Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
First-Year English


Christy Friend Award, ENGL 102

Starting from the 2015-2016 academic year, the First-Year English program annually solicits submissions from instructors and students for the Christy Friend Award. Chosen by a panel of First-Year English instructors from a pool of instructor and student nominations, these represent the best essays written in ENGL 102 each year. The 102 award is named for Christy Friend, who previously served as the Director of First-Year English and was instrumental in shaping USC’s Rhetoric and Composition course as we know it today. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Texas in 1997 and has devoted her career to the study of composition and pedagogy. She’s co-authored both The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers and Beyond Words. Currently, she serves as the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and inspires faculty throughout the USC campus to be passionate and innovative teachers. She is a legend of a teacher, in her own right, among English department graduate students, impressing them at countless First-Year English orientations by her ability to memorize names of new instructors so quickly. As for Christy Friend’s classes, one grad student famously described each one as “a big hug” — because she said you couldn’t leave the room without feeling empowered.