Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Department of Writing
Rhetoric & American Cultures

Anderson Award

The David D. Anderson Award for the Best Essay in First-Year Writing at MSU was established in honor of Dr. Anderson’s lifelong commitment to education and excellence as a scholar and teacher. The award honors two student essays per year (one from fall semester and one from spring semester); as specified in the gift, student essays are nominated by “professors based on excellence in writing a paper as part of the normal course assignments.” Each winner will receive an award of $200.00. Presentation of the awards occurs at the College of Arts and Letters’ Convocation shortly before spring commencement each year.  

 Fall 2016

First Place

Taylor McPhail

“Writing About (Play)Writing”

 Spring 2016

 First Place


Anne Rhee

“Discrimination Against the People, or Their Language?”

Annie Levardsen

“Fandom & Feminism”

 Honorable Mention

Zachary Kyle Jones

“The N Word”

 Fall 2015

First Place

Andrea Maria Olortegui

“Understanding Anime”

Honorable Mention

Alan Yat-Main Leung 

“More Than Meets the Eye”

  Spring 2015

First Place

Teresa Correia


Honorable Mention

Zachary Tecson

“Electric Vehicles: Are They Green?” 

 Fall 2014

First Place

Jeff Park

“Unseen Significance: A Play About the Importance of Film Distribution” 

Honorable Mention

Hyonjin Kim

“Assimilation versus Multiculturalism” 

 Spring 2014

First Place  

Xian Wang

“Billboard at MSU" 

Honorable Mention

Ghadeer Nasser

“Headscarf or Head Armor?” 

 Honorable Mention

Phu Nguyen Ho

“Macchu Piccu” 

 Fall 2013

First Place

Taylor Joseph

“Color Me Red” 

Honorable Mention

Andrew Pecora

“The Only Thing We Have to Fear” 

 Spring 2013

First Place

Ariel Rose

“Comparing Apples and Oranges” 

Honorable Mention

Priya Ramakrishnan 

“Culture Shock”

 Fall 2012

First Place

Xinhao Yu

“Plastic Surgery in China” 

Honorable Mention

Ryan Hinman

“Nuclear Physics: Opening Doors to the Future” 

 Spring 2012



First Place

Zainab Aldamen


Honorable Mention

Yuanyuan Liu

“Thanks for the Thanksgiving Day” 

  Fall 2011

First Place

Ryan Carpenter

“The Dirty Secret Behind the Clean Food Movement” 

Honorable Mention

Hayley Kluska

“Music Showed Me” 

  Spring 2011

First Place

Thomas Bond

“A Strange and Bitter Crop” 

Honorable Mention

Shinya Tawata

“Was It Necessary to Drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan?” 

Honorable Mention

Joseph Shaver

“The Other Classroom” 

 Fall 2010

First Place  

Rachel Miller 

“Lend an Ear”

Honorable Mention

Zachary Pena

“The Progress of Nanomedicine Innovations in Medical Treatment and Therapies” 

Honorable Mention

Mary Catherine Kwilos

“Africa: The Source of Society, the Dawn of Development, and the Region Robbed” 

 Spring 2010

First Place

Courtney Andries

“Art, Recyclables, and Education” 

Honorable Mention

Tyler Hackert

“Can a Person Really be Addicted to Sex?” 

Honorable Mention

Florence Lee

“Double Eye-Lids, Plastic Surgery and Korean Boy Bands”