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Graham Symposium

by Miranda Critchfield

The third annual Graham Symposium was held early in April this year and honored students from many departments and majors on campus. This event is named for Professor Roy Graham who served Blackburn in the English Department for 50 years. Graham attended the symposium.

Many awards were given out to current students including awards for the student newspaper, the Louise Allen Creative Writing contest and departmental excellence awards. The recipients were given the award and prize money and winners came from a variety of majors including business management, computer science, education, communications, creative writing and English.

Sara Lewis entered pieces into the Louise Allen Creative Writing contest and was rewarded for her efforts, receiving first place in the fiction category and second place in poetry. She also received the excellence award in creative writing.

Dr. Karen Dillon stated, “The Graham Symposium is a lovely way to honor a former colleague, honor the good work our current students in the department are doing in their courses and promote the department and Blackburn to high school students.” Dillon is a professor of English at Blackburn and stated that she ran a breakout session called “Flash Fiction: the Details Matter” which allowed high school students to practice the kind of analysis current students participate in during literature courses and allowed them to write their own flash fiction.

Department of English and Communications and Humanities Division Chair Dr. Naomi Crummey stated she and her colleagues love the event. “The idea is to foster scholarly activity and awareness within the fields of English and Communications. This year, and for the foreseeable future, the primary audience will be high school students. One of the things we’re considering for next year is adding in a panel of presentations by current students so that high school students can get a sense of what kinds of work we do in college classes.” She stated that many prospective students enjoyed themselves and felt that the breakout sessions were fun and informative.

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