facebook pixel Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

Annual Student First-Year Writing Contest Winners Announced

May 1, 2023

The Department of English and Philosophy is pleased to announce that two undergraduate students have been named as winners of the annual Student Composition Contest. Bezunesh Mina and Lily Criswell have been recognized for excellence in writing in their first-year writing classes. For the first time in the history of the awards, both recipients are students in dual enrollment classes.

Bezunesh Mina’s “High Maternal Death Rates in Black Women” has been recognized for achievement in ENGL 1101. In a dual enrollment class taught at Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School by Nathan Green, Bezunesh wrote a research proposal in which she explores the causes for a high maternal mortality rate among Black women. Drawing on data from the CDC, medical journals, public health articles, and law publications, the proposal lays out several factors, including lack of equitable health care and racial stereotyping, that can lead to increased death rates. By combining her strong research plan with her own interests in pursuing a major and career in healthcare, Bezunesh’s proposal demonstrates a combination of strong research, analysis, and relevance for the medical field.

Also for an ENGL 1101 course taught by Nathan Green, Lily Criswell wrote the essay “Curtailment.” Throughout this personal essay, Lily describes the physical struggles of her parents, which resulted from on-the-job injuries while working in law enforcement. She explains how their physical restrictions influenced her to pursue a career in health professions. Lily discusses how she accepted uncertainty as a major element in the field of medicine, a recognition that was challenging to accept but that has helped her develop and learn. Lily presents a well-developed essay, combining personal reflection and plans for her future career.

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.


University News