Graduate Dean Honors Oustanding Students

Graduate Dean's Citation for Academic Excellence in the Major

April D. Best, Master of Arts in English
B.A., English Language and Literature, York University, 2009)

April has done outstanding work in all areas of the program; as student, graduate assistant, scholar, and citizen. In a talented group of students, she was the strongest. April has done excellent work on her thesis, exhibiting the independence and discipline that have been hallmarks of her graduate career. Two characteristics that distinguish April from her peers are her motivation and her independence. She is a mature, intelligent student whose work is consistently excellent. She is a driven scholar.She is a worthy representative of the MA students and of the department and a promising scholar in the field. April is also the recipient of the Niemeyer Award for Outstanding Graduate Students.

Graduate Dean's Citation for Outstanding Master's Thesis

Pauline Bleuse, Master of Arts in English
B.A., English, University of Waterloo, Canada, 2010
Thesis Title: The Other In Henry Roth's Call It Sleep Thesis Committee: Dr. Robert Franciosi (Chair), Dr. Corinna McLeod, and Dr. Mack Smith

Pauline first approached writing a thesis on immigrant American literature and the challenges of negotiating the English language by considering Henry Roth's massive 1934 novel, Call It Sleep, an enormously challenging work that few students have ever encountered. To the surprise of the faculty, this young woman from France ·not only had heard of the novel but had read it in English. From that simple conversation began a thesis which took on this daunting work of fiction, approaching the novel in a manner that was sophisticated, subtle, provocative, and utterly convincing. Pauline's study of the Other in Call It Sleep is an important contribution to the understanding of this great American text. And as excellent as her thinking is regarding Roth's book, even more impressive in the thesis is the quality of her writing. There have been many excellent M.A. theses in English over the years, and Pauline's work can stand beside any of them. The English graduate committee agreed that Pauline's excellent work should be honored with this award.

Graduate Dean's Citation for Excellence in Service to the Community or Profession

Jennifer L. Furner, Master of Arts in English
(B.A., English Language and Literature, Grand Valley State University, 2006)

Jennifer has served two years as editorial assistant for Spring: Tlte EE Cummings Journal. Her work is invaluable in producing a quality professional journal. Her editing and proofreading experience has also helped her become quite effective in her role as mentor to undergraduate students in our Capstone course. Jennifer also organized and chaired a panel of papers on the topic "Identity and Sacrifice in the Works of Ralph Ellison," presented at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900, University of Louisville, February 23, 2013. She was also a panel moderator at the Michigan College of English Assocation' s 2012 Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.

Graduate Dean's Citation Award for Excellence in Leadership and Service to GVSU from the Department of English.

Jennifer L. Furner, Master of Arts in English

Jennifer supported the graduate program and Department of English through her time completing the Master of Arts program. She served as a teaching assistant, leading discussions with undergraduate students and serving as a dedicated reader and editor for student theses, and the level of response and time she has spent is nothing short of phenomenal. Her level of rigor, insight, and editorial expertise is sophisticated and enormously helpful. Jennifer did all this with great grace and humor, and was always accessible to students. She has shared her growing expertise with GVSU undergraduate students and related her own thesis writing experience with in-class presentations. The faculty noted that her presentations were always of the first order of quality and supported the pedagogical goals for the class.