graduate Student Teaching Award!

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Last year, friends Marci Calabretta ('11) and Inès Pujos ('12), both students in the English Department's Creative Writing program, were frustrated with the lack of publishing opportunities available for up-and-coming writers, like themselves. So, they decided to do something about it and launched their own creative literary journal.

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Jennifer Dorsey (MAPW '11) is the recipient of the 2011 Erwin R. Steinberg MAPW Scholarship. This scholarship, which was first awarded in 2007, is given annually to a third semester MAPW who excels in Style, a course that Steinberg taught for many years in the MAPW program. 

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Kelly Bescherer, an English major with additional majors in German and history, has won a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) scholarship that will allow her to spend her senior year studying at Humboldt University in Berlin. While in Germany, she will also be conducting two independent research projects on the history of Weimar film and on feminist squatting in 1980s Germany.  

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Jeanette Lee, an MAPW student who is pursuing the Investigative Journalism option within that program, was one of only two students in H&SS to receive a Peter C. Dozzi Pittsburgh Internship Initiative grant of $1,000. The Peter C. Dozzi Pittsburgh Internship Initiative was created in 2004 through a generous gift by Mr. Peter C. Dozzi, founder of Jendoco Construction Corporation of Pittsburgh.

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Marci Calabretta's poem "Mother Ran off the American Base in South Korea" has been selected for an award from The Albion Review, a national undergraduate literary magazine published at Albion College in Michigan. 

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When Hilary Franklin, a Rhetoric Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, arrived at CMU in 2006, she had never taught a class before. Four short years later, she is the winner of the 2011 University Graduate Student Teaching Award.

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Carnegie Mellon University senior Mackenzie Evan Smith has won a prestigious Henry Luce Foundation Scholarship. Mackenzie, a creative writing major in the Department of English, was one of 18 students and young professionals chosen to participate in the Luce Scholars Program, an initiative that enables students to increase their knowledge of Asia by living and working in an Asian country of their choice. 

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Bill Blake, PhD Candidate in Literary & Cultural Studies, English Department, has been selected to participate in the workshop, "Glorious Revolution as a Transatlantic Programme," to be held Nov 5 at the Newberry Library.

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CPID student Chelsey Delaney has been selected to participate in the 2011 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival. She will be organizing a panel based on her Master of Design thesis at the festival, which will be held from March 11-15 in Austin, TX. Her panel, entitled “Comedic Communication: Designing for Pleasure and Play” will focus on employing humor as a rhetorical strategy in design work. 

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Veronica Olson (MAPW '10) is the 2010 recipient of the Erwin R. Steinberg MAPW Scholarship. Each year, this scholarship is awarded to the 3rd semester MAPW who excels in Style, a course that Steinberg taught for many years in the MAPW program. Additionally, the recipient must exemplify the qualities of integrity, intellectual curiosity, and citizenship that marked Steinberg's long career at Carnegie Mellon, during which time he was involved in the founding and developing of the MAPW program.

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Emily Klein is the winner of the 2010 H&SS Student Teaching Award.

Emily graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1999 with a B.A. in English (American Literature). In May, she received her PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon. Her dissertation title was "Constructing the American Activist: Twentieth Century Political Performances and Discourses of Social Change."

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Mario Castagnaro, a current PhD student in Literary and Cultural studies, has been selected as one of the 2009 co-winners of the H&SS Graduate Student Teaching Award.

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