Student in Suzanne Richardson's English Class

English Department

What We Do

The English Department at Utica College helps students develop an understanding of the relationship between English and the diverse cultural traditions around the world through the study of literature, the history and structure of the English language, and various aspects of writing.

(315) 792-3185
Department Type
Office Location
174 Gordon Science Center

UC offers a major in English, and minors in creative writing, English language, and literature. Students can also take classes toward fulfilling the requirements of the education program, while earning their degree in English.


English majors study the great heritage of the English-speaking peoples in a comprehensive and varied program that includes literature, the history and structure of the English language, and various aspects of writing. The English Department at Utica College helps students develop an understanding of the relationship between English and the diverse cultural traditions around the world through the study of literature, the history and structure of the English language, and various aspects of writing. Students gain cultural understanding, communication skills, and experience in scholarship, and are therefore prepared to teach, do graduate work, or enter any occupation that requires critical thinking, good writing, and a broad perspective.  

The Utica College English major is distinctive in the flexibility it offers students. The major is designed to provide a broad base of study in English language literature as well as an opportunity to learn about language and world literature. Students may then extend and deepen their experience with English studies by using their elective options to explore writing, literature, or language in more detail.

Dr. Henry R. DiSpirito Memorial Scholarship

Established by Delores and Theresa DiSpirito in memory of their father, Dr. Henry R. DiSpirito (Utica College Artist in Residence 5/30/63 – 2/28/95), financial assistance awards from the fund shall be awarded to a full-time student in his/her junior or senior year who is majoring in the area of arts, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, theatre, dance, or music, or who is majoring in one of the traditional humanities majors and has a special interest in the arts. The recipient shall be selected by the dean of the faculty in consultation with the faculty of the Division of Arts and Sciences. Candidates must have a 3.0 GPA or better and demonstrate traits which will make them an asset to their profession and community.

Past Recipients: Rose Zaloom ('16) 2015 , Courtney Foll ('15) 2014

Ida C. Millett Scholarship

This scholarship was established by James T. Millett, M.S., John F. Millett, D.D.S., and Robert W. Millett, Ph.D. in honor of their mother, Ida C. Millett. Candidates must have declared a major and/or minor area of study from the academic discipline of English. To be eligible for consideration, candidates must have attained a 3.0 or higher average in a minimum of six courses in their major and/or minor.

Past Recipients:  Sean Feener ('14) 2013, Rose Zaloom ('15) 2014

The Grace and Arthur Perlmutter Scholarship Fund

Established in honor of his parents, Grace and Arthur Perlmutter, the fund shall be awarded upon the recommendation of the chair of the English department and in consultation with Mr. Walter M. Perlmutter ’50 or his designee(s), to a student who is majoring in English and has a strong interest or aptitude in either creative writing or American literature or both. The recipient of the fund must be a second, third, or fourth year student, must have a demonstrated financial need, and must maintain a 3.0 umulative grade point average.

Past Recipients: Samuel Romano 2015, Courtney Foll ('14) 2014

Joseph Vogel Award for Poetry and Joseph Vogel Award for Fiction

Established by the late author Joseph Vogel, these awards are given to students for outstanding work in poetry and in fiction. Winners are published in Ampersand. Each year a guest judge outside of UC is chosen. 

Past Recipients:  Rose Zaloom (2015), Sean Feener (2014), David Eves (2014), Rose Zaloom (2014), Nicolle Szalkowski (2014), Jenn Strife (2013), Rose Zaloom (2013), Brandy Miller (2013) 

Mary Wasserman Fine Arts Scholarship

This scholarship, established by Arthur Wasserman, professor emeritus, in memory of his wife, is awarded to a fine arts major or minor with financial need. Consideration is given to student's talent and exhibit of promise for benefitting from formal art education. In the event a fine arts major or minor is no longer offered by the College, the scholarship will be awarded to a student with demonstrated financial need as determined by the Office of Student Financial Services.

Past Recipients: Daphne Wiggins ('17) 2015, Kortney Valentine ('16) 2015, Lynsie Ferguson ('15) 2014, Melissa Landstrom 2014

Professor Emeritus Jerome Weiss Outstanding Theatre Award

Established by Professor Emeritus Jerome Weiss, this award shall be made annually to deserving students involved in the theatre arts while at Utica College. In the case that no deserving students are identified, the Award shall not be made.

Past Recipients: Rose Zaloom ('16) 2015, Lynsie Ferguson ('15) 2015, Imani Mack ('16) 2015, Melissa Landstrom 2015 

Interviews and discussions with writers, poets, and creatives of all sorts, bringing ideas to life with their words!


The Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series presents musical and literary programs each semester. All programs are free of charge and are open to students, faculty, staff, and the public. It is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Sponsored by the Utica College Social Cultural Committee, programs begin at 12:30 p.m.

  • Musical performances are held in the Library Concourse.
  • Literary readings are held in MacFarlane Auditorium in DePerno Hall, unless otherwise noted. 
Harold Frederic, author

The Harold Frederic English Society was formed in the fall semester of 1999 to offer students both inside and outside the English major the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the literary and creative life of the college. It is named in honor of the Utica native and noted nineteenth-century American novelist who chronicled the city's religious and ethnic groups at the turn of the century in his acclaimed novel The Damnation of Theron Ware. James Scannell, Associate Professor in the English department, is the club's faculty advisor.

In the past, the Society has hosted at Halloween a "Scary Poetry Reading" in which members of the club, the college community, and the greater Utica community read their favorite frightening verse by authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Browning. The Society was also influential raising funds to buy books for the Breakfast Reading Club, a reading program for young children at Kernan Elementary School in West Utica. 

HFES puts on open mics, does community service around literacy, and has one literary themed outing a year. Meetings are weekly.

Those interested in participating should contact Professor James Scannell at

Sigma Tau Delta 2014

Sigma Tau Delta, founded in 1924, is the international English honors society. There are more than 870 active chapters worldwide, and roughly 9,000 new members are selected to be inducted every year.

At Utica College, the English faculty members select UC's newest inductees, who are awarded their membership during the Spring party. In addition to being selected by the faculty, members must also have taken at least two upper-level English courses, and have earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher.

Nassar Poetry PrizeNamed in honor of the late Professor Emeritus of English Eugene Paul Nassar, whose distinguished teaching career at Utica College inspired generations of students, the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize is an award given annually for a poetry collection published in the previous year by a resident of upstate New York.

Competition Details

Prize: $2,000 For best poetry collection published by an Upstate author.

Submission Deadline:
August 31, 2019

Entry Fee:
There is no entry fee.

Final Judge:
(To be announced.)

Entry Form

Entry Instructions:

Send completed entry form, a brief CV listing creative and scholarly accomplishments, and two (2) copies of the work to:

Gary Leising
Utica College
School of Arts and Sciences
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502

Note: Books may be sent in by author or publisher.

Submission Criteria:
Nassar Poetry PrizeSubmitted work must be a book of poems in English, at least 48 pages long, published between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 by a resident of Upstate New York. Collections by more than one author, "collected" or "selected" volumes, collections of translations, self-published works, and vanity press publications are not eligible.

Additional Requirements:
Winner must agree, upon contest entry:

  • to give permission for portions of the winning work to be reproduced for publicity; and
  • to, at a mutually agreeable date in April 2020, 1) receive the award in person, 2) give a reading at Utica College, and 3) meet with students in a master class.

All books entered in competition will be donated to the Utica College library and the Utica Public Library.

Ampersand is published annually each spring semester by an all student staff that changes yearly. Faculty advisor, Dr. Gary Leising helps oversee meetings and publcation of Ampersand. The magazine contains original art, poetry, short stories, and personal essays by students at Utica College. The editorial staff ask for submissions from UC students yearly. The staff reviews submissions and choose what makes it to publication through multiple readings and discussions. Submitters are notified via email if their work has been accepted for publication. Traditionally, towards the end of the spring semester the editorial staff hold a launch party with an open mic and invite all issue contributors to read from the newest issue. 

About the issues:

Ampersand 2014

Ampersand 2014

Editorial Staff: David Eves, Taylor, Banovic, Corrie Clements, Courteney Klepfer, Calie Taranto, Lynsie Ferguson

Cover Art: Kyle D. Riecker

Vogel Award Judge: Melissa Johnson, Virginia Commonwealth University

Issue Contributors: Rose Zaloom, Corrie Clements, Michael Cottle, Kimberly Hughes, Sean Feener, Brian Mazurowski, Calie Taranto, Breana Griffin, Jade Jenkins, David Eves, Lynsie Ferguson, Raheem Lawrence, Courney Fol, Nicolle Szalkowski, Alaina LaMarco, Laura Haggerty, Natalie Berkheimer

Vogel Award Winners: Sean Feener, David Eves, Rose Zaloom, Nicolle Szalkowski

Ampersand 2013

Ampersand 2013

Editorial Staff: Jenn Strife, Steph Bailey, Brandy Miller, Ashley Dunham

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lis Orr

Cover Art: John Paul Gardner

Vogel Award Judge: Casandra Lopez, North Seattle College

Contributors: John Paul Gardner, April McHugh, Erica Ciko, S.A. Feener, Christina F. Bono, Jenn Strife, Anthony Gorrea, Amanda Marsh, Julie Wittemore, Rose Zaloom, Brandy Miller, Dana Sherman, Steph Bailey, Matty Kriston Campos

The faculty of the English department publishes The Spectator on a semi-annual basis. We write on annual events, publish faculty writing, and showcase student awards. We welcome submissions from alumni/alumnae.


Contact Us

English Department Faculty & Staff

Resources for English Majors and Writers

What's the next step? Where do you take things from here? The English Department at Utica College is here to help you along the way, with resources to guide you through choices about graduate school, publishing, and more.

Are you looking to submit your writing or research for publication? Below is a list of national journals that accept creative and critical works from undergraduate student writers and researchers. Be sure to check the submission guidelines to see if your work will fit the journal's mission.

The Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review

PUR accepts undergraduate research, of at least 10 pages, from a variety of disciplines on a rolling basis. Their mission is very simply to advance undergraduate scholarship. Check them out here!

The Blue Route

The Blue Route: A National Literary Journal for Undergraduate Writes publishes poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction. Each submission is read and discussed "blindly" (as in the writer's name and gender is removed from the work) in order to evaluate the writing fairly. Contributors are awarded $25 for accepted work. Check them out here!

Young Scholars In Writing

Young Scholars in Writing: Undergraduate Research in Writing and Rhetoric believes that undergraduates should have opportunities to share their research on writing and rhetoric with a wide audience, and invites all undergraduate researchers to submit their work! They publish "research and theoretical articles from undergraduates on writing, writers, rhetoric, discourse, language, and related topics." Check them out here!

The Oswald Review

The Oswald Review publishes undergraduate student research and criticism in the field of English. Submissions should be between 10-25 pages long, and a faculty member's endorsement is required. Published annually, the deadline is always March 31st. Check them out here!

Queen City Writers

QCW publishes undergraduate writing that wrestles with issues related to reading, writing, teaching, and popular culture. They have six submissions categories that include book reviews, research essays, short responses to already published works in QCR, or interviews with other undergraduate writers. They also have a category dedicated entirely to first-year college writers called "Storming the Gate." Check them out here!

Outrageous Fortune

The first online literary journal created by and for undergraduate students. They publish fiction, poetry, non-fiction essays, short stories, plays, photography/art work, and chapters of novels. They do not accept sexual imagery or allusions to exploitation. Check them out here!

MA versus PhD

What are the pros and cons to pursuing a Master's or PhD?



Although program requirements do vary, below is a basic list and description of graduate application requirements.



Give yourself time. Start thinking about and researching grad school opportunities early - - approximately one year prior to graduation.



Almost all graduate programs in English require students to take a standardized test, called the GRE, in order to be considered for admission.



Unfortunately, applying to graduate school is not cheap. Do not be surprised by the application items that will quickly add up.


English Department Blogs

Professors Richardson and Selvick are always looking for new bloggers!

If you would like to write a book review, cover a campus event, submit photographs, offer advice to incoming or transfer students, or have other ideas for UC English Corner contributions, please reach out to their contact information below. 


Suzanne Richardson:

English Department Resume on Typewriter

The Basics
A Curriculum Vitae is a document that lists your education and professional accomplishments, typically with an academic audience in mind (so, for instance, when you are applying to graduate schools). A Resume is a document that lists your education and work experience, typically with a professional audience in mind. 

The biggest difference between these documents is length. A resume is often limited to one page, and can easily be scanned during a brief interview. A CV, in contrast, can run 3-4 pages at minimum. 

Since a CV is geared toward academics, your education, publications, awards, and honors will be most highlighted. This is then followed by relevent professional experiences, such as working as an academic tutor or in the writing center. It might then list groups that you are a member of, as well as references. 

resume will emphasize the most relevant work and internship experiences that you have that pertain to the job for which you are applying. You will often list your education, skills, job and internship experience, and sometimes references. 

Keep a running list of your collegiate accomplishments. Did you give a reading on or off campus? Was your writing accepted for publication in Ampersand or elsewhere? Do you hold leadership positions in relevant student or community organizations? All of these scholastic accomplishments can be used to emphasize your readiness for a job in a related field, internship, or graduate school.

To scan through some great examples, look at Purdue OWL. 

  • Resume examples and guidelines can be found here!
  • CV examples and guidelines can be found here!

I would like to see logins and resources for:

For a general list of frequently used logins, you can also visit our logins page.