RIT’s College of Liberal Arts honors students for writing excellence

Twelve COLA departments select top writing by their students for Kearse Awards

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A. Sue Weisler

Winners of the 35th Henry and Mary Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Awards, with RIT College of Liberal Arts Dean James Winebrake.

RIT’s College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing with the presentation of the 2015 Henry and Mary Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Award Ceremony on April 3.

“The students who are being honored today have done some outstanding work for the various departments in the College of Liberal Arts,” said Dean James Winebrake. “One of the proudest moments in any faculty member’s career is to see their students honored.”

It was the 35th year the awards have been presented. 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.

Associate Dean Babak Elahi said the honors reward the intellectual demands of the craft of writing. “It’s a real treat every year to recognize these students,” he said.

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.

This year’s Kearse Award recipients are:

  • Olivia N. Angerosa, an advertising and public relations major from Utica, N.Y., representing the Department of Communication, with “Clothing as Communication: How Person Perception and Social Identity Impact First Impressions Made by Clothing.”
  • Chelsea Castricone, a criminal justice major from Medina, N.Y., representing the Department of Criminal Justice, with “Early Childhood Intervention.”
  • Joseph Lopata, a chemical engineering major from Mohawk, N.Y., representing the Department of Economics, with “Economic Aspects of Dow Chemical.”
  • Armando Aleman, an applied arts and sciences major from Glen Cove, N.Y., representing the Department of English, with “Racial Trust and Corporate Culture: A Study of Turrets in Portal 2.”
  • Brady Hrabovsky, a mechanical engineering major from Cheyenne, Wyo., representing the Department of History, with “Volunteers Calling: Refurbishing Teletypewriters for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Access to Telephone.”
  • Adam Weaver, an international studies major from Columbia, N.Y., won two awards. One, from the Department of International and Global Studies, was for “Trouble in Paradise: The Marginalization of Indigenous Hawaiians.” His second, from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, was for “The Spectacular City: Violence in Urban Bolivia.”
  • Joshua Schussler, a physics major from Las Vegas, representing the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, with “Boule e Suif Blog.”
  • Nicole Dieter, a philosophy and psychology major from Philadelphia, representing the Department of Philosophy, with “Searching for the Arche.”
  • Thomas Jacobs, a political science major from Ontario, N.Y., representing the Department of Political Science, with “Voting Behavior of United States Armed Forces Members in the 21st Century.”
  • Tessa Riley, a psychology major from Madison, N.J., representing the Department of Psychology, with “Rumor Transmission and Forgiveness Culture in an Organizational Setting.”
  • Roni Crumb, a physician assistant major from Wolcott, Conn., representing the Department of Science, Technology and Society, with “Breaking a City Stereotype.”

Also, the Stanley McKenzie Endowed Writing Prize, funded by and named for RIT’s former provost and member of the English department, was awarded to Taryn Brennan, an international and global studies major from Portland, Maine, whose essay “Remnant Racism: The Role of Containment Practices in Institutions of Learning,” earned her first place. Second place was awarded to Xavier Thompson, an electrical engineering major from Seattle, who wrote “How to Win Online Literacy and Alienate Trolls.”

This year’s distinguished lecturer at the ceremony was Gail Hosking, lecturer in the department of English and the University Writing Program, who spoke about “Majoring in the Human Experience” at the ceremony.