Crystal Hester, a student in the English M.A. program, attended the Working-Class Studies Association (WCSA)'s annual conference, "Class at the Border: Migration, Confinement, and (Im)mobility," at Stony Brook University in June and presented, "The Modern Epic: Comics and Working-Class Literature." While there, she spoke extensively to several literary critics she cited in her seminar essay, including Paul Lauter, Sherry Linkon, Michelle Tokarczyk, Renny Christopher, and Marc DiPaolo. Faculty montor Michele Fazio wrote: "I was extremely proud of her and thrilled that she was able to discuss her work with so many leading scholars in her discipline. My favorite moment was when we celebrated Paul Lauter's Lifetime Achievement Award at the WCSA Awards Ceremony!"
Crystal also received a WCSA Young Scholars and Activists Fellowship Award as well as a WCSA Travel Award. This is the second year in a row that UNCP graduate students have been recognized for their potential in advancing Working-Class Studies as a field.