Upcoming Writing Awards celebrate the creativity, diligence of our students

September 19, 2018

P.F. Potvin, Lecturer IV in Composition and Rhetoric, shares information about this year’s awards ceremony.

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” -- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Annually, the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters host the Writing Awards to recognize student writers in various categories. P.F. Potvin, Lecturer IV, whose teaching areas include Composition and Rhetoric, shared information about this year’s awards ceremony:

What is the date for this year’s ceremony and other logistic information?

Professor Potvin: This year the Writing Awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 23 in the Mary Kochoff Auditorium, 1030 CB (6:30 pm reception, 7-8 pm awards). During the ceremony, students will be honored, and they will present excerpts and/or discuss their winning work. The ceremony is attended by students, faculty, staff, and friends and families of the winners.

What do the judges look for in the student's writing in order to select the winners?

Potvin: The alternating panel of interdisciplinary judges review submissions and rank them according to standards of excellence with the given categories.

What do you enjoy most about this event and why do you think an event such as this is beneficial to CASL?

Potvin: There is incredible writing happening all across the disciplines at UM-Dearborn, but given our busy schedules, we seldom have opportunities to share these accomplishments beyond our own personal situations. However, through the Writing Awards ceremony, we're able to experience first-hand the research, diligence, process, critical thinking, and creativity that go into crafting a wide variety of works. Many of the categories focus on areas particular to CASL. I'm continually astounded by the range and depth exhibited by the winning work. Through witnessing the winners' live readings and musings, I continually find inspiration for learning, teaching, and exploring the greater human condition.

More information about the student winners, the ceremony, and submission guidelines for 2019 can be found on the Writing Awards webpage.


Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 UM-Dearborn Writing Awards

Special thanks to our UM-Dearborn judging panel and external judges:

Danielle DeFauw (Education, Health, and Human Services), Caitlin Finlayson (LPA), Thom Foy (Writing Program), Jon Haller (external--Writing Through Image & Sound), Nicholas Iannarino (Communication), Ji Hyun Yu (HUB), Reb Livingston (external--poetry, fiction), Kyhl Lydndgaard (external--creative non-fiction), PF Potvin (Writing Program/LCC), Pamela Todoroff (Writing Program), Lin Van Nieuwstadt (Engineering) 


Researched Writing

  1. Jensen Pecora  (Legalizing Physician-Assisted Death in Michigan)
  2. Rebekah Wilson (People Over Profit?:
 An Analysis of the Roles of Ideas, Interests, and Institutions within Oil Pipeline Policy in the United States and Canada)
  3. Alyssa Van Scoy (Roadmap to Success in Tutoring Writing)

Honorable Mention:

  • Alexandria Lawrence (Bees and Pesticides: The Case of France and South Africa)
  • Hanan Nasser (On the Implications of Evelyn Fox Keller’s Feminist Interpretation of Science)



  1. Heidi Gabr (Unheard Voices of the American Opioid Crisis)
  2. James Carzon  (Interpretations of Suffering and Fate through Biblical and Greek Tragedy)
  3. Ola Altahan (Penelope’s Puzzle)

Honorable Mention:

  • Lena Hakim (The Kids’ Mystique)



  1. Emily Podwoiski  (To men who collect shells)
  2. Andrew Stout (Steven Jenkins)
  3. David Davis (Remembrance)

Honorable Mention:

  • Mohammad Jordan (Beyond the Gates)


Bill Linn Fiction Prize

  1. James Carzon (Entering a Transportation Hub)
  2. La’Daysha Moore (Hurting You the Most)
  3. Christal Medel (Free)

Honorable Mention:

  • Matthew Mason (You Stink Like Piss)


Creative Non-Fiction

  1. Gabriella Oudsema (Boys and Baubles)
  2. Madison Kuzma (Settling Without Settling)
  3. Christal Medel (A Woman, A Mother)

Honorable Mention:

  • Andrew Stout (East Side Rising)
  • Aniket Suri (Ethnography)


Writing Through Image & Sound

  1. Amanda Gosline (Multiview Drive)
  2. Amal Yafai (Child Lore)
  3. Stephanie Pettovello (A Mother of Twins)


Writing in the Public Sphere

  1. Ola Altahan (Scandinavian-Style Healthcare)
  2. Lena Hakim (Home for Humanity)
  3. La’Daysha Moore (Un-queering Queer Desire: The Kids Are All Right, Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Institution of Heterosexuality)

Honorable Mention:

  • Terrence Gourlay (Trump-in-Context: Education through Interpretation)


First-Year Writing

  1. Allegra Forman (“Non-binary”)
  2. Mirvat Chammout (The Surge of Islamophobia)
  3. Ghofran Fadel (A Trip to the ER)

Honorable Mention:

  • Sara Pomponio (Contaminated Soil)


Science/Technical Writing

  1. Raana Ali (The Purpose of Menopause in Humans and Killer Whales)
  2. Heidi Gabr (The Role of Viruses in Human Evolution: Parasites or Innovators?)
  3. Sierra Holmes (Animal Personality: Fact or Fiction?)

Honorable Mention:

  • Nivine Hmadeh (The Impact of Disease Control on the Evolution of Eusociality in Ants [Formicidae])
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