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Winners of Annual Student Composition Essay Contest Announced

May 5, 2022

portraits of Jillian Easley, Diana Cortez

The Department of English and Philosophy has announced that three undergraduate students have been named as winners of the annual Student Composition Contest. Jillian Easley, Eli Barney, and Diana Cortez have been recognized for excellence in writing in their first-year writing courses.

Jillian Easley’s essay “En Pointe” has been recognized for achievement in ENGL 1101. In a class taught by Roger Schmidt, Jillian wrote a personal narrative in which she explores the emotional connection she has towards her ballet pointe shoes. Reminiscing on her time in ballet, Jillian considers the things that she learned from ballet, such as discipline and perseverance, ultimately concluding that her pointe shoes, and the memories attached, are a part of her identity. Jillian presents an impactful, engaging essay that surveys the positive and negative emotions related to her past. Jillian plans to major in Nursing at Idaho State University.

For an ENGL 1102 course taught by Brent Wolter, Eli Barney wrote the essay “Temporarily Abled.” Throughout the essay, Eli examines the obstacles that the disabled community must overcome, both physically and legally, and argues for policy reform. The essay emphasizes the need for reform since statistically most people will one day be a member of the disabled community, even if only temporarily. Eli presents a well-developed essay, incorporating strong secondary sources and statistics, all of which are utilized to contextualize and further the argument. Eli is a major Secondary Education, with endorsements in Mathematics and American Government.

Diana Cortez wrote “More than Metal” for an ENGL 1102 course taught by Curtis Whitaker. In this essay Diana, who is a Health Sciences major, approaches the topic of robotic surgery assistant machines and the ways in which they are utilized in current medical practices through a number of lenses such as accuracy, ethics, and financial investment. Diana begins by detailing the history of such machines and then offers a number of compelling statistics to explain how reliable such technology is today. The essay is built on carefully selected secondary sources, and it provides a fully developed look into the benefits that robotic surgery assistant machines offer to modern healthcare.

 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, ENGL 1101, 1101P, and 1102, 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.


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