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Point Park University's Honors Program celebrated the future of creativity as it recently hosted the Pittsburgh region's 2023 Scholastic Writing Awards on campus. The Scholastic Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, are the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teensTeens in grades 7–12, age 13 years and older, are invited to enter their art or writing for the chance to win recognition, publication, exhibition, and up to $10,000 in scholarships.

"At Point Park, we envision our Honors Program as striving to have a positive impact on our students, the broader Pittsburgh community and the region," said Jessica McCort, Ph.D., associate professor of composition and rhetoric and director of the Honors Program. "Supporting these local students by showcasing and celebrating their creative and critical work will help them feel empowered to use their words to make a positive impact on the world and to share their experiences."

Leslie Wessner, a staff member in the Rowland School of Business, served as the regional affiliate coordinator for Pittsburgh's contest. Dorene Ciletti, Ph.D,H.J. Heinz Company Endowed Chair in business management, associate professor and director of Point Park's marketing and sales program and assistant director of the Honors Program, also assisted with putting the program together. Maegan Steiner, an Honors Program student and a biological sciences major, designed the presentation for the ceremony, and Josie Brown, Ph.D., dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, and Michael Soto, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, helped present the awards to the winners. 

McCort plans to include more Point Park students in the planning and execution of future Scholastic Writing Awards events.

"It will be a great opportunity for our honors students to gain valuable volunteering and event production experience," she said.

View the list of winners for the Pittsburgh region here.

Congratulations to the national winners from the Pittsburgh region:

  • Grace Boyer, The Ellis School, Silver Medal, Personal Essay & Memoir, "Imposter Syndrome in Soba"
  • Sydney Cutruzzula, Westinghouse Arts Academy Charter School, Silver Medal, Poetry, "Always for Others"
  • Grace Glowczewski, Pittsburgh Capa School, American Voices Medal, Poetry, "La Brega"
  • Elaine Gombos, Shady Side Academy Senior School, Silver Medal, Critical Essay, "From Enemies to Lovers: Japanese War Brides and Their Influence on Multiculturalism in the United States"
  • Thomas Gordon, Winchester Thurston School, Silver Medal , Critical Essay, "Envisioning an Ethical A.I."
  • Tessa Gumberg, The Ellis School, Silver Medal, Critical Essay, "The Irrational are Raising our Children!"
  • Mark Harris, Penn Trafford High School, Silver Medal, Flash Fiction, "Moose Crossing"
  • Leslie Rwigyema, Carlynton Jr Senior High School, Silver Medal, Short Story, "Lilac Syndrome"
  • Sarah Voigt, Shady Side Academy Senior School, Silver Medal, Flash Fiction, "Wonder Girl"
  • Esme Warman, The Ellis School, Silver Medal, Critical Essay, "How Henrik Ibsen and Mary Wollstonecraft Criticize Separate Spheres"

Read more about the Honors Program in the stories linked below:

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