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Congratulations to the Recipients of the 2016 Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards!

The Department of English would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to the following deserving students:

Gretchen GalesGretchen Gales received the E. Allen Brown English Scholarship.  A senior majoring in both English and History, Gretchen is currently the managing editor of Quail Bell Magazine.  She credits the English major not only with strengthening her writing, which she has published in multiple outlets, but also for making her a more empathetic and socially conscious person.  She writes, “I’ve learned to value lessons…from the diverse voices I’ve read and listened to for the past 3.5 years.”

Imari SantiagoImari Santiago received the Dinah Grossman-Wolfe Book Award.  A junior English major and Spanish minor, Imari is thankful for the encouragement of family, friends, and past teachers that brought her to what she calls “a university I love in a city I adore.”  She is “stuffing” her shelves with books and enjoys how the English major causes her to “ruminate on individual words” and how it is shaping her into a “fierce, talented, ambitious, pensive, and opinionated woman.”

patrick_sShavontae Patrick received the Black History in the Making Award.  A spring 2016 graduate who majored in both English and African American Studies, Shavontae identifies herself as a “queer, black scholar, poet, and community activist.”  She currently works for The Literacy Lab (a project of Americorps), where she helps students in grades K-3 attain grade-appropriate reading skills.  She thinks back on the English major as a “major that can help you thrive across disciplines,” and plans to pursue graduate study in contemporary black women’s literature.

giannin_cCrystal Giannini received The Riely Scholarship for Women.  A senior English major, Crystal entered VCU at the urging of teaching colleagues in Chesterfield County, where she works full-time as an Instructional Assistant in Exceptional Education.  She had completed an Associate Degree some years earlier.  Embracing the label of “non-traditional student,” Crystal feels she has been able to succeed at VCU thanks to supportive faculty and staff, and “the diversity among my classmates.”  She believes that the English major is granting her a “wealth of tools,” literary and otherwise, that empower her to communicate and problem-solve effectively.