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College of Arts & Sciences
First-Year English


2016-2017 First-Year English Writing Award Winners

First-Year English is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016-2017 Writing Awards!

2016-2017 Winner of The Grace Hagood Downs Award: Stephanie Noyola

This year's winner of best Multimodal Project is Stephanie Noyola for her video clip "Unguided." Stephanie, a Studio Art major, had this to say about her First-Year English experience: "I found myself in an environment of deeper understanding of the world around us, and insightful lessons that show exactly how writing showcases issues that are not always easily understood. I found myself with an instructor that was open-minded and understanding of many topics, and therefore felt able to put in my best effort towards my goal. Due to being of Mexican descent, I felt the topic of multiracial children a very personal concern of mine that needed to be discussed. With society evolving to better its treatment of others, I want others to understand the potential future of kids in the country."

2016-2017 Winner of The Hortense Skelton Award: Lydia Gross

This year's winner of best English 101 essay is Lydia Gross for her comparative analysis essay. Lydia, a nursing major, had this to say about her First-Year English experience: "My favorite thing about English 101 was learning how to see deeper into real world events that I had never thought about. I was also able to get to know my teacher and peers due to the small class size."

2016-2017 Winner of The Christy Friend Award: Margaret Haley

This year's winner of best English 102 essay is Margaret Haley for her essay “Life for Sale." Margaret is a Psychology major and a Studio Art minor from Maryland. She had this to say about her experience in First-Year English: "My favorite part about being in English 102 was that I had to opportunity to learn about so many different and interesting topics from both mine and my classmates' research. In addition, Professor Hughes really put it a great deal of effort to have everyone get to know each other, so it was fun learning in a class where I could comfortably communicate with so many other students. This paper was especially helpful to me because I recently decided to start on the Pre-Med track at USC and learning more about the medical field really solidified those interests!"