Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2014-05-13

A select group of Samford University freshmen received awards for outstanding writing and speech in the Core Curriculum's Cultural Perspectives (CP) and Communication Arts (CA) courses.

The Core Curriculum is an academic distinctive at Samford, explains Academic Success Center director Bridget Conway Rose. And, the CP and CA courses in particular form a common intellectual experience, as all students-regardless of major-take those classes.

"The essay and speech contests allow us to honor the most outstanding work in our freshman class," said Rose.  "While the winning students represent a variety of majors and interests, they demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak thoughtfully and effectively."

By category, this year's winners and their topics are:

Cultural Perspectives Essay

Rachel Sinclair, first place, The Consequences of Colonialism; Robert Turnage, second place, Why Beowulf was Worth the Effort; Annie Smith, third place, Pulling Back the Veil of Perspective; Bethany Carroll, honorable mention, The Employment of Reason; and Paige Reznikov, honorable mention, The Power of Language in Hamlet.

Communication Arts Speech

Cameron Gonzalez, first place, Positive Use of Technology in the Classroom; Margaret Hehir, second place, ADD/ADHD Overdiagnosis; Drew Smotherman, third place, Positive Effects of Urban Gardens;  Laura Bone, honorable mention, Abolishing Capital Punishment;  and Kelsey Robertson, honorable mention, Advocating Stem Cell Research for Pediatric Cancer Research.

Communication Arts Essay

Narrative/Personal Essay---Susanna Shivers, first place, What Really Matters; Margaret Hehir, second place, Panic on the Plane.

Expository Essay--- Jesse McConnico, first place, The Motives of the Ku Klux Klan; Margaret Hehir, second place, Child Beauty Pageants: Harmful or Helpful.

Persuasive Essay-- Stancey Smith, first place, In Defense of the Coerced; Rachel Sinclair, second place, Balanced ADHD Solutions-Behavior First, Medication Second.

Proposal Essay--Alexandra Brasscho, first place, The Creation of a New Field in Electronic Music Technology Therapy; Paige Reznikov, second place, Breaking Barriers-Bringing Convocation to Banner.

The award winners were joined by all nominees and their professors at a reception at the home of Samford president Andrew Westmoreland and Jeanna Westmoreland on May 5. The event was sponsored by the Core Curriculum program and the Academic Success Center.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.