WKU English Department Awards Nine Winners for Essay Contest
- Monday, February 17th, 2020
Bowling Green, KY—The Western Kentucky University English Department honored nine winners for its Third Annual Essay Contest at a reception on February 15.
In the Literature Essay Contest, Allie Byrn of Allen County-Scottsville High School won first place; Leah Tabor of Bowling Green High School won second place; and Danica Hak of Bowling Green High School won third place. In the Creative Writing Contest, Erna Redzepagic of Warren Central High School won first place; Nora Perez of Stewart County High School won second place; and Justin Goins of McCracken County High School won third place. In the Composition Essay Contest, Dahlia Siano of Barren County High School won first place; Peter Thiessen of Station Camp High School won second place; and Lucille Butler of Barren County High School won third place.
The first-place winners received $200 in cash and a $500 scholarship to major or minor in English at WKU; second-place winners received $100 in cash and a $300 scholarship to major or minor in English at WKU; and third-place winners received $50 in cash and a $200 scholarship to major or minor in English at WKU. Winners also earned $50 each for their school’s English programs. The essays were evaluated by members of the WKU English Department.
Nearly 70 students entered the contest, and all high school English teachers who sponsored their students were honored as well: Ryan Bailey of Logan County High School; Natalie Croney of Warren East High School; Rosemarie Grice of Barren County High School; Scott Gural of Bowling Green High School; Nann Harwood of Warren Central High School; Stephanie Jones of Sumner County High School; Lisa Luton of Stewart County High School; Leanne Pierce of Edmonson County High School; Tyler Roberts and Jennifer Shidal of McCracken County High School; and Lisa Williams of Allen County-Scottsville High School.
Senior English major Bailey Cooke, speaking at the celebration, made remarks about her path in choosing WKU and the English major. Dr. Tom Hunley, professor of creative writing, read “Silence Sang Tom to Sleep,” a poem from his collection Here Lies (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2018). The students who entered the Literature Essay contest analyzed this poem.
The English Department was excited to see a large increase in participation in the third year of the contest. Interim Department Head Dr. Alison Langdon said, “High school teachers are doing outstanding work in our region, and we wanted to honor them and the excellent writing that their students are producing. We were pleased to have such significant growth in the number of entries this year and look for more growth as word continues to get out next year.”
During the reception, Dr. Langdon encouraged students to consider an English major and minor and explained the many benefits: “WKU has terrific programs in literature, creative writing, professional writing, English for Secondary teachers, and teaching English as a Second Language. Coursework and mentoring by our faculty have enabled our graduates to have richer, more fulfilling personal lives and successful careers in law, national and international non-profit work, teaching, farmer’s market administration, the military, business, technical writing, editing, creative writing, technology administration, screenwriting, newspaper editing, comedy, graphic design, art, project manager, and higher education – and most importantly it makes you a better person.”
The English Department also recognized 14 other finalists: from Allen County-Scottsville High School, Katherine Foster, Olivia Harwood, and Molly Jones; from Barren County High School, Lindsey Cloyd, Emma Martin, and Katie Williams; from Bowling Green High School, Campbell Garvin, Ruthie Kesri, Alice Lee, Evan Spader, Grace Weedy, and John Woodring; from Logan County High School, Jordon Moberly; and from Warren Central High School, Tara Hardin.