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College Writing Contest Winners Announced


Michael DeVito of Cortland, N.Y., has won the top honor in SUNY Cortland’s annual writing contest.

DeVito, a December 2009 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English, is among five undergraduate students and one graduate student to receive $100 for each of their winning entries in the 2009 College Writing Contest.

He was recognized for his creative nonfiction composition, “The Butterfly Snatcher,” written for the Experiments in Creative Writing course taught by Victoria Boynton, English Department.

DeVito, who also received two Certificates of Honorable Mention, will accept his award at the College’s Honors Convocation on Saturday, April 17. All winning entries will be published in a booklet dedicated to the college writing awards and posted online at The students also will present their work on Scholars’ Day, an annual forum for faculty and student research, on Friday, April 16.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the contest sponsored by the College Writing Committee, a group of 12 faculty members from a range of departments across campus. The committee received 125 submissions of creative and academic work for the competition. The work was judged on superior thinking, originality, insight and excellent command of language. All submissions written for courses during spring, summer and fall of 2009 were eligible.

Besides DeVito, the other award recipients are:

• Kaitlyn Curtis, a sophomore history major from Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., for her short story, “A Story About,” written for the Writing Studies II course taught by Timothy Emerson, English Department.

• Andrew Hamilton of Pottersville, N.Y., who earned a bachelor’s degree in English in December 2009, for his essay, “Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We and the Fallacies of Logic in Utopia,” written for the Literature of Utopia and Dystopia course taught by Alla Boldina, English Department.

• Brooke Alden Hoffman, a senior professional writing major from Sparta, N.J., for her poem, “Robot Music (for people with robot ears),” written for the Experiments in Creative Writing course taught by Victoria Boynton, English Department.

• Victoria McGahan, a freshman pre-major from Cairo, N.Y., for her essay, “Homework Help,” written for the Writing Studies in the Community I course taught by John Suarez, Service-Learning.

• Michael Read, a graduate history major from Lansing, N.Y., for his essay, “‘The light she helped kindle’: Revisiting Emma Hart Willard and the Troy Female Seminary, 1822-1844,” written for the Seminar in American History course taught by Kevin Sheets, History Department.

Certificates of Honorable Mention were presented to the following six students:

• Kathryn Andryshak, a graduate English major from Ithaca, N.Y., for her essay, “The Lucidity of Night: Embracing Death in Whitman’s ‘After the Dazzle of Day,’” written for the Seminar on Whitman and Dickinson course taught by Denise Knight, English Department.

• DeVito, for his creative nonfiction piece, “The Road,” and also for his poem, “A Woman Is Everything,” both written in the Experiments in Creative Writing course taught by Boynton.

• Devon Keir, a therapeutic recreation major from Delmar, N.Y., for his essay, “How Much Does the Government Control?” written for the Writing Studies II taught by Kathy Lattimore, English Department.

• Jessica Leopoldo, a junior adolescence education: English major from Orangeburg, N.Y., for her creative nonfiction work, “The Golden Child,” written for the Introduction to English Language Arts course taught by Cynthia Sarver, English Department.

• Aaron Thomas, a senior childhood education: humanities major from Cortland, N.Y., for his essay, “Destroying the Balance: Lin Lan’s Cinderella,” written for the Literature for Children course taught by Ross Borden, English Department.

• Brandon Youngs, a senior English major from Lisle, N.Y., for his short story, “Toilets at Work,” written for the Writing Fiction course taught by Boynton.

The 2010 contest will accept papers written for courses offered during spring, summer and fall 2010.

For more information, contact Mary Kennedy, English Department, at (607) 753-2086.