Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Class of 2014 Freshman Essay Winners Announced
Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:20

The chair of the Manhattanville College Board on Academic Standards, Professor Alison Carson and chair of the First Year Program, Colin Morris, held a luncheon on Tuesday, September 21 for the winners of the Class of 2014 Freshman Essay. The winner, Liz Cavanaugh, and three finalists Stephanie Camerone, Sarah Belmore, and Angela Gigliotti were honored with their prizes and discussed their individual intellectual development as a result of the essay with members of the Board of Academic Standards. The winners are four academically inclined young women who continue to pursue intellectual, ethical, and social growth within a community of engaged scholars and teachers.

Cavanaugh's carefully composed essay, "Emily Dickinson's Battle with God" fathoms the "lifetime of struggle" with faith expressed in Emily Dickinson's poetry, insightfully analyzing its "beautifully worded literature" in the context of social, religious and personal history. It concludes persuasively that Dickinson "perfectly understood the duality of human experience," that "either the tradition of her Puritan past is very right, and dying without being 'saved' is a complete failure of God's plan for each person, or that there is no difference between being 'saved' and 'unsaved', since God's love for us is eternal and unquestioned."

Each incoming student at Manhattanville takes the First Year Seminar, as a part of this training; each freshman is required to write The Freshman Essay. It is an original, analytical essay that synthesizes content from the student's First Year Seminar, incorporates independent research, demonstrates a proficiency in critical thinking, and applies the fundamental elements of composition, persuasion and research. The essay is required for students' portfolio. The first year program, through the announcement and honoring of the winners, hopes to continue to grow in subjects available for the first year seminar and academic success.

To be considered for the prize, a Freshman Essay must be nominated by the student's advisor. A committee comprised of First Year Seminar and Writing instructors then picks a group of finalists. The finalist essays are read by the members of the Board on Academic Standards and a winner is selected.