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President’s Writing Awards

President's Writing Awards Ceremony, John Kelly photo


The President’s Writing Awards Committee is pleased to announce the winners of its 34th annual awards season.

Honorarium – Art Design

  • Glenna Gomez Graphic Design


  • 1st Place: Gage Telleria “Jump Start”
  • 2nd Place: Jordan Osborne [Canine Calaveras]

Multilingual First-Year Writing

  • 1st Place: Yewen Wu “As the Constellations”
  • 2nd Place: Rabab Alahmed “Social Predicaments Caused by Stereotypes”

First-Year Writing

  • 1st Place: Kerri Hart “Growing Stuff in my Basement”
  • 2nd Place: Brittany Picker “Euphemisms and Public Behavior”

Civic & Ethical Foundations

  • 1st Place: Samantha Headley “Every Sixth of a Sixth”
  • 2nd Place: Jason Kyle “The Day I Decided Killing a Helpless Man Was the Right Thing to Do”

Critical Analysis

  • 1st Place: Andrew Ridgeway “Tunnel of Privilege: Interpassivity as a Political Performance”
  • 2nd Place: Connor Liess “A Born Suicide: Analyzing the Death of Vladimir Mayakovsky and His Poetry”

Creative Nonfiction

  • 1st Place: Joseph Wayment “Addictive Memories”
  • 2nd Place: Lex Nelson “The Promise of Tastykakes”

Research Based

  • 1st Place: Andrew Ridgeway “The True Price of Bronco Pride: Confronting the Sweatshop System”
  • 2nd place: Brenda Forrey “Responding to an Active Shooter on Campus: A Critical Need to Prepare Students, Faculty and Staff at Boise State University”


  • 1st Place: John Barrie “Comitatus”
  • 2nd Place: Morgan Ackley “Organic Therapy”

Thank you to all who encouraged students to submit their writing and continue this wonderful tradition!

A special thank you to our 2016 judges: Shauna Anderson, Elizabeth Barnes, Jennifer Black, Sam Campbell, Lori Chastaine, Jessica Ewing, Tiffany Hitesman, Greg Heinzman, Julia Geist Drew, Chris Klover, Amber Kovach, Lana Kuchta, Dan Lau, Christopher Michas, Matt Naples, Heidi Naylor, Matthew Recia, Carrie Seymour, Jackie Sizemore, Samantha Sturman, Gail Shuck, Marian Thomas, Linda Vermette, Jeff Westover

The President’s Writing Awards (PWA) is an opportunity for Boise State Students to have their writing recognized and celebrated by the university. The PWA has a 30-year history on the Boise State campus and is funded by the President’s office. President Bob Kustra has presented winners with their awards for the last 10 years at a ceremony held in late spring.

This annual contest is open to writing prepared for Boise State University undergraduate students, and categories are carefully chosen each year to include many types of academic writing including critical analysis, research, and creative writing.  Ultimately, this contest gives students a chance to highlight the diverse work they have accomplished at Boise State University.