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

COLA departments select top writing by their students for Kearse Awards

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A. Sue Weisler

Winners of the 37th Henry and Mary Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Awards, with RIT College of Liberal Arts Dean James Winebrake.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing on Friday with the presentation of the 2017 Henry and Mary Kearse Distinguished Lecture and Student Writing Award Ceremony in University Gallery.

“This is a really special day,” said James Winebrake, dean of RIT’s College of Liberal Arts. “And it’s a wonderful time for our faculty who work to light a spark and then a flame into their students. These students are really exceptional and they make us proud.”

It was the 37th 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.

This year’s Kearse Award recipients are:

  • Shakierah Smith, a third-year communications and criminal justice double major from Rochester, representing the School of Communication with “Pimp-Controlled Prostitution: Nonverbal Communication as a Means of Control and Dominance.”
  • Dorothy A. King, a fourth-year criminal justice major from Rochester, representing the Department of Criminal Justice with “How Illegal Immigrants are Impacted by the Criminal Justice System.”
  • Alex McManus, a fourth-year economics and applied mathematics double major from Colorado Springs, Colo., representing the Department of Economics with “Voting Outcomes and Campaign Expenditures: An Empirical Study.”
  • Christine McCullough, a third-year digital humanities and social sciences major from Greensburg, Pa., representing the Department of English with “Ace, and Gomorrah…”
  • Nathaniel Wilcox, a second-year electrical engineering major from Cooperstown, N.Y., representing the Department of History with “James Fenimore Cooper: Legacy in Literature.”
  • Wilson Quizhpi, a fifth-year electrical engineering major from Cutchogue, N.Y., representing the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures with “Carpeta de correspondencia.”
  • Emily Sharp, a third-year graphic design major from Phoenix, representing the Department of Philosophy with “Existentialist Strains in the Thought of Marx.”
  • Thomas Sudul, a fourth-year political science major from Warwick, N.Y., representing the Department of Political Science with “The Dilemma of Cyber-Sabotage.”
  • Brianna M. Egger, a fourth-year psychology and biomedical science double major from Deer Park, N.Y., representing the Department of Psychology with “The Relationship between Adult Attachment Style within Friendships and Social Anxiety Symptomology.”
  • David Kukfa, a fourth-year computer security major from Penfield, N.Y., representing the Department of Public Policy with “Legal Implications of Game Server Emulators.”
  • Seth Gottlieb, a graduate mechanical engineering student from Bethesda, Md., representing the Department of Science, Technology and Society with “The Printing Press as Affected by Political Change in Eighteenth Century America.”
  • Connor Ozment Schenck, a third-year mechanical engineering major from Brunswick, Maine, representing the Department of Sociology and Anthropology with “Giving the Wrong Impression: Impressionist Tales in Ethnography.”

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.

Also, the Stanley McKenzie Endowed Writing Prize for first-year students, funded by and named for RIT’s former provost and member of the English department, was awarded to Taylor Goethe, a first-year animation major from Lancaster, Calif., whose essay, “Dear White Writing Teachers,” earned her first place. Second place was awarded to Lucas Quesnel, a second-year biomedical engineering major from Framingham, Mass., who wrote “The Endeavor of the Astuteness Ruse.”

Winebrake said McKenzie, who died in November, left a great legacy at RIT, including support for the writing awards named for him.

“We’re proud to be able to honor him with these award winners today,” Winebrake said.