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Excellence in Writing | 2024 Winners

Kathrine Dykes | Best Paper in WRTG 1010 | "Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A Romanticized Death of the Human Soul"

I am a pre-computer science major hoping to pursue a career in software development—assuming I survive all the math required to graduate. Beyond my academic pursuits, I am the chaos coordinator of my three young children and an incredibly spirited Texas heeler dog. In my spare time, I enjoy writing, making handcrafted soap, and coding. 

When Professor Fochs gave us the assignment to write about a real-world or mythological monster, I was excited to explore and discuss society's role in perpetuating cycles of psychological violence, particularly focusing on narcissistic abuse and the devastating and lifelong implications it has on victims. The realities of narcissistic abuse are widely misunderstood, and broken systems often fail to protect victims, refusing to acknowledge the depth and complexities of emotional violence. 

My paper aims to examine some of these issues with the hope that my research and perspectives will provide clarity and validation for someone affected by emotional abuse as they attempt to navigate and recover from their traumatic experiences. Read her paper here


Lochlan Rockwood | Best Paper in WRTG 2010 | "The Magic of Miyazaki: Animating a Climate Conscious Generation"

Hello! My name is Lochlan Rockwood, and I was born and raised here in Salt Lake City, Utah. This city is a place that ignited my love for the outdoors with its stunning mountains and ski slopes. I’m a Computer Science major here at the University of Utah, where I blend my tech skills with my passion for nature. This drives my projects and aspirations to innovate for environmental sustainability. Winning this award is a humbling affirmation of my work. I’m grateful for the recognition and excited about future contributions at the intersection of technology, media, and the environment.


Jacqueline Huynh | Writing Within the Disciplines | "Recommendation Report: Nike and Environmental Sustainability"

Hi, my name is Jacqueline Huynh. I am currently a predental student at the U of U majoring in Information Systems and minoring in Chemistry.  

The piece I wrote is an analysis of environmental sustainability within the fashion world, particularly Nike. I am passionate about fashion, but I recognize the environmental impact it can have, and I believe it's crucial for companies like Nike to adopt more sustainable practices. Through my analysis, I discussed the current state of sustainability within Nike and proposed potential solutions for improvement.

I will be graduating with my degree in IS in 2025 and hopefully attending dental school soon after. Read her paper here


Mia Bailey | Critical and Rhetorical Theories | "Not to Be Spoken: An Essay on Feminist Rhetoric & Gendered Space"

Mia Bailey is a non-traditional student Major in Writing & Rhetoric Studies. She is interested in marginalized communities, particularly women, and how throughout history the most marginalized groups attempt to subvert power in unexpected ways.

Her paper Not To Be Spoken – Feminist Rhetoric and Gendered Space in Ancient Athens is an attempt to consider how the voices of women in Ancient Greece can reveal themselves in the settings, landscapes, and speeches of ancient texts. It is often difficult for historians to trace the influence of marginalized groups, because those voices are not preserved in the historical record. If we wish to understand how those without political power interacted in ancient societies, we need to look deeper in the ways gendered space was utilized to represent the feminine. Marginalized voices can also reveal themselves in how those with power appropriate the voices of the others in order to persuade and influences others.

My biggest goal for my education is to become the best writer and researcher I possibly can, in order to use my pen as a sword — and provide an outlet for the voices for those largely forgotten in history. I’m extremely interested in the voices of women in the American West, and their lost contributions to the historical record. Read her paper here


Emily Brown | Writing as a Social Practice/Rhetorical Action | "Symposium: Students Guiding Pathways"

Emily Brown is a Writing & Rhetoric Studies major at the U with an interest in public communications. In 2021, Emily served on the SLCC Student Senate where she focused on resource connection for students. Her piece expresses concerns on the Guided Pathways model both through her experience as a student and senator.

Emily Brown coauthored the winning project with Priscilla Hansen, Laura Burnham, Yazmin Zarate, Aloyious Soranno, Trey Sanders, and Katie Henderson. This piece will be published in the journal Teaching English in the Two-Year College and will be available to read in the near future. Stay tuned!


Priscilla Hansen | Writing as a Social Practice/Rhetorical Action | "Symposium: Students Guiding Pathways"

  • My course of studies are Economics and WRS
  • I chose my topic for the paper based on my personal experiences at SLCC and wanted to highlight the positive experiences I had as a student at SLCC due to Guided Pathways

My goal for my education is to complete my bachelor's with at least a 3.5 GPA.  As a former foster kid, I hope to empower the underprivileged in writing and help those that don't understand, have an understanding of our economic systems and how they can use them to help themselves. 


Laura Burnham | Writing as a Social Practice/Rhetorical Action | "Symposium: Students Guiding Pathways"

Laura Burnham graduated in December of 2023 with a bachelor's degree in Writing and Rhetoric Studies. She was part of the Writing Studies Scholars program and worked as a peer mentor. In 2023, she joined the undergraduate research team looking at the Guided Pathways Program implemented in many community colleges nationwide. She chose to join this team because she attended SLCC while the school was using Guided Pathways and wanted to assess the program.



Yazmin Zarate | Writing as a Social Practice/Rhetorical Action | "Symposium: Students Guiding Pathways"

I am Yazmin Zarate, and I started to take classes in 2018 at Salt Lake Community College with the goal of completing my general education and transferring to the U. After taking WRTG 3030 and WRTG 3020 in the summer, I decided to major in writing rhetoric studies. I graduated in Spring 2022 with my General Studies AA and I graduated this Summer 2023 at the University of Utah.




Aloyious Soranno | Writing as a Social Practice/Rhetorical Action | "Symposium: Students Guiding Pathways"

My name is Aloyious Soranno and I am a senior majoring in Writing and Rhetoric with a minor in Media Studies. 

My essay in the symposium tackles the issue of college readiness. The CCRC indicates that many students require developmental education courses, which don't count towards their degree. While shortening these courses may improve completion rates, simply eliminating them without alternatives isn't effective. Programs like ASAP at CUNY offer support and institutional credits, showing promise in improving student outcomes. I have seen from my own personal experiences how remedial coursework can be beneficial, but alternatives like co-requisite programs may offer even better results.

As a student who took remedial courses my first year of college, I see the benefits of keeping such courses around. 

As I enter my final semester as an undergraduate, I wonder what will be next for me. I have longed for a position within a marketing team somewhere. Although that is still my goal, I am faced with the possibility of continuing my education in grad school. Of course, that is always a possibility but one that, until recently, I haven't given much thought about. I am excited and anxious for this next chapter. 


Trey Sanders | Writing as a Social Practice/Rhetorical Action | "Symposium: Students Guiding Pathways"

My name is Trey Sanders. I am 36 years old. I love long walks in Memorial Park with my fiancé Lindsay, and our dog Sweetie. When I’m not studying, I’m playing video games with my friends, and playing basketball whenever I can make the time for it. I’ve been a non-traditional student for 7 years, and I will be graduating this summer; walking next spring. Thank you to Christie for being such a great mentor and for nominating our group for this award. Without her guidance this project wouldn't have turned out the way it did. And to the team, Priscilla, Al, Emily, Laura, Yazmin, and Katie, you were all so great to work with and I loved reading about your own experiences on this journey.


Katie Henderson | Writing as a Social Practice/Rhetorical Action | "Symposium: Students Guiding Pathways"

Katie Henderson is a senior attending school part-time at the University of Utah where she is dual-majoring in Anthropology and Writing & Rhetoric. She is also a wife, a mom, and a twenty-year veteran of the mortgage industry. She’s interested in human history, behavior, and ecology, and how research in these areas might be leveraged to facilitate responsible and ethical interactions amongst humans, and between humans and the planet. After graduating, she hopes to use her education and work experience to contribute to a more sustainable and humane human experience through research, public outreach, and social activism.



Chris Moore | Multimodal Composition | "Contemporary Warfare: Losing the Human"

Chris Moore is pursuing a BS Political Science and BS Philosophy 

My video essay, titled Contemporary Warfare: Losing the Human, is an exploration of the convergence between postmodern theory and contemporary warfare. I wanted to hone some of the topics I learned in not only Max Werner’s 3019 class, for which this essay was submitted for as an assignment, but other ones as well. It's not a particularly comprehensive video essay given the time constraints imposed but I was nonetheless happy to at least discuss the salient parts of an issue I scantly encounter. And especially have it recognized considering I chose this class purely out of interest, with no attachment or obligations to academic requirements.

I hope to graduate at the end of next spring and if possible next fall with a double major. With that said, I am largely unsure where I want my education to lead me. I have always hoped of graduate school, wanting to pursue further higher education, but at this moment this is a mere consideration. Listen to his piece here


Ali Woodward | Writing & Rhetoric Studies Research: Open Category | "A Sold-Out Game: Barriers to Postsecondary Education for First-Generation Non-Traditional Students"

As a 40-something, my challenges with the academy as a non-traditional first-generation student have looked a little different than those typically associated with the undergraduate experience, and that's with the cushion of privilege. My paper is an autoenthnography exploring the hurdles I've experienced as a child of generational poverty getting a later start in higher education than the system is built for - despite an increase across the country of students like me. I'm currently a student of the Honors College pursuing degrees in English and Writing & Rhetoric Studies. I intend to work towards my master's and ultimately be the first in my family to hold a PhD. I hope to use my education at the U, my background in reading intervention, and experience with students from historically marginalized communities to inform me as an educator at the secondary and collegiate levels. Read her paper here


Jerald Lim | Best Graduate Student Seminar Paper | "Net Ecological: Pickup Basketball as Practice of Improvisation and Interdependence"

I'm a graduate student at the U's environmental humanities program. My research and creative interests revolve around ecological ethics and its cultivation via entertainment media and play.

I'm grateful to the environmental humanities program and Elizabeth Calloway (English) and Brett Clark (Sociology) for illuminating the linkages between ecological ethics and basketball and how it can be studied and communicated. Professor Clark introduced me to Ross Gay's narratives on the nonpossessive citationality of basketball, and Professor Calloway instructed me in using ethnography and historical analysis to investigate its ecological merits.


Nicole Clawson | Best Graduate Student Conference Paper or Publication | "'We're Just People. We're Not These Crazy Guys with Guns': Rhetorical Narratives and Officer Identity Performance"

Nicole Clawson won the Excellence in Writing Award for best Conference Paper or Publication for her Tanner Humanities Fellowship Work-in-Progress talk, "'We’re Just People. We’re Not These Crazy Guys with Guns': Rhetorical Narratives and Officer Identity Performance."

Her dissertation, "Flexible Identity and Ideology: Rhetorical Narratives of Rural Law Enforcement Officers," was successfully defended in February. She will join Brigham Young University's English faculty as a visiting professor in the fall.  Read her paper here



Lisa Rumsey Harris | Best Graduate Student Conference Paper or Publication | More than Just Cookery: Using Performative Paradox to Disrupt the Narrative of Rhetoric in Plato's Gorgias"

Lisa Harris is a second-year Phd student in Writing and Rhetoric Studies. She is the current Graduate Assistant Writing Program Administrator. Her scholarly interests include Feminist Rhetorics, Narrative and Identity, Writing Emergencies, and Graduate Student Instructors. This conference paper originally began in Dr. Jenny Andrus's Ancient Rhetoric class. Lisa will be presenting it this May at the RSA conference in Denver. 

Read her paper here



Jon Stone | Department Chair's Award

Dr. Jonathan W. Stone is an Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric Studies at the University of Utah and the current Director of First-year Writing. He teaches classes on rhetorical theory and history—from ancient to contemporary contexts and across rhetoric’s multiple modes. Dr. Stone’s current research is focused on the ongoing impact of the persisting mythos of the American West on contemporary and historical efforts at environmental protections, indigenous sovereignty, and racial justice. Dr. Stone is also engaged in work that theorizes the rhetorical affordances of sound. He has published work on recorded sound’s influence in historical, cultural, and vernacular contexts, usually as folksongs, but also as popular music, religious podcasts, and radio programs.

Dr. Stone’s NEH supported book, Listening to the Lomax Archive was published in 2021 by the University of Michigan Press. The book investigates the careers of John A. Lomax and his son Alan during the Great Depression with focus on field recordings made for and stored by the Library of Congress's archive at the American Folklife Center.


Bella Shields | Excellence in Writing Center Tutoring

For the past four years, I have studied English Teaching with a minor in Special Education. After my upcoming graduation, I plan to complete my Master's of Education at the University of Washington and continue on to my English teaching career!





Tiffany Barney | Outstanding Instructor Award: Teaching Assistant/Graduate Student

Tiffany Buckingham Barney has been teaching as a graduate assistant for the WRS department for two years. She’s taught Intermediate Writing (2010) and Scientific Writing (3014), and will be teaching Introduction to Academic Writing (1010) in the fall. She’s taught face-to-face and hybrid, and will soon be adjusting a course to an online format for the department.

Tiffany’s goals for the future include writing a dissertation on the topic of computerized writing assessment, graduating with a PhD from the WRS department, working in higher education administration and/or the education tech industry, and becoming a professor.

Tiffany enjoys learning, teaching, and laughing at her own jokes. Her family often tells her that the only thing funny about her jokes is that she thinks they’re funny.


Catherine Goodman | Outstanding Instructor Award: Associate Instructor/Career Line/Tenure-Track

Catherine Goodman has taught writing courses at the U since 2015, beginning with Intermediate Writing and later expanding to Business Writing and Scientific Writing. She has also taught Business Plans/Proposals, as well as Advanced Writing for the U’s Department of Social Work. Catherine created an online Writing Workshop for the David Eccles School of Business MBA Program and also facilitated a 6-week Creative Writing Workshop in the Utah State Prison as part of the Utah Prison Education Project. 

A Utah native, Catherine received her Master of Arts Degree in British & American Literature from the University of Utah and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Utah State University.  She lives just outside the Salt Lake Valley and loves to read, foster rescue dogs, and roam the trails. She also enjoys writing poetry and would love to write a novel someday! 


Congratulations to all!

Last Updated: 5/7/24