Departmental Scholarships for Graduate Students

The English Department offers a variety of awards to graduate students in all areas of English Studies.

The application deadline for all English department awards and scholarships is April 1.

Publications Unit Publishing Award

Applicants must be English Department graduate students and have a focus in Publishing Studies.

Publications Unit Publishing Award

George R. Canning Scholarship

George R. Canning Scholarship was established in 1976 by family, friends, and colleagues in memory of George Canning, professor of English at Illinois State University. The scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student majoring in English in a field most allied to British Literature. Dr. Canning died March 1. His "main concern," Mrs. Canning said, "was excellence in teaching."

Applicants must be English Department graduate students focusing in Literary and Cultural Studies.

George R. Canning Scholarship Application

Maurice Scharton Scholarship

The Maurice Scharton Scholarship celebrates the over 140 years during which dozens of teachers and thousands of students at Illinois State University have delivered oral "rhetoricals," presented written "themes," and revised Comp 101 "portfolios." The award is presented to the graduate student and undergraduate student who have written the best papers in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies in history, theory, or criticism. The scholarship is given in honor of Professor Maurice Scharton who taught rhetoric at ISU from 1977 through 2002—for twenty-five years. 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 his 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.

Applicants must be English Department Graduate Students.

Maurice Scharton Scholarship Application

Taimi Maria Ranta Children’s and Young Adult Literature Scholarship

The Taimi Ranta Children’s Literature Scholarship endowment was established in 1996 in memory of Professor Taimi Maria Ranta. The scholarship is awarded to a full-time or part-time junior, senior, or graduate student majoring in English focusing on children's or adolescent literature. In addition to scholarships, funds may be used to provide resources for deserving students who are studying children's literature and who wish to present scholarly works at related conferences. Those students who receive these scholarships will be designated as "Ranta Scholars."

Applicants must be enrolled in or intend to focus on Children's Literary and Cultural studies.

Taimi Maria Ranta Scholarship Application

Anna Keaton English Scholarship

The Anna Keaton English Scholarship was established in 1993 through an estate gift of Anna Keaton. Keaton had a 30-year career at Illinois State Normal University (1937-1968). She was a professor of English and also served for some period as dean of students. Through a bequest, she directed that a scholarship fund be created to support upper class or graduate students majoring in English.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program in the English Department.

Anna Keaton English Scholarship Application

Excellence in TESOL Award

Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for this award. Selection is based on outstanding performance in course work, teaching, and/or research in the field of TESOL. Applicants must submit a CV/resume, a statement activities in ESL (three pages highlighting their work in and dedication to ESL teaching, scholarship, etc.), and one letter of support from faculty.

Tom Kuster Creative Writing Award

This Tom Kuster Creative Writing Award endowment was established in 1998 by Richard and Marilyn Kuster in memory of their son. The award is given to a full-time or part-time junior, senior, or graduate student majoring in a program within the English department.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program in the English Department.

Tom Kuster Creative Writing Award Application


William Morgan Poetry Award

William W. Morgan was a member of the Illinois State University English Department from August of 1969 until his retirement in June of 2000. Although he taught courses in many areas of the Department, he was especially committed to the importance of poetry--both the study of classic and contemporary poetry and the writing of original poetry--in the English Studies curriculum and in the lives of English professors, teachers, students, and ordinary citizens.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program in the English Department.

William Morgan Poetry Award Application


Dr. Elizabeth Hatmaker Memorial Scholarship

Each candidate for a Dr. Elizabeth Hatmaker Memorial Scholarship must be a first-year doctoral student and Graduate Assistant in English Studies in good standing at Illinois State University.

Dr. Elizabeth Hatmaker Memorial Scholarship Information


The Diversity and Equity Teaching Award

Applicants must submit a lesson plan, current CV, and be enrolled in a graduate program in the English Department.

Diversity and Equity Teaching Award Application and Lesson Plan Template


The Glenn Grever Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Master's Candidate

Applicants must be enrolled in the masters program in the English Department and submit a teaching portfolio.


The Taimi Maria Ranta Award for Outstanding Teaching by a PhD Candidate

Applicants must be enrolled in the doctoral program in the English Department and submit a teaching portfolio.


Finding Scholarships Across Campus

Many scholarships are available from across campus based on a wide variety of criteria for eligibility. Exploring the many opportunities that exist can open up new possibilities for funding a student's career at ISU.

To help make the process of finding scholarships easier, the Financial Aid Office has developed a tool called Scholarship Finder that allows students to search for awards.

Check Out Scholarship Finder.