English Studies Scholarships and Awards

The department of English Studies offers yearly scholarships to qualified students. To apply for scholarships, write a letter describing your activities, academic interests and achievements, and future plans. This letter should accompany any materials requested for the specific scholarship or award for which you are applying.


Colin Bourn '63 English Scholarship ($500)

The Colin Bourn Scholarship is awarded to a qualified undergraduate English major demonstrating academic excellence.

Department of English Studies Scholarship ($250)

The English Studies Department Scholarship is awarded to a deserving student who is pursuing English Studies for promise in the discipline and for a demonstrated love of literature. Prospective students must submit an essay to the department committee and are selected through a competitive process.

Leo J. Hines Memorial Scholarship ($100)

The Leo J. Hines Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of Leo J. Hines, a professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Hines worked in the English Department at Fitchburg State College from 1969-1988. The Award is presented to a student demonstrating academic excellence, who can "exemplify some of the zeal of Chaucer's Oxford Clerk, who took most care and heed of study, as well as the distinction of Castiglione's Courtier, who possessed courtesy of behavior, excellence in discourse, and wit and vitality in both speech and action."

Louis Shepherd Memorial Scholarship ($500)

The Louis P. Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Award is presented to two qualified students who demonstrate outstanding performance in the Secondary Education and Professional Writing concentrations in English Studies. The scholarship was created by friends, family, and students in honor of Dr. Louis Shepherd, a dedicated professor of English at Fitchburg State College from 1952-1985. The prize is made possible by the Ruth and Louis Shepherd Fund for Teaching and Writing.

Patricia A. Hess Memorial Scholarship ($500)

The Patricia A. Hess Scholarship is awarded to a non-traditional female student. The candidate must be an undergraduate English and/or History major with at least 30 earned credits.

Robert E. Cormier Memorial Scholarship ($500)

The Robert E. Cormier Scholarship in Literature for Young Adults is intended to promote excellence in the study and teaching of literature. The scholarship is awarded to two English Studies juniors demonstrating excellence in either the Secondary Education or Literature concentration. The award commemorates achievement in memory of Robert E. Cormier, a premier writer of young adult literature and the author of such classic American novels as The Chocolate War and I Am the Cheese. Cormier, an alumnus, received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University. The Robert Cormier Manuscript Collection is housed in the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library at Fitchburg State. In order to be eligible, recipients must provide a letter of application and submit either a sample of teacher work materials or a critical analysis of a literary work or other primary text.


English Studies Prize ($100)

The English Department Prize is given to an outstanding senior, chosen by the full English Studies faculty, who has demonstrated/accomplished the following:

  • Excellent academic performance
  • Superb scholarly skills
  • A high grade point average
  • A love of literature
  • Significant community contributions to the English Studies Department

Louis P. Shepherd Creative Writing Award ($250)

In recognition of the literary achievements of our undergraduate students in creative writing (open genre), the Department of English Studies invites you to submit a portfolio of your best work for the Louis P. Shepherd Award in Creative Writing. The portfolio need not be extensive, but should represent a selection of the writer’s best work with a minimum of two and a maximum of five pieces of writing. The writings may be from one or more of the following genres:

  • Short stories
  • Novel excerpts
  • Poetry
  • Nonfiction
  • Drama

The Shepherd Award in Creative Writing is named in honor of the late Louis P. Shepherd, a longtime English professor at Fitchburg State. Funding for the award is made possible through a gift from Professor Shepherd’s wife, Ruth, and his daughter, Rae Shepherd-Shlechter.

Matti Antila Poetry Award ($100)

In recognition of the literary achievements of our undergraduate students in poetry, the Department of English Studies invites you to submit one or more of your best poems for the Matti N. Antila Poetry Award. Funding for this award is made possible by a generous gift to the University from Lauri and Signe Sipila in memory of Signe's parents, Matti N. and Fanny P. Antila.

Dr. Nancy R. Kelly '80 Memorial Award ($800)

The Dr. Nancy R. Kelly ’80 Memorial Award is given to an English Secondary Education major graduating senior who demonstrates persistence, determination, empathy, and promise as a future English educator. The student must also have done meaningful community service. Recipients must hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

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