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Scholarships and Awards

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   Giving

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Become a partner in providing quality education for undergraduate and graduate students. Please consider designating your charitable giving directly to the English Department.  You can make an unrestricted gift for general support of the department or direct your gift for specific uses such as the scholarships listed below.

To contribute simply give online through the NIU Foundation website (http://go.niu.edu/ENGL-giving) specifying your gift be directed to the Department of English.

We appreciate your support! 

  


Scholarships

Listed here are undergraduate scholarships and awards administered by the English department. For university-wide merit-based scholarships, check with the University Honors Program. For additional scholarships and other forms of financial aid, check with the NIU Scholarship Homepage and with Office of Student Financial Aid.

Application information is available through the NIU Academic Works website


Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

Each spring the English department holds a competition to select the best paper or papers written in an undergraduate English course during the year. It awards cash prizes to the authors of the winning papers. The usual deadline for submission of an entry comes in mid-April.

The recipient of this endowed scholarship is selected each spring by the department's Undergraduate Studies Committee from students nominated by the faculty. To be eligible for nomination, a student must be a junior. The deadline for application is February 1.

Applications should be submitted through NIU Academic Works

Each spring, this cash award is presented to one or more graduate and undergraduate students majoring in English who will be studying in England as part of the NIU at Oxford University Summer Program. Contact the department or study abroad office for additional information and application forms. The deadline is February 1. 

Applications should be submitted through NIU Academic Works

This endowed scholarship is awarded to an English major of junior or senior standing or a graduate student who demonstrates a desire to pursue a professional (i.e., non-teaching) career. Each scholarship awarded shall be for one academic year; however, prior recipients are eligible to apply for additional awards in subsequent years. 

Applications should be submitted through NIU Academic Works

Each spring, this cash award is presented to the outstanding student completing the department's teacher-certification program. The recipient is selected by the Committee on Initial Teacher Certification in English.

This endowed scholarship is awarded each fall to a fulltime undergraduate English major on the basis of academic achievement, socio-economic background, career goals and community service. The deadline for application is February 1. 

Applications should be submitted through NIU Academic Works

Each spring, late in April, the creative-writing faculty in English select for this cash award one or two outstanding students from the year's poetry-writing courses.

This award is open to all full-time undergraduate students at NIU in good academic standing. All entries should be literary fiction and must be submitted in hard copy and be no longer than 15 double-spaced, typed pages. All entries must be made by blind submission with a cover sheet that includes the author's name, ZID number and contact information. Each page should include a header with ZID number. Hard copies should be submitted to Jodi Long, office support specialist for undergraduate studies, Reavis 214.

This endowed scholarship is awarded each semester to an undergraduate English major seeking teacher certification and placed in student teaching. The criteria for the award are financial need, academic achievement and promise of success as a teacher. Applications from students in the English teacher-certification program are solicited in the semester preceding student teaching.

One or two outstanding student papers from English majors who were enrolled in undergraduate and/or graduate film and literature classes over the past year. 

This endowed scholarship is awarded every fall to an English major newly enrolled at NIU. The chief criterion for the award is past and potential academic achievement. The deadline for application is 1 February. Applicants must have been admitted to NIU for the following fall semester. 

Applications should be submitted through NIU Academic Works

This scholarship is for a gifted student in good standing who demonstrates academic achievement and financial need, coming from a household with an annual income based on low-income thresholds.

Applications should be submitted through NIU Academic Works


Graduate Scholarships and Awards

Each spring, this cash award is presented to one or more graduate and undergraduate students majoring in English who will be studying in England as part of the NIU at Oxford University Summer Program. Contact the department or study abroad office for additional information and application forms. The deadline is February 1.

Applications should be submitted through NIU Academic Works

This award is presented each year for the best essays submitted for graduate English courses. For information, please contact the graduate studies director.

The purpose of the Fund is to provide scholarship support for graduate students in English who will work on the journal Style in order to enhance the journal’s long-term quality. This may take the form of internships, service and other “out of classroom” learning opportunities that may be a pivotal life experience in a student’s academic career. The scholarship may not be held at the same time as a graduate assistantship assignment to work on the journal. Undergraduates may be considered when suitable graduate candidates are not found; in that case, preference will be given to students who have applied to and been accepted into the Honors Program. Scholarship awards will be held for one academic year; however, prior recipients are eligible to apply for additional awards in subsequent years. The deadline is February 1.

One or two outstanding student papers from English majors who were enrolled in undergraduate and/or graduate film and literature classes over the past year.

The Harlan Teller Award, worth $1000, is announced in April for the best dissertation completed in the previous calendar year. Contact the graduate studies director for additional information.

The purpose of the Fund is to provide scholarship support for graduate students in the process of completing their dissertation within the Department of English.  The deadline is February 1.


First-Year Composition Awards

A cover sheet should accompany the essay and should include:

  • student's name
  • students z-id
  • local and permanent addresses
  • local and permanent phone numbers
  • course and section number of the course in which the paper was submitted (this is not necessary for original essays).

The cover sheet is the ONLY sheet on which the student's name should appear.

Essays can be turned in to the first-year composition office support specialist, at the English office, Reavis Hall, Room 215. Essays can also be placed in the mail slot on Room 214 outside of regular office hours.

A copy of the guidelines for submission can be obtained in the English department office, Reavis Hall, Room 215

This award honors the memory of Mae Thomas, a faculty member in the department and an administrator in NIU's CHANCE program.

The Mae Thomas Award recognizes the best essays written to fulfill a course assignment in ENGL 102 or ENGL 103P. All such essays are welcome for submission; subject matter, mode of development and length are unspecified.

Eligibility:

Any student enrolled in any section of first-year composition during the preceding summer, fall, or spring term is eligible to submit an essay for the contest.

The Maude Uhland Award honors the memory of a faculty member who taught, among other courses, first-year composition here at NIU from 1922 until her retirement in 1958.

The Maude Uhland Award recognizes the best essays written to fulfill a first-year composition course requirement. All such essays are welcome for submission; subject matter, mode of development and length are unspecified.

Eligibility:

Any student enrolled in any section of first-year composition during the preceding summer, fall, or spring term is eligible to submit an essay for the contest.

This award honors the memory of Jan Kiergaard, a faculty member in the department and director of the ESL Center for many years.

The Jan Kiergaard Award recognizes the best essays written to fulfill a course requirement in the following courses: ENGL 103 ESL, ENGL 203 ESL, ENGL 451, ENGL 452 or ENGL 453. All such essays are welcome for submission; subject matter, mode of development and length are unspecified.

Eligibility:

Any student enrolled in any section of first-year composition during the preceding summer, fall, or spring term is eligible to submit an essay for the contest.

Brief Description

The First Amendment of the Constitution protects freedom of expression, and first-year composition is in part designed to enhance students' competence to exercise that freedom in writing. Part of our mission in first-year composition is to encourage the understanding that writing is not just self-expression, that it is not a value-free skill, but that it is a process central to the discovery of self-identity within the larger body of knowledge, ideas, and values that constitute American and international culture. The best writing recognizes the value of free expression which in our country exists in the first place as a guarantee of diversity. While we must be committed to freedom of speech, the Carnegie report argues that we must also be prepared to denounce "in the strongest terms possible" expression that denies or limits the perspectives and individuality of others. In a more positive light, we can support the values of unity in diversity, the importance of understanding and respecting the broad range of cultural differences that have historically constituted a strength of the American experiment.

Essay must be on the subject of cultural diversity; any mode of writing is acceptable: narrative, descriptive, expository, persuasive or a combination thereof.

The Gail H. White Award is named for the first regular coordinator of the Writing Center at NIU, who ran the Writing Center until her retirement a few years ago.

This award is presented to outstanding tutors from the Writing Center, ESL Center or Communication Skills Lab.

A copy of the guidelines for submission can be obtained in the English department office, Reavis Hall, Room 215.

The Queen Victoria Hardison Award honors a Writers' Workshop tutor who earned both law and undergraduate English degrees from Northern Illinois University, exhibiting professionalism and excellence in guiding CHANCE-admitted first-year writers.

The award is presented to an outstanding tutor from the Writers' Workshop.

Nomination forms are available in Reavis 215.


Faculty Awards

To perpetuate the work of feminist scholars in the English department, Mary Suzanne Schriber, Professor Emerita, has endowed a fellowship that funds faculty members’ research on women’s literature and language from a feminist perspective.  Graduate students may also participate in the program. The first Schriber Award Scholar was selected in academic year 2014-2015 for a term of two academic years. 

Established in 1989, the award is named for Professor Giannasi, the first official rhetorician in the department and longstanding director of first-year composition. The award is given to a teacher in the first-year composition program who demonstrates excellence in the classroom.

Contact us

Northern Illinois University
Department of English
Reavis Hall, Room 215
DeKalb, IL 60115

815-753-0611
815-753-0606 (Fax)