President's Writing Awards

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First Place winners at the President's Writing Awards for Literature Based Research
Ashlynn Banning first place winner for Workplace writing
Rebecca Young first place winner for Fiction writing
Kassandra Kolbet first place winner for Poetry writing


Submit all manuscripts by 11:59 p.m. Feb. 28, 2025.


Awards will be given for first, second, and third place in each category. All first-place winners will receive $500, all second-place winners will receive $350, and all third-place winners will receive $200. Payments will be issued by check. 

Winners will be contacted by email and acknowledged publicly at the Connections Project Awards Ceremony in April.

President's Writing Awards is an annual writing contest that recognizes and honors excellence in student writing at College of Western Idaho (CWI). A foundational academic skill, celebration of writing across the disciplines underscores its importance and encourages students to approach it from a variety of perspectives.

Contest Rules

Contest categories are open to all manuscripts produced for coursework at CWI. Submissions that do not meet category criteria or contest rules will not be included in the contest process. Contest organizers and readers will not move misplaced submissions from one category to another, nor will they make edits to help submissions meet guidelines.

  • Students must be enrolled at College of Western Idaho to be eligible to submit and receive an award.
  • College of Western Idaho staff are eligible to submit writing done for coursework at CWI, but faculty are not eligible.
  • Previously published writing is not eligible for submission.
  • Students may submit to multiple categories but are limited to one submission per category.
  • No submission may be submitted to more than one category.

2024 President's Writing Awards Winners

Creative Nonfiction

  • First Place: Rebecca Young, "Graveyard Shelf"
  • Second Place: Aspen Rice, "Looking Out"
  • Third Place: Ali Murphy, "Ketchup"


  • First Place: Kassie Kolbet, "Weight of the World"
  • Second Place: Sam Hazard, "Dead Men Smoking"
  • Third Place: Adilene Ambriz, "Mangos"


  • First Place: Rebecca Young, "Redemption"
  • Second Place: Ali Murphy, "Salvation Knoll"
  • Third Place: Mak Gilley, "Late Night"

First-Year Writing

  • First Place: Dave Barnard, "Harvesting the Fields of My Voice"
  • Second Place: Nat Patkowski, "Don't Dream It's Over"
  • Third Place: Shannon Javanbakht, "From Punishment to Progress: Why Recovery Homes Matter"

Literature Based Research

  • First Place: Jessica Tisch, Sunny Smart, Amanda Pieroni, Kerry Draper, and Garrett French, "Social Media Use and Narcissism: Examining how Self-Perception, Socialization, Culture, and Socio-Emotional Connections Relate to Vulnerable, Grandiose, and Communal Narcissism and Social Media Use"
  • Second Place: Sarah Garrett, "Addressing the Need of Mental Health Education: Effect on Children's Academic and Personal Development"
  • Third Place: Taylor Hubbard, "Labor in the American Civil War: Causes of the New York Strikes of Late 1863"

Original Research

  • First Place: Jessica Tisch, "Cognitive Distortions: A Survey About Thinking Strategies and Their Relationship to Social Anxiety, Perfectionism, and Attachment"
  • Second Place: Jakob Stevens, "Cognitive Distortions: A Survey Analyzing Thinking Strategies and Their Relationship to Emotional Reasoning, Perfectionism, and Academic Success" 
  • Third Place: Sarah Garrett, "Nature Connectedness and Well-Being: Self-Reported Effect of Time Spent Outdoors on an Individual's Overall Health"

Critical Analysis

  • First Place: Peyton MacDonald, "Tet Offensive During the Vietnam War: Change in American Sentiment"
  • Second Place: Breanna Perkins, "Salem Village: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire"
  • Third Place: Rye Johnson, "Prison Structures and Subservience

Workplace Writing

  • First Place: Ashlynn Banning, "Communication is a Human Right"
  • Second Place: Mietta Sibert, "Emergency Response and Preparedness"
  • Third Place: Sarah Garrett, "The Impact of Independence" 

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Professor, Psychology
Room: APIN 1113