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Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize

Each year, thanks to the generous gifts of many friends who wished to honor the memory of Diane Hunter, the Graduate Program in English awards a graduated student the Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation submitted for a Ph.D. in English during the calendar year. The Prize, offering an honorarium of more than $1,000, will be awarded to the dissertation which exemplifies the kind of scholarly rigor and originality for which we remember Diane herself. The procedures for the judging of the prize will be as follows:


  • Dissertations will be judged yearly (by calendar year), with the prize awarded in time for inclusion in the University Commencement Program.


  • In June, the Graduate Chair notifies the Graduate Group Faculty of all those who completed dissertations in the previous year, and solicits nominations from the Dissertation Directors.


  • To be eligible for consideration, a dissertation must be nominated (in writing) by the Director, with that nomination supported (again in writing) by one of the other two readers.


  • The materials distributed to the judges include: the two letters of nomination; a dissertation abstract and table of contents; and one chapter of the dissertation, as determined by the nominated student and the Director. A complete copy of each nominated dissertation must also be submitted. This is kept in the Graduate Office, for judges to consult if they want to.


  • The judging committee consists of three faculty members, at least one from the senior faculty, appointed by the Graduate Chair. If possible the Graduate Chair should avoid appointing to this committee any members of the dissertation committees of nominated students.


  • The Chair of the judging committee should notify the Graduate Chair of the winner, and submit a brief paragraph of commendation. The Graduate Chair should send an official letter of congratulation to the winner, including the committee's words of commendation, and inviting her or him to attend the English Department Collation, where a presentation of the award will be made. 


  • It is customary for the the Chair of the judging committee to present the award at the English Department Collation, reading the brief commendation, whether or not the winner can attend.