May 06, 2016

​Denny Prize honors faculty excellence

Chuck Denny with Denny Prize winner Karen Guth, assistant professor of theology, and Anne Denny. Photo by Julie Michener.

Four members of the St. Catherine faculty were honored Thursday with the Denny Prize for Distinction in Writing.

The Denny family — Charles, his brother James and sister, Mary - established the prize to honor their mother, Eleanor McCahill, a 1926 graduate of St. Catherine. An English major who credited her professors for her abiding love for books, for words and for excellent writing, Eleanor imparted those passions to her children and grandchildren.

Assistant Vice-President, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences and College for Women, Alan Silva made the presentations to this year’s winners and those receiving honorable mention awards.

2016 Winners

Natasha Yates (center) assistant professor of education, with Chuck and Anne Denny.


Assistant Professor of Education Natasha Yates was honored for her essay, "Twelve Year Old Boys, Physics, and a Pair of Glasses." She holds a B.A. in psychology from Beloit College, WI, and a M.A. in science education from Columbia University, New York City, NY. She has made numerous presentations on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education at meetings and conferences of the National Science Teachers Association, the Association of American Colleges & Universities and the Academic High Altitude Conference of the Stratospheric Ballooning Association as well as the Minnesota Independent Schools Forum. She is a member of the board of the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center and Red Cottage Montessori.


Assistant Professor of Theology Karen Guth was honored for her work, "Claims on Bonhoeffer: The Misuse of a Theologian." She received Denny Prize for Distinction in Writing honorable mentions in 2014 and 2015. She is author of the book, Christian Ethics at the Boundary: Feminism and Theologies of Public Life, published in 2015 by Fortress Press, a book chapter in Gendering Christian Ethics and numerous journal articles and presentations. She holds a B.A. in religion from Furman University, Greenville, SC, an M.A. of theology, literature and the arts from the University of Glasgow, a M.A. in theological studies, religion and society from the Harvard University Divinity School and a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Virginia–Charlottsville.

Honorable Mention Awards:


Assistant Professor for the Liberal Arts and Sciences Luke Pingel for "Happy Apocalypse Day."


Professor of English Cecilia Konchar Farr, for "Excerpts from The Ulysses Delusion," from her book, The Ulysses Delusion: Rethinking Standards of Literary Merit, published this spring by Palgrave MacMillan.