University of Pittsburgh
November 30, 2005

Pitt Honors Student Heller-LaBelle, from Bethlehem, Pa., Wins $1,250 in the Harvard Trollope Prize Competition

Heller-LaBelle is former editor-in-chief of The Pitt News
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Greg Heller-LaBelle, former editor-in-chief of the University of Pittsburgh's student newspaper, The Pitt News, has been awarded $1,250 in the Trollope Prize competition administered by the Expository Writing Program at Harvard University. His award-winning essay, "To Err Is Human, To Edit Divine: Trollope's narrator in An Editor's Tales as Victorian arbiter," according to Abby Wolf, administrator of the Trollope Prize, "impressed the three judges and me with its comprehensiveness, wit, and serious attention to the scant critical writing on Trollope's short stories."

The prize is named for Victorian novelist and short-story writer Anthony Trollope

(1815-1882), who wrote more than 50 novels, including The Warden (1855), Barchester Towers (1857), The Eustace Diamonds (1872), and The Way We Live Now (1875).

Expected to graduate in Spring 2006 with four majors (English writing, psychology, religious studies, and art history), Heller-LaBelle came to the University with an all-expenses paid Chancellor's Scholarship. Currently completing his fifth year as an undergraduate, Heller-LaBelle is hard at work on a novel to serve as an undergraduate thesis for the Honors College Bachelor of Philosophy degree.

His success, in part, may be attributed to Pitt professor of literature Michael West, who is an author and mentor to many students. West will receive $750 from Harvard for his role as Heller La-Belle's advisor. The Pitt Department of English also will be awarded $500.

In a letter of recommendation, West wrote that he has worked with a number of students in the Honors College, including two who won Mellon and Javits fellowships, but he could recall "none with such an immoderate and hydroptic thirst for disciplinary expertise in various fields."

Winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Society's Christian Gauss Award for his book Transcendental Wordplay: America's Romantic Punsters and the Search for the Language of Nature (Ohio University Press, 2000), West has helped more than 50 students win local and national literary awards as well as at least a dozen students win funding for graduate English programs.

Heller-LaBelle is the son of Diane LaBelle and Michael Heller of Bethlehem.