College of Liberal Arts honors students for writing excellence
Departments select top writing by their students
Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Liberal Arts honored student achievement in writing with more than a dozen writing awards for essays varying from wasteful energy, maternal mortality, eyewitness testimony policies and seeking worth in a liberal arts degree.
“The winners of these awards are exceptional student writers, nurtured and guided by exceptional faculty,” said James Winebrake, dean of RIT’s College of Liberal Arts. “One of our primary goals in the college is to help students refine their writing skills. These awards recognize students who have achieved excellence in this area.”
Faculty committees in each department within the college selected student awardees from a variety of disciplines whose work embodies the ideals and standards of excellence, creative endeavor and scholarship.
The awards include the Henry and Mary Kearse Writing Award, 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.
Other awards are named in honor of Stan McKenzie and Mary C. Sullivan, both esteemed former deans of the College of Liberal Arts.
This year’s Kearse Award recipients, who each received a $300 award, are:
- Xinyan “Sameen” Luo, a fourth-year computational mathematics major from Shanghai, China, representing the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, for “Should a Same Sex Family Adopt Children?”
- Megan Weaver, a fourth-year advertising and public relations major from North Tonawanda, N.Y., representing the School of Communication, for “Common Issues Faced by Low-Income College Students: A Qualitative Study.”
- Jennifer Schmitz, a fourth-year criminal justice and psychology double major from Sunnyvale, Calif., representing the Department of Criminal Justice, for “Eyewitness Testimony Policies.”
- Will Clifford, a fourth-year computational mathematics major from Hoosick Falls, N.Y., representing the Department of Economics, for “Overdose Deaths in Connecticut by Race, Gender and Age.”
- Jo Melita, a fourth-year biotechnology and molecular bioscience major from Chili, N.Y., representing the Department of English, for “On Erasure.”
- Dominic Liotti, a fourth-year game design and development major from Rochester, N.Y., representing the Department of Philosophy, for “Self-Emergence in Mutual Formation in the Thinking of Nishida Kitarō.”
- Brett Farruggia, a fourth-year political science major from Penfield, N.Y., representing the Department of Political Science, for “The Failed Progress of Developing Nations in Asia Since Decolonization.”
- Bethany Horn, a fourth-year American Sign Language-English interpretation and psychology double major from Eau Claire, Wis., representing the Department of Psychology, for “Inattentional Blindness and Visual Attention in Deaf and Hearing Adults.”
- Hope DiVello, a fifth-year biomedical engineering major from Townshend, Vt., representing the Department of Public Policy, for “Wasteful Energy.”
- Lauren Burke, a third-year physician assistant major from Bergen, N.Y., representing the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, for “Maternal Mortality in the United States: A Sociological Perspective.”
- Keira Higgins, a 2019 mechanical engineering graduate from Ypsilanti, Mich., representing the Department of Science, Technology and Society, for “Consumerism and Waste.”
Other award winners are:
- Reid Campolong, a third-year software engineering major from West Mifflin, Pa., received first prize in the Stan McKenzie Endowed Writing Award and $500 for “Seeking Worth in a Liberal Arts Degree.”
- William Joslin, a first-year computing security major from Littleton, Colo., received second prize in the Stan McKenzie Endowed Writing Award and $250 for “#I’mAlreadyHome: Exploring Immigration Through Race.”
- Lauren Burke, a third-year physician assistant major from Bergen, N.Y., won the Mary C. Sullivan Women’s & Gender Studies Writing Award and $250 for “Maternal Mortality in the United States: A Sociological Perspective.”