First winners of Romein and Gilmore writings awards announced
The University has announced the winners of two new academic awards honoring excellent writing.
Kristi Hixon, a senior from Blythewood majoring in English and psychology, has received the Romein Award for Excellence in Academic Writing. Rachelle Rea, a senior from Summerville majoring in communication, has received the Gilmore Award for Excellence in Creative Writing.
“Kristi Hixon’s essay on Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses was the unanimous choice of the judges for this year’s Romein Award for Writing," said Dr. Keith Callis, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and chair of the Romein Award. "Its title is clever and suggestive: ‘John Grady’s Retrospective Journey Forward.’ The entire essay reveals the qualities of mind and expression we always look for, and we’re delighted to offer Miss Hixon this year’s award for exemplary student scholarship.”
Dr. Jeremy Jones, assistant professor of English and coordinator of the Writing Center, said, “In Rachelle Rea’s essay ‘What the Medals Mean,’ she crafts an intimate portrait of her grandfather’s legacy in a short narrative filled with deftly placed memories and snippets of dialogue. She wisely resists hyperbole and tempting tangents to capture a realistic and full image of her grandfather, and other men of his generation.”
“What stands out to me is Rachelle’s careful attention to language and sensory detail,” said Dr. Celeste Pottier, assistant professor of English. “On a topic that could easily become overly sentimental, her voice is authentic – lyrical, yet compact.”
Callis said, “We tend to forget sometimes that a university is a meritocracy and that its criteria are intellectual, the recognizably high standards of a collection of cultivated people: that the work it rightly honors are expressions of responsive and independent curiosity, that it shows the ability to grasp and articulate complexity, that its expression is found in writing that is fluent and flexible, whose syntactical and stylistic turns reflect the subtleties it searches out – in short, that it is very far above the commonplace or pedestrian in expression and thought, but is worthy of study in its own right, and certainly deserving of the high esteem of the faculty and of other students.”
The Romein Award will be presented annually by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the department of English to the undergraduate student whose submitted academic work best exemplifies: excellence in syntax, clarity of sentence structure, quality of argument, soundness of reasoning, structural coherence and cohesion, excellence in research and originality of work. The work must be nominated by a professor.
The late Dr. Tunis Romein was a longtime professor of English and was known for encouraging writing. The Gilmore Award will be presented annually by the department of English to the best work of creative writing accepted for publication in The Sefer, the student literary magazine.
The late Margaret Gilmore was one of the first employees hired by the University and was the director of public relations, archivist, advisor to The Sefer and a published poet.