Trine University presented awards to the winners of its 10th annual Walter Cunningham
Writing Contest at a ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 28, in Wells Theater.
“This year's winners come from a diverse cross-section of Trine's majors and represent
the range of writing going at Trine — in and outside of the traditional classroom,”
said Cassandra Bausman, Ph.D., director of Trine’s Writing Center and assistant professor
in the Department of Humanities and Communication.
Named after Walter Cunningham, a Tri-State University alumnus, the campus-wide competition
honors the best in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and academic writing. Early
in his career, while working for the U.S Department of Labor, Cunningham and his team
were asked to write reports to be used as evidence in federal court cases. He found
this experience so challenging that he was inspired to embark on a successful campaign
to teach himself to write more effectively.
Cunningham and his wife Don Nell sponsor the Cunningham contest each year.
“It has been my lack of English and writing skills throughout my life that encourages
me at this time in life to attempt to help others understand, in some small way, the
importance of obtaining these skills early,” he said.
Winners for this year’s contest were:
First place — “The Huntress and the Hunted,” by Jenna Niemeyer, a senior from Hoagland,
Indiana, majoring in English Education.
Second place — “Katy Perry's Firework — A Rhetorical Criticism of the Song/Music Video,”
by Clare Danner, a senior from Indianapolis majoring in communication.
Third place — “Ethical Issues in Overcrowded Prisons and Jails,” by Briann Hildenbrand,
a student in Trine’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies from Fort Wayne,
Indiana, majoring in applied management.
Honorable mention — “The Need for Needling,” by Caleigh Burkley, a sophomore from
Huntington, Indiana, majoring in exercise science; and “The Importance of Paid Maternity
Leave,” by Haley Bond, a sophomore from Middlebury, Indiana, majoring in forensic
First place — “Bangs,” by Jenna Niemeyer.
Second place — “Chopping Onions,” by Anthony Passino, a student in Trine’s College
of Graduate and Professional Studies from Fort Wayne, Indiana, majoring in applied
Third place — “Forever and Always,” by Emily Nettesheim, a freshman from Hartland,
Wisconsin, majoring in biology.
Honorable mention — “Amy,” by Abbey Wang, a freshman from Kentland, Indiana, majoring
First place — “Your Sinister Poetry,” by Ashton Benson, a sophomore from Delaware,
Ohio, majoring in civil engineering.
Second place — “Lemonade,” by Upasana Shrestha, a freshman from Lalitpur, Nepal, majoring
in biomedical engineering.
Third place — “Walking in the Streets of Nepal,” by Upasana Shrestha.
Honorable mention — “Empty Suitcase and Broken Dreams,” by Chloe Lounds, a senior
majoring in management from Waterloo, Indiana.
First place — “The Locket,” by Kira Lulko, a freshman from Milford, Michigan, majoring
in biomedical engineering.
Second place — “Jarvis’ Delirium,” by Alex Kromkowski, a junior from Rochester, Indiana,
majoring in psychology.
Third place —“Groundsky,” by Zachary Hoehn, a freshman from Crestwood, Illinois, majoring
in mechanical engineering.
Winners received an award certificate and cash prizes — $100 for first place, $50
for second and $25 for third — as well as their names inscribed on a plaque in Trine’s
Taylor Hall. They also will have their work published in Trine’s online literary magazine,
Inscriptions, located online at trine.edu/hac/writing-contest/index.aspx.
Top photo: Winners from Trine University’s 10th annual Walter Cunningham Writing Contest. Front,
from left, Emily Nettesheim, Caleigh Burkley, Kira Lulko, Alex Kromkowski, Anthony
Passino; back, Abbey Wang, Jenna Niemeyer, Ashton Benson and Upasana Shrestha. Not
pictured: Clare Danner, Briann Hildenbrand, Haley Bond, Chloe Lounds and Zachary Hoehn.
(Photos by Lacie Piekarski)