Department of Humanities

Annual Writing Contest

2020 Writing Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 55th Annual Writing Contest sponsored by the Department of Humanities. This competition showcases the writing talents of current students from across the university. First, second, and third place awards are given in the categories of freshman essay, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Contest winners receive framed certificates and cash prizes, and are recognized during an awards ceremony and luncheon each spring. A book of the contest's winning entries is published by the department each fall.

EDWIN H. LEWIS PRIZE FOR NONFICTION

1st: Calvin Graham (Civil Engineering , 5th year), "Zero”

2nd: Claire Marlowe (Materials Science and Engineering, 2nd year), “Driving Forward: How Marijuana Testing Technology is Shaping the DUI”

3rd: Daniel Marten (Biomedical Engineering, 4th year), “Depression, Anxiety, and a Room Full of Frat Boys”

EDWIN H. LEWIS PRIZE FOR FICTION

1st: Rachel Starr (Architecture, 5th year), “Learned Helplessness”

2nd: Anna Lawrence (Architecture, 4th year), "Queen Melissa"

3rd: Calvin Graham (Civil Engineering, 5th year), “Red Lights”

MOLLIE S. COHEN PRIZE FOR POETRY

1st: Rachel Starr (Architecture, 5th year), “What We Pour Today”

2nd: Alexandra Detweiler (Physics, 5th year), “Communal Isolation”

3rd: Nashita Syeda (Biology & Psychology, 3rd year), “Routine”

HENRY AND MYRNA KNEPLER FRESHMAN ESSAY PRIZE

1st: Elizabeth Paniagua (Computer Science, 1st year), “The Development of Evolving Feminism”

2nd: Min Kyoung Kang (Computer Science, 1st year), “Power of Passion”

3rd: Benjamin Ng (Physics, 1st year), "Medieval Romance on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"

 

Note: Out of precaution for COVID-19, the scheduled awards ceremony and luncheon has been canceled.

For more information, please contact Amber Moore at iitwritingcontest@gmail.com.

Edwin H. Lewis Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction

The prizes for fiction and nonfiction are named for Edwin H. Lewis, an English Professor at Lewis Institute, one of the forerunners of Illinois Tech, from 1895 until 1936. Among other classes, 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 S. Cohen Prize for Poetry

The poetry prize was established in 1965 by Illinois Tech English professor Mollie S. Cohen as she was retiring. Cohen was a native Chicagoan and attended Lewis Institute before doing graduate work at the University of Chicago and at Sorbonne in Paris. During her time as a professor at Illinois Tech, she worked closely with women students and international students.

 

Henry and Myrna Knepler Freshman Essay Prize

The prize for freshman essays honors the late Henry and Myrna Knepler, both former professors of English at Illinois Tech. Henry Knepler served as chair of the Department of Humanities for 16 years. Myrna Knepler was an alumna of Illinois Tech who received her doctorate in linguistics. The prize is funded by an endowment made by the Kneplers, both of whom were very committed to English as a Second Language instruction and to writing instruction.