Achievements by CALS Grad Student Award Winners

Evans Accepts Position at Howard University

Sabrina Evans, winner of the 2022 CALS Summer Graduate Fellowship, has accepted a faculty position at Howard University, where she will serve as an Assistant Professor of English specializing in African American Literature. Howard is home to the Moorland Spingarn Research Center, whose archives are central to Sabrina's research. Congratulations, Sabrina, on this outstanding job market success!

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Smith Accepts Position at Randolph-Macon College

Justin Smith, a past CALS Graduate Research Assistant and recipient of CALS travel funding, has accepted a position at Randolph-Macon College, where he will serve as an Assistant Professor of English and Black Studies. Congratulations, Justin, on this fantastic job market success!

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Achievements by Faculty and Grad Students

Mackey Wins New Scholar Award

Yolanda Mackey has won the Dorothy Porter Wesley New Scholar Award from the Bibliographical Society of America. In addition to a stipend and travel funds, this award also comes with an invitation to publish in the society's quarterly journal, Papers of the Bibliographic Society of America.

Congratulations, Yolanda, on this wonderful recognition of you and your work!

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Martinez Awarded Dissertation Fellowship

Wendyliz Martinez has been awarded an American Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The fellowship, which provides significant financial support in the final year of dissertation-writing, recognizes woman scholars whose work is of the highest academic excellence and who are committed to serving women and girls in their personal or professional communities.

Congratulations, Wendyliz, on this major recognition of you and your work!

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Wong Contributes to Black Poetry Syllabus and Playwriting Anthology

Carmin Wong has co-authored, with a collective of fellow scholars, educators, and artists, the Furious Flower Syllabus. This open-access syllabus, sponsored by James Madison University's Furious Flower Poetry Center, is designed for students at all levels and contains a series of lesson plans to introduce readers to the world of Black poetry. As she notes in an interview with Furious Flower, the purpose of the syllabus is "building a community—a network, a space—for Black poetry to continue to not only exist but to be celebrated." The syllabus was awarded a 2025 Divergent Award by the Initiative for Literacy in the Digital Age, which recognizes innovative approaches to promoting literacy that extend beyond the classroom and are responsive to an increasingly digital world.

Wong is also a contributing author to The Playwright's Toolbox, a reference book featuring advice for (and by) emerging and established playwrights.

A profile of Wong and her far-reaching, innovative work can be found in the PennStater alumni magazine here.

Congratulations, Carmin, on these exciting projects and recognitions of your work!

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Tuttle Accepts Position at Concordia University

Josh Tuttle has accepted a tenure-track position at Concordia University in Chicago. His research focuses on "spooky literature," and to that end he launched an undergraduate course at Penn State on "Weird Literature" in spring 2023. Congratulations, Josh, on this great job market success!

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Nguyen Accepts Position at Lycoming College

Rob Nguyen has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of English at Lycoming College. He is currently a post-doctoral teaching fellow at Penn State, where he earned his PhD in English and Visual Studies in 2023. Congratulations, Rob, on this fantastic job market success!

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Murray Featured on C19 Podcast

Courtney Murray appeared as a guest on the most recent episode of C19 Podcast, produced by C19: The Society of Nineteenth Century Americanists. She currently serves as leader and editor of the G19 Collective, C19's graduate student collective.

In this episode of C19 Podcast, Murray previews the 2024 C19 conference with fellow C19 members, focusing particularly on the meaning and importance of this year's conference theme, "The End." "I want to hone in on ends being beginnings," says Murray, who sees parallels between her experience as "a graduate student coming to the end of my graduate career" and ongoing "conversations about the end of the humanities." The question remains, in Murray's words, "What needs to end so we can move forward and begin?"

Congratulations, Courtney, on this opportunity to represent G19 and the important contributions and concerns of emerging nineteenth-century Americanist scholars!

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Chen Wins Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award

Tina Chen has won the 2024 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award from Penn State. This award recognizes university employees "who have a record of outstanding mentoring service that goes beyond the requirements of their employment duties and responsibilities."

Within the English department, Chen founded (and for many years directed) the graduate mentoring program, a cohort-based program that pairs incoming graduate students with more senior ones to provide support and foster community. In her role as managing editor of Verge: Studies in Global Asias, Chen not only employs and mentors two graduate student workers, but also encourages collaboration between emerging and established scholars within the journal's pages and through its associated programming. (Chen recently spoke of her editorial commitment to mentorship at the 2024 CALS Spring Symposium.) As one nominator said, Chen's work as a mentor "benefit[s] this generation of new scholars but will also undoubtedly help many more to come.”

Congratulations, Tina, on this recognition of your numerous and invaluable efforts to support the continued growth and health of the profession!

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Kasdorf Wins Outstanding Contribution Award

Julia Spicher Kasdorf has won the Writer's Conference of Northern Appalachia's 2024 Outstanding Contribution Award. This award recognizes those whose work brings greater visibility to the peoples and cultures of Northern Appalachia. The conference board remarked that, through both her poetry and directorship of Penn State's creative writing program, Kasdorf serves as "a pillar in the educational and artistic communities of northern Appalachia." As part of the award, a $300 donation has been made in her name to Ridgelines Language Arts of Bellefonte, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing creative arts programming to underserved groups across central Pennsylvania.

Congratulations, Julia, on this recognition of your impactful work as a writer and educator!

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Murray Awarded Fellowships and Residencies to Support Dissertation

Courtney Murray has recently been awarded several internal and external fellowships to support the completion of her dissertation. These include the American Antiquarian Society's Jay and Deborah Last fellowship, which supports research projects that draw heavily on visual materials; as a short-term visiting academic fellow, she will conduct research on African American print coverage of slave voyages and ships. She has also received a second short-term award—the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship—from the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Additionally, Murray has been named a 2024-2025 center and institutes fellow with Penn State's George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center. She has also been named one of only four residents to Penn State's Humanities Institute for Summer 2024.

Congratulations, Courtney, on all of these fantastic accomplishments!

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