Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards

The Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards recognize exemplary academic writing by undergraduate students across the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools. Each of three winners will receive $200, thanks to funding from the Aetna Chair of Writing Endowment.

Research papers, critical essays, lab reports, literature reviews, design projects, case studies—indeed all the genres assigned in UConn courses—are eligible. Writing done as part of W courses is encouraged, but so is writing done for non-W courses. Chapters or excerpts from undergraduate theses are eligible but should be kept to under 25 pages. All students, even graduating seniors, are eligible to submit writing, so long as it was done for UConn course credit.

Committees will review all submissions and make decisions by early October. Winners and honorable mentions will be celebrated at a reception in the spring semester.

Not eligible are essays written for First-Year Writing, which should be directed to the First-Year Writing Aetna Awards (fyw.uconn.edu/), or pieces of creative writing, which should be directed to the awards sponsored by the Creative Writing Program (creativewriting.uconn.edu). Graduate students are not eligible to submit work for the Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Award.

Aetna 2017  Online Application Materials

To begin the submission process, first decide into which of 3 categories your paper best fits. Then click on that category, and you will be taken to a page where you complete an online form and upload your document.

Humanities
Social Sciences
Sciences and Engineering

 

Congratulations to the 2016 Aetna Award Winners and Honorable Mentions! Scroll down to see the list of awardees.

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards 2016

Humanities
Winner:
Nicolas Ochart, “Reflection and Projection: Martin Wong and the Melting Pot”
Professor: Margo Machida, Art History

Honorable Mentions:
Megan Handau, “Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Political Intersectionality and A Forgotten Legacy”
Professor: Evelyn Simien, Political Science

Nataliya Kostenko, “Seeking Death in the Photograph: Landscape Photography, Post-Memory, and the Legacy of the Holocaust in Germany and Ukraine”
Professor: Sarah Winter, English

Anna Middendorf, “Constructing the World Cup Stadium: Migrant Workers’ Labor Rights in the Spotlight”
Professor: Shareen Hertel, Political Science

 

Social Sciences
Winner:
Samantha Guarneri, “The Impact of Poverty on Adolescent Anxiety, Depression, and GPA”
Professor: Keith Bellizzi, Human Development & Family Studies

Honorable Mention:
Francesca Chieffo, “Inequality Towards Women: In and Beyond the Workplace”
Professor: Gerald Hikel, Sociology

 

Science and Engineering
Winner:
Filip Bergabo, “Uranium Decay and the Random Process Model”
Professor: Alan Wuosmaa, Physics

Honorable Mentions:
Christopher Lewicki, “Boolean Algebra: Its Origin and How It Accelerated Modern Science”
Professor: Thomas DeFranco, Mathematics Education

Connor Occhialini, “Normal Modes of Coupled Oscillators”
Professor: Alan Wuosmaa, Physics

 

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards 2015

Humanities
Co-Winners:
Linnea Logie, “State Secrets: The U.S. and Great Britain in the Crosshairs of Nazi Espionage”
Professor:  Charles Lansing, History

Eric Medawar, “The Construction of Lebanese National Identity through History Textbooks”
Professor:  Fakhreddin Azimi, History

Honorable Mentions:
Daniela Aguila, “Safe Haven: Suggestions for Protecting, Advocating, and Meeting the Needs of Undocumented Children in the U.S”
Professor:  Anne Gebelein, Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies

Linnea Logie, “Navigating the Second Nuclear Age
Professor:  Stephen Dyson,  Political Science

Brian Passeri, “How World Literature Can Help Revitalize the English Classroom”
Professor:  Jason Courtmanche, English

 

Social Sciences
Winner:
Eeman Abbasi, “Health as a Commodity in a Globalized World”
Professor:  Barret Katuna, Sociology

 

Honorable Mentions:
Luke LaRosa, “Selling Downtown North: Place Branding, Citizen Involvement, and the Creation of a Neighborhood”
Professor:  Carol Atkinson-Palombo, Geography

Aaron Lattanzi, “Environmental Advocacy in the 21st Century – Greenpeace and Save the Arctic”
Professor:  Shareen Hertel, Political Science

Victoria Sylvestre, “Type 1 Diabetes: The Liminal Space Between Ability and Disability”
Professor:  Erin Eighan

 

Science and Engineering
Co-Winners:
Matthew Greenwood, “Investigation Of The Lipid Dependence Of Respiratory Complex IV Activation Using Nanoscale Bilayers”
Professor:  Nathan Alder,  Molecular and Cell Biology

Justin Sardi, “Alternative Splicing of Gucy2e as an Adaptive Response to Retinitis Pigmentosa”
Professor:  Rahul Kanadia, Physiology and Neurobiology

Honorable Mentions:
Anthony DeLeone, “Cross-time PCR analysis reveals early upregulation of the Cngb1 in response to Retinited Pigmentosa-like pathology”
Professor: Rahul Kanadia, Physiology and Neurobiology

Kevin Grassie, “Damped, Driven Harmonic Oscillator Response with Different Driving Force Waveforms”
Professor:  Richard T. Jones, Physics

Nicole Furman, “S100B and Tau as biomarkers of sport induced concussion”
Professor:  Elaine Choung-Hee Lee, Kinesiology

 

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards 2014

Humanities
Winner:
Samantha Ruggiero,  “Muriel Rukeyser’s Poetics of Documentary in The Book of the Dead
Professor:  Donna Hollenberg, English

Honorable Mentions:
Julia Berry, “Richard Wright’s Jagged Grain: An Abiding Dark Score
Professor Pamela Bedore , English

Emma Czaplinski, “Reading Through the Rabbit Hole”
Professor:  Jason Courtmanche, English

 

Social Sciences
Co-Winners:
Patrick Hannon, “If it Doesn’t Make Dollars it Doesn’t Make Sense: A Practical and Principled Approach to Improving Royal Dutch Shell’s Business practices in the Niger Delta
Professor:  Shareen Hertel, Political Science

Marissa Piccolo, “Redefining the Role of Mental Health Services in Public High Schools: An Exploration of Mental Health Care Access in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Framework”
Professor: Jennifer Freeman, Educational Psychology

Honorable Mentions:

Robyn Caron, “Sprechen Sie Englisch? How English-German Bilingualism is Reshaping German National Identity”
Professor:  Jennifer Sterling-Folker, Political Science

Michael Cinque, “Are Small Businesses the Biggest Producers of Jobs?: A Critique of David L. Birch’s Theory of Labor Statistics”
Professor:  Kathleen Segerson, Economics

Svitlana Shevchenko, “The Politics of Whaling and Inuit Stewardship”
Professor:  Alexia Smith, Anthropology

 

Science and Engineering
Winner:
Mackenzie Poskus, “Peptides with Switchable Mechanical Properties at Fluid-Fluid Interfaces”
Challa Kumar, Chemistry

Honorable Mentions:
Brenna Daly , “Diagnosis and Treatment of Hyperadrenocorticism”
Professor:  Steven Zinn, Animal Science

Matthew Fox, “Do Current Clinical Trial Regulations Satisfy the FDA’s Mission?”

Katery Hyatt, “Developmental regulation of Calm2 expression in Mus musculus cardiac and retinal tissue”
Professor:  Rahul Kanadia, Physiology and Neurobiology

Emma LaVigne, “The Effects of Interleukin-6 and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α on Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy and Repair”
Professor:  Steven Zinn, Animal Science

 

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards 2013

Humanities
Winner:
Kathleen Lynch, “Section Two: Escaping the ‘Devil of Fever’–Tropical Medicine and the East African Campaign” (Excerpt from Honors Thesis entitled: “The Clean Campaigns: Tropical Medicine and the British Army during World War One, 1914-1918”
Professor:  Sylvia Schafer, History

Social Sciences
Winner:
Gregory Smith, “The Significance of Nuclear Proliferation: A Case Study of North Korea”
Professor:  Jennifer Sterling-Folker, Political Science

Science and Engineering 
Co-Winners:
Alison Bush, “Intrauterine Growth Restriction Due to Poor Maternal Nutrition and its Effect on Adipogenesis in Sheep”
Professor:  Steven Zinn, Animal Science

Meredith Milligan, “The Future of Freshwater Fish”
Professor:  Chris Elphick, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

 

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards 2012

Humanities
Co-Winners:
Rebecca D’Angelo, “Of Choice and Necessity: Perceptions of Agency Amongst Late 18th and Early 19th Century Seamen in Maritime History”
Professor Matthew McKenzie, History, Avery Point Campus

Nathan Fletcher, “Religious and Evangelistic Iconography in Chagoya’s Return of the Macrobiotic Cannibal”
Professors:  Robin Greeley & Michael Orwicz, Art History

Social Sciences
Winner:
Stephen Petkis, “The Economics of Rights Fulfillment: A Critical Look at Fair Trade”
Professor:  Shareen Hertel, Political Science

Honorable Mention
Tatiana Mercado, “Mental Illness Stereotypes in Film and Television”
Professor:  Margaret Flynn, Communication Sciences

Science and Engineering
Winner:
Taylor Meltzer,  “To Eat or not to Eat? An Ethical Analysis of GMO Usage and Their Effects on the Environment”
Professor:  Theodore Taigen, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

 

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Awards 2011

Humanities
Co-Winners:
Zachary W. S. Langlois,  “The Wolf of the Capitol: Kemalism as an Alternative to Fascism in Inter-War Authoritarian Trends”
Professor:  John Davis, History

Shepherd Stearns,  “Backward Through the Veil:Individual and Group Identity in Dreams from My Father”
Professor:  Shawn Salvant, English and African-American Studies

Honorable Mention
David Schwegman,  “A Ecrire par Devoir de Memoire: Memory and the Rwandan Genocide”
Professor: Glenn Mitoma, History

Social Sciences
Winner:
Danielle Millar,  “Motherhood and Mental Illness: A Literature Review”
Professor:  Cheryl Beck, Nursing, and Heather Evans, Teaching Assistant

Honorable Mention:
Olivia Bogucki,  “A Critique of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a Treatment Method for Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”
Professor:  Louisa Baker, Human Development and Family Studies

Science and Engineering
Winner:
Karen Ren, The Evolutionary History of Avian Flight
Professor:  Carl Schlichting, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Honorable Mentions:
Anna Goodheart, “The Role of Dopamine in Adult Neurogenesis”
Professor:  Joanne Conover, Physiology and Neurobiology

David Robitaille,  “Bimetallic Core-Shell Catalysts: A Review”
Professors:  Brian Willis, Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering, and Steven Suib, Chemistry

Stephanie Marie Tornaquindici,  “Embryonic Diapause in the Tammar Wallaby, Macropus eugenii: An Adaptation of Development”
Professor:  Steven Zinn, Animal Science

 

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Award- – Fall 2010

Humanities
Winner:
Arman Azimi,  “Orientalism in Camus’ The First Man”
Professor:  Roger Buckley , History

Honorable Mention:
Shepherd Stearns,  “Traversing Metaphors of Power in Iola Leroy”
Professor:  Shawn Salvant, English & African American Studies

Social Sciences
Co-Winners:
Kevin, McQuade, “Contemporary Kurdish Struggles for Self-Determination”
Professor:   Shareen Hertel, Political Science

Blayne Sapelli,  “Another World is Possible: The World Social Forum, Its Evolution and Purpose”
Professor:   Shareen Hertel, Political Science

Honorable Mention:
Christian Hofer,  “Carbon Finance & Cattle Externalities in the Brazilian Amazon: Pricing Reforestation in terms of Restoration Ecology”
Professor:  Robert Martel, Economics

Honorable Mention:
John Dearborn, “Pablo Picasso’s Guernica: A Convergence of War, International Relations, and Feminism in Art”
Professor:  Christine Sylvester, Political Science &Women’s Studies

Science and Engineering
Co-Winners:
Elsa Anglin,  “Manx Syndrome of the Domestic Cat”
Professor:  Steven Zinn , Animal Science

John Peters, “Primate Alarm Calls: The Selfish Side
Professor:  Kent Holsigner, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

 

Aetna Writing in the Disciplines Award- – Fall 2009

Humanities
Winner:
John Bailey, “Straight but Searching: Queering the Male Gaze in Lesbian Pulp”
Professor:  Margaret Breen, English

Honorable Mentions
Kaitlyn Harley, “The Odyssey’s New Epic Hero” 
Professor:  Roger Travis, Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Lisa A Tess, “Gender Stereotyping In Popular Children’s Literature”
Professor:   Kathleen O’Reilly, Sociology

Social Sciences
Winner:
Matthew  M. Santacroce,  “El Agua es Nuestra: The Bolivian Water War and Anti-Neoliberal Popular Mobilization”
Professor:  Shareen Hertel, Political Science

Honorable Mentions
Brittany Bauer, “ Children’s Ability to Recognize Six Universal Emotions”
Professor:  Letitia Naigles, Psychology

Kenyon Colli, “The Effectiveness of the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet”
Professor:  Inge-Marie Eigsti, Psychology

Cara Flynn, “Personality and Perception: The Effects of Personality Traits on Gender Role Endorsement”
Professor:   Randi Garcia, Psychology

Science and Engineering
Co-Winners:
Joseph Keller, “Mimicry: Shades of Gray”
Professor:  Chris Elphik, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Alexander Ocampo,  “Shortened Telomeres as a Root for Cancer”
Professor:  Mary Bruno, Molecular and Cell Biology

Honorable Mention
Melissa Cilley, “Anti-Carcinogenic Properties of Anthocyanins in Breast Cancer Prevention”
Professor:   Richard Bruno, Nutritional Science