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MA Student Sarah Lawler Wins Summer Research Fellowship

UMD student Sarah Lawler standing in front of bookcase
April 23, 2020

English Linguistics & Writing Studies student, Sarah Lawler, wins competitive Summer Research Fellowship.

Sarah Lawler, a graduate student seeking the MA in English with a graduate minor in Literacy and Rhetorical Studies, has won the competitive Summer Research Fellowship from the Center for Writing on the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus.

Sarah’s project, “Field Mice,” is a literary nonfiction critique of modern agricultural practices. Framed through her personal experiences on her family’s farm in south-central North Dakota, Sarah reflects on her family’s agricultural malpractices in the late 1990s before examining monocultural farming, specifically regarding the use of herbicides in large farming operations in the Midwest.

To conduct her research, Sarah took advantage of the MA program’s flexibility and studied courses outside of ELWS, a practice encouraged by the LRS Minor requirements. Sarah recommends this broad approach to individualize one’s plan of study in close partnership with supporting faculty.

Sarah is one of a select few graduate students at UMD to complete a Duluth master’s degree with a Twin Cities graduate minor. The Minor requires a separate admissions process and, prior to graduation, requires that Sarah travel to Minneapolis to present her research to the faculty on the Twin Cities campus. For more information about the LRS minor, contact David Beard at or visit the Literacy & Writing Studies program site.