On May 7, the 1998-99 Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes Competition, chaired by Dr. Edward Barrett, senior lecturer in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, recognized the writing achievements of 32 undergraduates. The winners were chosen from 123 entries by 65 students in the categories of essay, drama, poetry, short story, fiction, science fiction, and scientific and technical writing.
In the drama category of the Boit Manuscript Prize, first place was awarded to "Converse" by Viengvilay Oudonesom, a senior in aeronautics and astronautics and writing from Houston. In the essay category, the first-place winner was "Monumental Sacrifice: The Destruction of Pennsylvania Station and the Creation of New York City Landmarks" by Eric J. Plosky, a senior in urban planning from Syosset, NY. Second place went to "Miss Havisham and the Underground Man" by Jennifer Zhou, a senior in biology and literature from Houston. Honorable mention went to "Contemporary Fires" by Joaquï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½n Sebastian Terrones, a senior in literature from Mexico City.
Two entries received honorable mention in the Boit Manuscript Prize fiction category: "Then, That, Us" by Mark Meier, a senior in foreign languages from Carlisle, PA, and "In Search of the Mishelley Mahachuck" by Dennis J. Evangelista (author), a senior in electrical and mechanical engineering from Freehold, NJ, and Rigel Stuhmiller (illustrator), a senior in architecture from Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
Lisa Kwok, a senior in physics from Sharon, MA, won first place in the poetry category for "Quadrivium." Dennis J. Evangelista took second place for "Snapshots from a Manic Caffeine Trip."
Orli G. Bahcall, a senior in biology from Princeton, NJ, won first place in the Dewitt Wallace Prize competition for Science Writing for the Public for "Controlling Scientific Research." Second place went to "The Future of the World Depends on Lambics" by David Ratliff, a senior in civil and environmental engineering from Rutland, MA, and honorable mention went to "The Future of Science" by David J. Hamby, a senior in architecture from Cambridge.
In judging for the Ellen King Prize for Freshman Writing, the short story "Learning to Listen" by Chia-Hao La of Ridgefield Park, NJ, won first place, and the essay "Mob Justice" by Nathaniel K. Choge of Nairobi, Kenya was awarded second place. Both students are freshmen in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS).
In the Prize for Writing Science Fiction, Michael L. McComas, a senior in writing and nuclear engineering from Nashua, NH, took first place for "Savior." Second place went to "The Death Duel" by Chris Deards, a senior in aeronautics and astronautics from Odessa, TX.
Prizes were also awarded in the essay, poetry and short story categories of the Robert A. Boit Writing Prize competition. In the essay category, "Spring Hill" by Jennifer Burns, a junior in urban studies and planning from Boston, took first place. David Hu, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Rockville, MD, took second place for "What My Father Said and What I Heard" and "Pruning." Third place was a tie between "Building a Deck" by Dennis J. Evangelista and "Science and Environmental Policy: Why Stronger Science Can't Replace Politics in Policymaking" by Priya Narasimhan, a sophomore in mathematics from Flemington, NJ.
First place in the poetry category was awarded to "Independence, Iowa" by Anna Dirks, a senior in writing and engineering from Boston. Second place went to "Collected Nerd Love Songs" by Dennis J. Evangelista. Perkin Shiu, a senior in biology and literature from Menlo Park, CA, took third place for "View from Here," and "Les Feuilles Mortes" by Joaquï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½n Sebastian Terrones earned an honorable mention.
Anna Dirks won first place in the short story category for "Seeds." Brett McKenzie Winton, a sophomore in mechanical engineering and writing from Durham, NC, took second place for "Coyote Morning." Third place went to "Moni" by Nabeela Alam, a sophomore in brain and cognitive sciences from Bangladesh. There was a tie for honorable mention: "A Wind in Montana" by Michael L. McComas and "How it Feels to Break Something" by Alison Wood, a sophomore in earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences from Loundonville, NY.
Alice Wang, a junior in chemistry from Sylvania, OH, won the S. Klein Prize for Scientific and Technical Writing for "Homocysteine and its Role in Vascular Disease."
In the competition for the WHS Prize for Engineering Writing, first place went to Scott Lieberman, a junior in materials science and engineering from Middletown, NJ, for "Layer Waviness in S2/8552 Thick Taper Laminate Composite Structures." Gaurav Tewari, a junior in EECS from New Delhi, India, won second place for "Design of an Automated Web Server Replica System."
The 25th annual I. Austin Kelly III Prizes were awarded to the four best humanistic essays of a substantial length (15-30 pages). The two main prize essays ($625 each) were "The Rise and Fall of Dr. Muhammed Musaddiq: An Iranian Tale" by Laura McGrath Moulton, a sophomore in history from Groton, MA, and "Christian Imperialism at Its Best: The Coronation of Charlemagne" by Alokananda Ghosh, a senior in biology from Houston.
The two second prize essays ($225 each) were "Artifact of a Dream: Franz Marc's Red Horses" by Marc A. Meier and "Rodent and Redefinition: The Transgendering of Zoe" by Andrea H. Zengion, a senior in women's studies and biology from New Tripoli, PA.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 32).