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College of Arts & Sciences
First-Year English


The 2013-2014 Hortense Skelton and Grace Hagood Downs Award Winners

The English department and First Year English are proud to announce the winners of the 2013-2014 Hortense Skelton and Grace Hagood Downs Awards!

The Hortense Skelton Award:
The Hortense Skelton award was created to recognize excellence in written communication in the First Year English classroom. Nominations were taken from sections of English 101 and 102 from the previous year, given by teachers of those sections who sought to have their students' hard work recognized. This year, the selection committee has chosen Walter Harper's essay, "Common or Crazy? The Negative Portrayal of Mental Illness in Media," written as part of insructor Sueanna Smith's English 102 course. Harper's essay explores how "most television and film media’s negative portrayal of psychological disorders perpetuates negative stereotypes about the mental health community at large and it is up to these media outlets to right their wrongs" (1).

Click here to download Walter Harper's essay, "Common or Crazy? The Negative Portrayal of Mental Illness in Media."

The Grace Hagood Downs Award:
The Grace Hagood Downs Award was created in memorium of Grace Hagood Downs, a beloved member of the English department, specializing in rhetoric and composition. Grace studied digital pedagogy, multimodal rhetoric, and games and rhetoric. A masterful and dedicated teacher, this award remembers her committment to her students by recognizing multimodal work produced by undergraduate students in any level of writing class in the English department. The 2013-2014 award committe has selected Abbey Kerner's "Carolina Brick" as this year's award recipient. This project, an "object documentary" composed in Brian Harmon's English 460 class, discusses the bricks that compose the walkways of the USC Columbia Horseshoe, and how the university uses these to market itself.

Click here to view Abbey Kerner's "Carolina Brick" project page. The full video is available under the "Watch Now" tab.

Congratulations to this year's winners!