Audrey Fong

Audrey Fong (’24 Dual MA English / MFA Creative Writing) has been awarded the highest honor for graduate students at Chapman University, The James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award.

The James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student 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.

“Audrey Fong has done a terrific job using her own ongoing intellectual growth to contribute to the university and to the larger literary culture,” said Dr. Anna Leahy, Program Director of the MFA in Creative Writing. “Everything she embarks upon builds on something she’s done and/or leads to something else she can do. In other words, she’s building a career while following her interests. She recognizes that what she does as a scholar-writer has the power to change culture and conversation.”

This year’s award continues a proud tradition of Wilkinson College’s most recent Doti Award winners, including Thomas Cottam in 2014, Julia Walton in 2016, Liz Harmer in 2019, Tryphena Yeboah in 2021, and Makena Metz in 2023.

Congratulations to Audrey Fong!

Audrey Fong, along with the Wilkinson College students she was nominated with, join the ranks of the exemplary graduate students that have been nominated across Chapman University’s graduate programs at the Master’s level for the 2024 year. Wilkinson College also extends its congratulations to all of our 2024 nominees:

Henneh Kyereh Kwaku, MFA Creative Writing
“Henneh Kyereh has served as graduate assistant for most of his time in the program, which has allowed him to contribute to the university in ways most graduate students don’t. He is currently the Communications Coordinator for Tab Journal and Assistant Editor of the OER textbook titled Aspects of a Writer. Both roles shape the larger literary culture in addition to the campus culture. He’s shaping the future of Chapman.” Dr. Anna Leahy, Director, MFA Creative Writing



Brady Mercer, MA International Studies
Despite the demanding nature of his military service, Brady Mercer seamlessly integrated his lived experiences into his academic work, enriching classroom discussions and inspiring his peers. His thesis analyzes a novel dataset of Russian POW interviews to explore the impact of military failure on human rights in the Ukraine War, exemplifies his scholarly rigor and empathetic approach to research.” – Dr. Andrea Molle, Interim Director, MA International Studies



Brie Radke, MA English
“Brie Radke’s MA thesis is a model of socially engaged and timely scholarship, offering an original and insightful analysis of the backlash against trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s 2023 Bud Light promotion… Brie doesn’t just attend to the controversy itself, but uses it to develop an important argument about the larger social issues that frame and enable it, and that it in turn propels into public and scholarly discourse.” – Dr. Ian Barnard, Professor, Department of English



Stephanie Santiago, MA International Studies
“Beyond the boundaries of academia, Stephanie’s commitment to serving her community is truly commendable. Her involvement with organizations such as the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Immigration Legal Assistance Project and her volunteer work at homeless shelters and food banks exemplify her selflessness and desire to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Moreover, her leadership roles at the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA) reflect her ability to effect positive change within her professional sphere.” – Dr. Andrea Molle, Interim Director, MA International Studies


Congratulations again to these outstanding graduate students. We know they will continue to do remarkable things.