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ULM announces freshman essay winners

Published December 6, 2017

The University of Louisiana Monroe’s English program hosted its annual Best Freshman Essay Awards Ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. in the media room on the 6th floor of the university library.

This essay contest is held each fall for English 1001 students to demonstrate their writing abilities and creativity. 
Essay submissions are from the first essay that freshmen students write in Composition I. The essays are written based on a unit taught alongside “Writing in the Works” and the summer reader “This I Believe” (essay selections from NPR). 

Students submit their narrative essays for judging by composition instructors. The judges look for creativity, a resounding message and writing level.  

University of Louisiana Monroe President Nick J. Bruno, left, is pictured with the winners in the annual Best Freshman Essay Contest. Winners include, left from Bruno, Olivia Bailey in first place; Alexis Page in second place and Alexi Wiley in third place.
This year’s winners are as follows:
Dr. Nick J. Bruno presents Olivia Bailey with her award. 

First place: Olivia Bailey is 19, from Lake Charles and is studying political science. She wants to become a defense attorney and someday own her own lobbying firm. She is a cheerleader for ULM, member of Kappa Delta sorority, a freshman senator for SGA, and a team leader for Up ‘Til Dawn. Her essay is titled “Grease Girl.” Bailey recounts the moment she realized her race in an introspective and humorous narrative. Her instructor was Hannah Clifton.

Second place: Alexis Page is 18 and from San Diego, Calif. Her major is art with a concentration in graphic design. She aspires to be a background artist for video gaming. Her essay is titled “Cursed Skin.” Page chillingly and poignantly narrates her struggles associating with members of her own race. Her instructor was Jaleesa Harris.

Third place: Alexi Wiley is 19 and from West Monroe. He is a computer science major and would like to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. In his essay “A True Momma's Boy” Alexi delivers a heartfelt narrative about the moments he had to care for his mother. His instructor was Meredith McKinnie.
This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. More than 100,000 of these essays, written by people from all levels of society, are archived on the NPR website, heard on public radio, chronicled through NPR’s books, and featured in weekly podcasts.   

For more information on This I Believe, visit thisibelieve.org 

For more information on ULM’s Summer Reading Program, visit ulm.edu/summerreading.