Professors win statewide and national attention

Friday, July 23, 2010


Corban’s Colette Tennant, professor of English, and Bev Farris, adjunct instructor of education, have recently won prestigious awards in their fields.

Tennant’s poem “Kin” was honored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) as second-place winner of the “Winners’ Circle Award,” and three other poems of hers earned honorable mention in other 2010 NFSPS contests. Farris was presented the 2010 Lifetime Literacy Award by the Oregon Reading Association (ORA) at the 20th West Regional International Reading Association Conference in Portland earlier this year.

The educational and literary organization, the NFSPS, not only recognizes national cultural heritage but also furthers poetry at the national level. They promote 50 contests per year, and the categories are ranked in order of their significance.

In the second-highest category, Tennant took second place for her poem, “Kin,” winning $375. Her poem, “Cary Grant Gospel,” won second honorable mention in the third-highest category. Both categories had nearly 300 entries each. Two more of her poems earned honorable mentions in their respective categories. The placing poem (“Kin”) will be published in the 2010 NFSPS prize poems anthology, Encore.

Tennant noted that the judge of the Winners’ Circle Award is a poet she admires. Because the poems are judged anonymously, Tennant was especially pleased that the judge had picked her poem. Moreover, the judge wrote about “Kin”: “This poem took my breath away with its keen images and prosody. The message is powerful and original.”


Farris, who won the ORA Lifetime Literacy Award, formerly served at Corban in a full-time capacity; her present role is adjunct teaching and providing observations of students in the education programs.

“The Lifetime Literacy Award is an annual award presented to an ORA member who has contributed to the organization and to promoting literacy in general,” said Karen Antikajian, ORA communications. Farris has served as an ORA president and on the executive board for four years. She is the current state chairperson of the Patricia Gallagher Award and writes for the ORA newsletter.

ORA Past President Kathy Moran said when she presented Farris the honor at the regional conference, “Her passion for literacy is unwavering. This is evident when working with her pre-service students as she guides them to their formation as quality teachers.”

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