Seven students from across the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS) were recognized as winners of the annual LA&PS Writing Prize on Nov. 3. The students were honored for their outstanding work by Associate Dean (Students) Peter Avery during a recognition ceremony.
Avery congratulated the winners in front of a gathering of students’ family members and professors in York’s Chancellor’s Room. There, each student was recognized, and the adjudicators’ comments concerning their submission were read aloud.
The 2016 winners featured finalists from both sides of the LA&PS ampersand, from the Humanities Department to the School of Social Work. Also noteworthy was a rare (but not unique) double winner, Val Muzik. Muzik won both the third- and fourth-year competitions, with two separate papers from two separate courses.
“The teams of adjudicators don’t consult with each other,” noted the competition’s co-ordinator Professor Jon Sufrin. “Ms. Muzik is to be congratulated for her remarkable achievement.”
In 2016, the winners were:
• First-Year Hon. Mention: Mariah Marcutti, “Deaf Children and Youth” from HUMA 1970, Worlds of Childhood, taught by Peter Cumming
• First-Year Winner: Keshra Hines, “Precarious Migrants: the Effect of Globalization and Neoliberalism” from SOSC 1190, International Migration, taught by Alina Marquez
• Second-Year Hon. Mention: Dayna M. Bernard, “Developing an Anti-discriminatory Approach to the Treatment of Injection Drug Users” from SOWK 2050A 6.0, Identity, Diversity and Anti-Discriminatory Practice, taught by Anne McConnell
• Second-Year Winner: Samir Janmohamed, “Ethiopia and Policy” from SOSC 2800, Development in Comparative and Historical Perspective, taught by Merouan Mekouar
• Third-Year Hon. Mention: Nicolas Hore, “Roman Bodies as Bodies of Romans: Corporeal Symbolism in Lucan’s Pharsalia” from HUMA 3107 6.00, Roman Republican Literature, taught by Sarah Blake
• Third-Year Winner: Val Muzik, “Stasis, Flow and the Political Production of Mental Disorders” from POLS 3070, Psychology and Politics, taught by Shannon Bell
• Fourth-Year Hon. Mention: Camila Acosta Varela, “Decolonizing the Nation-State: Indigenous Autonomy, Extractivism, and Consultation in Contemporary Bolivia” from SOSC 4607, Indigeneity and International Development, taught by Miguel Gonzalez
• Fourth-Year Winner: Val Muzik, “Do Words Speak Louder than Actions? Sovereignty Theatre in Canadian Arctic Policy” from POLS 4101, Canada and the Arctic, taught by Gabrielle Slowey
There were no entrants in the category of Major Research Project.
Both the winning essays and the adjudicators comments can be found online, in the YorkSpace Repository for the LA&PS Writing Prize. The winners also received transcript notations, certificates and cash prizes.
Each year, the Faculty invites course directors to submit outstanding essays in any field but creative writing. The submissions are collected and organized by Writing Department staff into year levels (first to fourth year), with a special category for major research projects and undergraduate theses included.
Then, small teams of full-time writing faculty (each responsible for a category) review the submissions. Using criteria of originality, research, expression (style, structure etc.) and overall significance, the teams choose a winner and a runner-up for each level of the competition.
In 2016, the competition received over 50 entries written in many different styles and on a wide variety of topics. Some departments held their own internal competitions first, to nominate their strongest submissions to the Faculty-level competition.
The 2017 LA&PS Writing Competition, open to papers from summer 2016 to winter 2017 will open in April 2017.