Barry Leeds Essay Award
Dr. Barry Leeds had a distinguished career in Central's English department, teaching here for 47 years before his death in 2015. He was a CSU Distinguished Professor, an honor accorded only a few professors in the CSU system whose professional publications and teaching career merit special acknowledgement. He was the author of four books and over 200 articles during his career. Dr. Leeds was a personal friend of the late author Norman Mailer – but he was most proud of his work with students in the literature classroom, continuing to teach part time here after his retirement in 2002. Because he was an exacting but supportive mentor who demanded the best not only of himself but of his students as thinkers and as writers, the Barry Leeds Essay Award was established to honor the critical writing of one English major each year, based on the writer's ability to propose and support a critical argument about literature in the cogent, elegant way that Barry expected of himself and his students. The award is given based on a faculty nomination process each academic year.