Meet the Recipients of Our Endowed Scholarships

Dr. Scott Peeples, Department Chair 

Ever found a crisp $10 dollar bill that had been tossed around in your dryer or cool $20 in your back pocket? The forgotten sum was likely yours all along, but finding it again feels like some sort of bonus, some gift from the God of Forgotten Monies.

Something similar happened in the English Department last year: we were made aware that we had some significant endowed scholarship funds in our institutional back pocket that had matured, and the money was ready to spend.

Always eager to find new ways to support our students, the English Department re-introduced four endowed scholarships. These named scholarships help us to recruit excellent students to the College of Charleston and to recognize current deserving students whose work in the both the classroom and the community make us proud. We are delighted to introduce you to these deserving students! And, as always, we are so grateful for those who have made these awards available to our students. If you are interested in learning more about how you can contribute to student scholarships in ways big or small, elsewhere in Folio you can learn more about a new scholarship partnership between English Alumni and faculty.

The Lancelot Minor Harris Scholarship

Picture for ApplicationThe Harris Scholarship is an award of $4,600 that seeks to support incoming, first-year or second-year students from traditionally under-represented populations (such as first-generation, African-American, or Hispanic students, or students with financial need) who show significant academic potential and intend to major in English.

The recipient of the Harris Scholarship is Sydney Moreano, who joins the English community from Lawrence, Kansas. A double major in English and International Studies with a potential minor in Communication, Sydney is a member of the Honors College’s William Aiken Fellow society as well as a member of the International Scholar Program. Sydney credits the Harris Scholarship with convincing her to commit to the CofC, and we are very glad she did. Sydney has ambitious goals that include working in the global fashion industry for a magazine such as Vogue España. In her first year, Sydney has already taken steps to become both a global citizen and journalist, working as an ESL instructor at St. Matthews and a contributor to Odyssey, a social content platform focused on millennial audiences whose founder has been profiled in Forbes. She also plans to join Cistern Yard as a Staff Writer next semester. A study abroad trip with the International Scholars Program to Estonia this summer will be a crucial step on her path to becoming a global citizen. “Understanding different cultures,” Sydney says, “will allow me to report on culture’s effect on fashion, as well as help me to thrive as a journalist on a global scale.”

The Margorie Elizabeth Peale Memorial Scholarship

The Peale Scholarship is an award of approximately $1,600 that seeks to support students with financial need at the freshman or sophomore level who show promise of academic excellence in the study of English.

The recipient of the Peale Scholarship is Tyrone Bell, who has excelled as a transfer student from a technical college, and who will be the first in his family to graduate from college. Tyrone values the scholarship for the material support it provides. “Deciphering Faulkner is tough,” he says. “Deciphering this legendary author from the south on an empty stomach is damn near impossible.” The award will allow him to ease up on his exhausting workload, which includes full-time coursework and a full-time job. But Tyrone values this scholarship for reasons that go beyond the mere financial support: “Through this achievement,” he writes, “I have found a whole new confidence. It has provided me with further motivation to keep my grades up and pursue my goals.” Tyrone plans to teach high school English with his degree because, as he puts it, “I look to change lives in the classroom because poetry and narrative are what saved a wretch like me.”

The Marilyn Shiely Coste Memorial Scholarship

jozie(1)The Coste Scholarship is an award of approximately $1,800 that seeks to support students who have been innovative and strategic in the way they have combined their major with extracurricular opportunities, such as sustained involvement in community literacy outreach programs, professional internships, work as a tutor, or achievement as a published writer.

The recipient of the Coste scholarship is Jozita Konczal, a junior concentrating in Creative Writing. Jozita has taken her interest in writing well beyond the classroom to campus and beyond. On campus, she is an opinion writer for Cistern Yard–CofC’s student-run online news source–as well as a staff editor for Miscellany, the student-run literary journal. In the broader community, she is an intern at Blue Bicycle Books, through which she has been able to participate in Charleston’s premier youth adult literature festival, Y’All Fest. Jozita has also explored the world of journalism, working for West Of, the city newspaper of West Ashley, and contributing to the Folly Current as well. But Jozita’s true passions reside in her creative work, an area where she has already had some early success. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly, the Concho River Review, Right Hand Pointing, and Aerie International.

The Coste Scholarship seeks to support students with precisely this kind of ambition. “I think that one of the most important parts of writing is practice,” Jozita says. “To me, this means not only applying myself in the classroom, but also working outside of it. This scholarship has given me the motivation to keep up my hard work in the broader writing community.”

The Macy Ezell Cook Scholarship

Darien BucherThe Cook Scholarship is an award of approximately $1,000 that seeks to support students who are writing a Bachelor’s Essay or working on an Independent Study project. The scholarship is awarded to the student whose project is deemed especially promising, innovative, or academically substantial, and it is intended for students who plan to attend graduate school in the humanities.

This year’s recipient of the Cook Scholarship is Darien Bucher, whose independent study has moved from a broad survey of female performances of Hamlet since the 18th century to focus more intently on two major film portrayals that have cast a woman in Hamlet’s role. “That’s what’s been most surprising,” Darien says, “finding out that casting women as Hamlet has been a tradition for centuries. I’m most excited about understanding what women have been trying to say through the character of Hamlet—probably the best known character in Western drama.” Grateful for the financial support, Darien also appreciates how the scholarship re-affirmed her confidence in undertaking intensive independent work. After graduation, Darien hopes to return to Europe, where she has studied abroad, to earn a Master’s in English with a likely focus in Shakespearean Studies.

What Darien says about her own scholarship was a sentiment reflected in my conversations with all of the above recipients: “I think it’s important to believe that what you’re passionate about is worth studying,” she notes. “That’s why scholarships like this one are so important and so encouraging for students.”