Diversity and Inclusion Student Writing Award


This award is offered by the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University to celebrate ideas expressed in student writing that exemplify the college’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism.  This award also encourages student engagement in an intellectual discussion to help foster diversity and inclusion within all aspects of the College.  Students must self-nominate for this award. 

Award winners will be recognized at the College of Arts and Sciences achievement awards ceremony in spring.  In addition, they will receive a plaque/award and $500, which is processed as a scholarship and may impact a student’s financial aid. 


Deadline for Self-Nominations

Nominations are due February 15 of every academic year while funds are available.

Day of the Dead Celebrations


2022 CAS Diversity and Inclusion Student Writing Award Recipients

Graduate Student Recipient

Grecia Sanchez, Philosophy

"Sugar, Pan de Muerto, and Grief: How Rituals Inform our Understandings of Grief"

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Ashley Atkins, assistant professor, Philosophy

The Stage of Emily Doe front cover


Undergraduate Student Recipient

Rian Johnson, Digital Media and Journalism 

"The Stages of Emily Doe"

Faculty Sponsor: Olivia Moskot, graduate assistant, Philosophy






Honorable Mention 

Firzana Syazania, Olivia Moskot, desireé celesté


Nominee Eligibility

  • 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– 

  • An original writing assignment from an undergraduate or graduate student that was submitted for a grade in a College of Arts and Sciences course since February 15 of the previous 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 


Criteria for Award Selection 

  • 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. 


Required Nomination Materials

  • Prepare a cover letter describing how your writing meets or exceeds the award selection criteria.
  • Upload a copy of the material you would like the committee to review.
  • Upload a statement of recommendation from your sponsor


Files must be less than 300 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt pdf doc docx ppt pptx xml mp3.
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf pdf doc docx odt ppt pptx odp xls xlsx ods xml.
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png txt rtf pdf doc docx odt ppt pptx odp xls xlsx ods xml avi mov mp3 ogg wav.


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