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English Department Hosts Fall 2015 “English Night”

Published on December 11, 2015

English Department Hosts Fall 2015 “English Night”

At “English Night” at Eastern Connecticut State University, held in the Betty Tipton Room on Dec. 10, the English Department presented two scholarships, inducted students into the Sigma Tau Delta honor society and showcased senior seminar presentations. The event was hosted by English Department Chair Lisa Fraustino.

The Constance Campo Scholarship is given to a non-traditional English student who excels in the classroom and was awarded to junior Tammy DeGennaro. According to Fraustino, “Tammy’s questions and comments are integral to classroom discussions. She also demonstrated tact and thoughtfulness while dealing with delicate issues of race and gender.”

Professor Fraustino with Megan Velasquez, winner of the David and Janet Phillips Scholarship

The David and Janet Philips scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student who excels in the field of English and also participated in theater, the literary journal “Eastern Exposure”, or the “Campus Lantern” student newspaper. Senior Megan Velasquez was the recipient of this scholarship. “Megan’s English professors are always impressed by her contributions to discussions; but as a double major, she has also had a hand in more than 10 Eastern theater productions.”

Sigma Tau Delta then took the stage to welcome new inductees. Inductees were nominated by faculty members who considered students’ intellectual ability, coursework and character. Inductees were welcomed by Chapter President Meaghan McFall-Gorman and Vice-President Seth McCullock. Chapter sponsor Allison Speicher welcomed the members into the group when she presented them with their certificates.

English Professor Lisa Fraustino, left, congratulates Tammy DeGennaro, winner of the Constance Campo Scholarship.

After a brief break for refreshments, the event picked back up with student presentations from Professor Christopher Torockio’s “Crash Course in the Novel” senior seminar. For this seminar, students were tasked with writing an entire novel in just a semester and a half. Three students — Stephanie Catucci, Kevin McVane and Alison Newhall —read excerpts from their stories.

“I felt that giving students an opportunity to write a novel would be extremely valuable. Writing a novel is difficult and draining and self-doubt can become a constant part of the writer’s life,” Torockio said. “However, by having faith in their stories, their characters and themselves, these students persevered and turned out an end-product that I can’t be more proud of.”

Professor Meredith Clermont-Ferrand’s “Dirty, Sexy Middle Ages” seminar was represented by students Danielle Draeger and Kamila Nowak. “This seminar is designed to undermine the received tradition of the Middle Ages as being dry, boring and church oriented,” said Clermont-Ferrand. “Contrary to popular belief, humor was a huge part of life in the Middle Ages. The average person often turned to humor and entertainment to push back against authority, and particularly, the ever-changing religious doctrine of the time.”

The event concluded with a question and answer segment where audience participation was encouraged

Written by Ryan King

Categories: English