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Poet, Teacher, Activist, Scholar

June 1, 2007

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By Jasmine DeMarcos

A published poet, a gifted teacher, and a student activist—Myka Tucker-Abramson is all of these. And now the master of arts English student has been awarded the 2007 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences dean’s convocation medal.

"She merits any award we can offer her," says Tucker-Abramson’s supervisor, Julie Crawford, associate professor of English literature. "She is a gifted writer, scholar and university citizen of the highest order."

Tucker-Abramson has not only been a highly regarded teaching assistant, but was the English graduate caucus representative, an

English department steward, and secretary of the Teaching Support Staff Union.

Balancing such responsibilities is an impressive feat, but to do so while maintaining a grade-point-average (GPA) over 4.0 (out of a possible 4.33) and getting published in Modern Drama—one of the most prestigious journals in English studies around the world — has clearly impressed faculty in the English department.

"Myka’s MA final research paper, an intricate and considered analysis of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus in the context of emergent Protestantism and capitalism … easily ranks at the top of the numerous MA final research papers and theses that I have been involved with during my three years as graduate chair," says assistant professor Margaret Linley.

She describes Tucker-Abramson as "a gifted poet and community leader, combining a rare mixture of creative and critical talents with a well-developed social consciousness."

Crawford recommended Tucker-Abramson in the highest possible terms for the convocation medal, saying she is "one of the finest graduate students I have worked with in nine years of teaching … she is theoretically sophisticated, hard-working, passionate, and enviably energetic."

Tucker-Abramson came to SFU with a first class honours degree in English and Russian studies from Dalhousie University.

At the end of her second semester of study here, she won an MA Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). More recently, she won a $105,000 SSHRC doctoral fellowship for her PhD research in "deindustrialized literature" at the City University of New York (CUNY). She will continue graduate work this fall with the support of an additional CUNY Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellowship.

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