Santa Clara University


The Christiaan Theodoor Lievestro Prize

For Extraordinary Achievement by an English Major

The Christiaan Theodoor Lievestro Prize is offered by the English Department of Santa Clara University through the generosity of an Emeritus Professor who taught in the English Department from 1969 until he retired in 1994. The prize, administered by a committee composed of English Department faculty, recognizes that students’ work written to complete University and major requirements includes responses to a variety of different kinds of assignments; therefore the best written work by an English major will not conform to a single format or style. The prize will be awarded to the English major whose Lievestro Prize Portfolio of essays best demonstrates a sustained, improved, and/or versatile ability to think and write about complex literary critical, cultural, rhetorical, or theoretical issues. The winner of the Christiaan Theodoor Lievestro Prize will be listed in the Commencement Program and will receive a cash prize.


Any English major who will successfully complete a Senior Seminar in the Santa Clara University English Department by the end of this academic year is eligible to submit a portfolio. 

Evaluation of the Portfolios 

The Prize Committee will evaluate the portfolios submitted for the contest on the basis of evidence of the student’s sustained excellence as an effective and critical thinker and writer. 


A cover page with the English major’s name, student ID number, address, telephone number, email address, and the name of the senior seminar teacher. The student’s name must not appear anywhere else in the portfolio. Identify everything else by student ID number. 

A one-page, typed self-assessment of the essays included in the portfolio. This self-assessment should articulate reasons why the essays selected for the portfolio constitute extraordinary achievement. If desired, information about the assignments the essays respond to may also be included. 

A maximum of three essays written for courses offered by the SCU English Department, at least one of which must be 10-20 pages in length. Although individual essays in the portfolio may provide evidence of different kinds of achievement, the portfolio should demonstrate some of the following:

  • to develop and sustain an original argument 
  • to use a variety of primary and secondary sources intelligently 
  • to understand related criticism, scholarship, and theory on a particular text or topic 
  • to think beyond what has already been written on a topic 
  • to engage with particularly challenging subject matter 
  • to think through complex ideas and present them in a format appropriate for academic writing (including adherence to academic conventions for citations of sources)

Submission Requirements and Deadline

Manuscripts must be received by the Christiaan Theodoor Lievestro Prize Committee no later than Friday April 17, 2015. Winners will be notified in early May. All manuscripts and correspondence should be e-mailed to the Jessica Norred at Please send manuscript as an attachment, do not paste into the body of your email.

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