Trine University’s Humanities and Communication (HAC) department recently announced
the winners of its Walter Cunningham Writing Contest. This is the sixth year for the
contest, sponsored in conjunction with the Humanities Institute and the Writing Center.
First-, second- and third-place prizes and honorable mentions were awarded in academic,
creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry categories. Authors’ names were removed to
ensure fairness in judging and the entries were ranked by a panel of judges from across
Below is a list of the winners in each category, along with a description of their
work. To read the full submissions, visit the HAC department’s online literary journal
First place -- Elyse Buehrer, an Angola junior majoring in music.
Her submission is “Ambiguous Americans: Cultural Identity in Argentina and the United
States.” In this paper, Buehrer examines what it means to be an American through a
comparison of the cultural identities of Argentineans with those of citizens of the
Second place -- Deepal Mistry, an Elkhart graduate student studying engineering management.
His essay “How the Unmotivated Can Become Leaders” discusses the importance of “recognizing
unmotivated individuals or unused talent” in the workplace and suggests the unmotivated
worker is an untapped resource in many organizations that can be developed into an
Third place -- Madison Fain, a Connersville freshman majoring in chemical engineering; Mariah Fenimore, a Rushville freshman majoring in civil engineering; Jake Shelley, a Brownsburg freshman majoring in civil engineering; Brennon Furnas, a Plainfield sophomore majoring in design engineering technology; Sam Loga, a Tawas City, Mich., freshman majoring in design engineering technology and Kallie Willits, an Auburn sophomore majoring in professional writing and English studies.
Written as the final group project for technical communication, “Get Fit Trine: Proposal
to Increase the Amount of Physical Activity and Increase Physical Education for Trine
Students” encourages “physical activity through physical and mental weekly group challenges
that allow students to learn how to properly exercise and have fun while doing it.
The program specifically targets nonathletes and those students who do not describe
themselves as active, but is open to all students.”
Honorable mention -- Luke Fimreite, a McCordsville junior majoring in business administration.
Using the concept of framing, Fimreite explains why the political satire Jon Stewart
presents on The Daily Show appeals to young viewers in his essay “Frame Analysis of
a Persuasive Artifact: Jon Stewart.”
Honorable mention -- Tyler Marx, a Waterville, Ohio, junior majoring in social studies education.
In his paper “The Eternal Dispute: Constitutional Interpretation,” Marx outlines the
historical significance of the U.S. Constitution and the major conflicts that have
arisen because of differences in its interpretation.
First place -- Jayden Lilly, a Butler sophomore majoring in sports management.
In “This Old Faded Ball” a young man reflects on a strange Christmas gift from his
father and the lessons he learned because of it.
First place -- August Buehrer, an Angola sophomore majoring in music.
In her piece “The Webspinner,” two doctors disagree about the way to reach the silent
and mysterious Camille.
Second place -- Nicole Walters, a Sunbury, Ohio, junior majoring in chemical engineering.
In “The Lady of the Wood,” Grandfather shares the story of the Lady as he sits by
First place -- Megan Miller, an Angola freshman majoring in music.
Her delightful poem “Wonderland” playfully welcomes the reader to enter a world of
wonder and whimsy.
Second place -- August Buehrer
In “The Sound of Rain,” the sound of falling rain is heard through the author’s skillful
use of rhythm, meter and rhyme.
Third place -- Christopher Hull, a Columbus junior majoring in mechanical engineering.
Through the use of narrative vignettes, “Silence: Bliss or Curse” shows the different
ways that silence affects us.
Honorable mention -- Alison Falls, a Fremont freshman majoring in professional writing and English studies.
“8:00 a.m.” and “The Dropping of a Pebble” are two short poems that explore the beauty
of nature and the power of a solitary droplet.