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April 22, 2022

SVSU celebrates excellence in student writing

The University Writing Program at Saginaw Valley State University celebrated the writing achievements of student writers with 2022 University Writing awards on Wednesday, April 20.

“In the nearly 25 years that the University Writing Awards have been presented, we have recognized almost 400 excellent student writers,” said Kimberly Lacey, associate professor of English and coordinator of the awards program. “These students ― and all who were nominated ― should be commended for their commitment to expressing themselves clearly through the written word.”

The Ruth and Ted Braun Awards for Writing Excellence at SVSU were established through a gift from Hugo E. “Ted” and Ruth Braun to create incentives for outstanding student writing and opportunities for student writers to be recognized and published. Ruth Braun, a former member of the SVSU Board of Control, attended the ceremony to recognize the student writers.

Seven students won Ruth and Ted Braun Awards for Writing Excellence:

  • Graduate winner ― Dylan North, a master’s-level occupational therapy major from Flint
  • College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Category 1 ― Garrett Lewis, a history major from Marquette
  • College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Category 2 ― Brianna Vanderstelt, a psychology major from Middleville
  • Scott L. Carmona College of Business ― Luke Rambo, a finance major from Marquette
  • College of Health and Human Services, Category 1 ― John DeOpsomer, a nursing major from Bay City
  • College of Science, Engineering & Technology ― Megan Thiravong, a mechanical engineering major from Rochelle, Illinois.
  • General Education Category ― Madison Swiger, a psychology major from Cadillac

Diane Boehm Writing Awards for e-Portfolios are presented annually to outstanding to recognize the creative and effective integration of writing and multimedia. Diane Boehm, director emerita of the SVSU Writing Center, established and funds the award. Boehm was on hand to address the participants.

  • The graduate-level award was presented to Spencer Morris of Flint. He is pursuing his Master of Social Work degree.
  • Madelene Cifrulak, a nursing major from Midland, won the undergraduate award.

Megan Draper, a creative writing major from Marne, east of Grand Haven, won the Seitz Creative Writing Scholarship, which is awarded to juniors or seniors with a major or minor in creative writing. The scholarship was established and is supported through gifts from Jim and Melissa Seitz. Submissions were judged by Tim Kenyon and Tamara Migan, lecturers of English, and Vincent Samarco, professor of English.

Tyner Prizes are presented annually in three categories ― fiction, poetry and nonfiction ― to work nominated by faculty in the humanities: art, communication, English, modern foreign languages, music and theatre. Judges for the Tyner Awards were Daniel Cook, professor of English, and Tim Kenyon and Tamara Migan, lecturers of English.

This year’s winners are:

  • Matthew Chappel, an English major from Marlette, won in two categories – creative nonfiction and poetry.
  • Megan Draper, a creative writing major from Marne, east of Grand Haven, was awarded the prize for fiction.

Two students received honorable mention recognition for analytical nonfiction:

  • Hannah Mose, a rhetoric and professional writing major from Chesaning
  • Christiana Welter, and English major from Bay City

The Robert S.P. Yien First Year Writing Awards showcase outstanding work by first year composition students in ENGL 080 and 111. Yien served as SVSU’s vice president for Academic Affairs for 27 years prior to his retirement. Papers were judged by Emily Beard-Bohn, associate professor of English; William DeHerder, director of the Writing Center; Sherrin Frances, professor of English; and Tim Kenyon, lecturer of English.

Awards were presented in six categories:

  • ENGL 080 ― Emily Lavoie of St. Clair Shores, a biology major
  • ENGL 111 Research ― Robert P. Powers, a psychology major from Unionville
  • ENGL 111 Analysis ― Miranda Smith, a finance major from Sanford
  • ENGL 111 Narrative ― Stephanie Strong of Howell, a nursing major
  • ENGL 111 Multimodal ― Madolyn Glocksine, a biology major from Essexville
  • ENGL 111 Wolff-Harmon Award ― Krzysztof Hejno a computer science major from Frankenmuth

Honorable mention recognition in the ENGL 111 Analysis category went to five students:

  • Lutor Abwa, a nursing major from Nigeria
  • Alexia Batayeh, a biology major from St. Clair Shores
  • Alexis Gohr, a nursing major from Saginaw
  • Jaidyn Short of Bridgeport
  • Chester Surles, a finance major from Saginaw

Ryan Schott, an accounting major from Flushing, won honorable mention in the ENGL 111 Narrative category.

In addition to the students who were recognized, Vincent Samarco, professor of English, was presented with the Innovative Writing in Teaching Award, which recognizes faculty whose work has made a significant contribution to the development of student writers at SVSU.

The University Writing Program at SVSU provides students with the resources to develop their writing and critical thinking skills, supports faculty engagement in best practices in the teaching of writing, and encourages all members of the university community to value writing by coordinating various activities and programs across campus.

Additional judges for this year’s awards included Professor of Nursing Sally Decker; Associate Professor of English Veronika Drake; Associate Professor of Biology Sylvia Fromherz; Professor of Social Work Mark Giesler; Professor of English Chris Giroux; Associate Professor of Mathematics Amy Hlavacek; Assistant Professor of Nursing Sherry Kaufman; Associate Professor of English Kimberly Lacey; and Assistant Professor of Nursing Emily Larocque. Two students also served as judges: Sydney Cheney, a professional and technical writing major from Saginaw, and Amelia Corne, an education major from Newport.