SVSU Celebrates Excellence in Student Writing

Saginaw Valley State University’s Academic Writing Program celebrated the writing achievements of student writers with 2022 Academic Writing Awards on Wednesday, April 20.

“In nearly 25 years since the University Writing Awards have been presented, we have recognized nearly 400 excellent student writers,” said Kimberly Lacey, associate professor of English and coordinator of the awards program. “These students ― and all who have been nominated ― should be commended for their commitment to expressing themselves clearly in writing.”


Diane Boehm Writing Awards for ePortfolios are presented each year with exceptional prizes to reward the creative and effective integration of writing and multimedia. Diane Boehm, director emeritus of the SVSU Writing Center, created and funds the award. Boehm was on hand to address attendees.

Madelene Cifrulak, a nursing student from Midland, won the undergraduate award.

The scholarship was created and is funded by donations from Jim and Melissa Seitz. Entries were judged by Tim Kenyon and Tamara Migan, English teachers, and Vincent Samarco, English teacher.

the Robert SP Yien Freshman Writing Award showcase the outstanding work of first-year composition students in ENGL 080 and 111. Yien served as Vice President of Academic Affairs of SVSU for 27 years before his retirement. Papers were judged by Emily Beard-Bohn, Associate Professor of English; William DeHerder, director of the Writing Center; Sherrin Frances, English teacher; and Tim Kenyon, English teacher.

Prizes were awarded in six categories:

  • ENGL 080 ― Emily Lavoie of St. Clair Shores, Biology Major
  • ENGL 111 Research ― Robert P. Powers, Psychology graduate from Unionville
  • ENGL 111 Analysis ― Miranda Smith, a finance major from Sanford
  • ENGL 111 Narrative ― Stephanie Strong of Howell, a nursing major
  • ENGL 111 Multimodal ― Madolyn Glocksine, a biology major from Essexville
  • ENGL 111 Wolff-Harmon Award ― Krzysztof Hejno, Frankenmuth IT Specialist

In addition to the students who were recognized, English teacher Vincent Samarco received the Innovative Writing in Teaching Award, which honors teachers whose work has made a significant contribution to the development of student writers at SVSU.

the University Writing Program at SVSU provides students with the resources to develop their writing and critical thinking skills, supports faculty engagement in best practices in teaching writing, and encourages all members of the university community to value the writing by coordinating various activities and programs on campus.

Additional judges for this year’s awards included nursing professor Sally Decker; Associate Professor of English Veronika Drake; associate professor of biology Sylvia Fromherz; social work professor Mark Giesler; English teacher Chris Giroux; associate professor of mathematics Amy Hlavacek; assistant professor of nursing Sherry Kaufman; associate professor of English Kimberly Lacey; and Assistant Professor of Nursing Emily Larocque. Two students also served as judges: Sydney Cheney, a professional and technical writing major from Saginaw, and Amelia Corne, an education major from Newport.


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