This scholarship is given in honor of Professor Maurice Scharton who taught rhetoric at ISU from 1977 through 2002.
Professor Scharton came to ISU in 1977, having finished his masters at Utah State and his Ph.D. at Kansas State. He quickly became a popular teacher of rhetoric, writing, grammar, as well as a teacher of teachers through grants and workshops. His wit and good humor made learning a pleasure for all his students. As a scholar, he changed the course of teaching by writing books, book chapters, and articles, which always moved at the cutting edge of research and teaching in the field.
He liked to say that his research was a way to take his teaching to an audience beyond the ISU community. Not only was he prolific in this publishing, but he also edited the oldest English journal in the United States, the Illinois English Bulletin, and, through the Illinois State Writing Project, worked with teachers from across the state to help them improve their own writing and their teaching of writing.
The scholarship is awarded annually to the best Undergraduate and Graduate student essay, the content of which must be grounded within the scholarly tradition of rhetoric and composition studies.