BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University’s Zöe Benfield, a senior from Statesville who is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing, has been awarded App State’s Rogers and Janice Whitener Scholarship for the spring 2021 semester.
The scholarship, created by and named in honor of the late Rogers Whitener and Janice Whitener, is awarded based on financial need, performance in creative writing for a majoring student and active, positive citizenship in all courses, including those in creative writing.
Benfield, who is in the Department of English’s honors program, said the scholarship funding she received will ease some of her concerns associated with being a nontraditional student pursuing her bachelor’s degree.
“I knew this scholarship would be helpful to me because, at nearly 25 years old, I am technically a nontraditional student. I have a wife and a mortgage, so I am in a different stage of life than most seniors I have as classmates,” Benfield said.
Outside the classroom, Benfield works as the associate editor of The Peel Literature and Arts Review, an on-campus, student-run literary magazine.
“I give this position my all, as I want my peers both within and outside of the creative writing concentration to have the opportunity to submit their work for feedback and the chance for publication,” Benfield said of her role with The Peel.
Benfield said her ultimate goal is to teach English and creative writing at the college level and to continue her writing career. To date, she has published a handful of short stories and she is working on a few novel projects.
More on the scholarship’s founders
The Whiteners supported both students and the arts during their years at App State.
Janice Whitener, an associate professor of family and consumer sciences, taught and served as an administrator. She mentored students in the fields of clothing, textiles and fashion merchandising.
Rogers Whitener taught in App State’s Department of English and served as director of cultural affairs. He received a B.S. in English and history from Appalachian State Teachers College — now known as Appalachian State University — in 1948. His undergraduate career at App State was interrupted by World War II, during which he served three years in the Army Air Forces.
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About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at https://english.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.