Alexa Pastor
Alexa Pastor, 2013 Medallion winner

The Department of English sponsors a number of awards each year.

The Medallion of Excellence
The Jerome J. Fischer Memorial Award
The Margaret Powell Esmonde Memorial Award
The Senior Class Poet
The Literary Experience Essay Award
The English Honor Society

The Medallion of Excellence

The Edward McGrath Medallion, the English Department’s Medallion of Excellence, is awarded to a graduating senior each year. The 2013 Medallion of Excellence winner is Alexa I. Pastor. 

Previous Winners:  
2012 - Theresa Donohoe
            Nicole Battisti
2011 - Molly Schreiber
2010 - Max Stendahl
2009 - Joe R. Gonzalez
- Angela S. Allen
2007 -
Emily M. Trovato
- Thomas Emerson
- Kathryn M. Rutigliano
2004 - John Durnin
2003 - Mari Grace Crosby
2002 - Michael Foley
2001 - Kristin Suga
2000 - Christine Anderson
1999 - Thomas McKinley
1998 - John Giordano and Megan Norcia
1997 - Lisa Tomaszewski
1996 - Mark Spoonauer
1995 - Kelly Beissel

English majors have also been honored with the Saint Thomas More Award, the Medallion of Excellence for the Honors Program:

2010 - Tara Powers
2009 - Thomas Celona
2006 - Molly Grace
- Corinne Welsh
1999 - Maria Sadowski

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The Jerome J. Fischer Memorial Award

The Jerome J. Fischer Memorial Award is given annually to the most distinguished undergraduate essay written in a Villanova English course. The Fischer Award honors Jerome J. Fischer, who taught nineteenth-century British literature courses, as well as a variety of other courses, at Villanova from 1947 until his retirement in 1983. He died in 1984.  (For details about the essay competition, click here.)

Shannon Welch is a senior major in English and Spanish, with a minor in Japanese, from Holden, Massachusetts. At Villanova, Shannon has been involved in the Service Learning Community, serving at Jay Cooke Elementary School in Philadelphia and facilitating a group of college sophomores during their weekly Fourth Hour discussions. She also has been a member of the Wildcat Dancers during her four years, and led the team as captain during the 2012-2013 season. Shannon has completed two internships working in non-profit legal services with the Villanova Law School Clinic and Friends of Farmworkers, Inc. In the spring of 2012, she studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai University outside of Osaka, Japan. After graduation, she will be returning to Japan to work as an Assistant Language Teacher for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.

Previous Winners:  
2012 -Theresa Donohoe
2011 - Molly Schreiber
2010 - Max Stendahl
2009 - Jamie Kapalko
- Daniel E. Trucil
2007 -
Emily Trovato
- Stephen Cornell
- Kristy Wessman
2004 - Mark Napolitano
2003 - Valerie Kate Fernandez
2002 - Rebecca Corcoran
2001 - Michael Foley
2000 - Corinne Welsh
1999 - Jennifer Joyce
1998 - Cara LaColla
1997 - Chris Eagle
1996 - Wendy Anne Tucker
1995 - [not given out]
1994 - Michael DiRuggiero
1993 - Rosemary Scalo
1992 - Mary Kovalchick
1991 - Peter Naccarato
1990 - Sarah Pines
1989 - Anne Marie Ryan
1988 - Jon Lemole
1987 - Jill Stevens

The Margaret Powell Esmonde Memorial Award

The Margaret Powell Esmonde Memorial Award is given annually to the most distinguished graduate essay written in a Villanova English course. The Esmonde Award honors Margaret Powell Esmonde, who taught at Villanova from 1974 until her death in 1983. She was a specialist in Renaissance literature who also taught courses in science fiction and children’s literature.  (For details about the 2008 essay competition, click here.)

Rebecca Hepp is a second-year M.A. student in the Department of English. She graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University in 2008 with a double major in English and Classics. Her master's thesis focuses on early American author Charles Brockden Brown and his use of the Gothic genre to represent possible alternative sexualities in early America. She has worked as the graduate assistant for the Graduate English Program for two years and recently accepted a position as an assistant editor for Merion Matters Publications in King of Prussia, PA. She would like to thank Dr. Michael Berthold for his support with this essay and his continued guidance with her thesis work.

Cara Saraco graduated summa cum laude from Ursinus College in the spring of 2010. She received a tuition scholarship from Villanova and began graduate school full-time in August 2011, serving as a research assistant to Dr. Joseph Drury. While pursuing her master's degree, Cara worked part-time as an ESL instructor and taught grammar and literature classes to adult international students. This past year, Cara began working as a graduate assistant at Villanova as well. She currently tutors in the Writing Center and serves as a teaching intern for Dr. Heather Hicks's Postmodern Literature and Theory class. She presented at the 2013 Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference, and she is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Tau Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi honors societies. She is graduating this semester, completing her field exam entitled "Feeling Poor: Money Matters and Negative Affect in Early 20th Century U.S. Women's Literature." She would like to thank all of her professors for their support and guidance, especially Dr. Lutes, and the essay selection committee for this award.


Previous Winners:  
2012 - Alexandra Edwards
2011 - Benjamin Raymond
2010 - James McAdams
2009 - Don James McLaughlin
- John Breedlove
- Rebecca Steffy
2007 -
Rebecca Burnett
- Karen Y. Lee
- Marc Napolitano
2004 - Victor Sensenig
2003 - Deborah Gross
2002 - Brian Sweeney
2001 - Patricia Crouch
2000 - Laura Giuliani
1999 - Sharon Cournoyer
1998 - Marc Schuster
1997 - Mary Ann Quigley
1996 - Robert Duggan, Jr.
1995 - Gale White
1994 - Gale White
1993 - Daniel Hipp
1992 - Helen Goff
1991 - Sr. Elaine Marie Glanz, I.H.M.
1990 - Katrien Conlan
1989 - Janet Wallin
1988 - Anne Gallagher
1987 - Gregory Sullivan
1986 - Ellen Wilmot

Senior Class Poet

The Senior Class Poet is chosen each year on the basis of a portfolio judged by an outside poet.

The Senior Class Poet for 2013 is Gregory Watry. Two of his poems follow.

Love on the Spanish Steps

Picture perfect:
she in a white dress
and he in a black suit.
Fingers laced,
looking at each other
they are poised;
positioned by the photographer.

Fanny pack tourists
with their cameras and maps
look on.
Haven’t they ever seen staged love?

The bulbs flash;
fingers unlace.
Give ‘em a peck for the show
they deserve it.

The crowd golf-claps;
she traces the fountain’s water
with a fingertip.

And there I sit,
watching from the steps
sick to the stomach
thinking I am somehow above love.

Santa Maria in Trastevere

the hands read 7:25 pm;
it’s a Sunday,
late in November.

i sit on the steps
of the fountain in Piazza Santa Maria.

behind me,
an accordion and bass duo play.

a creeping bass walk
slinks into the crowd
and the accordion’s haunting whine
echoes off the walls
into the cobblestone streets.

the corner lamps
emit a golden hue
to the evening mist.

a street performer holds two handles
attached to a ring.
fluidly rocking back
and forth,
he creates bubbles.

small children dance
in a circle of their parents
among the nebulous creatures.
they stretch their arms to the sky
hoping to catch air droplets
of soap and water in their cherub hands.

but the bubbles float
higher and higher.
above the crowds,
and above the campanile of Madonna and child
into the starless Roman sky.


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The Literary Experience Essay Award

The Literary Experience Essay Award is given each semester to the best papers written for English 1050.

The Spring 2012 winner is Nicholas Cho.
Nicholas's essay, "The Excavation and Expulsion of Exploitation in Latin America" was written for Prof. Ellen Bonds.

The Fall 2012 winner is Alissa Foti.
Alissa's essay, "Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Metaphysical Poetry" was written for  Prof. Cecilia Ready.

Previous winners:  
Fall 2011 - Monica Solis
Fall 2010 - Lien Trieu
Fall 2009 - Ellie Garbade
Fall 2008 - Greg Cappa
Fall 2007 - C J Hodukavich
Fall 2006 - Jennifer Latz
Fall 2005 - Stephanie Cody
Fall 2004 - John Zurbach
Fall 2003 - Nadia Nauss
Fall 2002 - Adrienne Sanetrik
Fall 2001 - Matt Nespoli
Fall 2000 - Michael Knerr and Ryan Zitnay
Fall 1999 - Kate Schramm
Fall 1998 - Megan Knecht
Spring 2010 - Anne Stohlquist
Spring 2009 - Michael Tomae, Nakoya Wilson
Spring 2008 - Kailee Fowler
Spring 2007 - Marissa Zator
Spring 2006 - Christina Park
Spring 2005 - Christian Skonier
Spring 2004 - Emily Trovato and Kerri White
Spring 2003 - Monica Borgone
Spring 2002 - Elizabeth Micklow
Spring 2001 - Matt Varga
Spring 2000 - Andrea Flood
Spring 1999 - Jocelyn Trufant

English Honor Society 2013

Anna Beeman
Mary F. Bohrer
Abigail P. Brooks
Brendan R. Burke
Molly M. Burns
Allison L. Cordaro
Caroline E. Foley
Stephanie P. Gabriele
James G. Giblin
Christine R. Haggerty
Kimberly M. Julien
David Kim
Marciano J. Lopez
Mary Mangano
Kaitlin E. McTigue
Olivia K. Murawski
Lauren E. Peachey
Janine M. Perri
Maria Salvemini
Alexia K. Schroeder
Taylor E. Shea
Kelly M. Sheridan
Anne E. Stohlquist
Christine V. Tergis
Erin M. Weaver