University of New Orleans / English Department
Volume 3, Issue 1
English Department Awards Ceremony
Faculty and students honored award winners (see p. 4) and said goodbye to two
retiring faculty members: Barbara Gaffney and Kris Lackey.
Ali Arnold presented the awards in Freshman Writing and Teaching
Lackey Retiring 2
New Lounge 3 With the retirement of Barbara
Gaffney, the department loses a
Award Winners 4 much beloved faculty member.
Known for her Boston accent,
Student News 5 hilarious jokes, and selfless
devotion to students, Dr. Gaffney
will be sorely missed. She was the
director of the ESL program for
many years before Katrina and
many international students owe
their success at UNO to her
dedication. We wish her many
well-deserved hours of rest and
relaxation at her home in Bay St.
Louis. Colleagues say goodbye to Barbara Gaffney.
page 2 English Department Newsletter, Spring 2010
Dr. Kris Lackey Retiring
Some Comments From
Students About Dr. Lackey:
Kris Lackey's beard was the
best professor I've ever had!
Dr. Lackey was very
engaged with the class and
took a lot of the students'
ideas about things before
explaining his own Inge Fink and Trisha Rezende say goodbye to Kris Lackey
thoughts. He was willing to
Dr. Kris Lackey, who joined the English faculty at UNO in 1986, is retiring
challenge us and find out
this spring. At the recent departmental awards ceremony, Dr. Lackey,
what we knew. He would Professor of American Literature, won the Excellence in Graduate Teaching
call on anybody at any Award as well as the Distinguished Service Award, which is no surprise to
moment, which was anyone who knows the dedication he has given this department and its
probably a great strategy to students for 25 years. The icing on the cake was the recent announcement
make sure we all paid that he has also won this year's UNO International Alumni Association
attention, but if someone Award for Excellence in Teaching, a campus-wide honor. The more than
just didn't know what to 3000 students he's taught over the years will surely agree that he deserves it!
say, he wouldn't poke fun at Dr. Lackey has served as Acting Chair, Associate Chair, and Chair
him about it. of Freshman English, as well as taught over one hundred fifty courses at
UNO. His favorite? ENGL 2258, Interpreting Literature. Why? "I get to
He is extremely sweet teach outside my area and I get to teach poetry. I love to teach scansion!"
and kind hearted. He also has loved introducing students to the English major.
What else will he miss? "Twenty-three years of wonderful Friday
Dr. Lackey is a wonderful evening conversation under the awning of the Parkview Tavern."
professor who uses his His retirement will be spent traveling (Italy, England, and Spain are
sense of humor to get us on his list) as well as writing fiction in Norman, Oklahoma, where he has
students through some of bought a home. He has already started work on a crime novel. We can't
the more difficult literary wait to read it!
works. He finds a way to
make the most mundane
subject funny. I'll always Excerpts from the tributes to Dr. Lackey at the departmental awards
remember his chuckles ceremony:
followed by "that's right." "All-around savior to the needy. He's the rock!"
It always made me laugh.
I'll miss you Dr. Lackey. "He keeps everything afloat."
Enjoy your retirement! "He not only knows everyone's name, he knows their pet's names."
"Where [Lackey] sits, there is the head of the table." --from Emerson's "The
A New Lounge Just for English Majors
By Alexis Vigier
In a room far, far away (the third floor of the Liberal Arts Building to be more
exact), undergraduate English majors will finally have a space to call their own—an
undergraduate English major lounge. The lounge will be similar to the lounge located on
the first floor designated for English faculty and graduate students. Alfredo Rodriguez,
president of the English Club and dedicated member of the English Major Lounge Task
Force, sees the lounge as “a gift from 2011 graduating seniors to the underclassmen in
English” and intends for undergraduates to use the lounge “for lunch breaks, dead hour,
reading, and homework.” The lounge, located in room 304, was a former faculty
member’s office and has been sitting unused for five plus years.
Alfredo was approached by Dr. Peter Schock, English chair, and Dr. Anne Boyd
Rioux, Undergraduate Coordinator, about making the suite of three rooms into a social
space for undergraduate English majors. Alfredo Rodriquez; Amanda Punch, English
Club Vice president; Brandon Ledet, English Club Secretary; Pamela Jory, English Club
member; Carolyn Hembree, English
Club Faculty Advisor; and Dr. Schock
spent hours cleaning out the old
professor’s office. As Alfredo explains,
“What we thought would be a one hour
job turned out taking four to five hours
to complete and we still are not done!”
The room is currently under
decorated and without blinds, but the
English Club is optimistic about the
future of the lounge and the benefits it
will bring to the undergraduate
English majors despite the hard work
ahead. Thus far the lounge only has a
table, a few rolling chairs, a fan, a
refrigerator, and a coat rack. The
English club is currently accepting
donations of furniture, books, and
other décor donations and expects the
completion date to be sometime in the
upcoming fall semester.
Anyone who will be around
this summer and would like to help
Alfredo with cleaning and decorating
should e-mail him at
English Department Newsletter, Sp ring 2010
English Department Newsletter , Spring 2010
Winners of the Ryan Chighizola Memorial Winner of Catherine Barragy Mackin Prize
Scholarship (for a student who excels in (best paper written in a 2000- or 4000-level
poetry): Alex Jennings and Alfredo class): Daniel Dekerlegand for his essay
Rodriguez with Dr. Peter Schock at the "Muted Vocalization in Hemans' The Forest
Honors Convocation. Sanctuary," which was nominated by Dr.
Quarante Club Prize (best paper written by a female student in a 2000-level
class): Jessica Hope Roberts for her essay "An Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's 'A
Tell-Tale Heart,'" nominated by Dr. Patricia Roger.
The Helen Hill Memorial Scholarship (for the junior(s) with the highest GPA
who also work 20 or more hours per week): Mary Tamporello and Ivy Kroll
Quarante Club History
The Quarante Club began in New Orleans in 1886. It takes its name, meaning forty in French,
from the number of members (or “immortals”) of the French Academy. It is believed to be the
second oldest continually-functioning women's literary group in the U.S. In the era in which
the Quarante Club was founded, there was a national outpouring of effort by women to
improve their own minds, and to unite into clubs to work toward this goal. The Quarante Club
maintains its archives at Tulane University and annually funds writing prizes at the University
of New Orleans and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
The treasurer writes about the club, "Each year we select a course of study, and members
present research papers on the topic. This year we studied the immigrant experience, as
portrayed in literature. Members selected a country, and told the story of those immigrants
through novels, short stories, and interviews."
English Department Newsletter
Bethany Jones on her plans after
graduating this spring: "I will be
taking biology and chemistry
prerequisites at UNO until next
Graduating English major Rebekah Some thoughts from spring [as well as] applying to get
Ann Berger's essay "Plank," on the graduating senior, Sam Kane: my personal training certification
subject of ethics and politics, has over the summer, studying for my
been chosen as one of the top five "At the risk of sounding overtly
GREs, and volunteering at local
essays among hundreds submitted cliché, I must say that the most
health organizations (such as
by students at universities across the enjoyable (and influential) aspects
American Red Cross). Then, I will be
country in the 2011 annual essay of the English program are the
applying to six graduate schools
competition sponsored by the Elie conversations that are achieved
(namely Colorado State
Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. amongst fellow English majors. The
University) for the fall of 2012 in
Rebekah has been invited to New students here seem to be
order to pursue a degree as a
York this summer to receive her completely and utterly willing to
Registered Dietitian. "
award and $500 prize as one of two throw themselves into their craft,
Honorable Mentions. This may be a thus perpetuating amazing
first for UNO. Students awarded in conversations and discussions. I Congratulations to all the
have attended other universities
the prestigious competition usually Graduating Seniors:
are from the Ivy League and where the goal of most students was
comparable schools. to achieve their degree with as little
work as possible, but at UNO I have Juan Barnes
Aubrey Kyle's essay "My Father's found students who are dedicated Rebekah Berger
Shoes" won the 2011 undergraduate to the complete understanding of Jessica Bock
nonfiction competition sponsored by their craft, as well as willing to Meagan Boudreaux
the Gulf Coast Association of accept the viewpoints of others as Meighan Brown
Creative Writing Teachers. She has Robert Bryan
objectively as possible.
also been named this year's
Outstanding Student in
Anthropology and was selected by
Lauren Peralta has been
the University of Maryland as this
accepted to Tulane Law School and
year's student researcher in
will start there in the fall. She Bethany Jones
Anthropology for their SRI (summer
research initiative) program, which plans to pursue a career in Samuel Kane
is fully paid and sponsored by the environment, medical, or Casey King
National Science Foundation. She intellectual property law. Joseph Laura
writes, "I am truly thankful to the Brandon Ledet
Ashley Clinton plans to acquire
English department because my Patrick Legette
a TEFL certificate in July and
ability to write my research out Jane Molinary
teach in Taiwan for a year.
cohesively and understandably is Lauren Peralta
really what has set me apart and Sarah Donsbach will soon Adam Preveau
allowed me to succeed in my other begin her new job as Community Casey Prevost
major [Anthropology]." Marketing Professional for Amanda Punch
Wyndam Hotel Resorts. Aubrey Rector
Sheba Turk is interning at WDSU
and may be working there in the Alexis Vigier has received the Jessica Roberts
near future as a production assistant Ambassador's Scholarship for Vickie Russo
on a new show. Then she plans to study in France this summer. Ana Susic
begin her career in broadcast news Sarah Sylve
reporting, starting at a small market. Sheba Turk
Stay tuned! Nicole Vega