RIT College of Liberal Arts highlights excellence in student writing

Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Award Ceremony was held April 11

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RIT’s College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing with the presentation of the 2014 Henry and Mary Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Award Ceremony on April 11. Faculty committees in each department within the College of Liberal Arts select student awardees from a variety of disciplines whose work embodies the ideals and standards of excellence, creative endeavor and scholarship.

This year’s Kearse Award recipients and the awarding departments are: Brandon Artz (journalism), awarded from the Department of Communication; Karyn Bower (criminal justice), from the Department of Criminal Justice; Lucas Dorsey (economics), from the Department of Economics; Jade Myers (applied arts and sciences), from the Department of English; Avanelle St. Bernard (criminal justice), from the Department of History; Brent LeBlanc (international and global studies), from the Department of International and Global Studies; Gabriel Marcano (software engineering), from the Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture; Chad Zawistowski (computer science), from the Department of Philosophy; Matthew Hoffman (computer engineering), from the Department of Political Science; Brandon Dziedzic (psychology), from the Department of Psychology; Collin Doane and Heather Lyon (public policy), from the Department of Public Policy; Maura Keyes (mechanical engineering), from the Department of Science, Technology and Society; and Natalie Frate (sociology and anthropology), from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

This year’s distinguished lecturer at the ceremony was John Roche, associate professor of English, who presented his talk “What’s Poetry Got to Do With It?”

The awards were created in 1980 thanks to a donation from Henry J. Kearse, founder and president of the construction firm H.J. Kearse Inc., and his wife, Mary, a longtime member of RIT’s Nathaniel Rochester Society.

Additionally, the Stanley McKenzie Endowed Writing Prize, funded by and named for RIT’s former provost and member of the English department, was awarded to Kyong Ah Lee, a 3D digital design major, whose essay “Standardized Testing and Its Effects on Writing Identity” earned her first place. Second place was awarded to Roland Sanford, a physics and computational math double major, who wrote “Robot Rhetoric: The Link Between Confidence, Writing and Robotics.”

The Akyuz-Ozmen Award for Women’s and Gender Studies was presented to Shaemus Spencer, an illustration major, for his essay “Trans/Gender-nonconforming Inmates in U.S. Prisons.”