Skip to main content

About Us

Undergraduate Writing Colloquium Awards

The annual undergraduate writing contest recognizes and celebrates outstanding student writing and shares that writing with the University of Rochester community.

2024 Award Winners


Award Winner

Jack White
"My god, she’s a boy!’ Subversion of the Final Girl Trope in Queer Horror Slasher Films"
Written for The Horror Film (FMST 232), taught by Jason Middleton
View Paper  

Honorable Mention
Rose Frank
"Frederick Douglass: Man of Pictures"
Written for Frederick Douglass’s Rochester (HIST 200), taught by Michael Jarvis
View Paper  
Riley Howe
"Ecstatic Traumas: a Neuroscientific Understanding of Mystical Theology"
Written for Mysticism and Literature: Melting into God and Marrying Jesus in Medieval England (ENGL 206), taught by Steven Rozenski
View Paper  


Award Winners

Phong Nguyen
"fish in the cramped tank"
Created for Intro to Video Art (FMST 161), taught by Clara Riedlinger
Watch Video  

Sunahra Tanvir
"Final Project"
Created for The Politics of Television (ENGL 263), taught by Joel Burges
Watch Video  

Honorable Mentions
Mahnoor Raza
"Heaven is a House Like This"
Created for a Sustainability Fellowship with Stephanie Ashenfelder and Rose Beauchamp
View Paper  


Award Winner

Diana Karosas
"Recent Advances in Neural Biomarkers for Closed-Loop STN DBS"
Written for Neuroenhancement and Rehabilitation Engineering (BME 492), taught by Edmund Lalor
View Paper  

Honorable Mentions
Paige Schneider
"Altering Histone Variant H2A.Z Gene Dosage to Study Its Impact on Early Embryogenesis in Zebrafish"
Written for Independent Research Study (BIOL 395W), taught by Patrick Murphy
View Paper  
Navya Soogoor
"Cortisol Hormone as a Target for Intervention in Epilepsy"
Written for Biology of Mental Disorders (NSCI 246/BCSC 246/PSYC 246), taught by Renee Miller
View Paper  


Award Winner

Alyssa Porter
"A New Political Language: An Analysis of the Rhetorical Strategies Used by Donald Trump to Win the 2016 Presidential Election"
Written for Language and Culture (LING 104), taught by Nadine Grimm
View Paper  

Honorable Mention
Justine Lam
"Metrics Unveiled: Decoding Social Determinants in Trauma Care"
Written for Research Seminar in Translational Sciences (CTSC 299W) taught by Edwin VanWijngaarden


Award Winner

Hanna Wang
"The Evolution of Artistic Motivation Represented in Look Back"
Written for Comics and Culture (WRTG 105), taught by Karl Mohn
View Paper  

Honorable Mentions
Gabrielle Richards
"No, Digital Communication Is Not Turning Us into a Dystopia"
Written for The Values and Ethics of Language (WRTG 105), taught by Zachary Barber
View Paper  
Maryam Zalzala
"Redefining Cultural Appropriation: How the Israel-Palestine Conflict has Affected and Misrepresented Arab Culture"
Written for Everyday Inequality (WRTG 105), taught by Justin Coyne
View Paper  

Past Winners

List of recent past winners and their essays:

Submission Process

Spring 2024: Submissions due Wednesday, February 21st at 4pm

Each spring we accept submissions from students in five categories:

  • Humanities
  • Social sciences
  • Natural and applied sciences
  • WRTG 104, WRTG 105, WRTG 105E, WRTG 105B
  • Multimodal Projects from any discipline (e.g. websites, podcasts, video projects)

Submissions should be academic work and may have been created any time during your undergraduate career at UR. Please limit papers to twenty pages.

Submissions are reviewed by graduate student writing tutors and faculty members from across the disciplines.

Winning and honorable mention papers/projects for each category will be selected in mid-March. The winners and honorable mentions are awarded cash prizes. Winners will also present their papers at the Writing Colloquium awards dinner on Thursday, March 28th.

Entries should be submitted using our writing colloquium awards form.

If you would rather email your submission as an attachment, please send it to

For email submissions please create a title page for the paper that includes the following information:

  • Your name, student ID, e-mail address, and phone number
  • Your class year and major
  • Title of course (if this paper was written for a course)
  • The category for which you are submitting the paper

If you have any questions about the contest please contact the Writing and Speaking Center director at

Scroll to Top ↑