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Emily Hemphill-Vander Ark Earns Emma McPherson English Award


Williamsburg, Ky. – Emily Hemphill Vander Ark (Edgewater, MD.) was honored with the Emma McPherson English award at the 55th Annual Honors Day held in the Gatliff Chapel at University of the Cumberlands (UC) on April 27, 2014.

The English department awards the 2014 Emma McPherson English Award to a graduating senior. The award, which is named for Miss Emma McPherson, better known as Miss Mac, was a beloved teacher and friend at UC.

Hemphill-Vander Ark was graduated from UC in December 2013, completing her double major in English: Creative Writing and Missions & Ministry: Christian Studies in seven semesters with a near perfect final GPA.

Hemphill-Vander Ark also belongs to honors societies in both of her majors’ departments. During her senior semester, she was President of Sigma Tau Delta. She has also received the English Department’s Writing Awards for both Creative and Critical writing. Hemphill-Vander Ark worked on campus as a Resident Assistant for two years and as a Senior Resident Assistant for one semester. While she was a student, Hemphill-Vander Ark also worked as a Freshman Blogger and a tutor in the Academic Resource Center.

In addition, Hemphill-Vander Ark was also named to the J.T. Vallandingham Scholastic Honor Society. In order to be eligible for membership, a student must have completed at least 96 semester hours as a full-time student and have a 3.5 standing or better each semester. The student must have a cumulative standing of 3.7 or better. Students who have transferred to the University have a different set of rules depending on G.P.A. and number of hours taken at UC.

Hemphill-Vander Ark was also named to the University’s High Honor Roll. Students recognized for this honor must attain a minimum of 3.85 cumulative grade point average standing.

After graduating, she married Caleb Vander Ark, and is now working in the Youth Services position at the Bridgman Public Library in Bridgman, Michigan, and working on her Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Spalding University.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; ten pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information, visit