English Graduate Organization (EGO)

The English Graduate Organization (EGO) is a student-run organization that aims to serve the needs of the English department’s graduate students by providing professional and academic support. EGO holds fundraisers throughout the year, which fund English graduate student travel and research in addition to social events that allow all English graduate students to come together from their respective degree programs.  The English Graduate Organization is made up of all English MA, MFA, and PhD students. Regardless of program or specialization, all UA English graduate students are associate members of this organization.



  • Simon Okediji (sokediji@crimson.ua.edu) – President
  • Marissa Boglin (mboglin@crimson.ua.edu) – Secretary
  • Grace Poynter (gapoynter@crimson.ua.edu) – Outreach Coordinator
  • Amber Bird (abird@crimson.ua.edu) – Treasurer
  • Amrita Bakshi (abakshi@crimson.ua.edu) – DEI officer



  • President: Caitlan Sumner
  • Vice President: Khay Billingsley
  • Treasurer: Morgan Beers
  • Secretary: Courtney Parker
  • Outreach Coordinator: Charlie Bell
  • GSA Representative: Cheryl Garrett
  • GLM Chair: Saul Alpert-Abrams

EGO Research and Travel Funding

EGO provides additional funding awards for research, travel, workshop, or conference fees.  Active members can apply for a standard EGO award of up to $100. Active members attend EGO meetings and events or volunteer for EGO events and projects.

EGO will also petition the Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) on behalf of applicants seeking additional funding awards of up to $400 each.  This additional funding is only made available to 6 active members per academic year. Applicants should indicate on their application that they are seeking this additional funding.

Application Process

Applications will be called for in October and March.  Applicants will need to complete the EGO Research and Travel Funding Application. All applicants will need to provide a budget of expenses. Example budgets can be found below.

Applications will be assessed and voted upon by EGO officers. Applicants will need to meet the active member requirement. You can become an active member by attending meetings and events or volunteering for EGO events and projects. Applications will be assessed according to monetary need (deficiency in university funding or no university funding) and professional value of research, travel, workshop, or conference.

Approved applicants for the standard EGO funding award of $100 will need to submit proofs of purchase (receipts) to the englishgo@ua.edu subject line, “Attn: EGO Treasurer.”  Applicants approved for FAC funding will need to submit a reimbursement packet (proofs of purchase, proof of payment, and a direct deposit form) to FAC.  All applicants approved for funding for travel will need to sign a travel waiver.

EGO Research and Travel Funding Application
Example Budget 1
EGO Travel Waiver
FAC University Funded Travel Waiver

Carolyn P. Handa Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching Composition

The Carolyn P. Handa Teaching Award is an annual peer award that is administered by EGO to recognize GTAs for excellence and innovation in teaching composition.  To qualify for this award, the applicant should have taught a composition course (EN101, EN102, EN103, EN104) for at least one semester.

About the Award

This teaching award has been administered by EGO for many years but was renamed in 2014 for Carolyn P. Handa following her sudden passing.  Handa was a champion of graduate students and GTAs, and this award aims to honor her by recognizing pedagogical practices that represent Handa’s dedication to students and the advancement of composition pedagogy.  As an instructor, Handa was committed to the incorporation of innovative teaching practices including finding new ways of using technology in the composition classroom to facilitate teaching practice.  She was also a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion in the classroom.

All applicant names will be redacted from application materials.  A panel composed of 2 English faculty and 3 EGO representatives will evaluate application portfolios.  Application portfolios will be assessed according to a rubric based on the pedagogical practices exemplified by Carolyn P. Handa (innovation, technology, inclusivity, diversity) in addition to the effective application of those pedagogical practices within the classroom.

In addition to the recognition of their peers, the first place winner will be awarded $750 and the second place winner will be awarded $250.

Application Process

Applications for the Carolyn P. Handa Teaching Award will be called for in the spring semester.  Applicants will need to include the following materials with their application:

  1. CV of no more than 2 pages
  2. Teaching Philosophy of no more than 2 pages – should include a diversity statement and indicate your commitment to and application of innovative pedagogical practices in the composition classroom.
  3. A Sample Lesson Plan and/or Assignment for an EN100-level class
  4. Student Evaluations for an EN100-level class from at least 1 semester or 2 semesters at most
  5. Letter of Recommendation and Observation Notes for an EN100-level class from a teaching observation no later than the semester in which you are applying – GTAs, GAs, and graduate students cannot provide a letter of recommendation or observation notes.  Observer should be a UA Department of English faculty member with at least 5 years of teaching experience.

Carolyn P. Handa Teaching Award Application

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