Graduate Scholarships & Awards




Eligibility guidelines for each award are specified below. Students meeting eligibility criteria may self-nominate for awards 2 and 3 (faculty nominations only for awards 1 and 4); different work should be used to support each award category. Submissions should be made electronically as Google documents (see below for specifics).
DEADLINE: April 2017


1. General Excellence Award for an Outstanding Graduate Student ($400)

An award given for excellent academic progress over the course of preparation for a graduate degree in English at Fredonia. Nominations by the graduate faculty.

Eligibility and criteria include: Completion of at least 21 graduate credits at the time of nomination and a minimum overall GPA of 3.5; demonstration of overall excellence in writing, research, performance in the classroom, and contributions representing engagement with the department, campus and/or community.


2. Award for Excellence in Research ($275)

An award given for outstanding achievement in scholarly research.

Criteria include: a thesis chapter or substantial research essay that demonstrates innovative engagement with relevant secondary critical material and excellent writing skills.

Preference given to a paper that has been accepted for or delivered at an academic conference or an essay that has been accepted for publication, or to an outstanding thesis nearing completion.

Submissions should include the following: a research paper (minimum of 12 pages) noting the semester and course during which the work was done, and a cover letter from the student detailing the relevance of the project to his or her broader research interests. No supporting faculty letter required.


3. Award for Pedagogical Excellence: Best Teaching Portfolio ($275)

An award given for outstanding achievement in teaching.

Criteria include: materials that demonstrate innovative engagement with relevant pedagogical research and reflect scholarly teaching at the high school or college level.

Preference given to materials that demonstrate cultural responsiveness (i.e., ability to work with linguistically and culturally diverse students and those with exceptionalities); thoughtful, appropriate integrations of computer and other technologies, and/or engagement with the scholarship of teaching.

Submissions should include the following: a teaching portfolio teacher (see below). No supporting faculty letter required.

Your portfolio should have four parts, as indicated below. The subcategories are merely suggestions for items to include and can be adapted or added to as needed.

  1. Resume
  2. Teaching Philosophy Statement [750 words maximum]

Identify your foundational beliefs about teaching and learning, and explain how you implement those beliefs in your instructional activities. Strong teaching philosophies are reflected throughout the rest of the elements that make up the portfolio and present the instructor’s approaches to teaching and ongoing development as a professional, so feel free to refer to other elements of the portfolio throughout the teaching philosophy statement as evidence of your beliefs.

  1. Teaching Evaluations

In an introduction to this section, contextualize the various kinds of evaluations of your teaching. These kinds of evaluation could include peer or supervisor observations of your teaching, reviews of course syllabi and materials, reviews of technology used in instruction such as web sites, etc. Explain what you have learned from the accumulation of evaluations over time and from different perspectives, how those insights have shaped your teaching and you as a teacher, and how you will incorporate the insights into your future teaching.

a. Student evaluations

b. Peer evaluations

c. Observation letters

d. Excerpts from teaching journal

  1. Teaching Materials

Include items that illustrate, illuminate, support, and reinforce your teaching record as described in the rest of the portfolio. Materials can also include items that you believe are important to understanding yourself as a teacher and that help you demonstrate an application of your teaching philosophy in your teaching practice. For each artifact, you may provide an annotation that explains what the artifact is, what theme/practice/idea that it is intended to illustrate or convey, and which portfolio elements are pertinent.

a. Syllabus

b. Teacher work sample

c. Paper assignment

d. Unit Plan

e. Sample responses to student work (names removed)


4. Award for Excellence in the First Year ($100)

An annual award given for the most promise by a first-year graduate student in an English degree program (students in good academic standing within their first 15 credit hours in their program).

Criteria include: superb writing and performance in the classroom.

Submissions must be by brief nomination of instructor and include supporting evidence for the nomination (e.g., a clean copy of a paper written for that instructor).


Deadline for all awards: April 2017

Submission format:

Submit your work as a Google document (provide the link) . Be sure your name, local address, email address, and cell/local phone number are also included. State which award you are submitting for and list the supporting documents that you are including where relevant. Please “share” your submission (View Only) with the Graduate Coordinator, Jeanette McVicker. Winners will be presented with their award at the department’s annual awards ceremony on the last day of classes and notified prior to that date.


  • Professional Development Grants for Graduate Students in Need: Up to four students a year may be given awards for up to $200 per student per year to offset book costs, GRE fees, gas money for teachers traveling to campus for courses, or conference travel expenses (if the student has had a paper accepted).


Further information:

Scholarship Opportunities


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English Department

277 Fenton Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3125
(716) 673-4661 fax