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English and Philosophy announces Student Composition Contest winners

June 11, 2020

The Department of English and Philosophy is pleased to announce that three undergraduate students have been named as winners of the annual Student Composition Contest. Madeline Moody, Amanda Lewis and Austin Hepworth have been recognized for excellence in writing in their first-year writing courses.

Madeline Moody’s essay “The Hidden Mayhem” was written for her ENGL 1101 class taught by Greg Olsen. In the essay, she explores how her bedroom, orderly and well-decorated on the surface, belies a constant chaos that is hidden from public view, much like her personal disorganization is hidden. Her essay includes strong descriptions of the physical space and thoughtful connections between her room and her life.

For her ENGL 1102 class taught by Corinna Barrett Percy, Amanda Lewis wrote the essay “How Medical Devices Are Killing Us,” in which she argues for expanded oversight and regulation of medical devices. Amanda analyzes the current FDA requirements for approval of medical devices and provides evidence of resulting problems, including data on higher rates of post-operative complications related to some types of robotic surgery. She lays out a well-organized and fully developed essay focused on providing the best health care for patients.

Austin Hepworth wrote his essay, “Alternative Stimulant Use: Justification, Refutation, and a New Solution” for a section of ENGL 1102 taught by Curtis Whitaker. In a well-balanced and well-researched essay, Austin explores the ways stimulants designed to treat particular medical conditions have been used as recreational drugs, and he evaluates both the benefits and drawbacks of such use. In particular he discusses the medications used to treat ADHD, particularly Adderall, and explains the allure for college students, the ease of acquiring medications, some of the benefits of these medications, the potential for addiction and other negative consequences and the possibilities for future research into broader use of stimulants.

Each year, the Composition Committee in the Department of English and Philosophy solicits faculty and graduate students teaching the first-year general education writing courses to nominate the best of the essays submitted in their classes for the Student Composition Contest. Winners are selected by the Composition Committee and recognized for excellence in writing.