Chambliss Award Winners

The Chambliss Award was established through a donation provided by Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss, KU faculty member from 1970-2003. The purpose of the awards is to recognize the exceptional individual achievements of a select group of KU graduating seniors. Specially designed coin medallions of gold, silver, and copper were presented to the students.

Faculty members nominate students after they have met one or more of the six areas of achievement. Areas in which achievement can occur include: successfully completed research projects, original artwork of high quality, artistic performances (music, chorus, drama, etc.) of high quality, original writing in literature or meritorious writing in other fields, noteworthy athletics, and outstanding service to the KU community.

For 2009, the winner representing the English Department is:

Amanda E. Keith (Mt. Cobb, Pa.), an English literature major, was presented with a silver medal for her outstanding achievements in community service.  Keith served as a program coordinator for KU’s Community Outreach Center throughout her four years at Kutztown.

Under her leadership, the Student Volunteer Coalition and the Community Outreach Center raised over $20,000 to implement Kutztown University’s first international volunteer service trip to Honduras.  Keith has also organized 18 service trips in various locations throughout the east coast, and she has assisted in the planning of multiple special needs and community development events held on and off campus.  Keith will continue her education at Kutztown University as a student in the Master’s of Social Work Program.

For 2008, the winners representing the English Department are:

Emily P. Hammel-Shaver (Barto, Pa.), an English/Professional Writing major, was presented with a silver medal for her outstanding achievements in writing and community service. Hammel-Shaver has served as co-managing editor of KU’s literary magazine, Shoofly, since its creation four years ago.

Under her guidance, Shoofly has generated much interest and has been an outlet for KU students to publish their original works of poetry, art, and prose. Currently interning with FCF Schmidt Publications in Philadelphia, Pa., Hammel-Shaver also completed volunteer internships with the Goggle Works Center for the Arts in Reading, Pa. and the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa.

Erin J. Waters (Waymart, Pa.; Western Wayne HS), an English/professional writing major, was recognized with a silver medal for her outstanding writing, research, and athletic achievements. Waters is a participant in the KU honors program with local, state, and regional-recognized performance in the KU women’s volleyball team.

Her interest in politics led her to compose an honors thesis, suitable for publication, examining the current Democratic primary race using professional and scholarly resources over a time period of three semesters. Waters also became an intern at the Pennsylvania Democratic Legislative Communications Office in Harrisburg, Pa.  

Alexandra J. Cavallaro (Wakefield, R.I.; South Kingston HS), an English major, received a copper medal for her achievements in writing, literature and community service. Cavallaro has written numerous papers and presented at local and state-level conferences.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Outstanding English Major award in 2007, the Dietrich Scholarship for a Secondary Education/English student in 2006, and the PASSHE Summer Study Abroad Scholarship for study of the Renaissance and Reformation. Cavallaro plans to continue her education after graduation and has applied to several Ph.D. programs, in hopes of someday becoming a college professor.

Aaron D. Smyk (Douglassville, Pa, Daniel Boone HS), English major, received a copper medal for his consistent and original graduate-level writing in literature.

Choosing to pursue the more difficult facets of literature, such as critical theory, post-modern and contemporary fiction, Smyk further involved himself in the university community by creating a petition, and eventually a film documentary, on the pedagogical solutions for the challenges brought about by the new academic forum. Smyk plans on pursuing his Ph.D. with the ultimate goal of becoming a college professor.