Award Winning Student Papers

The Mahan Freshman Essay Award

The Mahan Freshman Essay Award is a competition for first-year students enrolled in English 1000 for Spring and Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. No restrictions on subject matter or length of paper apply. A $175 first prize and a $100 second prize will be awarded, and winners will be asked to present their papers at the composition program’s Celebration of Writing and Teaching in Spring 2016.

Submit clean-copy papers to the Composition Office or send electronically to  Cheryl Hall. Include ID# and contact information for the student writer, semester English 1000 was taken and instructor's name, and a corresponding assignment sheet.

Students probably serve their best interests by submitting a single first-rate paper.

No papers will be returned and only winners will be notified.


Previous Winners
Homer Gaidarski (2015): First prize for “Learning Computer Science: A Secret Wall of Zeros and Ones
Joseph Henke (2015): Second prize for “Eradicating an Epidemic: How Universities Can Better Protect Women from Sexual Assault
Amy Brianne Schmiegelow (2014): First prize for “The Word Weavers: A Reader’s Influence on Ever-Changing Definitions” [pdf]
Derrick Lin (2014): Second prize for “Bryson: Enlarging Vocabularies for a Fuller Language” [pdf]
Helena Kowalewski (2012): First prize for “Abridging Speech vs. Abridging Lives” [pdf]
McCullough Mischke (2012): Second prize for “Society in Bell, Book, and Candle and Practical Magic"
Emily Rothove (2012): Honorable mention for “What I Learned at the Kitchen Table” [pdf]
Kristine A. Kerns (2011): First prize for "Misfortune: Creating Opportunity, or Impeding Happiness?" [pdf]
Stephen M. Cady (2011): Second prize for "Ramblin' Woman" [pdf]
Rebecca Taylor (2010): First prize for "The Collapse of the Nuclear Family" [pdf]
Hannah Spratt (2010): Second prize for "The Dark Side of the Good Women" [pdf]