Syracuse University Ph.D. student Jessica Kuskey wins Mary Hatch Marshall Essay Award

Jessica Kuskey, a Ph.D. student in the English Department in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, received the Mary Hatch Marshall Essay Award at the Syracuse University Library Associates annual Spring Luncheon on April 26. Her essay is entitled “Math and the Mechanical Mind: Charles Babbage, Charles Dickens, and Mental Labor in Little Dorrit.” Kuskey is a native of Portland, Connecticut.

To honor and help perpetuate Mary Hatch Marshall’s scholarly standards and generous spirit, Library Associates established this annual award for the best essay written by a graduate student in the humanities at Syracuse University. Members of Library Associates, Marshall’s friends and family, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Central New York Community Foundation all contributed to the endowment that has funded this annual award since 2004.

Born in 1903, Marshall graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College, received a Ph.D. from Yale University, and was later named a Guggenheim Fellow. She joined the SU faculty in 1948 and became the first woman to achieve the rank of full professor in The College of Liberal Arts. During her tenure, Marshall held the Jesse Truesdell Peck Chair in English literature; helped to establish the Honors Program, serving as its first director; and was among the founding members of Library Associates. After retiring from full-time teaching with emeritus status, Marshall continued to offer courses through the Humanistic Studies Center at University College until 1993. Among the awards and honors she received were the Post-Standard Award for Distinguished Service to the Syracuse University Library, a Chancellor’s Citation, and an Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

Full- and part-time students from African American Studies; English; Fine Arts; Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics; Latino-Latin American Studies; Religion; Philosophy; the Writing Program; and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program are eligible for the $500 award. Nominations are coordinated by the respective department and program chairs. Faculty members who served on the Marshall Award Selection Committee this year were Gerry Greenberg (chair), Carol Babiracki, Joan Bryant, Rebecca Howard, and Stephanie Fetta.

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