Diversity and Inclusion Student Writing Prize

The Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Student Writing Prize was conceived to:

  • Celebrate ideas expressed in student writing that exemplify the College’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism
  • Engage students in an intellectual discussion to help foster diversity and inclusion within all aspects of the College

Award Information

  • Up to $500 for an undergraduate student prize and up to $500 for a graduate student prize will be awarded
  • Entries are judged on their relevance to diversity and inclusion, and on the overall quality of the submission
  • Prize funds are applied directly to the student’s Western Michigan University account and as such may impact financial aid
  • Prize winners agree to allow posting of their submission on the College of Arts and Sciences website(s) and allow use of attributed excerpts in College promotional materials

All awards are subject to final budgetary approval and authorization by the College of Arts and Sciences dean's office.


Feb. 15

  • This prize will be offered as long as funds are available.
  • Applicants will be notified of the results within six weeks of the application deadline date.
  • No late applications will be considered.


  • Two types of submissions are accepted:
    • The submission may be from a currently enrolled Western Michigan University undergraduate or graduate student with a declared major, minor, or graduate program of study in the College of Arts and Sciences; –OR
    • The submission may be an original writing assignment that the applicant has submitted for a grade in a College of Arts and Sciences course during the fall or spring semester of the current academic year. The student must be enrolled in the spring semester in order to be eligible for the award.
  • Examples of eligible types of writing may include an essay, composition, short fiction or nonfiction, poetry, documentary, film script, website, blog or other academic or creative work
  • Writing should demonstrate excellence in themes related to diversity and inclusion. “Themes of diversity and inclusion involve the dimensions of race, ethnicity, and national and regional origins; sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation; socioeconomic status, age, physical attributes, and abilities; as well as religious, political, cultural, and intellectual ideologies and practices” (Western Michigan University’s Diversity and Multiculturalism Action Plan)
  • If the submission is in a foreign language, please include the original and an English translation


Submit the following materials by the deadline. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

  1. Completed Student Application Cover Sheet
  2. A cover letter prepared according to the instructions on the cover sheet
  3. PDF of the submission if written in print form. A flash drive, hyperlink to, or DVD of the submission is acceptable for other forms.
  4. Completed Advisor or Instructor Verification Form


College of Arts and Sciences Office of the Dean:

Students should submit the cover sheet, cover letter and the submission as a single PDF. The student's advisor or course instructor should separately submit the verification form. For all submissions, put the award title (Diversity and Inclusion Student Writing Prize) and the student's name in the subject line of the email. Emails from WMU accounts may serve in place of signatures.

Only online submissions will be accepted.

2020 recipients

Undergraduate Student Writing Prizes

Freddy Fuentes – interpersonal communications major
Lauryn Rumisek – sociology and general psychology majors


Please do not hesitate to contact the College of Arts and Sciences dean's office with any questions or concerns.

See full list of awards given by the College of Arts and Sciences.