Artwork depictions of students wearing masks

And the awards go to…

1st Place

A View from the Classroom 
By Graham Fassero, philosophy major, Class of 2023

2nd Place 

What a Lost Class Has Found
By Liz Shoemaker, politics and media studies major, Class of 2020

3rd Place

Being in that Number: The Enduring Spirit of Mardi Gras in the COVID Era
By Kate Lorio, English major, Class of 2021

Honorable Mentions

Unprivileged and Rightless
By Brayan Hernandez, politics and education studies major, Class of 2022

Love, Loss, and Cinnamon French Toast
By Amanda Muscente, English major, Class of 2023

Grocery Shopping
By Kierstin Shea, English major, Class of 2022

Class of 2020: Pandemic Edition
By Katheryn Wethli, music major, Class of 2020

You can read all the winning submissions and honorable mentions on the magazine website on May 25, around the same time the print magazine lands in mailboxes. The top three-placing essays will also be published in the spring magazine along with excerpts from the four honorable-mention essays. 

Thank you to all who submitted an essay. We were thrilled by the response to our first-ever writing contest. 

How We Judged It

The student writing contest was judged through a two-part blind process by a team of 12 faculty and staff members representing different corners of the University. The submissions were evaluated by all judges who assigned rankings that were compiled, and then informed the final decisions. As a writing contest, the essays were judged primarily on the student’s ability to craft a compelling and engaging piece, ready for publication in the magazine. 

The judges noted that their task was made difficult by the high number of well-written, insightful, and memorable essays.  

The Judging Team

Kathy Bagley, senior director of communications, University Advancement

Katie Bahr, news editor, CatholicU Magazine

Javier Bustamante, director, Center for Cultural Engagement

Harrison Hanvey, assistant campus minister for immersion programs and community service

Amy Kerr, associate dean of students and director of Residence Life

Steve Kreider, director, Campus Activities

Maria Mazzenga, curator, American Catholic History Collections Special Collections, University Libraries

John McCarthy, dean, School of Philosophy

Taryn Okuma, clinical associate professor of English and director of the Writing Center Undergraduate Tutor Program

Jennifer Paxton, director of the University Honors Program and clinical associate professor of History

John Kenneth White, professor of politics

Ellen N. Woods, managing editor, CatholicU Magazine