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Creative writing doctoral student Dorothy Chan and rhetoric and composition doctoral student Amy Cicchino shared the 2018-19 Bertam and Ruth Davis Award for Outstanding Career as a Graduate Student.

In addition to showing appreciation for the student winners, the 2018-19 English department awards event featured FSU President John Thrasher celebrating Professor David Kirby's first 50 years of teaching.

By Amber Deschene

Parking spots are going to be tough to find outside The Bark on Tuesday nights through the end of April.

When people find out a college student is earning an English degree, they likely think that student is focused strictly on historical or modern literature, creative writing, or rhetoric and composition. Most of those people probably have not stepped foot in an English department in many years, though.

Florida State University undergraduates who win IDEA Grants have to select a faculty supervisor to guide and mentor them through the research and completion of their project. Senior English major Colby Blackwill chose English Professor Jimmy Kimbrell, and Kimbrell has the highest praise for Blackwill and his academic excellence.

“I cannot recall ever having the honor of mentoring an undergraduate student who is more immersed, ambitious, and capable than Colby Blackwill,” Kimbrell says, “and I have had many wonderful students during my nearly two decades at FSU.”

Undergraduates at Florida State are familiar with the process of scouring course offerings and looking for classes they want to add to their academic schedules. Talise Burton, a senior majoring in English, decided she wanted to build one of those courses for students to consider. And FSU’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement rewarded Burton with an IDEA Grant to help carry out the unconventional plan.