Congratulations to the winners of the 54rd Annual Illinois Tech Writing Contest! Hosted annually by the Department of Humanities, the contest showcases the writing talents of Illinois Tech undergraduate students from across the university. This year's students represent the Armour College of Engineering, College of Science, and Lewis College of Human Sciences.
Edwin H. Lewis Prize for Nonfiction
1st: Amna Bhatti (Digital Humanities, 4th year), "Feigning Innocence: The Racist History of Raggedy Ann”
2nd: Hannah Snyderburn (Aerospace Engineering, 1st year), “You Should Act On This Earth As If It Were Heaven”
3rd: Samantha Blanchard (Mechanical Engineering, 1st year), “Closure: With Reference to the Works of Camus and Vonnegut”
Edwin H. Lewis Prize for Fiction
1st: Brianna McKenna (Biomedical Engineering, 4th year), “Contributions to Society”
2nd: Cristian Pintor (School of Applied Technology, 4th year), "Adrian by the Shore"
3rd: Dongboum Shin (Computer Engineering, Visiting), “A Travel”
The prizes for fiction and non-fiction are named for Edwin H. Lewis, an English professor at the Lewis Institute, one of the forerunners of Illinois Tech, from 1895 to 1936. Among other classes, Professor Lewis taught Shakespeare and apparently looked somewhat like him too. It is said that students would come to campus just for his lectures, often without even being enrolled.
Mollie Cohen Prize for Poetry
1st: Katherine Seaver (Architecture, 5th year), “Living Room”
2nd: Ashley Tewari (Civil Engineering, 1st year), “A Daughter’s Dilemma”
3rd: Winifred Guerra (Psychological Science, 1st year), “Words that Burn”
The poetry prize was established in 1965 by Mollie S. Cohen, a retiring Illinois Tech English professor. Professor Cohen was a native Chicagoan and attended Lewis Institute before doing graduate work at the University of Chicago and at the Sorbonne in Paris. During her time as a professor at Illinois Tech, she worked closely with women students and international students.
Henry Knepler Freshman Essay Prize
1st: Andrew Cordell (Applied Physics, 1st year), “The Point of Pointland - What Flatland Really Means”
2nd: Samuel Howe (Psychological Science, 1st year), “Eating Disorders”
3rd: Justin Schmitz (Computer Science, 1st year), "Incentivizing Donations: Using Human Nature to Encourage Giving"
The prize for freshman essays was renamed in 2015 to honor the late Henry Knepler’s 40 years at Illinois Tech as Professor of English and chair of the Department of Humanities. The prize was established from gifts made in Knepler’s memory by friends and his wife Myrna at the time of his passing in 1999. Myrna is an alumna of Illinois Tech, receiving her doctorate in Linguistics, and devoted her career to English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.
The winners of this year's writing contest will be recognized at a luncheon on Monday, April 23. Congratulations to all and thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s contest!