Scholarships and Awards for Undergraduates

The English Department offers a variety of awards to students in all areas of English Studies. In addition, the University offers a "Scholarship Finder" tool to find information about the various scholarships that are available across campus.

Applications for all English Department awards and scholarships are due in to Julie Cooper ( no later than April 1.

English Department Scholarships

Click on the links below for more information about schoalarships, requirements, and entry forms.

All entries must be typed and submitted with a cover page stating your name, university identification number, major, e-mail address, local phone number, and address. Entries are due by April 1. Entries must be submitted via email to Julie Cooper at

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 upper division students in the English Department.

Anna Keaton English Scholarship Application

The 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 and/or graduate student majoring in English, with preference given to students focusing on some aspect of British or Anglophone literature.

Applicants must be students in Literary and Cultural Studies.

George R. Canning Scholarship Application

This fund was established in 1998 by Dorothy Bryan Schemske, a 1941 graduate of Illinois State Normal University. The fund provides scholarships to undergraduate students working toward a career in teaching English with preference to a student with interest in creative writing. Dorothy Schemske passed peacefully in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 3rd, 2011, in her Lansing, Michigan apartment, at the age of 91. Dorothy was born on September 16, 1919 on a small farm in central Illinois. At that time, the farm lacked running water, electricity and indoor plumbing. She and her younger brother Bill rode their ponies to a one-room schoolhouse, where they were taught by Dorothy Martin, an extraordinary woman who introduced her to the joys of teaching. Her childhood experiences on the farm had lasting influence, from her love of chickens and pigs to her lifelong appreciation for nature and the environment. Dorothy loved communicating with friends and family, using the Internet to keep in touch. She was writing poems and thoughtful good wishes until her final days.

Applicants must be upper division English Education majors.

Dorothy Bryan Schemske Scholarship Application

The Glenn Grever English Education Scholarship Endowment was established in 1996 in memory of Professor Glenn Grever. The scholarship is awarded to a full-time or part-time senior, majoring in English Education and student teaching during the semester that the scholarship is available. Mr. Grever was born Dec. 13, 1929, in Barrington, a son of Herman and Emma Grever. He married Jean Murphy on June 12, 1965, in Normal. Mr. Grever received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Illinois State University in 1951 and 1952, and his doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Illinois in 1972. He was a veteran of the Korean War. From 1958 to 1965, he taught English at Ottawa Township High School where he was chairman of the English department. In 1965, he joined the faculty of ISU's English department and taught at ISU for twenty-seven years. He was past president of the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, had served eight years on the Illinois State Board of Education Curriculum Council and was active in many professional organizations.

Applicants must be senior English Education majors and either have completed student teaching or be student teaching during the semester the scholarship is awarded.

Glenn Grever English Education Scholarship Application

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 upper division students in English.

Maurice Scharton Scholarship Application

In June 1989 the class of 1937 and class of 1939 created two new endowments in honor of the late Ruth Henline. Ruth Henline was a member of the English Department faculty from 1926-1970, serving as the advisor to the Class of 1939 for four years. Both funds supported scholarships for education majors interested in teaching English. In 1992 the funds were combined into one fund to support scholarships for English education majors. Assets of this endowment are invested in the Illinois State University Endowment Investment Pool.

Applicants must be planning to teach in the spring of the following year in which they apply.

Class of 1939 Ruth Henline Scholarship Application

The Sharon P. and William B. Oglesby Endowed Scholarship will support a junior or senior in the Department of English with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Preference will be given to a student born or residing in DeWitt county. If a qualified applicant from DeWitt county is not available, students from Illinois who reside outside of Cook county may be considered.

Info about donors:

  • Sharon has two degrees from ISU:
    • BA: English major 1962
    • MS: Instructional Media 1973

    Her daughter – Janet Simmons - attended ISU as well and was a Presidential Scholar:

    • BA: Political Science – 1983

    Janet went on to Northwestern and received her JD

  • William B. Oglesby:

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 intending to focus on Children's Literary and Cultural studies.

Taimi Maria Ranta Scholarship Application

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 program in the English Department.

Tom Kuster Creative Writing Award Application

Julia N. Visor received her Bachelor's degree in English from Illinois State University in 1971, her Master's degree from Ohio University in 1975, and her Doctor of Arts degree from Illinois State University in 1987. She joined the English department faculty that year, and in 1997 she became the Coordinator of the University Center for Learning Assistance. She taught courses in composition and rhetoric and in African American literature, and she served as a mentor and advisor for many graduate students working in those areas. In 1996 she was recognized with the David A. Strand Award for Diversity Achievement. The Julia N. Visor Award seeks to commemorate her generous support of and her many enduring contributions to her students and colleagues.

Applicants must be students in English and submit an essay researching issues of race relations, colonialism, and cultural diversity in any sub-discipline of English Studies.

Julia N. Visor Scholarship Application

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. The William Morgan Poetry Award is intended to reward students who achieve excellence in the study of poetry and in the writing of original poetry.

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

William Morgan Poetry Award Application


Applicants must be enrolled in good standing in the Publishing Studies program.

Publications Unit Publishing Award Application

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.

Applicants must be upper-division students in English who have been enrolled in a Linguistics course during the academic year the award is given.

The Grammie Application