Student Opportunities

The First-Year Writing Conference

Held near the end of each term, this writing celebration provides the opportunity for FYW students to share the work they have created over the past term in a setting outside their own classroom. Most of the presented work comes from the students’ multi-modal projects (videos, posters, infomercials, game boards, etc.), though parts of student papers may be read there too. Conference presenters, all FYW students, also talk about how they made their projects, and answer audience questions. The conferences are attended by other FYW students and instructors, and in spring, by other invited guests—MSU faculty and administrators from other departments, and local high school students and their teachers, who come to learn more about writing and college life.

The Anderson Award

The David D. Anderson Award for the Best Essay in First-Year Writing at MSU was established in honor of David D. Anderson’s lifelong commitment to education and excellence as a scholar and a teacher. The award gives a first-place designation to two student essays per year (one from each semester), and several Honorable mentions. As specific in the gift, student essays are nominated by “professors based on excellence in writing a paper as part of the normal course assignments, so if you are interested, please talk with your professor about this opportunity, and the winners are chosen by a committee of FYW instructors. Each first-place winner receives a $200 scholarship, and is honored at the annual College of Arts and Letters spring convocation. The deadline for submission of a paper is always the third Friday of the following term.

The Yoshimori Award

Named in honor of Dorothy Yoshimori, a former MSU graduate student who did outstanding work in American cultural studies, the annual Yoshimori Award is given to an undergraduate student whose multi-modal work in a first-year writing class has been superior. In honor of the award’s namesake, the winning entry must also be about American culture, loosely defined. One award is given each year, along with several Honorable Mentions.  As with the Anderson Award, Yoshimori contenders must be nominated by their First-Year Writing instructors. Each first-place winner receives a $200 award, though since group projects are eligible for this award, the prize money may be divided among each of the group members. 

Since there is only one Yoshimori award is given per year, the deadline is at the end of the spring semester. Instructors may nominate one student per course section for this award, and they may also serve on the faculty-led Yoshimori Award Committee that evaluates the entries.

For more information about the Anderson and Yoshimori Awards, contact Joyce Meier, Associate Director, FYW Program.