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ISU Announces Annual English Scholarship Recipients

May 10, 2021

The Department of English and Philosophy is pleased to announce that four undergraduate students will be receiving English scholarships for the 2021-22 school year. Jessa Briggs, Elisabeth Curtis, Audrey Hansen, and Mason Ellen-Marie Wissert have been recognized for excellence in scholastic achievement, literary analysis, and creative writing in this competitive scholarship contest.

Jessa Briggs is the recipient of the Price L. Lassahn-Worrell Scholarship in English, awarded annually to an undergraduate student in their senior year who has demonstrated financial need, scholastic achievement, and an ability to overcome personal hardships. In support of Ms. Briggs’ application, Professor Elizabeth A. Kickham wrote, “She has proven a conscientious, engaged, and intellectually curious student... I am impressed with Jessa’s ability to remain committed to her learning and coursework in the face of significant challenges.”  Her submitted work shows her range of abilities, from analyzing medieval sagas to writing excellent short fiction. Ms. Briggs is pursuing a double bachelor’s degree in English with a Creative Writing focus and in Corporate Communications / Public Relations, with a History minor. She is an Honors student, and works as a Career Path Intern in the English department.

The Charles Kegel Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Elisabeth Curtis, a junior in the English Creative Writing program. The Kegel Scholarship is awarded to students who show particular skill in literary analysis. Ms. Curtis submitted multiple competitive scholarship applications, but the scholarship committee was especially impressed by her essay analyzing Nikki Giovanni’s “The Yellow Jacket.” Through her reading of this poem which brings a focus on the life of small insect, Ms. Curtis demonstrated a keen sense of the emotional shading of language and a sympathetic sense of parallel but separate lives. She has previously received a College of Arts and Letters Gala Scholarship.

Audrey Hansen will receive the Jay G and Mary Donna Jensen Scholarship. Ms. Hansen is an Honors English / Literary major and Theatre minor. The Jensen  scholarship is awarded annual to students in English or English Education, with a higher than 3.5 GPA. Ms. Hansen has maintained a 4.0 GPA in her four semesters at Idaho State University. Her enthusiasm, conscientiousness, and writing skill are recognized by her instructors. She previously received the distinction of Hillcrest English Student of the Year.

Mason Ellen-Marie Wissert, a sophomore majoring in English / Creative Writing, has been awarded the Agnes Just Reid Memorial Scholarship. This highly competitive scholarship is awarded to students who show potential in creative writing. The scholarship committee was impressed by Ms. Wissert’s short story “The Horse,” a realistic portrayal of a troubled family living in the harsh Nevada desert. Ms. Wissert is a returning, first-generation student and small business owner with a 4.0 GPA. She was the winner of the Prose Prize for her submission to  ISU’s literary journal, Black Rock & Sage.

Each year, the Scholarship Committee in the Department of English and Philosophy solicits student submissions to the Bengal Online Scholarship System, and reviews dozens of applications from among current and entering English students, who specialize in Literature, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Language Arts Education.