Monday, September 19, 2016

First annual Opitz Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing announced

From left to right: Jennifer McAllister, 
Ashley Gouveia and Audra Miller
HPU’s College of Liberal Arts is proud to announce the winners of the first annual Opitz Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing. Ashley Gouveia (senior) won first place ($300) for her essay, “Social Construction and the Formative Years: Examining Gender Role Stereotyping in Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear Series.” Audra Miller (senior) won second place ($200) for “Marxist and Deconstructive Readings of Jane Eyre,” and Jennifer McAllister (senior) won third place for “Analysis of White Privilege II.” In addition, Miles Varana (junior) won Honorable Mention for his essay, “Why, Rough Beast? Historicism, Hierarchy, and the Attribution of Blame in Yeats’ ‘Second Coming.’” Congratulations to all the winners! 

The Opitz Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing at HPU was recently established in memory of Dr. Andrew Opitz, Assistant Professor of English at HPU, who died in March 2015.  Promising student essays for the 2015-16 academic year were nominated by their instructors, and a panel of HPU faculty read and ranked all submissions in a blind-review process.

The next Call for Nominations will take place in April 2016, and faculty from all disciplines will be welcome to nominate excellent student essays written during the 2016-17 academic year. Contributions to the Opitz Fund for Excellence in Undergraduate Writing are also welcome, so that this award can be made available for HPU students well into the future.  If you are interested in contributing, please contact HPU’s University Relations Office at or find more information at  

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