Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
First-Year English


2015-2016 First-Year English Writing Award Winners

First-Year English is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015-2016 Writing Awards!

2015-2016 Winner of The Grace Hagood Downs Award: Guy J. McCarter 

This year's winner of best Multimodal Project is Guy J. McCarter for his video clip "How Video Games Can Work for Us." Guy, a senior in First-Year English, majored in Mathematics with an Electrical Engineering cognate. He is an avid runner and enjoys playing the drums and ukulele. As a First-Year English student, Guy enjoyed working with his instructor Kelsey Flint-Martin, who he says impressed him with her ability to "balance doctorate-level English work with teaching rhetoric and composition. I know she was exceptional with the latter, so the first must have been pretty close to that." Guy's favorite thing about First-Year English was the opportunity to create his multi-modal project. According to Guy, "It allowed me to illustrate my final paper through a medium I am comfortable with: skit. I enjoy composing music (including music as ridiculous as you hear in the video) and trying to make people laugh. I also enjoyed our analyses of music videos and commercials to determine which elements of rhetoric were dominant." 

2015-2016 Winner of The Hortense Skelton Award: Mary Paige McLaurin

This year's winner of best English 101 essay is Mary Paige McLaurin for her essay "'And Suddenly I Hate . . . District 13. They're No Better Than the Capitol': District 13 as ISIS in Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games series.” Mary Paige, from Greenville, SC, is a sophomore majoring in Finance. She hopes to pursue a law degree after graduation. According to Mary Paige, her favorite thing about First-Year English was her section's small class size which, she says, encouraged friendship and active participation in the classroom. She is also a big fan of her professor: "I love Dr. Fisk because of how invested she is in each one of her students. She wants to ensure that they have an understanding of what's going on in the world and how it relates to literature."  

2015-2016 Winner of The Christy Friend Award: Laura Bones

This year's winner of best English 102 essay is Laura Bones for her essay “The Intergenerational Effects of Indian Boarding Schools on Native American Communities." Laura is a Business-Finance major from Charlotte, North Carolina. According to Laura, "My favorite part of English 102 was listening to everyone's research presentations at the end of the semester. They were engaging and I learned so much in such a short period of time." In addition to her own hard work, Laura attributes her essay's success to the help provided to her by her First-Year English instructor: "I could not have done it without the guidance of my instructor Ms. Wright! She is so knowledgeable and is always willing to help her students."