Scholarships and Awards

The Department of English is pleased to list the names of its students who have been awarded scholarships for their excellence in academics and written work.

The Stephen Dowdall Memorial Scholarship

The Stephen Dowdall Memorial Scholarship (formerly The Helen Hill Memorial Scholarship) provides $1,500 for each of the final two semesters of coursework for the junior English major with the highest GPA who also works 20 or more hours per week.

Recent Winners

  • Lydia Bradley (2009)
  • Bethany Jones and Loraine Anton (2010)
  • Mary Tamporello and Ivy Kroll (2011)
  • Robert Shuman (2012)
  • Amanda Granger (2013)
  • Aubrey Saunders and Ronnie Slack (2014)
  • Ashley Larsen and Renée Vincent (2015)
  • Ashley Larsen (2016)
  • Samantha DaLuz (2017)

The Ryan Chighizola Memorial Scholarship

The Ryan Chighizola Memorial Scholarship is awarded in memory of Ryan Chighizola, a native New Orleans poet and a UNO English major (B.A., 1998) who received an MFA in Creative Writing at the Naropa Institute and subsequently taught at Nicholls State University and other schools. He was greatly admired for his poetry by his colleagues and friends.

To recognize Ryan’s devotion to poetry, the Ryan Chighizola Memorial Scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded to a continuing undergraduate UNO student who shares Ryan’s love of the art and who excels in writing poetry or poetry criticism.

Recent Winners

  • Daniel Dekerlegand (2009)
  • Laura Ruffino (2010)
  • Alex Jennings and Alfredo Rodriguez (2011)
  • Riley Bingham (2012)
  • Desiree Bewley and Riley Bingham (2013)
  • Elizabeth Theriot (2014)
  • Benjamin Aleshire (2015)
  • Siera Martinez (2016)
  • Anjanae Crump (2017)

The Catherine Barragy Mackin Prize

The Catherine Barragy Mackin Prize is awarded to the best paper written in a 2000- or 4000-level course.

 Recent Winners

  • Bethany Jones (2009) for her essay "In Defense of Margery Kempe: An Evaluation of her Role as a Woman and a Christian in Medieval England," nominated by Dr. Lisa Verner
  • Patricia Thomas (2010) for her essay “Following Francie: A Tour Through Class and Character in The Real Charlotte,” nominated by Dr. Barbara Fitzpatrick
  • Daniel Dekerlegand (2011) for his essay "Muted Vocalization in Hemans' The Forest Sanctuary,"  nominated by Dr. Nancy Easterlin
  • Karen Jensen (2012) for her essay "Depiction of Violence in Flanery O'Connor's 'Revelation'"
  • Jordan DeBlieux (2013) for her essay "The Queering of Perry Smith"
  • Melissa Lorio (2014) for her essay "David Copperfield: Marriage, 'Power,' and the Angel in Light of Foucault's Ideas"
  • Jess D'Aquin (2015) for her essay "The Motherly Sorceress: Frau Gothel as a Non-Villainous Mother-Figure"
  • Shay Chandler (2016) for her essay "Utopia and Fantasy in Le Guin and Tolkein"
  • Natacha Bensoussan (2017) for her essay "The Narrative Structure of Wuthering Heights: An Examination of Nelly Dean and Lockwood"

The Quarante Club Prize

The Quarante Club Prize is awarded to a female student with the best paper written in a 2000-level class.

Recent Winners

  • Janel Smith (2009) for her essay “Gods Prefer the Atheist,” nominated by Dr. Lisa Verner
  • Mary Nadeau (2010) for her essay “"Foster's Purpose in Writing The Coquette,” nominated by Dr. Patricia Roger
  • Jessica Hope Roberts (2011) for her essay "An Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's 'A Tell-Tale Heart,'" nominated by Dr. Patricia Roger
  • Ashley Hemm (2012) for her essay "The Impossible Cost of Freedom: Virtue versus Independence in The Coquette"
  • Edith Talley (2013) for her essay "Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Gray, and Peter Pan: Victorian Males Who Just Want to Have Fun"
  • Sarah Semsar (2014) for her essay "Sleping Beauty Through the Ages"
  • Renée Vincent (2015) for her essay "Vampires as a Tool to Destabilize Contemporary Notions of Gender and Sexuality"
  • Corinne Lorio (2016) for her essay "We Was Girls Together"
  • Kelle Landix (2017) for her essay "Dracula: an Allegory of Anglican Conflict"

The Quarante Club History

The Quarante Club began in New Orleans in 1886.  It takes its name, meaning "forty" in French, from the number of members (or “immortals”) of the French Academy.  It is believed to be the second oldest continually functioning women's literary group in the U.S.  In the era in which the Quarante Club was founded, there was a national outpouring of effort by women to improve their own minds and to unite into clubs to work toward this goal.  The Quarante Club maintains its archives at Tulane University and annually funds writing prizes at the University of New Orleans and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.