Chase Isbell, B.A., Class of 2021 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award Biography

Chase Isbell of Amarillo, Texas, majored in English major with minors in both Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Film and Visual Culture Studies. A Johnson Scholar, Chase worked on several different research projects at the university, including the history of John Robinson and enslaved persons at W&L with Professor Taylor Walle, the history of eugenics at local insane asylums with Professor Alison Bell, and the history of gender and sexuality in France with Professor Sarah Horowitz. In addition, Chase has assisted Professor Stephanie Sandberg with her theatrical adaptation of Frankenstein.

A passionate student activist both on the campus and in the local community, Chase served as editor-in-chief of The Vigil, an online progressive student-run magazine for the voices of marginalized students, and as president of Queer Liberation Alliance. Additionally, Chase was an LGBTQ+ Peer Counselor, a Student Reporting Advisor, and a leader of the Student Union. They served on the First-Generation Diversity Working Group and on the Dean of Inclusion and Engagement Advisory Board. Chase was an advocate for increased visibility of and education on issues surrounding LGBTQ+ identities and experiences, expansion of co-ed housing on campus, disbursement of financial resources to low income and underserved students, and a university name change.

Chase was inducted into both Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Phi Beta Kappa Society. A two-time winner of the Community Catalyst Award, they also won the Frank J. Gilliam Award, the Sidney M.B. Coulling Prize in English, the Maxwell P. Wilkinson Scholarship in English, and the George A. Mahan Prize for Creative Writing Poetry. During the summer of 2019, Chase received admission into the US-UK Fulbright Summer Institute at the University of Bristol in England.

Chase was an associate prose editor for Shenandoah Literary Magazine throughout their senior year and planned to continue position following graduation while also working on a collection of poetry as well as on their scholarship in bisexuality and Western European literature. Chase plans to pursue a Ph.D. in English.

Sources: file, personal information
Written by: Jeff Hanna,
Updated: May 28, 2021