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2016 Composition and Research Student Conference

Kelly BagliaIn the spring of 2016, students gathered in Blanchard Hall for the Second Biannual Composition and Research Student Conference. The event provided an opportunity for students in first-year writing courses, ENGW 103/104, to present their research papers to their peers a conference format.

The evening involved opening remarks by Dr. Jim Beitler and Dr. Alison Gibson, followed by a series of panel discussions in which students presented their research, then responded to each other’s ideas with questions. The panels were organized by research topic and included a wide range of topics dealing with  issues of church, environment, modern technology, mental health, the arts, and more.


“We think of this as a celebration of you and the work you have done,” said Gibson to the more than 100 first-year writing students. “The writing that you did this semester is no longer just for a grade; it is for the benefit of your neighbor, who will learn from and interact with you tonight.”


After the panel sessions, awards were presented to students whose research went above and beyond the requirements of the ENGL 103/104 class and produced truly exceptional academic writing. The winners received cash prizes, and their papers will be published in an online academic journal and used as examples for future classes.


The award recipients, selected from a group of ten nominees, were as follows:


3rd Place:

Sarah Holcomb ‘19 for “Salvaging Slacktivism: Why Awareness Counts in Social Media Activism”

Sarah McDevitt ’19 for “Not Made in the USA: A Proposal for Sweatshop  Reform”


2nd Place:

Robert Jones ’17 for “Did Fukuyama Get the Biggest Piece Right? The Effect of Ideology in the USSR and Russian Federation”


1st Place:

Kelly Baglia ‘16 for “An Evaluation of Traditional Threshold Theories: Failure to Adequately Protect Human Populations from Pesticide Exposure



Picture of Kelly Baglia, first place winner.