Serena Blount Fortenberry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Blount of Thomson, has won the English Department's Outstanding Research by a Doctoral Student award for 2005-2006 at the University of Alabama. She will go on to compete for the Outstanding Research award in the University's College of Arts and Sciences.
To be considered for this award, a student must explicate and demonstrate the importance of his research in an area outside of or tangential to his dissertation subject. A faculty member must nominate the student and write letters of support for him or her. Mrs. Fortenberry was nominated by her dissertation director, Professor Richard Rand, for her work on the poetry of William Faulkner.
Over the past three years, Mrs. Fortenberry has visited the major Faulkner collections in the United States, identifying and dating Faulkner's poems, many of which remain unpublished, as well as collating poem revisions, and working toward creating a publishable variorium of his poetry.
Mrs. Fortenberry is also writing a dissertation that focuses on Faulkner's deliberations on the status of language, and his particular interests in the dynamics of speech and writing. She is a graduate teaching assistant at the University and is also an instructor for the University's External Degree Program, a program designed for adult students wishing to earn Bachelor's degrees through distance learning. She currently holds the Boone Fellowship, awarded for excellence in teaching within the English Department.
Mrs. Fortenberry is a 1994 graduate of Thomson High School and a 1998 graduate of Mississippi University for Women. She maintains a 4.0 GPA at the University of Alabama. She and her husband, Wyn, live in Northport, AL.