Winner and Honorable Mentions Announced for the PW Outstanding Major Award
Last week, the WRAC department announced the Professional Writing (PW) Outstanding Major Award, which recognizes graduating students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, success in experiential learning, and engagement with the community. This year’s winner is Jessica Kukla, with honorable mentions Hannah Bullion and Alexandria Drzazgowski.
Outstanding PW Senior Award first-place winner Jessica Kukla (R), with honorable mention Hannah Bullion (L)
Jessica is graduating with a concentration in Editing and Publishing and a minor in Documentary Production. Outside of the classroom, she was a writing center consultant, a digital media specialist for H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, a social media manager for agnès films, an international community of women filmmakers, and a digital marketing intern for the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing (LAN). During her internship with LAN, Jessica did a lot of design work for both digital and print deliverables to advertise their sponsorships with local businesses. “It was a really cool opportunity to kind of branch out in the Lansing community and get to know businesses and organizations, not just at MSU, but also in the surrounding area,” she says.
In addition to her internship with LAN, Jessica also did freelance design work for MSU’s Documentary Production Minor; for example, she used her PW skills in helping redesign the program’s logos. “I think the cool thing about professional writing is that we’re taught to be a lot of different things,” she says. “We’re not just writers or editors, we’re also problem solvers and innovators and critical thinkers.”
Jessica also expressed the way PW creates a feeling of community and belonging. “I’m realizing now that there’s a sense of closeness and camaraderie and friendship that you don’t always get in other majors,” she says. “I’m definitely going to miss all the familiar faces and seeing them every day.”
Honorable mention Hannah Bullion notes a similar experience during her time with PW. “I truly believe that my Spartan family was the friends that I made in professional writing,” she remarks. “They have not only become my friends and people I like to hang out with, but also my mentors and people that I look up to.”
Hannah is graduating with concentrations in Editing and Publishing and Digital and Technical Writing. She served as one of the editors-in-chief for VIM Magazine, MSU’s student-run fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine. “The proudest piece I have in my portfolio is definitely VIM,” says Hannah. “The fact that it has eyes everywhere is incredible, and that it’s so known across campus. I’m really proud to be at the helm of that.” Hannah was also a social media intern for Refinery29, a communications intern for MSU CAL, and did freelance work for The Awesome Mitten.
“The [PW] program encourages you to, no matter what you’re interested in, do good things and make the world a better place with your work,” Hannah observes. “That has definitely been shaped by professional writing, the different professors I have had, and the people that I’ve interacted with.”
Honorable mention Alexandria Drzazgowski also served as an intern for CAL’s Marketing and Communications Office. “I think that the moments spent in my internship with CAL were my favorite moments as a PW major,” she says. “My job was incredible, and I loved every second of it.” Alexandria is graduating with a concentration in Digital and Technical Writing. In addition to her CAL internship, she was Assistant Managing Editor of the Red Cedar Review, completed internships with Lippincott Massie McQuilkin Literary Agency, Neuwirth and Associates Production Company, and Stryker Corporation, and did volunteer work for MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities and the ELLI Language Acquisition Lab. She was also a reader for online literary journal Pithead Chapel, a brand ambassador for Google, and a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service award from President Barack Obama.
“PW offered classes on very specific things that I had spent my whole life being interested in, and prepared students extremely well for post-grad life in those functions,” says Alexandria. “I knew that it was the right place for me to be.”
Congratulations to Jessica, Hannah, and Alexandria!
Honorable mention Alexandria Drzazgowski
Written by Reyna Hurand
23 April 2018