Awards Announced for the PW Outstanding Major

Jessica Kukla was named the 2018 recipient of the Professional Writing (PW) Outstanding Major Award, which is presented by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures and recognizes graduating students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, success in experiential learning, and engagement with the community. Honorable mentions went to Hannah Bullion and Alexandria Drzazgowski.

portrait of girl with dark brown hair wearing glasses and a green and blue scarf
Outstanding PW Senior Award first-place winner Jessica Kukla

Kukla is graduating with a concentration in Editing and Publishing and a minor in Documentary Production. Outside the classroom, she was a Writing Center consultant; digital media specialist for H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online; 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.

During her internship with the airport, Kukla did design work for both digital and print deliverables to advertise sponsorships with local businesses.

“It was a really cool opportunity to branch out in the Lansing community and get to know businesses and organizations, not just at MSU, but also in the surrounding area,” she said.

Kukla also has done freelance design work for MSU’s Documentary Production Minor, including using her PW skills to help redesign the program’s logos.

“The cool thing about professional writing is that we’re taught to be a lot of different things. We’re not just writers or editors, we’re also problem solvers and innovators and critical thinkers,” she said. “There’s also a sense of closeness and camaraderie and friendship that you don’t always get in other majors. I’m definitely going to miss all the familiar faces and seeing them every day.”

Hanna Bullion, Honorable Mention

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 said. “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.”

Bullion 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.

Photo of two girls. One with white tshirt, blue jeans, and dark hair. Other with red jacket, dark jeans, and dark hair.
 Outstanding PW Senior Award Honorable mention Hannah Bullion (L) with Outstanding PW Senior Award first-place winner Jessica Kukla (R)

“The proudest piece I have in my portfolio is definitely VIM,” Bullion said. “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.”

Bullion also was a social media intern for Refinery29, a communications intern for MSU’s College of Arts & Letters’ Marketing Office, and does 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,” Bullion said. “That has definitely been shaped by professional writing, the different professors I have had, and the people that I’ve interacted with.”

Alexandria Drzazgowski, Honorable Mention

Honorable mention Alexandria Drzazgowski also served as an intern for the College of Arts & Letters’ Marketing Office.

“The moments I spent in my internship with CAL were my favorite moments as a PW major,” she said. “My job was incredible, and I loved every second of it.”

portrait of a girl wearing a graduation hat with light brown hair wearing a black and white dress
Alexandria Drzazgowski

Drzazgowski is graduating with a concentration in Digital and Technical Writing.

“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,” Drzazgowski said. “I knew that it was the right place for me to be.”

In addition to her College of Arts & Letters internship, she was the Assistant Managing Editor of the Red Cedar Review, completed internships with Lippincott Massie McQuilkin Literary Agency, Neuwirth and Associates Production Company, and Stryker Corporation.

She also did volunteer work for MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities and the ELLI Language Acquisition Lab. She was 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.

Written by Professional Writing major and WRAC Digital Media Intern, Reyna Hurand, and originally published by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures. Read the original article here.