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Spring 2020 English Department Scholarship Recipients

| Alaina Guns

Regardless of current situations and difficulties, the UW-Eau Claire English department wants to congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients for their hard work, dedication, and talent. In lieu of our annual in-person celebration and recognition of these achievements, we’ve reached out to these fantastic students so we can get to know them better and what they’re all about!

Scarlett Bahma
Elizabeth G. Morris Scholarship

Scarlett Bahma is a junior, and a comprehensive English education major! Scarlett is also the social media coordinator for the Backwards Thinkers Society improv group on campus, which Scarlett has been in since freshman year! One of Scarlett’s fondest moments thus far as an English major is how much Scarlett’s block cohort worked to get close to each other during their time on campus this semester.

Emilie Bierke
Nan Dougherty English Education Scholarship

Currently, Emilie is a sophomore with a major in English Teaching and a certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Her hobbies include baking, weightlifting, and reading. One of her favorite memories as an English Major at Eau Claire was taking English 221 with Professor Benson. During her semester she not only created lifelong friendships with the students and mentors in her group, but she also found the confidence she needed to become a strong student. She is thankful every day for the advice and lessons Professor Benson and her friends have given her. She could not do it without them.

Gregory Bryant
Nadine St. Louis Scholarship

Gregory Bryant is a senior with a major in English-Creative Writing and a minor in Japanese. As for hobbies, he likes to write, read books, and run tabletop games for friends. Well, and workout when the gym isn't closed due to certain pandemics. As for funny memories, he would say that one of his fondest was reading about a submarine in a book and then personifying it in a poem for his English 311 class with Professor Jon Loomis. The entire class period people debated the meaning behind the poem until he revealed what it was about and everyone was just stunned. 

“Really, I'd say that when it comes to just fond memories in general though, it has to be the first class that I took for my major, which was English 310 with Allyson Loomis. The first class we were all sitting in our square formation and she said, ‘Welcome to class.  As you'll learn, we writers have a great deal to discuss when it comes to craft.’ She then went on to explain what the craft was and all that, but it was the first time I’d heard someone refer to me as a writer, and it was a really touching thing that I carried forth with me through my remaining classes. Ever since then, I threw my all into not only writing but my critiques and hoped that I could help foster that same sense of pride in others as it was fostered in me,” Bryant said.

Angela Hugunin
Passion II Scholarship

Angela Hugunin is a third-year double major in Creative Writing and French, and is also completing a certificate in Organizational Communication. A self-proclaimed lover of learning, she has gained a great deal from her courses and classmates, and she is continually impressed by the dedication of her professors. Outside the classroom she serves as Poetry Editor for NOTA, where she has found inspiration from fellow writers, artists, and teammates. An English internship with the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild has further inspired Angela, brought her new experiences, and helped her refine her writing. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her spending time with friends or family, caring for her plants, attempting to write songs, exploring outdoors, or attending an open read. She is thankful to the department, her professors, and fellow students for their support, and she looks forward to continuing her studies next year.

Michelle Iberg 
Clara B. Small Scholarship

Michelle Iberg is pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree in Secondary English Education with a History Education Minor. Her interests and hobbies as a pre-service teacher and momma-of-two center, as one might imagine, around answering the world’s questions (For example: How do I teach social justice? Why do my children insist on snacking every three minutes? How do we talk about death? Where on earth are my keys?). In all seriousness, Michelle’s career aspirations and academic pursuits are the result of deep introspection (this is a fancy way of saying she knows for certain she wants to be a teacher when she grows up!). Yet UW-Eau Claire has offered more than a path to a classroom of her own; the experience continues to give Michelle a renewed sense of being, meaningful connections with cohorts, and the privilege of learning from experienced, highly intelligent, empathetic professors. Michelle is grateful every day to be at UWEC - physically or otherwise - and her gratitude extends to the generous donors who support Blugolds.

Julia Kaeding
Elizabeth G. Morris Scholarship

Julia Kaeding is a junior at UW-Eau Claire who is majoring in English Education and minoring in both Creative Writing and History, with a certificate in the History of Race, Gender, and Society. She is from the village of Fall Creek, which is a small farming community outside of Eau Claire. She enjoys singing and is a member of Women’s Concert Chorale here on campus. In her free time, she enjoys photography, antiquing, garage sales, singing, reading, and writing. One of her favorite memories on campus is having her poetry published four times in UWEC's undergraduate literary, art, and music publication, NOTA. She looks forward to becoming an English teacher!

Rachel Mueller
Gloria Hochstein Scholarship

Rachel Mueller is a junior studying English - Creative Writing and Theatre with an Arts Administration certificate! She’s also on the exec board of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society. She hopes to one day work in theatre administration and bring the arts to as many people as possible. Her favorite memory with the English department is the time they all got together with snacks and watched Klaus before winter break!

Olivia Rathsack
Les Gilbertson Scholarship

Olivia is a freshman at UWEC this year and is majoring in English Education, while minoring in special education, creative writing, and obtaining a certificate in WGSS. Olivia loves reading, writing, camping, traveling, animals, playing piano, Broadway musicals, and is very passionate about sustainability and going zero waste. Olivia hasn’t been an English student at UWEC for long, but absolutely loves English 396 class. It is so eye opening and Olivia is inspired by every discussion they have. Dr. Chan is truly an amazing professor!

St. Clare Tomashek
Jane Colville Betts Scholarship

St. Clare is a sophomore English Linguistics major and French minor. In their free time, they like to take courses on Duolingo and make music. St. Clare’s love of music led to an interest in production, and they could not be happier to be an audio engineer with the Event Production Crew.

St. Clare specifically treasures two memories from their time as an English major at UW–Eau Claire. Firstly, presenting their research project on Linguistics in the Lord of the Rings at MythCon 50 in San Diego was an eye-opening experience that they value dearly. Secondly, St. Clare is proud of the play that their group wrote and performed as a final project in Dr. Jack Bushnell’s English 277 Drama class during first semester of their freshman year. Working with a passionate group of people to creatively tell a story was a fun reminder of the importance of language and art, a reassurance of belonging in the English program, and a wonderful end to an even better class. St. Clare is looking forward to having more equally valuable experiences in their remaining two years as an English student.

Ta'Leah Van Sistine
John W. Morris Scholarship

Ta’Leah is a second-year majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing. Her hobbies and interests include writing, telling stories, spending time outside, reading good books, and enjoying any and all moments with friends and family. Ta’Leah has two fond memories of being an English student at UW-Eau Claire. Ta’Leah’s intermediate poetry class this semester is filled with extremely talented writers and is led by Jon Loomis. This class has really helped her learn how to experiment in her poetry, and when the class met in person, they always experienced a range of serious and funny moments together. Even as they continue to discuss their work virtually, Ta’Leah still loves connecting with her peers and professor through their comments and work. Last semester, she took Introductory English Linguistics with Dr. Benson, and she appreciated how enriching the material was for her English studies, even though her emphasis is not in linguistics. Ta’Leah enjoyed learning about the International Phonetic Alphabet and the history of the English language in this course.

Many thanks to Alaina Guns, and our English Interns Madeline Bunde and Thomas Kunst.

For a better, full screen viewing experience, watch the video on YouTube at this link.