Orange Alert

Elizabeth Elton: 2018

Elizabeth Elton portrait

Posted on: April 27, 2018


"My passion for writing began in grade school but was mostly isolated to creative writing and literary analysis. Still, there were times when my teachers assigned rhetorical writing assignments. In those moments, I found myself fervently arguing and reveling in the act of using my words in order to illuminate relevant issues to my audience. When I transferred from an English Education major at another university to SU, I knew that I wanted to keep writing as part of my major somehow. I joined the Writing and Rhetoric Major because I knew that it would challenge and expand my abilities as a writer. Through the major, I found a deeper passion for research through writing. I found a love in the act of discovery through writing, and I found wonder in the arrangement of words to reach an audience

And so, I feel truly honored and humbled to be recognized with this award—especially when I consider the rigor of the Writing & Rhetoric Major. The last three years studying in this department have not only challenged me as a writer, but as an individual too. Of course, as a writing program, my classes emphasized writing tropes, tools, and style. This was invaluable to my writing as a whole. However, more importantly, I found that my writing improved and expanded in depth because of the way the professors in this program pushed every student to think and research beyond our comfort zones. By this, I mean that writing in the Writing and Rhetoric Major is more than a discussion about tools and style. The conversation broadens to include cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, and sexist issues within writing. Or, more briefly stated, the conversation includes the consideration of ethics. The attention to these issues allowed me to research topics more deeply and grow as a person while writing. For these reasons, I would like to thank all the professors who helped me reach this point: Professors Lois Agnew, Collin Brooke, Martha Dillingham, Chris Feikes, Anne Fitzsimmons, Rebecca Moore Howard, and Brice Nordquist. Thank you for everything!"—Elizabeth Elton


Rebecca Moore Howard, Elizabeth Elton, Carol Lipson, and  Krista Kennedy (Director of the Major and Minor).

In nominating Elizabeth Elton for the 2018 Carol Lipson Outstanding Writing Major Award, Assistant Professor Brice Nordquist writes, "[Elizabeth] may be the most engaged and invested student I’ve had at SU. She’s very smart and always prepared. She’s a leader in class discussions and in small groups, consistently elevating the work of her classmates. She has a clear sense of purpose and finds ways to use the work of the course to pursue her goals, but she’s also mentally and practically flexible."

Professor Rebecca Moore Howard also nominated Elizabeth: "She has an enormous humanizing, calming effect on her fellow Writing majors. Elizabeth is an outstanding, hard-working, enthusiastic, accomplished student who is double majoring in Linguistics and Writing and who has just been accepted to the SU Linguistics MA degree program. Her ethos comes across clearly to her classmates, and they respect her greatly. She was in my WRT 413 last fall and is in WRT 308 this spring. I just can't say enough about what Elizabeth brings to class discussion, small-group work, and peer review. She can be relied on to have a firm grasp of the assigned material when she arrives in class, and she willingly shares what she knows in class discussion. Remarkably, she doesn't do it in a tiresome "perform for the prof" mode, but in actual dialogue with her fellow students. It's wonderful."

Senior Lecturer Chris Feikes adds, "Elizabeth is a serious, hard-working scholar with a depth of intellectual curiosity. She makes course assignments her own, going far beyond requirements. For WRT 301, Elizabeth worked in a “power group,” designing with peers some writing heuristics for working with SCSD students at Nottingham High School. Because Elizabeth has had prior experience working with young people in YMCA programming, she brought “real world” insights and pedagogical experience to these group-designed materials. In both WRT 114 and 301, she was intellectually generous; she always contributes to class discussions and she is genuinely enthusiastic about her peers’ work and contributions."