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Recent grad wins prestigious English Journal award

Sept. 18, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University alumna Laura Feffer is the recipient of the prestigious Farmer Award from the editor of English Journal, a publication with a circulation of more than 30,000. Feffer, a teacher at Allegan (Mich.) Alternative High School who earned her master's from WMU, will be recognized at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention Nov. 19-22 in Philadelphia.

Feffer's essay about her students engaging in ensemble theater was written under the mentorship of Dr. Allen Webb, WMU professor of English, during an independent study and was one of two essays selected this year to be given this national award. "Devising Ensemble Plays: At-Risk Students Become Living, Performing Authors" was published in the January 2009 edition of the English Journal.

Named for English Journal founders and donors Paul and Kate Farmer, the awards are given to two authors of the best articles published in English Journal during the previous volume year.

Feffer teaches English and drama to at-risk students at Allegan Alternative High School. She previously taught at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 with a degree in English and secondary education. She received her master's degree in English education from WMU in 2008 and lives in Kalamazoo.

Feffer has spoken about her experience devising ensemble pieces at such events as the Michigan Council of the Teachers of English Bright Ideas Conference, the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society Banquet at Central Michigan University, and she was recently a featured speaker at the National Writing Project's Rural Sites Network Conference.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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