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April 19, 2018

Biomedical engineering student wins first-year writing contest

Written By: Tom Ziemer


 Isabella Lenz
Isabella Lenz

When Isabella Lenz learned about the Steuber Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing, her motivations for entering were rooted in both passion and pragmatism.

“Naturally I was motivated by the prize money, but I also really enjoy writing,” says the first-year biomedical engineering major in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering.

That enjoyment shines through in her prose. Lenz won the top prize in the 2018 contest, netting $1,000 in scholarship money for her reflective piece “Hate You Alive, Love You Dead,” in which she poignantly grapples with her feelings toward her uncle before and after his death.

The annual contest challenges first-year students to enter pieces of 2,500 words or less across three categories: reflective, academic or creative. It’s an offshoot of the Steuber Prize for Excellence in Writing, established through an endowment from the late William Steuber, a professional engineer and author.

Lenz says she hopes to attend medical school and work as a physician in the future.