HIGH POINT, N.C., March 3, 2014 – High Point University junior Tina Burchette was recently awarded the 2013 prize for Best Undergraduate Essay by the Margaret Atwood Society for her paper titled, “The Split Self in Atwood’s ‘Miss July Grows Older’.”
The essay was the product of an undergraduate research project, and it analyzed a poem by Margaret Atwood. Burchette, an English Literature major, reached the conclusion that although the speaker of the poem, a washed-up calendar girl, believes herself to be above and beyond the reaches of her previous sex-object status, she is still affected by the division of her identity and will never be able to unite her two identities nor embrace her status as an empowered and informed woman.
Burchette says she was encouraged to enter the essay into the contest by Dr. Matthew Carlson, assistant professor of English at HPU.
“None of this would have happened without the help and support of Dr. Carlson,” says Burchette. “The English department is full of wonderful and supportive professors who really care about their students’ success and general well-being. This award is a great achievement to put on my resume to help me stand out. In the field I wish to pursue, you must always be putting something out there. This is the beginning of a long journey of hard work, and I look forward to it.”
The Margaret Atwood Society is an international association of scholars, teachers and students who share an interest in Atwood’s work.