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FWIS Student Prize Winners

Academic Year 2019-2020

In order to recognize student achievement and to motivate students to improve their communications skills, the Program in Writing and Communcation offers awards with cash prizes for the most outstanding expository and analytical essays and oral presentations each academic year. Congratulations to our winners!



Jared Butler, First Place, Best Oral Presentation

“Truth: A Relative Interpretation.”  view presentation

FWIS 121: Time Travel Narratives 

Jared Butler, originally from Montgomery, Alabama, is from Lovett College, where he met and consulted with his FWIS Professor Dr. Laura Richardson to develop his presentation “Truth: A Relative Interpretation.” He was inspired by Einstein’s “Relativity: The Special and the General Theory” wherein Einstein struck the world with his innovative and daring reimagining of physics and perspective. Amongst the myriad other short stories, novels, and even movies that students explored in Dr. Richardson’s FWIS 121: "Time Travel Narratives," Einstein’s theory particularly inspired Jared’s final presentation in the class. Over weeks of textual analysis, script outlining, writing, and edits, Jared and Dr. Richardson were able to identify and demystify the link between Einstein’s complex scientific theory and the through lines of identity and perspective that they observed both in the other time travel narratives discussed in class and in their daily lives. 


Luna Xia, Second Place, Best Oral Preentation

 "The Beat Generation and Stolen Books.” view presentation

FWIS 153: Investigating Stolen Books

Luna Xia is a sophomore at Jones College from Beijing, China. In her project, she investigated literature work and writers that are stolen the most often. She drew a connection between unique characteristics of the time period and the list of most stolen books. Luna discovered that people are what they steal – the books people steal well reflect their personalities and desires.



Ahalya Lettenberger, Third Place, Best Oral Presentation

"Disability Online: Changing Negative Perspectives.” view presentation
FWIS 176: Writing Social Media

Ahalya Lettenberger is a current sophomore studying bioengineering and a member of the Rice Women’s Swim Team. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois and is now a resident of McMurtry College. Through her presentation on the portrayal of disability on social media, Ahalya learned that posts about disability often feed into the idea of disability being inspirational, reflecting society’s perception of impairment being a consuming part of people’s identities.



Malaika Bergner, First Place, Best Expository and Analytical Essay

“The Decolonial Imaginary in Forgetting the Alamo.” read essay

FWIS 112: Fiction, History, Tejas

Malaika Bergner is a Rice sophomore from Martel College, who originally hails from Chicago, IL. She wrote this final research essay after reading various Tejano/a literature in her FWIS over the course of a semester. She became inspired by the historical perspectives represented in these works and decided to write about the importance of telling underrepresented stories to alter the mainstream understanding of history. Malaika learned so much about Texas and its many histories, but she also learned how imperative it is to fully dissect literature in order to understand an author’s abstract ideas. Now she continues to use the skills she learned in writing this essay, as well as in her FWIS, to grow as a writer.



Jay Mehta, Second Place, Best Expository and Analytical Essay

“PrEP: Exploring a Painful Past.”  read essay

FWIS 104 : Science, Technology, Society

Jay is from Sugar Land, Texas and now calls Brown College home. As a Biochemistry & Cell Biology and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies student, he felt compelled to explore the HIV/AIDS pandemic in his FWIS. As he learned about the history of the disease, he found certain trends and behaviors troubling and decided to write an essay highlighting them. In his piece, he advocates that consumers of PrEP, a medication used to prevent HIV infection, need to be aware of the populations that were harmed in its creation.


Abrar Mamum, Third Place, Best Expository and Analytical Essay

 “Discrimination Towards American Muslims in Healthcare.” read essay

FWIS 102 : Culture and Healthcare

Abrar Mamun is a sophomore from San Antonio who has now found at home at Jones College. Through his experiences in several medical institutions, he has become a first-hand witness to the deleterious health outcomes that persist along racial and socioeconomic lines. His background as an American Muslim prompted him to investigate the ways in which negative depictions of Muslims in Western media and society translate into healthcare settings. Through his research, Abrar explores the concept of Islamophobia and proposes fundamental changes to cultural competency training in medical schools and clinical settings.


View Past FWIS Student Winners