The 2022 recipients of the Professional and Public Writing (P2W) Outstanding Senior Award are Iliana Cosme-Brooks, Justice Curry, and Lacie Kunselman.
Presented by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC), the Professional and Public Writing Outstanding Senior Award recognizes graduating students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, success in experiential learning, and engagement with the community.
Iliana Cosme-Brooks is graduating this spring with a double major in Arts and Humanities and Professional and Public Writing. Within these disciplines, her focus is on community engagement and community publishing and editing.
“Opportunities like this don’t come around very often, so I am extremely grateful to have been recognized for my years of work within and beyond the university and to receive an award that will make a clear impact on my future,” Cosme-Brooks said. “P2W is an incredibly special program with a unique group of students and faculty who make it such an amazing space to learn within. I’m excited to see what future cohorts bring to the program and which other deserving students will earn this award.”
Cosme-Brooks worked as a Writing Consultant for The Writing Center, the Managing Editor for agnès films, and the Welcome Desk Supervisor for the MSU Union. She also worked for The Cube as an Editor and Formatter, the Lansing Urban Farm Project as an Internal Communications Specialist, and Age UK Islington as a Communications Assistant.
Cosme-Brooks was one of the winners of the 2021 CREATE! Microgrants, where she received $500 to create a project that responded critically and creatively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her project, titled Synonyms for, Symptoms of, Suffocation, Solitude, was of a mask and an exaggerated and oversized sweater made to illustrate how she felt during the pandemic.
“P2W is an incredibly special program with a unique group of students and faculty who make it such an amazing space to learn within.”Iliana Cosme-Brooks
During her free time, Cosme-Brooks was a part of extracurricular activities like the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities Council, where she served as President for two years. She also was the Executive Director for the ROIAL Players, a student-run theatre group on campus.
Cosme-Brooks is headed to graduate school in the fall to study Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at James Madison University.
During their time at MSU, Justice Curry worked for WRAC as both a Web Communications Manager and Social Media Intern. Within these positions, they uplifted the brand of the department, improved the department’s digital presence, and increased engagement across audiences. They also developed the Chat with WRAC podcast, which built a community of students and staff within the department by promoting their work within WRAC.
“Winning this award means so much to me because I’ve poured so much of myself into the WRAC Department for the last three years,” Justice said. “My supervisors have always made me feel recognized and complimented my work, but this award further cements that I’ve done some awesome projects for the department and I’m happy to be officially recognized for that work.”
Justice also served as a Developmental Editor, Copyeditor, and Feature Writer for The Current, East Lansing’s only full-color arts-and-culture magazine developed for and by MSU students. Within these roles, they edited in accordance with the magazine’s style guide and wrote compelling feature pieces that covered a range of topics.
“Winning this award means so much to me because I’ve poured so much of myself into the WRAC Department for the last three years.”Justice Curry
Throughout all of this work is the evident thread of passion for social rights and equality. As someone who is Black, disabled, and a part of the LGBTQ+ community, Justice aims to represent and advocate for these communities by creating accessible content. A particular point of interest for them within P2W is the opportunity to address accessibility and ableism through copyediting and developmental editing. They are also passionate about developing auditory projects, such as the Chat with WRAC podcast.
Coming into MSU, Kunselman was selected as a University Distinguished Scholar, an award that covers full tuition, room and board, and a stipend for up to eight semesters of undergraduate study at MSU. Now, she will graduate with dual degrees in P2W and Public Relations, with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a recipient of the Board of Trustees’ Award.
“Winning the Professional and Public Writing Outstanding Senior Award validates my hard work and effort in professional writing,” Kunselman said. “But more than that, it celebrates the P2W community for providing the support and resources I needed to become this version of myself. Because I respect everyone in the P2W department so much, this acknowledgment means even more.”
Kunselman integrated her writing skills in the public relations industry through professional opportunities with companies like Home Goods, TJX, and 42pointSEVEN Integrated Marketing and Communications Agency. At HomeGoods and TJX, she was a Buying Intern, where she researched product trends and selected and negotiated stock goods from vendors. At 42pointSEVEN, she was an Account Manager, where she built relationships with clients and served as a liaison between the creative team, strategists, and clients. Kunselman also was the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, where she helped grow audience engagement across social media platforms.
“Winning the Professional and Public Writing Outstanding Senior Award validates my hard work and effort in professional writing. But more than that, it celebrates the P2W community for providing the support and resources I needed to become this version of myself.”Lacie Kunselman
Within MSU, Kunselman served as a Research Assistant for the Media and Advertising Psychology Lab and co-authored the extended abstract, When It’s Too Expensive to Be Sustainable: Effects of Product Pricing for Sustainable Fashion Products on Attitudes, Purchase Intentions, and Price Perceptions. She was also a Public Relations Intern for the Citizen Scholars program, where she was integral in rebranding the program and redeveloping the Citizen Scholars web presence.
Kunselman was the Head Editor of The Current, East Lansing’s only full-color arts-and-culture magazine, and the Editing Director and Staff Editor of VIM Magazine, MSU’s student-run fashion, beauty, and lifestyle publication. She also served as Undergraduate Student Representative for the Department of Advertising and Public Relations Undergraduate Committee.
After graduating, Kunselman plans to move to Boston to begin work as an allocation analyst at TJX, Inc.