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English Department
First Floor, Wendell Phillips Center
Amy Smith
Department Chair
College of the Pacific

Outstanding Students

Simon Harris, Outstanding Senior of 2015

Simon is graduating with a major in English and a minor in Ethnic Studies. In pursuing an interdisciplinary education at Pacific, Simon made the most of the diverse curricula by exploring the intersections of the aesthetics, the political, and ethnical in his study of literature, culture, race, class, ethnicity, and the environment.

Simon Harris '15In 2013, he presented at a student-run research conference on campus a research paper entitled "Stockton, the City of Broken Windows" developed from his group research project for English 126: Environment and Literature. Since 2013, he has worked as a tutor at the Writing Center on campus, and is the favorite tutor of many students who find him most helpful. His work at the Writing Center also enabled him to refine his own writing skills. His research paper, "Invisible Roots: Toshiko's Quest for Cultural Freedom" developed from English 160: Blues, Jazz, and Literature taught by Dr. Cynthia Dobbs was the centerpiece in his writing package that won the Arlen Hansen Writing Contest and Scholarship in 2014. The same year he was inducted as a junior into the all-discipline honor society Phi Kappa Phi. And he presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research a paper entitled "Irony and the Insecurity of Puritan America in The Holder of the World by Bharati Mukherjee" developed from English 162: Asian American literature.

He recently presented at the Pacific Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference another research paper entitled "When Model Minorities Turn Ugly: The Neoliberal Portrayal of Asian Americans in the United States," developed from his independent research with Dr. Jeffrey Hole of the English Department.
Simon was inducted into the oldest, most prestigious liberal arts honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, on May 8, 2015. In recognition of his accomplishment, the faculty of Ethnic Studies has selected Simon as an Ethnic Studies Graduating Senior of Distinction.

Simon's pursuit of a broad, interdisciplinary education at Pacific enabled him to lay a good foundation for graduate studies. He will be entering the Ph.D. program in English, with a specialization in Asian American and African American literature at University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has offered him a five-year scholarship and a teaching assistantship that pays $25,000. a year.
We are very proud of him, and we wish him the best in embarking on a new journey. Congratulations!

Outstanding Graduating Senior 2013


A woman of subtle intellect, a brilliant analytical thinker and writer, a scholar extraordinaire with a 3.93 GPA, a double major in English and Spanish, with a concentration in Piano, FIONA CHENG is our choice for our 2013 Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. A member of the university's Honors Program since her freshman year, Fiona is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the most prestigious academic  honor's society in the U.S, as well as Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Tau Delta.

Our award acknowledges Fiona's excellence as a scholar and as a university citizen who worked tirelessly as a Pacific Ambassador to welcome, mentor, and advise incoming freshmen and transfer students in English  during orientation and registration. Thank you, Fiona-----and congratulations! 

Off to Grad School!

Kent Linthicum '10
was accepted into Arizona State University's Ph.D. program with a teaching assistantship and a full tuition remission. 

Caroline Taylor '11 received a full tuition scholarship for the graduate program in Film Production at Columbia University, which she has chosen to attend. She was also accepted into the M.F.A. program at University of Southern California (USC). These schools are ranked as the top two graduate film programs in the country.

Stephanie Mohr will be working with a producer in New York City and interning with film director Ridley Scott, whose credits include "Blade Runner," "Alien," "Thelma and Louise," "Gladiator," and others.

Kelly Volkar '11 was accepted into McGeorge School of Law and was offered the Kennedy Scholarship. She was also accepted into the UC Davis School of Law, which she has chosen to attend in fall 2011. Kelly was awarded an Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) fellowship. 

Andrea Morris '11 will be attending McGeorge School of Law.

Sara Estrella '11 was accepted into the grad program at Pacific to earn a teaching credential and Master's in Education Curriculum and Instruction.