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May 2, 2017

Students receive Steuber Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing

Written By: Pat DeFlorin

In 2017, the Steuber Prize for Excellence in First-Year Writing awarded up-and-coming engineers for outstanding writing. The prize is an annual writing competition open to freshmen enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering who have satisfied up to 32 credits of coursework.

The prize is supported by an endowment from William F. Steuber, an engineering alumnus (BS ’30) who created the prize to help engineering students set themselves apart professionally with strong writing skills.

The prize has three categories: reflective, creative, and academic writing, and the 2017 winners are:

Reflective Writing, tied for first place

  • Joshua Emory, biomedical engineering, “Unstoppable Thoughts”
  • Rachel Minehan, biomedical engineering, “Soccer Mom”

Creative Writing, tied for first place

Academic Writing, first place

While writing a mashup of the Green Bay Packers and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Thomas Thelen, co-winner of the creative writing category, discovered the transferability of his creative writing skills. “By writing this essay, I realized that the skills I have developed through creative writing will still be applicable in engineering,” says Thelen.

Meghan Maglente, winner of the Academic writing category, also learned through the process of writing for the Steuber Prize. Writing an essay about how America should integrate social-emotional learning into K-12 education changed Maglente’s perspective on what it means to be professionally successful. “Now, I know that it takes more than just being ‘school smart’ to survive in both today’s job market and everyday life,” Maglente says.