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Up Close With Student Award Winners: March 2022

Boothe Prize booklets

Our students continue to do exemplary work in their PWR classes, even with the continued pedagogical challenges brought on by the pandemic. We’re pleased to recognize the winners of the Fall Boothe Prize for Research-based Writing (PWR 1) and the Fall Lunsford Award for Oral Presentation of Research (PWR 2); we will be celebrating these students’ achievements at online ceremonies in the middle of May. 

Sofia Gonzalez-Rodriguez: Boothe Prize Winner (Fall 2021)

Sofia Gonzalez-Rodriguez

Sofia wrote her prize-winning essay, “Cuando Colón baje el dedo,” an exploration of the complex, multifarious movement to revive taínidad in Puerto Rico, for Daniel Bush’s PWR 1 class, “Not Even Past: The Rhetoric of Collective Memory.” As she describes her project: “We all have interests that might feel niche or singular; for me, the RBA felt like a blank check to justify studying one area of such curiosity.  Though my paper was on a small microcosm close to home, it fits into a broader discussion on indigeneity in colonized regions, specifically Latin America.  I am thankful that the explorative nature of PWR 1 allowed me to delve into the scientific literature around this topic, and even add my own two cents to the conversation.” Daniel adds: “This course is an invitation for students to consider the way public memory functions in society and to explore the memories shaping cultures, events, or institutions that are significant to them. Sofia pursued this opportunity with absolute conviction. Not satisfied by easy answers, Sofia delved into the full complexity of her topic, the revival of Taíno identity in Puerto Rico, and embraced the intricacy and ambiguity she found along the way. From its witty title (a saying akin to ‘When pigs fly’) to its moving conclusion, her essay is a brilliant analysis of the construction of memory and identity in Puerto Rico, a sparkling piece of writing, and an impressive work of scholarship.” Her project aligns with her academic interests even beyond PWR 1; though she has yet to declare her major, Sofia would like to study sociology with a possible minor in data science.  She says she “loves the way social science can help analyze our conceptualizations of race, class, and culture.” Sofia also writes for the Stanford Daily and was selected to be a Stanford Live Arts Journalism fellow.  She is considering a career in immigration law in the future.

Parker Kasiewicz: Boothe Prize Honorable Mention (Fall 2021)

Parker Kasiewicz

A native of Brentwood, Tennessee, Parker plans on majoring in computer science or mathematical and computational science. He enjoys all sorts of problem-solving, inspiring him to explore the intersection of game theory and technology; for his PWR 1 class, Shay Brawn’s “The Rhetoric of Robots and Artificial Intelligence,” he drew on these interests for his essay, “Automate Checkmate: The Case for Creativity in Computer Chess,” for which he received the Honorable Mention. In his essay, Parker connects the history of the development of chess AI with research on creativity, arguing if we view creativity as not exclusively as a feature of process but also as  a quality of a product (as in, that’s a creative recipe), chess AI can indeed be considered creative. Parker writes of his PWR 1 experience: “Leaning on people that came before us might be the most unappreciated part of innovation. Through PWR 1, I came to understand that research not only informs the present but it also shapes the future. Throughout the writing process, I realized how inspirational the frameworks and ideas of past writers were in shaping my essay, which I hope contributes a new perspective to shaping the future of chess AI and its perception. In whatever my future holds, I hope to amplify the ideas of other great thinkers around me.” Outside of the classroom, Parker works for Stanford Consulting, studies chess, and plays basketball with his friends.

Ijeoma Alozie: Lunsford Award Winner (Fall 2021)

Ijeoma Alozie

Ijeoma’s award-winning presentation is titled, “Which Heartbeats are Worth Listening to? Misogynoir in Medical Institutions,” a project of Kathleen Tarr’s PWR 2 course “Rebel with a Cause: The Rhetoric of Giving a Damn” and nominated for contextualizing the greater landscape of misogynoir in healthcare in a way that amplifies the price of the medical community's anti-Blackness intersecting with its sexism.  Ijeoma writes, “My experience in PWR 2 and working with Dr. Tarr has made me more inquisitive about the world around me, and even more eager to find the answers. I'll always be grateful for the opportunity I got to focus on an issue that is so personal and relevant to me.”  Ijeoma is a Communications major from Charlotte, North Carolina, whose academic interests are media studies and filmmaking/film studies.  When she’s not doing coursework, she’s participating in the Spoken Word Collective, MINT Magazine, and the Restorative Film Collective.  Ijeoma hopes to pursue a career as a film director in the future.

Liv Jenks: Lunsford Award Winner (Fall 2021)

Liv Jenks

Liv created her award-winning presentation, “Charting a Car-Free Route Forward: Addressing Resident Opposition to Green Urbanism” for Lisa Swan’s PWR 2 course “Writing about Cities.” 

As a Product Design and Art History major, Liv is deeply interested in the power design has to shape human behavior. Liv was drawn to Lisa's course for the opportunity to look at cities as microcosms for how design intersects with architecture, art, transportation, and social and economic challenges. In her presentation, Liv examined resident resistance to car-free urban design, defining current attitudes towards green transportation and how American cities can work to overcome resistance through restructuring the urban planning process.

A Final Spotlight: Finalists

We’d also like to acknowledge the outstanding finalists for the Fall Boothe Prize – Lucy Duckworth, Anna Kiesewetter, Auddithio Nag, Summer Royal, Emilio Rueda, and Emily Winn – and the finalists for the Fall Lunsford Award – Ashlee Kupor, Caroline Schurz, and Usman Tariq.

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