Writing and Rhetoric Department:College of Arts and Humanities

Student Awards

Since 2014, the Department of Writing and Rhetoric has sponsored three awards to recognize the outstanding work of students enrolled in its programs. The awards are as follows:

  • Undergraduate Student Excellence
  • Graduate Student Excellence
  • GTA Teaching Excellence

In addition to the recognition, each award recipient receives $250.


  • 2017-18

    Undergraduate Student Excellence: Melissa Mitchum

    Graduate Student Excellence: Rachel Molko

    GTA Teaching Excellence: Caitlin Pierson

  • 2016-17

    Undergraduate Student Excellence: Ali Valerio
    As our first Honors in the Major student, Ali has demonstrated excellence in our department throughout her tenure as a student. In addition to excelling in her coursework, Ali has served as a student ambassador and as a writing consultant for the University Writing Center. She is a student editor for Stylus: A Journal of First-Year Writing and president of the Writing and Rhetoric Honor Society, Pi Epsilon Pi.

    Graduate Student Excellence: Ella Raynor
    Ella exemplifies excellence in a graduate student through her sustained contributions to the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and her passion for learning, teaching, and research. Ella has earned a prestigious “Scholars for the Dream Award” from the 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication, at which she presented “Articulating Feminist Cultural Knowledge: Resistance, Agency, and Discursive Space” as well as a Dean’s Fellowship from the DWR. She continuously exceeds expectations as a graduate student scholar and embodies the “good work” of our discipline.

    GTA Teaching Excellence: Somaily Nieves
    Somaily has been teaching for the Department of Writing and Rhetoric for nearly two years and has shown an exceptional dedication to her research and to her students. Somaily is an effective and dedicated teacher, and she contributes to the department’s First Year Composition program through her continued service with ENC 1101 and 1102 portfolio assessment, her participation and insight on several departmental committees, her enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and her willingness to take on new challenges in order to continuously improve her pedagogical knowledge.

  • 2015-16

    Undergraduate Student Excellence: Lexi Loccisano
    Since she began her coursework in the department in 2014, Lexi has demonstrated dedication to her studies and leadership as a student. In addition to excelling in her classes and constructing an exemplary e-portfolio, Lexi has served as the founding president of the Writing and Rhetoric honor society, Pi Epsilon Pi, as well as a student ambassador and a tutor for the University Writing Center. Most recently, she has been working on an independent study with Dr. Stephanie Vie about honor society engagement, the results of which she presented at UCF's Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence.

    Graduate Student Excellence: Garrett Arban
    Garrett exemplifies excellence in a graduate student through his integrated approach to learning, teaching, and research as illustrated in his conference presentations, such as IWCA, CCCC and RSA, and his publication in Kairos. Additionally, Garrett actively participates in the department’s portfolio assessment, serves on the Composition Committee, and engages in discussions during departmental workshops and research talks to further his professional authority.

    GTA Teaching Excellence: Emily Proulx
    Emily Proulx is a second-year Master's student and masterful graduate teaching associate. She has a passion for teaching and has consistently demonstrated her commitment to her students, as well as her research. She regularly attends teaching workshops and talks to improve her pedagogy. Others have noted that Emily is clearly interested in the success of her students. Her desire to see her students succeed extends beyond the classroom, and her pedagogy carefully connects academic writing to writing in workplace and professional contexts. In addition to her impressive work within the classroom, Emily has also served as a tutor in the writing center, published a review in the academic journal Kairos, and presented at national conferences. Emily is also a member of IWCA, NCTE, and SAMLA.

  • 2014-15

    Undergraduate Student Excellence: Komysha Hassan
    Komysha’s contributions to the department include her work as a student-editor for Stylus and as a peer tutor in the Writing Center. The research Komysha conducted for her ENC 1102 class has been published in Stylus and presented at the 2015 Undergraduate Poster session at the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

    Graduate Student Excellence: Megan Lambert
    Megan has demonstrated exceptional work at the graduate level by excelling in both her graduate coursework and her efforts as a Writing Center tutor. Her thesis, titled, “Understanding the Role of Writing Resources in Tutoring Sessions,” contributes to the field’s understanding of the many resources that mediate writing center tutorials and writing instruction more broadly.

    GTA Teaching Excellence: Brandy Dieterle
    Brandy has demonstrated excellence as a teacher by helping the department’s first-year composition students understand the issues of audience, rhetorical situation, and multimodality that shape their engagement with social media. Brandy’s innovative teaching helps students apply Writing Studies scholarship to their own real-world writing activities.

    GTA Teaching Excellence: Allison Morrow
    Allison’s exemplary work as a teacher is evident in the engagement and excitement she has fostered among the department’s first-year composition students. The time and energy Allison invests in helping students exceed the high expectations she holds for their research and writing are particularly deserving of recognition.

  • 2013-14

    Undergraduate Student Excellence: Aubrey Marks
    Aubrey’s involvement in the department has included publishing her ENC 1101 work in Stylus, presenting that work at the Knights Write Showcase, serving as an assistant editor for Stylus, working in the Writing Center, and promoting DWR upper division writing programs to other students. Aubrey has also demonstrated exceptional work at the undergraduate level through her outstanding ePortfolio (selected as a model for the department).

    Graduate Student Excellence: Jacob Stewart
    Jacob has demonstrated exceptional work at the graduate level through his research and his effectiveness in sharing those ideas with others. His thesis, “Arrangement of Google Search Results and Imperial Ideology: Searching for Benghazi, Libya,” which he successfully defended in Spring 2014, is both responsive to ongoing conversations in the field of writing and rhetoric and innovative in its coverage of ideas and assumptions that are under-examined.

    GTA Teaching Excellence: Lissa Pompos
    Lissa has demonstrated exceptional teaching that contributes to the overall mission of the department through her willingness to seek out professional development, incorporate lessons and ideas from her coursework into her own teaching, and develop and share materials with fellow teachers. During her first year teaching composition in the department, Lissa has worked to create detailed, useful handouts that clearly explain course and assignment expectations to students while also providing useful scaffolding to help students work through difficult concepts and material.

Department of Writing and Rhetoric • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
Campus Location: Trevor Colbourn Hall (TCH - Building 123) Room 165A
Phone: 407-823-2295 Fax: 407-823-1287 • Website Technical Support: cahweb@mail.ucf.edu