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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 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

2023 Award Winners


Award Winner

Joshua Jung
"The Dialectical Intimacy of Frank Ocean"
Written for Expression at Large: The Arts in the Age of Social Media (WRTG 105), taught by Orisa Santiago Morrice
View Paper  

Honorable Mention
Sophia Klin
"The Physicians’ Crusade: Horatio Robinson Storer and the Anti-Abortion Movement of the Nineteenth Century"
Written for Birth in the Nation: Reproduction in the United States (HIST 369W), taught by Brianna Theobald
View Paper  


Award Winner

Haleila Harrison and Julia Berkman
Created for Advanced Painting (SART 222B), taught by Emily Tyman
Watch Video  

Honorable Mentions
Quinn Kubistek
"Identity of a Communicator"
Created for Advanced Writing & Peer Tutoring (WRTG 245), taught by Stefanie Sydelnik
Fatimah Al Dulaimee
"In My House Lives A Green Colored Lump"
Created for Introduction to Sound Art (SART 153), taught by Cary Adams


Award Winner

Archita Amudhan
"In Vivo Dopamine Production and Alterations in the Pathway for Parkinson's Disease Treatment"
Written for First-Year Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 172), taught by C. Rose Kennedy
View Paper  

Honorable Mentions
Rachel Whitmoyer
"Improvements in Football Helmets to Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries"
Written for Classical Mechanics (PHYS 235W), taught by Chris Marshall
View Paper  


Award Winner

Elvis Vasquez
"How an Insidious Global Power Ensures the Enslavement of a Population: Creating the Haitian Migrant Labor Force and its Utilization in the Dominican Republic"
Written for America's Latino (HIST 149), taught by Ruben Flores
View Paper  

Honorable Mention
Clarice Mckee
"From the Pearl River Delta to Powell Street: Ethnic Institutions in the Development of San Francisco’s Chinatown"
Written for Race, History and Urban Politics (PSCI 241W), taught by Gerald Gamm
View Paper  


Award Winner

Ella Croyle
"Queer Representation in Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Written for Teens on Screens (WRTG 105), taught by Tanja Beljanski
View Paper  

Honorable Mentions
Oskar Lelko
"The 35% gap: How does poverty affect voter participation?"
Written for Problems in Authority and Expertise (WRTG 105), taught by Rob Rich
View Paper  

Past Winners

List of recent past winners and their essays:

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