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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.

Submission Process

Spring 2023: Submissions due February 24, 2023

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.

Prizes are awarded for the winning and honorable mention papers/projects in each of the five categories.

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

2022 Award Winners


Award Winner

Austen Walker
"Juana and Me: Into the Erotic Archive"
Written for The Other Atlantic (HIST 386W), Professor Pablo Sierra
View Paper  

Honorable Mention
Demetrius Sadler
"HELL ON EARTH: Kendrick Lamar’s Contradictory Message on Theodicy, Nihilism & The Cursed Race"
Written for Religion and Hip Hop (RELC 170), Professor Cona S.M. Marshall
View Paper  


Award Winner

Angie (Quynh-Anh Lan) Pham
Created for Advanced Writing & Peer Tutoring (WRTG 245), Professor Stefanie Sydelnik
Watch Video  

Honorable Mentions
Isabella Mihok
"What’s Your Last Name Again?"
Created for American Experiments: Film and Art of the 1930s (ENGL 262), Professor James Rosenow
View Paper  
Katherine Serna
Created for Arts and Activism (DANC 248), Professor Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp
View Paper  


Award Winner

Atalanta Ritter
"Ain’t No Mountain High Enough"
Written for Evolution Writing (BIOL 205W), Professor James Fry
View Paper  

Honorable Mentions
Elianna Dunster
"The Efficacy of Ocular Antibiotics in Combination"
Written for Efficacy of Antimicrobials (IND 395W), Professor Rachel Wozniak
View Paper  
Sherif Negm
"RepeatProfiler: A pipeline for visualization and comparative analysis of repetitive DNA profiles"
Written for Independent Research (BIO 395W), Professor John S. Sproul
View Paper  


Award Winner

Chloe Campbell
"Life in the Death Strip: Examining the History of Germany's ‘Green Belt’ and the Paradox of Militarized Conservation"
Written for History of Nature (HIST 300W), Professor Stewart Weaver
View Paper  

Honorable Mention
Megan Emery
"The Emergence of White Racial Sovereignty from 1803-1830: How the Louisiana Purchase Induced the Formation of a Unique White Identity Leading to Indian Removal"
Written for History of White Supremacy (HIST 267W), Professor Ryan Purcell
View Paper  


Award Winner

Regan Collins
"From Pentameter to Poirot: Analyzing Agatha Christie’s Usage of Shakespearean Text"
Written for Argumentative Detectives (WRTG 105), Instructor Oishani Sengupta
View Paper  

Writing Consultant Judges

This paper makes a complex and convincing argument about the senses in which we might think of a "queer Austen." In doing so, it makes a contribution to the conversation that is both significant and highly interesting. It takes risks, many of which pay off, and engages with its sources deeply and thoughtfully.

Honorable Mentions
Nora Rooney
"The Ethicality of Athletic Testosterone Regulations"
Written for Where We Come From (WRTG 105), Professor Amy Arbogast
Grace van der Meer
"Hearing the Deaf"
Written for Where We Come From (WRTG 105), Professor Amy Arbogast

Past Winners

List of recent past winners and their essays:

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