Tryphena Yeboah, MFA (’21).

Wilkinson College’s 2021 James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award Nominee: Tryphena Yeboah!

Tryphena Yeboah (MFA Creative Writing ‘21) is Wilkinson College’s nominee for the highest honor for graduate students at Chapman University, The James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

The award is conferred annually to the outstanding graduating master’s and doctoral students with distinguished records of academic accomplishment, scholarship, and/or service. The names of the award recipients are permanently inscribed on the campus’ Doti Award trophy, which incorporates artist Nick Hernandez’s sculpture Emergence, and is on display outside Argyros Forum (pictured above). Each recipient receives a desk-size copy of the trophy, an award of $1,000, and is recognized at their school’s commencement ceremony.

Yeboah joins the ranks of fewer than two dozen exemplar graduate students that have been nominated by the college since the awards inception just over a decade ago, including Wilkinson College’s most recent winners of the award, Thomas Cottam in 2014 and Liz Harmer in 2019.

Having served as a volunteer at the Leatherby Libraries with The Center for American War Letters, as graduate assistant in the Graduate Admission Office and the Office of Career and Development, Yeboah said, “what has been most rewarding to me is the chance to engage with prospective students.”

Yeboah shares, “A significant part of my service within the Chapman community and my overall enthusiasm and advocacy for the institution is rooted in gratitude. I don’t know that I would have the opportunities I have now, the knowledge I’ve gained in these two years, had I not been at Chapman University and had access to its incredible resources and network.”

Yeboah has an equally impressive record of professional accomplishments during her time as a graduate student in the MFA in Creative Writing program. Yeboah has had three short stories published in the popular Narrative Magazine, been showcased in the college’s feature From our Eyes as an emerging female writer, and most recently had her chapbook A Mouthful of Home, published this past fall in the New-Generation African Poets series from Akashic Books.

Dr. Anna Leahy, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing program wrote, “[Tryphena] champions her fellow MFA students and also Ghanaian writers, both in the classroom and on social media. She has been a powerful presence at Chapman University and is becoming a powerful voice in literary culture.”

Yeboah is completing her thesis entitled First Light under the direction of esteemed novelist and professor of creative writing Richard Bausch and is deciding among multiple funding offers from PhD programs in the United States.

Congratulations again to Tryphena Yeboah! We know she will continue to do remarkable things.