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Quincey Davidsen Vierling Upshaw

Award Created to Honor Quincey Upshaw

TAMPA, Fla. – “Her death was not just a cruel loss for her family; it denied future students the wisdom and sensitivity that she would have shared over a long career,” reads a scholarship flyer posted in the University of South Florida’s English department.

After Quincey Davidsen Vierling Upshaw died of cervical cancer in 2018, her family created an award to carry on her legacy. Upshaw was an active member of the English department in her time at USF. Here she earned a BA in English and in Art in 2001, an MA in English Literature in 2010, taught as an adjunct instructor, and served as an advisor to English adjuncts.

The scholarship created in her name is awarded to three winners and calls for undergraduate women to submit essays about works by women authors. Micaela Osbourn, Alexis Patterson, and Maria Coto won the award in Spring 2019. In addition to the monetary award, each woman was gifted a framed photograph of Upshaw with the following quote her father used during her eulogy.

“Are you a princess?” I said. And she said, “I am much more than a princess, but you don’t have a name for it on earth.”

Upshaw’s father, Ronald Vierling, plans to publish winning essays from 2019 in a new journal titled “Q: A Journal of Essays by Young Women.”

The deadline to submit essays for the Fall 2019 award is this Friday, December 12th. Fall winners will be invited to an awards luncheon with Upshaw’s family and the contest judges. Questions about the call for essays can be emailed to For award details, see the flyer at

Filed under:Arts and Sciences English