Writing Award winners recognized at annual ceremony


The University Writing Committee hosted its annual Writing Awards on Thursday, April 12, in the Emeriti Room.

The Braun Award for Writing Excellence rewards outstanding student writing. One of the Braun Award winners, Joshua Cianek, appreciated the recognition of his essay on John Locke.

“Receiving the Braun Award is such an honor,” Cianek said. “It is very gratifying to be recognized for work that often goes unnoticed outside of the classroom. It also gives me, as a student, the ability to showcase my capacity as a writer as well as my take on the writing process.”

Another of the Braun Award winners, Bradley Hunt, gave a talk about his paper on the use of molecular machines for peptide synthesis.

“I’m really excited to accept this award and to read a little piece of my paper I wrote,” Hunt said. “Thank you to Ruth Braun for donating the money and giving this opportunity to all us students. I also wanted to thank the selection committee for selecting me for this award.”

The other Braun Award winners were Kellie Rankey for her paper on Slums in Mumbai; Brianna Dolney for her essay on feminism in Silicon Valley; Alissa Rhode and Lauren Lavelle for their paper on thermal heating agents; Carmen Randall for her paper on opioid addiction; and Emma Kirsch for her paper on the power of language.

“I was humbled and honored to receive a Braun Award,” Kirsch said. “It felt great to be recognized for my work, but the best part was being able to represent the people who helped me along the way, including my professors, mentors, teachers and family.”

Rankey won two other writing awards this year: the Tyner Prize for Fiction and the Seitz Creative Writing Scholarship.

Victoria Phelps was awarded the Tyner Prize for Nonfiction for her essay on George Eliot’s “Middlemarch.”

The winner of the Tyner Prize for Poetry was Zoey Cohen.

Madeline Angel won the Diane Boehm Writing Award for e-Portfolios, given to students for creating electronic portfolios of both written works and multimedia projects.

Ruth Braun, who set up the Braun Fellowship with her late husband Ted, attended the event and talked about the importance of writing.

“Words are important, and how we interpret them is even more important,” Braun said.

English professor James Sullivan received the Innovative Writing in Teaching Award, which is a faculty-only award that recognizes professors who inspire their students to write in new and different ways. Sullivan earned the award for his influence in helping his students create guidebooks from their three-week trip to Rome.

The event also included awards from SVSU’s sister school, Ming Chuan University in Taiwan. The awards are for students involved in the ELP program and for multilingual students who have completed papers or pieces of writing or poetry in their second language.

Students who won the writing awards receive a cash prize as well as publication in the Writing at SVSU book.