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English Department Writing Awards

The Ben Drabek Award

The Ben Drabek Award in Composition is given each spring to the student judged to have written the best essay in Composition I.  Entries can come from first or second semesters of the academic year. Faculty will nominate students to Wendy Barnes, English Department.

Liberal Arts/English (LAE) Award

The Liberal Arts/English Award is granted at commencement to the Liberal Arts/English graduate judged as demonstrating outstanding achievement in the field of English. Criteria include cumulative grade point average in English courses and a writing sample evaluated by a committee of volunteers from the English Department and the Liberal Arts English advisor, Lillian Ruiz, English Department.

Award Winners:

  • 2013 Samantha T. Supnet
  • 2012 Justin S. LaFrenier
  • 2011 Seth D. Hoffsommer
  • 2010 Nicole R. Crosby
  • 2009 Nicole E. Kapise
  • 2008 Zachary A. Johnson
  • 2007 Sarah J. Gaulden
  • 2006 Erica L. Coutu
  • 2005 Rebecca Wall
  • 2004 Olivia P. Judd
  • 2003 Michael W. Clapp

The Archibald MacLeish Prize

This award ($250) is given annually by the Friends of the Archibald MacLeish Collection to the student who most successfully uses the Collection housed in the GCC Library for a project involving essay, poetry, fiction, or drama. To be eligible for the competition a student must have completed Composition I, Composition II, and be enrolled in at least one 200 level English course.

Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982) lived in Conway, MA, and upon his death his valuable collection was donated to Greenfield Community College. MacLeish made important contributions to our country. He was a poet and dramatist as well as a lawyer. He was at one time Librarian of Congress, at another Assistant Secretary of State, and at still another a professor at Harvard University. His poetry involves such important topics as the impersonal cruelty of modern war and the need for action to save democracy. These and many other issues he wrote about are still vitally important today.

If you should decide to apply, you should follow this procedure:

1. Notify Joanne Hayes, English Department.
2. Choose an English Department faculty member to serve as your project sponsor. Familiarize yourself with the MacLeish Collection through Margaret Howland, the curator, and Co-coordinators of the GCC Library Deb Chown and Ellen Carey. (Ms. Howland's current office hours can be found on the library site.) These various resources exist to help you choose a topic and show you how to proceed.
3. Choose a topic or creative approach.
4. Submit a substantial project about some aspect of Archibald MacLeish to the English Department

The award will be given at the Honors Convivium. The winner will be asked to discuss the process and development of his/her project at the Friends of the Archibald MacLeish Collection Program in May. The project will be submitted for publication in the MacLeish Newsletter.

The Hartley Pfeil Award

The Hartley Pfeil Award was established by the Master Teachers Seminar and other friends as a memorial to Professor Hartley Pfeil, a dedicated member of Greenfield Community College’s English Department from 1968 to 1989, and its coordinator from 1980 to 1989. Devoted to his students and ever mindful of their needs, Professor Pfeil authored two textbooks with colleagues, designed and redesigned courses and course materials, and served as the architect of developmental education in his department.

Criteria: This award of money and a book will be given annually to a student who has taken English 090 and/or English 094, who will be continuing her/his education at GCC, and who has shown:

a) great improvement in academic performance in developmental courses
b) strong motivation, hard work, and perseverance throughout these courses
c) high quality of final performance

Selection: Near the end of each semester, faculty of developmental reading and writing courses will submit recommendations (names and a paragraph of support) to Lillian Ruiz, English Department. A committee of volunteers from the developmental English reading/writing faculty will meet in April to choose the recipient, whose name will be forwarded to the Dean of the Humanities. The Hartley Pfeil Scholarship Award will be given at the GCC Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony in May.