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Bland Simpson received the Edward Kidder Graham Award at University Day. (photo by Jon Gardiner)

Big wins for English faculty

Faculty members in the department of English and comparative literature have won major awards for their creative work and service to the campus community, the state and beyond.

Connie Eble and Bland Simpson received two of the highest University honors given to faculty members.

Eble received the Thomas Jefferson Award, presented annually at a Faculty Council meeting to a member of the academic community who through teaching, writing and scholarship, as well as contributions to public education, exemplifies the ideals and objectives of Thomas Jefferson.

Last fall on University Day, Simpson was awarded the Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service by a UNC faculty member. English department chair Mary Floyd-Wilson said, “An award-winning writer, teacher and musician, Bland Simpson exemplifies Edward Kidder Graham’s goal to extend the University’s service to the state and beyond.”

Michael McFee won two awards, including North Carolina’s highest civilian honor. He received the North Carolina Award for Literature, making him the eighth member of the English department to receive a North Carolina Award. The honor recognizes contributions to the state and the nation in the fields of fine arts, literature, public service and science.

McFee also received the Thomas and Ellie D. Chaffin Prize for Appalachian Writing. Awarded annually by Morehead State University, the prize honors writers who inhabit and examine Appalachian landscapes in their creative work.

Daniel Wallace was recognized by his home state of Alabama with the Harper Lee Award. Presented annually by the Alabama Writers Symposium, it goes to “a living, nationally recognized Alabama writer who has made significant contributions to Alabama letters.”