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Wollstonecraft, Vazquez-Valarezo awards announced

Essays on the LGBTQ community in Taiwan, women's cultural weaving projects, as well as the representation of women in cartoons make up the winners of this year's Wollstonecraft Essay Contest.

The award is named for Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the English philosopher who wrote the classic text "A Vindication of the Rights of Women." It is given annually by the women's and gender studies department to recognize excellence in women's and gender scholarship at the undergraduate level.

Awards are presented in three categories: short analytical essay, long analytical essay, and personal/reflective prose.

The department seeks entries that display excellent liberal arts scholarship and creativity at the undergraduate level. Entries should have a thesis or underlying insight that is skillfully supported and rhetorically effective. Since feminist scholars have influenced all academic fields, any course offered in the college could, potentially, be the basis for written work addressing historical, theoretical, social, psychological, artistic, and economic questions relevant to the Wollstonecraft Award.

Winners will receive a small monetary award and a certificate of recognition. Entries will be judged anonymously by professors from other colleges.

Also, the 17th annual Vázquez-Valarezo Poetry Award was won by Marissa Gasper, a junior from Lake Mills, Iowa, majoring in Asian studies. The award is given to the best submission on a theme related to women.

The award is sponsored by Dr. Jeanneth Vázquez, professor of Spanish and department chair. Winners receive a small monetary award and a certificate of recognition. The award is named in honor of two educators, the late Honorato Vazquez and the late Angelica Valarezo, writers who worked in the field of education in Ecuador for 35 years. In addition to recognizing excellence, the award is designed to encourage student poets to submit their work for consideration.

Wollstonecraft Essay Award winners

Long analytical essay

First prize: Abby Lange, a senior from Cascade Iowa, majoring in international business and Asian Studies, "Comrades Under the Rainbow Flag: Public Expression, Regulation, and Questions Surrounding the LGBTQ Community in Contemporary Taiwan."

Second prize: Margaret Richardson, a junior from Palo Heights, Ill., majoring in geography and anthropology, "Mayan Women's Organized Weaving Projects in the Guatemalan Highlands: Narratives of Struggle and Resistance."

Short analytical essay

First prize: Eliza Wells, a junior from Lake Zurich, Ill., majoring in English and anthropology, "The Representation of Women and Gender in Warner Bros. Cartoons: A Performance of Satire."

Second prize: Mourin Azar, a first-year student from Moline, Ill., majoring in biology, "The Multiple Victims of Rape."

Honorable mentions:

Rebecca Knapper, a junior from Davenport, Iowa, majoring in creative writing, English and Scandinavian, "The Hidden 'Homo' in 'Rip Van Winkle:' A Queer Theory Reading."

Alina Zabolotico, a sophomore from Algonquin, Ill., majoring in biology, "The Rise and Fall of Female Stereotypes in Looking for Alaska."

Rukmini Girish, a senior from Hoffman Estates, Ill. majoring in creative writing and sociology, "Motherhood in The Feast of St. Nicholas."

Personal/reflective essay

First place: Alyssa Froehling, a sophomore from Palatine, Ill., majoring in English and creative writing, "Visibility Feminism"

Second place: Elise Roberson, a junior from Davis Cal., majoring in English and women's and gender studies, "Dear Augustana: Reflective Prose."

Vázquez-Valarezo Poetry Award

First place: Marissa Gasper, a junior from Lake Mills, Iowa, majoring in Asian studies.

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