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  • Announcements

Steinbeck Research Fund Honors John Ditsky

Thanks to a generous donation from Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky, emerging Steinbeck scholars will be able to utilize the outstanding resources in the Ball State University Libraries. The Steinbeck Research Fund has been established in honor of Mrs. Ditsky's late husband, John, who passed away on 15 May 2006. Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi, a long-time friend, said, "He was first and foremost a passionate and dedicated scholar, teacher, and mentor." Hayashi commented that the Research Fund was "established to honor Ditsky's long-established legacy of extending a helping hand to emerging Steinbeck scholars."

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Fig. 1.

John Ditsky


Recipients will spend a minimum of five days doing intensive research using the Steinbeck collections or other materials from the Ball State University Libraries. The results of this research must be submitted for publication in a professional, scholarly, Steinbeck-related journal, and/or presented at a Steinbeck conference, convention, or lecture at a university.


Applicants should submit two copies of a one or two-page, double-spaced, Steinbeck-related research proposal, a curriculum vitae, and a [End Page 219] completed application form (available soon at Send applications to John B. Straw, Archives and Special Collections Research Center, Bracken Library Room 210, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.

for more information

Contact Mr. Straw at

contributions to the fund

Send to Ball State University Foundation (include Fund No. 5112 on the check). [End Page 220]

Bob Woodruff Receives John Steinbeck Award

On the evening of Tuesday, February 21, 2017, journalist and philanthropist Bob Woodruff received the 2017 John Steinbeck Award in a public event in the Student Union Theater at San José State University. Dan Ashley of ABC7 News conducted an interview with Mr. Woodruff, who was joined onstage by his wife, Lee, the co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The event was a fundraiser for San Jose State's new Veterans Resource Center.

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Fig. 2.

From left: SJSU Dean Lisa Vollendorf, Lee Woodruff, Bob Woodruff, Dan Ashley, SJSU Prof. Nick Taylor.

Courtesy SJSU/ Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies

This marks the first time in twenty years that the Steinbeck Award has been presented to a journalist with experience covering America's foreign wars. Steinbeck was proud of his reporting on World War II and Vietnam, and like Mr. Woodruff, he was an outspoken advocate for veterans.

About the award, Woodruff said, "It's an honor to receive an award named for one of America's greatest storytellers; the fact that John Steinbeck turned his writer's eye on the ravages and stories of war makes him doubly my hero."

While in Iraq as an embedded reporter for ABC's World News Tonight on Jan. 29, 2006, Bob Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq. A traumatic brain injury nearly killed him. In a miraculous recovery, just 13 months later, Woodruff returned to ABC News with "To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports." Since then, he has reported for the network from around the globe, earning a prestigious Peabody Award. Together with his wife, Lee, he also runs the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF), a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families thrive long after they return home. To date, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has raised over $33 million to support veterans' causes.

The "In the Souls of the People" John Steinbeck Award is presented by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San José State University to artists and activists whose works embody the spirit of Steinbeck's social engagement. Previous recipients of the award include Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Dolores Huerta, Garrison Keillor, Rachel Maddow, John Mellencamp, Ken Burns, and Ruby Bridges. [End Page 221]

Louis Owens Essay Prize

In memory of the late Steinbeck scholar Louis Owens, the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies established this award to honor undergraduate or graduate student work on Steinbeck and related subjects. The award is given annually to the...


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