Undergraduate Awards and Scholarships

Opportunities for Current Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Applications Deadline: See Awards Grid

Available Awards Grid  (downloadable pdf)


Undergraduate Award and Scholarship Descriptions


Critical Writing Award

Any undergraduate student (any major) may submit any single piece of critical exposition originally written for an English course at Iowa State University (including course papers submitted during the current academic year). The amount of the two awards varies, up to $200 each.

Undergraduate essays will be judged separately. Criteria for evaluation include originality of thesis, command of material, and quality of exposition.

Submissions must be typed, double-spaced, and no longer than 30 pages. Recommended length is 6–15 pages.

Cross-Disciplinary Linguistics Scholarship

The Cross-disciplinary Linguistics Scholarship is given annually to an undergraduate linguistics major with demonstrated skill and enthusiasm for linguistic theory and practice. This $250 award will go to a student whose academic career shows promise in leading to a future directly related to theoretical or applied linguistics. NOTE: Applicants must have at least 1 year left before graduating with their BA in linguistics.

To apply, provide a 2–3 page essay describing your interests in and goals for your study of linguistics, including any specific experience that is related to your study of linguistics. The selection of a recipient for the award will be made by a committee of faculty members from the Cross-Disciplinary Linguistics Program whose selection will be based on the submitted essay.

Herta David Scholarships in English

Two Herta David Scholarships in English ($2,000 each) are given annually to Iowa State undergraduates (sophomores, juniors, or seniors) majoring in English. Applicants must be from challenging family backgrounds and have financial need. Previous recipients of the Herta David Scholarships in English are eligible to apply for the award in subsequent years as long as they meet the stated requirements and are making satisfactory progress toward their degrees.

To apply, provide a brief essay of up to 500 words explaining your unique challenging family situation and financial need and how this scholarship will benefit you.

Aubrey E. Galyon Scholarship

The Aubrey Galyon Scholarship is given annually to an ISU student completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the year of application and commencing work at an accredited institution toward a Ph.D. in literature, linguistics, or rhetoric. This award ($400) will go to a student whose academic record demonstrates the excellence necessary for doctoral study; strong preference will be given to students showing potential for original theoretical work in their chosen fields. When other factors seem equal, the financial need of applicants will be considered.

To apply, provide an essay (300–500 words) explaining why you intend to pursue doctoral studies in literature, linguistics, or rhetoric. If applicable, also include a brief statement (150–200 words) of financial need. The recipient of the award will be chosen by a committee of faculty members representing the linguistics program and the departments of English and WLC (World Languages & Cultures).

Freda Huncke Endowment Awards

The Freda Huncke Endowment Awards of $1,000 each are given annually to five students (freshmen, sophomores, or juniors) majoring in English who demonstrate academic excellence, financial need, and expository writing ability. Applicants must be full-time students. Preference will be given to students planning to teach. Former winners may reapply.

Quentin G. Johnson Award

The Quentin G. Johnson Award is given annually in honor of Professor Johnson’s commitment to the teaching of linguistics. The award is made to a student (undergraduate or graduate) who has a strong academic record and who shows promise in the study of linguistics.

To apply, provide all three of the following: (1) an expository essay written for an ISU linguistics course, (2) a separate essay explaining your interest in linguistics and the role your linguistics work is likely to play in your career, and (3) a brief (150–200 word) statement of financial need. The selection of a recipient will be made by a committee of linguistics faculty members from the Department of English and will be based on the clarity and effectiveness of the submitted essay, as well as the evidence of aptitude in and commitment to the study of linguistics. In addition, some preference may be given to applicants with a demonstrated financial need.

Will C. Jumper Scholarship

The Will C. Jumper Scholarship is given annually to an Iowa State undergraduate of any major who demonstrates excellence in poetry writing. Submit a poetry portfolio of up to 10 pages for the committee’s consideration. The award is made solely on the basis of the excellence of the work submitted.

James and Rachel Lowrie Family Awards

The James and Rachel Lowrie Family Awards are given in recognition of a junior or senior (any major) whose oral and written performance in English courses at Iowa State University demonstrates outstanding growth, perception, and capability in the study of literature.

CANDIDATES WILL BE NOMINATED BY A FACULTY MEMBER and selected by a committee of staff and students. Interested applicants must ask faculty members to nominate them, or faculty members may inform students of their willingness to serve as nominators. Faculty members should email their nominations (either as attachments or directly within the body of the email) to Christiana Langenberg, Advising Coordinator. These letters should specifically address the student’s “outstanding growth, perception, and capability in the study of literature.”

Kurt Moody Creative Writing Award

The Kurt Moody Creative Writing Award of $750 is given annually to an Iowa State undergraduate student who demonstrates excellence in creative writing. Students from any area of the university are eligible to submit a portfolio of writing (should not exceed 25 pages) for the committee’s consideration. The work submitted is restricted to any one of the following genres or may include any combination of them: fiction writing, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, or playwriting. The award is made solely on the basis of the excellence of the work submitted, and no special consideration is given to those students who submit material in more than one genre.

Albert L. Walker Award

The Albert L. Walker Excellence in English Award is given annually to undergraduate and graduate students with demonstrated ability in the study of literature. In honor of Professor Walker, former chair of the Department of English, three awards of $300 each will be awarded, one to an undergraduate English major, one to an undergraduate majoring in a subject other than English, and one to a graduate student (any major) who has taken at least one graduate course in literature at ISU.

To apply, provide an essay of no more than 500 words explaining the way that a text of your choosing illustrates what you have found to be interesting or satisfying about your study of literature.  The selection of a recipient will be made by the members of the Walker Award Committee and will be based on the clarity and effectiveness of the submitted essay and on academic achievement and performance in the study of literature.

Pearl Hogrefe First-Year Student Scholarship in Creative Writing

The English Department’s Pearl Hogrefe Creative Writing Fund awards the First-Year Scholarship in Creative Writing in the amount of $1,000 toward tuition for up to two Iowa State University students with first-year student status (0-30 credits) whose work exemplifies promise or talent in one of the genres of creative writing.

For consideration, students must submit up to 10 pages of creative writing (e.g., poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction essays, or excerpts of plays, screenplays, or novels).  Mixed genre submissions are acceptable.  The award is made solely on the basis of the excellence of the work submitted. A letter of recommendation (for example, from a former teacher) that attests to the student’s promise and talent in creative writing and a high school GPA of 3.0 or more are required.

Submissions (10-page writing sample, letter of recommendation, proof of high school or ISU GPA) should be typed, double-spaced, scanned as one set of documents (Word or PDF), and emailed to Christiana Langenberg, Undergraduate Creative Writing Awards Coordinator. Submissions must be postmarked by July 31 to be considered. Because this scholarship is open to incoming freshmen, all students will be notified by the first week of classes in August.

Pearl Hogrefe Sophomore Scholarship in Creative Writing

The English Department’s Pearl Hogrefe Creative Writing Fund awards the Sophomore Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 toward tuition to up to two promising sophomores (between 32–59 overall credits applied to degree program) who exhibit original and imaginative use of form and language, show evidence of having promise in creative writing, and have a GPA in the major of at least 3.0. Submissions should include one or two short stories or a collection of poems, screenplay or play excerpt, or nonfiction essay—any/all totaling not more than 5,000 words. Candidates will also include the name of one Creative Writing faculty member who has agreed to serve as a reference.  Materials will be submitted as a portfolio during the English Department spring awards and scholarship submission process. Name must be left OFF of portfolio itself.

Pearl Hogrefe Junior Scholarship in Creative Writing

The English Department’s Pearl Hogrefe Creative Writing Fund awards the Junior Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 toward tuition to up to two juniors (60-89 credits applied to degree program) who have taken at least one, preferably two creative writing classes and combine unique ideas and fresh choices in language with bold reaches into original and imaginative use of form and language; show evidence of having produced a significant body of creative writing; and have a GPA in the major of at least 3.0. Submissions should include one or two short stories or a collection of poems, screenplay or play excerpt, or nonfiction essay—any/all totaling not more than 6,000 words. Candidates will also include the name of one Creative Writing faculty member who has agreed to serve as a reference. Materials will be submitted as a portfolio during the English Department spring awards and scholarship submission process. Name must be left OFF of portfolio itself.

Pearl Hogrefe Senior Scholarship in Creative Writing

The English Department’s Pearl Hogrefe Creative Writing Fund awards the Senior Scholarship in Creative Writing to up to two seniors (90+ credits applied to degree program) with outstanding originality and potential whose work exhibits an unusual perspective and unique voice not necessarily measured by conventional standards and with a GPA in the major of at least 3.0. Submission should include any of the following: short stories, a collection of poems, screenplay or play excerpt, or nonfiction essay—any/all totaling not more than 7,000 words. Candidates will also include the name of one Creative Writing faculty member who has agreed to serve as a reference. Materials will be submitted as a portfolio during the English Department spring awards and scholarship submission process. Name must be left OFF of portfolio itself.

Pamela Henry Lassahn Scholarship in Technical Writing

The Pamela Henry Lassahn Scholarship in Technical Writing is available to students of junior or senior class standing majoring in Technical Communication in the Department of English.  Recipients shall have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have demonstrated financial need, have a minor or a designated area of concentration in a technical or scientific field, and provide a written recommendation from a faculty member.

To apply, 1) specify if your minor or designated area of concentration is a technical or scientific field and 2) provide the name and email address of a faculty member who can write a reference regarding your ability and commitment to study in your chosen area of study.