LA&PS announces 2017 Writing Prize winners

Twelve students from across the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) were recognized as winners of the annual LA&PS Writing Prize on Nov. 8. 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 2017 winners featured finalists from both sides of the LA&PS ampersand, from the Humanities Department to the School of Social Work. Of special note was the fourth-year winner, Andrew Hatelt, who was recognized for his Wikipedia article, “The Digital Divide in Canada.” Hatelt’s work was featured by WikiEdu, received a “Did You Know” award from Wikipedia, and  was included in Wikiproject Canada.

“Digital composition isn’t just print transferred online,” said the competition’s coordinator Professor Jon Sufrin. “It is a dynamic medium requiring not only good writing, but excellent searching, curating, and hyperlinking practices as well. That Andrew was recognized by the online Wiki community for his work is very impressive indeed.”

Participants and student recipients of the LA&PS Writing Awards

In 2017, the winners are:

First-Year Hon. Mention: Sebastian Amaya, “Shifting Economic Policies” from POLS 1010, Introduction to Business, Government and Society taught by Bruce Smardon.

First-Year Hon. Mention: Okello Mark Oyat, “Business Plan for a Refugee Coaching Network,” from SOSC 1341 9.00 Introduction to the Social Economy, taught by Caroline Hossein.

First-Year Winner: Robert Gibbs, “Batoche National Historic Site” from HIST 1040 6.0 The Presence of the Past: Commemoration, Memorials, and Popular Uses of History, taught by Jennifer Bonnell.

Second-Year Hon. Mention: Alexandra Slack, “Taking Control through Fragmentary Narratives,” from EN 2120, Prose Narrative taught by Tina Choi.

Second-Year Winner: Winner: Madelaine Pries,The Jig,” from WRIT 2710, Grammar and Proofreading, taught by Dunja Baus.

Third-Year Hon. Mention: Joshua Borenstein, “The Limitations of Law” from SOSC 3361 6.0 Disability and the Law: Critical Perspectives on Disability Rights Legislation, taught by Lykke de la Cour.

Third-Year Hon. Mention: Kay Angliss McDowell, “Childhood, Ethnic Representation and Growing Up in Toronto During the 1990s-2000s,” from HUMA 3692 6.0 Representation of Children’s Alterity, taught by Krys Verrall.

Third-Year Winner: Karen Silva, “Saving their Indian ‘Sisters’: British Women’s Activism in the late 19th Century,” from HIST 3420 6.00 The British Empire from 1600 to the Present, taught by Colin McMahon

Fourth-Year Hon. Mention: Carlyn Atkinson, “The Evolution of Dracula and the New Woman: Misogyny, Eroticism, and Female Sexuality in Stoker’s Dracula and its Descendants,” from WRIT 4720, Print Culture and the History of the Book, taught by Dominique O’Neill.

Fourth-Year Hon. Mention: Maxine Grech, “Dirty Wholesome Punks,” from AP/WRIT 4700 Advanced Topics in Periodical Writing, taught by Paul McLaughlin.

Fourth-Year Hon. Mention: Andrew Walker, “Seniors’ Valence Concerns in Election Campaigns,” from POLS 4135, Politics of Aging, taught by Thomas Klassen.

Fourth-Year Hon. Mention: Andrew Hatelt, “The Digital Divide in Canada,” from COMN 4201 6.00 Resistance and Subversion on the Internet, taught by Jonathan Obar.

There were no entrants in the category of Major Research Project.

The 2017 LA&PS Award Winners

Both the winning essays and the adjudicators comments can be found online, in the 2017 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 the fall/winter semester of 2017, the competition received more than 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 2018 LA&PS Writing Competition, open to papers from summer 2017 to winter 2018 will open in April 2018.