Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

English Department

Student Resources

Student Advisement

Once you declare English as your major, you will be assigned an academic advisor. While your advisor should make himself/herself available during office hours and other arranged times and provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is primarily your responsibility to initiate and maintain contact with your advisor to discuss course selections, academic progress, and other relevant topics. The purpose of this process is to ensure your success in the program.

The following tips will help make your meeting with your academic advisor most efficient, particularly if the meeting is for course selection purpose:

  • Review your progress in your degree program by checking your transcripts (via the Internet) and your program sheet
  • Go through the course offerings listed in the directory for the upcoming semester
  • Pre-select the courses needed for your degree program
  • Set up an appointment with your academic advisor (via email or telephone)
  • Keep your appointment by showing up at the scheduled time

English Department Program Sheets

Guidelines on Academic Integrity (per university catalogue)

A student has an obligation to demonstrate honesty in carrying out his/her academic assignments. You may be found guilty of violating this obligation if you plagiarize or cheat.


  1. Plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting the work of others as your own. The “work of others” includes any work bought or borrowed from another student as well as work copied from a book, magazine, newspaper or other medium. Participation in another’s act of plagiarism is itself an act of plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, follow this advice from a research paper guide: “You should cite the source of every idea you have learned or formulated from your reading, whether you express the idea in your own words or quote the author directly. The use of two or more consecutive words from a source, when those words express the essence of a writer’s idea or involve distinctive phrasing, is considered a direct quotation and requires the use of quotation marks.” Any material used from another source, whether quoted or paraphrased, must be footnoted.1
  2. Cheating. If you use material other than those approved by the instructor when taking a test, or if you give or receive information during an examination, you are guilty of cheating.

Student Organizations


The purpose of the English Society is to encourage within the student body of WCSU an active interest in the arts, with an emphasis upon literature.  The English Society officers and faculty advisors intend to promote scholarship, career advancement and cultural enrichment.  Membership is open to all WCSU students.  If you are interested in joining the group, please contact the faculty advisor Dr. Donald P. Gagnon (203-837-9062/


The department sponsors a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. Sigma Tau Delta’s central purpose is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. Candidates for undergraduate membership must have completed at least three semesters of college work and a minimum of two college courses in English language or literature beyond the usual requirements in freshman English. They must also have a minimum of 3.0 grade point average in English and rank at least in the highest 35 percent of their class in general scholarship. Students may contact the faculty advisor Dr. Donald P. Gagnon (203-837-9062/ for more information.

English Department Awards

Undergraduate Awards

The English Department offers a number of awards for outstanding student achievements, as listed below:

Bigelow Paine Cushman Award
Recognizes the most outstanding American Studies student in the current academic year.

Award: Certificate

Criteria: Academic achievement.

Steven Neuwirth American Studies Award
Established to honor the memory of the late Dr. Stephen Neuwirth, co-founder of Western Connecticut State University’s American Studies Program, this annual award goes to the most outstanding essay written by an American Studies or American Studies/Elementary Education major in any class, regardless of length or discipline. Award: A certificate given at the annual awards convocation and a cash stipend of $100.

Submit entries or nominations to Dr. Margaret Murray, coordinator of American Studies.

John Tufts Prize: 
Prize is given for the best piece of writing submitted to the English Department during the academic year.
Criteria: Academic achievement

John Eichrodt Prize:
Award is given for the best critical paper submitted by an undergraduate student during the school year.
CriteriaAcademic achievement

Elizabeth Tulloch James Scholarship:
Scholarship is awarded each year to a Danbury area student who is currently a WCSU English Major and a junior in good standing. Recipient will have demonstrated outstanding performance in English courses in addition to potential for contributing to the field.
Criteria: Academic achievement

Union Savings Bank Thomas Nolan Award
The award may be granted to a full-time junior or senior in Education–PW program. Recipients should intend to initially pursue a career in teaching upon graduation and should have demonstrated a proficiency in writing.

Recent Recipients


 Elizabeth Tulloch James Scholarship: Daniel Mortensen & Skylar Hamel


 Elizabeth Tulloch James Scholarship: Stephanie Bisson & Sarah Murphy

 John Tufts Prize: Anthony Sorge

John Eichrodt Prize:  Jason Burger

Steven Neuwirth American Studies Award: Nathaniel Cullerton

Bigelow Paine Cushman Award: Schuyler Merritt


John Tufts Prize:  Dusty Zima

John Eichrodt Prize: Lisa Cantoni

Steven Neuwirth American Studies Award: Joanna Vill

Bigelow Paine Cushman Award: Michelle Miska

Graduate Awards

Best Research Paper of the Year

Recognizes the best research paper by a graduate student submitted to the English Department during the academic year. Eligibility: recommendation of the professor teaching the course for which the research paper was written.

Award: Certificate

Criteria: Academic excellence

Most Promising Scholar

Recognizes the most promising graduate student in the M. A. in English program. Eligibility: the student having taken at least six courses in the graduate program at the time of nomination.

Award: Certificate

Criteria: Academic excellence

Outstanding Thesis

Recognizes the best master’s thesis submitted to the English Department during the academic year. Eligibility: the thesis project having been accepted; recommendation of the thesis advisors.

Award: Certificate

Criteria: Academic excellence

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year

Recognizes the best graduate teaching assistant of the academic year.  Eligibility: recommendation of the professor teaching the Megasection and supervising the graduate teaching assistants.

Award: Certificate

Criteria: Teaching excellence

Graduate Awards Recipients


The Best Research Paper of the Year: Nada Takla

The Most Promising Scholar: Aaron Newcome

Outstanding Thesis:  Kathleen G. Cullen

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year: Jessica McCadden


The Best Research Paper of the Year: Aaron Necome

The Most Promising Scholar: Christopher P. Kobylinsky

Outstanding Thesis: Christopher P. Kobylinsky

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year: Christopher P. Kobylinsky


The Best Research Paper of the Year: David Phillips

The Most Promising Scholar: Diane Vagnini

Outstanding Thesis Award: Christopher Bolster

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year: Christopher Bolster


The Best Research Paper of the Year:  Susan Eway

The Most Promising Scholar: Anthony Sorge

Outstanding Thesis: Dustin Zima  

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year:  Kristina Zupnyk

[1] English majors document all sources in accordance with MLA style manual.