Points of Distinction

Scholarships Awarded to Current English Majors.  Generous gifts from friends and alumni over the years allow the English Department each year to award endowed scholarships to our majors to help them complete their degrees in English.  For the 2014-2015 academic year, the department awarded over $10,000 in scholarships to current English majors.  Congratulations to our students, and sincere thanks to our donors!

  • The Thomas F. Heitlinger Scholarship: Ellen Griffin, Chelse Williams.
  • The Dr. James F. Ragan Scholarship: Kayla Frey, Lauren Pennell, Katherine Weber.
  • The Kenneth J. Sullivan Scholarship: Colleen Garvey, Carolina Vidal, Katarina Waller.

New Book by Professor Jason Arthur.  In April 2013, University of Iowa Press published Jason Arthur’s Violet America: Regional Cosmopolitanism in U.S. Fiction since the Great Depression, in its New American Canon series. In this book, Arthur challenges conventional ideas associated with the term regional. He argues that writers such as James Agee, Jack Kerouac, Maxine Hong Kingston, Russell Banks, and Jonathan Franzen apply a regional imagination to matters that are national, global, and cosmopolitan. He shifts away from polarizing notions like red vs. blue, rural vs. urban, and moves us toward a richer sense of the interdependence of America’s diverse cultural landscape. Arthur brings new subtleties to recent works of U.S. fiction, offering readers and scholars a more nuanced way of fitting them into American literary history, and offering us all a more thoughtful way of understanding ourselves.


English Honor Society Wins Chapter of the Year.  In 2013 at the international Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Portland, Oregon, Rockhurst's Alpha Mu Gamma chapter was presented with a national Chapter of the Year award.  The chapter was presented with a plaque, a $400 prize, and $250 for travel expenses (to attend the Portland Convention and arrange a display showcasing the Rockhurst chapter's achievement).

The award was given based on the work of Rockhurst students during the 2011-2012 academic year.  The Rockhurst English Club and Honor Society hosted a wide range of activities: the annual Marathon Reading; a reading and panel discussion on two different nights during Banned Books Week; Poetry Jams in the Fall and Spring; recording and distribution of an audio book (available on CD and internet) featuring readings of original and public domain works by Rockhurst English students and faculty; participation in an after-school reading program service project; our annual Book and Bake Sale fundraiser; an evening reading and discussion of Natasha Trethewey's poetry collection, Bellocq's Ophelia, which brought together over twenty students from multiple Sigma Tau Delta chapters in Missouri; and our annual spring induction ceremony for new members.  Our student members also played key roles as contributors and editors to Infectus, Rockhurst's student literary arts publication, founded by Sigma Tau Delta members in 2005. 


The Rockhurst Review is published annually through the English Department. This journal now presents refereed professional and undergraduate prose and poetry on an annual basis. The Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Patricia Cleary Miller, supervises the all-student staff as a year-long commitment to excellence in writing. For further information, contact Dr. Miller at (816) 501-4043.

Plays in Progress Workshop is a twice yearly production of professional and student playwriting efforts. Dr. Charles Kovich, as Managing Director, supervises the student-run program that has found a sturdy support in the Rockhurst community as well as the greater Kansas City area. For further information, contact Dr. Kovich at (816) 501-4034.