Students Receive Cash Prizes for Writing Center’s A Season of Writing

A Season of Writing is an interdisciplinary essay and poetry contest launched in Fall 2016 to allow students display creative and academic skills, written and verbal.

 The competition encouraged students to read broadly across all disciplines and stimulated their interest in writing.

On April 26, the Library Auditorium was filled with students, as they waited with keen interest to hear the announcements of those who had emerged winners in the just-concluded A Season of Writing challenge.

The contest, scheduled to hold every semester, exposed students to various categories: media and communication; climate change; democracy, modernization and development; poetry for a nation; peace building and conflict resolution, and globalization.

The sponsors of this edition are former President Margee Ensign, Dr. Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob, Professor Boubacar Diop, Dr. Jennifer Tyndall, Prof. Bill Hansen, and Dr. Patrick Fay who supported two categories.

“We had more than 30 entries for this.  We then retrieved each student’s essay and forwarded them to faculty whose expertise fall within the topic category for grading,” said Mrs. Emilienne Akpan, the Director of the Writing Center, as she took to the Auditorium stage to welcome students and faculty to the first interdisciplinary essay and poetry competition organized by the Center.

Because the University’s liberal arts tradition emphasizes critical thinking, research and problem solving, the students wrote from among the topics submitted to the Writing Center by the sponsors.  Students could participate in as many categories as they wished.

“As a liberal arts university, we encourage students to write more and have opinions about everything,” said Interim Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Jacob, as he addressed the students and faculty present at the event.  He also emphasized the need for students to value academic integrity, which he said, was a key component of scholarship and character.

Dr. Tyndall, a sponsor, advised the students on good writing:  “Your expression on paper tells more of who you are and what you are, it reveals your personality.”  

Another sponsor, Professor Diop, used the opportunity to charge all the students at the auditorium.  “We are here to celebrate knowledge.  In this kind of competition, we don’t have winners or losers, everyone's a winner.”

The chosen categories and winners were as follows: The Role of Climate Change on the Emergence of Zoonotic Diseases: Gwaha Madwatte and William Djarangar; Globalization and Literature: Olaoluwa Nwobodo, William Djarangar, Chinenye Jewe; Media and Communication: Olaoluwa Nwobodo, Oscar Iwu, and William Djarangar; Poetry for a Nation:  Okechukwu Ohamadike, Saifudeen Abubakar, Ashley Gekpe, and Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution: Olaoluwa Nwobodo.

Mr. Nwobodo, a senior in the software engineering program, took first position in three of the five categories selected for the competition, and he won a cash prize of ₦30, 000 for each outstanding submission.  The other winners left with cash prizes of ₦20, 000 and ₦10, 000 respectively, and all winning participants received certificates of achievement.

There was also a raffle draw conducted by Mr. AUN, Miss AUN, and Miss Stallion.  The raffle was for the battle against meningitis in Yola, and to raise funds to make vaccines easily accessible to the less privileged.  Dr. Bolade Agboola of the petroleum chemistry program emerged as the winner of the raffle.

The event finished up with certificates awarded to students who attended and passed the series of anti-plagiarism workshops conducted by Ms. Elizabeth Sclama, the Instructor of Study Skills in SAS.  These workshops were an integral part of the Academic Integrity Campaign spearheaded by the Writing Center this spring.


By Nubwa Ibrahim

American University of Nigeria
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Adamawa State, Nigeria

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