Writing 50 Awards

Every year, students from Writing 50 courses submit their essays to the Writing 50 Awards. The best essays are chosen by Writing 50 instructors, and winners attend the Best of Writing 50 Awards Ceremony each June. The Writing Program and the Writing 50 committee are pleased to publish the essays you will find below. You will find a variety of themes, approaches, ideas, and research methods. We encourage you to spend some time browsing through this year's winners as well as past entries.
 

2015 Award Winners

(Editing intern: Tiffany Taing)

Sarah Behar, Bitches Ain’t Shit, But Hoes and Tricks
Instructor: Deb Harris-Moore

Meg Berkowitz, Trix Aren’t For Kids
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

Claire Breen, ’Real Beauty’ Campaigns in the Media: Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
Instructor: Deb Harris-Moore

Alex Mettler, Plight of the Pet: Methods of Handling Dog Overpopulation in the Santa Barbara Area
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Lindsey Schwarze, Grief.com: How the Internet has Changed the Landscape for Grieving
Instructor: Kathy Patterson
 

2014 Award Winners

(Editing intern: Joanne Howard)

Katelyn Carano, Adderall Abuse at University of California, Santa Barbara
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

Averi Gerberding, Body Image in the Media: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Instructor: Deborah Harris-Moore

Kyle McCabe, More Than a Game: A Look at the Impact of Advergaming on Children
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

Adithep Narula, Unlucky 13 and Human Nature
Instructor: Chris Dean

Vivian Nong, Brand New Vision: Embryonic Stem Cells as Regenerative Medicine to Treat AMD
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Mindy Pham, The Effects of Background Music on Consumer Behavior
Instructor: Mike Joiner

Dante Russomanno, Exploring the New Frontier: The Search for Life on Mars
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

 

2013 Award Winners

(Editing Interns: Ashley Somerfeld and Stephanie Brennan)

Salvador Guzman, Cause and Effect of Gender-Based Discrimination Within Video Game Culture
Instructor: Peter Huk

Juliàn Hiltbrandt-Consoli, Social Selection in The Bunny Man: Research on the Origins of the Legend
Instructors: Doug Bradley and Chris Dean

Cheryl Hornsby, Perceptions of Genetically Modified Foods
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

Shannon Leavitt, How is Jewish Identity Manifested Through Food?
Instructor: Cissy Ross

Bobby Lozoya, Mashing Gears and Clogging Arteries: Why Tour de France Riders Dope
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Jane Park, Teleportation and its Consequences in Light of the Transporter From Star Trek: The Next Generation  
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Zachary Swanson, Suspicious Minds: Pearl Harbor, Conspiracy Theories, and American Culture
Instructors: Doug Bradley and Chris Dean

Sweets Underwood, From Scraps to Scrumptious
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

 

2012 Award Winners

(Editing Interns: Matthew Zajic & Alexandra Francis)

Eric Brown, Potential Solutions to MMR Vaccine Denial
Instructor: Ljiljana Coklin

Stefani Bucifal, Mentality of Women Who Kill Their Children and Filicide's Effect on Sentencing and Prevention Mechanisms
Instructor: Auli Ek

Philip Campos, Language Death: Natural Progression or Inevitable Tragedy?
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Charlie Chen, What the App Store Has in Store
Instructor: Jon Ramsey

Emily Chen, The Global Exploitation of Surrogacy
Instructor: Auli Ek

Zac Cruz, Learning to Practice Ethics: Corporate Lobbyists in the Global Arena
Instructor: Jon Ramsey

Alice Greenberg, Alcohol in Music: Changes over the Past Decade
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

Irene Parobii, Not for the Faint of Heart: Organ Donation after Cardiocirculatory Death
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Gena Scott, Intersex Children and Genital Reconstructive Surgery: Who Decides?
Instructor: Ljiljana Coklin

Sarah Scott, Changing Views of Depression: Messages in Antidepressant Advertising
Instructor: Gina Vallis

Ryan Sullivan, Analysis of Undergraduate Grade Distributions and University Rankings
Instructor: Gina Vallis

 

2011 Award Winners

First Place Awards

Johnny McGee, How Rape Destroys: A Look into Darfuri Genocide
Instructor: Auli Ek

Adam Primack, Sustaining the Life of Cinema: A Study of Film Archiving Philosophy
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Ben Ashton Sherwood, The Last Barrel of Oil
Instructor: Peter Huk

Second Place Awards

Galen Borson, Causes and Effects of the Japanese Obesity Epidemic
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

Dmitriy Gekker, Fear and Loathing in Goleta: A Savage Journey Through the Heart of the American Drug Policy and its Solutions
Instructor: Katie Baillargeon

Mason Kwiat, Environmental Education in the University of California Computer Science and Computer Engineering Curriculum
Instructor: Peter Huk

Third Place Awards

Donald Jones, The Thin White Line: Pharmaceuticals and Illicit “Street Drugs” at UCSB
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Hannah McGovern, The Dilemma of Teenage Sexual Activity
Instructor: Leslie Hammer

Desiree Rogers, Unattainable Joy: Unequal Access to Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Instructor: Leslie Hammer

Honorable Mentions

Rachel Meek, The Recovered Veteran
Instructor: Mashey Bernstein

Holly Rich, The Struggle of Women to Prove Domestic Violence: Heightened Awareness, Medical Evidence, New Techniques, and Bias
Instructor: Auli Ek

Tom Sleeter, America’s Pharmademic: Addiction and Abuse of Prescription Drugs
Instructor: Auli Ek

Aimee Walker
Athletic Scholarships and Recruitment: A Re-Evaluation
Instructor: Ljiljana Coklin

Christina Yan
Secrets Behind the Bars: An Examination of Zoos as an Unethical Practice
Instructor:Peter Huk

 

2010 Award Winners

First Place Awards

Elyse Hollander, Television Fans in the Digital Era
Instructor: Ljiljana Coklin

Christy Riva, From U. C.an S.tudy B.uzzed to U. C.an be S.toned in C.lass:An Analysis of the Influence of Spatial Relationship and the University Experience
Instructor: Gina Vallis

Megan Stimpson, Imagine Every Child: One Laptop Per Child's Distance Education Program Reaches Students in Developing Countries
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Second Place Awards

Emma Quinn, "Who Cares?" Public Policy on Support for Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers
Instructor: Gina Vallis

Silke Schroeder, Women with Mental Illness in the US Prison System
Instructor: Auli Ek

Lynnette Yamamoto, Optimal Experience in Sports
Instructor: Lisa Avery

Third Place Awards

Micah Kilimann, Orphans of the Disease: AIDS Orphans and Their HIV Risk
Instructor: Leslie Hammer

Nicole Mellom, Cultural Violence towards Women: Female Genital Mutilation in Africa
Instructor: Leslie Hammer

Amy Ritchie, Death, Death, Death and Afternoon Tea: The Social Significance of Serial Killers, Products of Modernity
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Honorable Mentions

Alexander Bowman, Suicide and Happiness: The Struggle to Identify Effective Treatment
Instructor: Lisa Avery

Chloe De Lancie, Death is Not the End: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Art
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Miriam Hauck, Six Feet Under: The Historical and Cultural Significance of Embalming in the U.S. and the Public Opinion
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Katerina Marcoulides, Creating a Child Molester
Instructor: Gina Genova

Alice Pearl, Vessels and Zombies: The Effect of Extrinsic Motivations on Satisfaction and Productivity
Instructor: Gina Vallis

Stephanie Richter, Establishing the Need for More Substance Abuse Programs Designed Specifically for Incarcerated Women
Instructor: Auli Ek

Trevor Shor, The Coogan Law
Instructor: Gina Genova

Jessica Watts, Celebrities, Satirical Rock Stars, and Calcified Mustaches: A Review of the Cause and Effect of the Milk Media Phenomena
Instructor: Gina Vallis

Corinne Westerhoff, The Relationship between Paroled Mothers and Their Children after Prison
Instructor: Auli Ek

 

2009 Award Winners

First Place Awards

Haley Dauterman, Academic Inclusion for Children with Developmental Disabilities: Overcoming the Concerns to Reach the Benefits
Instructor: Ljiljana Coklin

Brittnie Duvall, Water Privatization and the World Bank's Involvement in Cochabamba, Bolivia
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Lyndsey Rocca, Online Social Networks: Construction of Identity in the 21st Century
Instructor: Amanda Stansell

Second Place Awards

Bryan Lubomirsky, CIA Drug Smuggling: Who Is Climbing Conspiracy Mountain?
Instructor: Doug Bradley and Christopher Dean

Won-ji Seo, Imperative Progress of Stem Cell Research Limited by Ethical Obligations
Instructor: Brad Comann

Cary Whittaker, Collegiate Coaching: Working the Sidelines in the Twenty-First Century
Instructor: Jon Ramsey

Third Place Awards

Meagan Gibeson, Protecting the Owl: A Great American Trial
Instructor: Gina Genova

Meredith Jones, Alternatives to Incarcerating Drug Offenders
Instructor: Auli Ek

Matthew Montero, The Immediate Impact of Globalization on the American Working Class
Instructor: Brad Comann

Honorable Mentions

Zoe Amerigian, Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide
Instructors: Doug Bradley and Chris Dean

Scott Freeman, Global Warming Skeptics, Public Opinion, and Policy Implementation
Instructor: Peter Huk

Katrina Fung, Newspaper Representations of the Tainted Milk Scandal: Media and American Perceptions of China
Instructor: Amanda Stansell

Nicholas Garcia, Happiness and Evolution
Instructor: Lisa Avery

Allyson Guatno, Clothing Consumption: A Wasteful Practice?
Instructor: Peter Huk

Eli Krispi, The Sustainable Urban Blueprint
Instructor: Peter Huk

Paul Monge-Rodriguez, A Failed Policy and the Future of American Labor
Instructor: Jon Haner

Brittany O'Connor, The Devaluation of Veterinary Medicine
Instructor: Jon Ramsey

Amethyst Rorabaugh, Ambiguous Education Laws and the Home Schooling Debate in CaliforniaInstructor: Kathy Patterson

Andre Ross, The Biofuel Hoax: An Evaluation of Biofuels
Instructor: Peter Huk

Andy Seguin, Print Journalism, Political Bias, and the 2008 Election
Instructor: Amanda Stansell

Joelle Shapiro, California Youth Drug Rehabilitation: Preventing Relapse
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

 

2008 Award Winners

First Place Awards

Frank Aiello, The Politics of Free Jazz Movement in the 1950s and 1960s
Instructor: Robert Krut

Charles Mihelich, We Were Soldiers: Re-envisioning American Patriotism
Instructor: Mashey Bernstein

Heather Rally, Sex Trafficking and the Slavery of Women and Children: Fighting Crime at its Roots
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Second Place Awards

Marjorie Brevidoro, Passover and the Parlor: Tenement Housing and its Effect on Jewish-American Identity
Instructor: Stacey Van Dahm

Kevin Chavarria, Use of Public Transportation by Students in California: An Analysis of Attitudes and Behaviors
Instructor: Vanessa Coloura

Leslie Mar, The Division of Labor In the Home
Instructor: Chris Dean

Third Place Awards

Davin Ashraf, Euthanasia: A Boon To Society
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Ryan Doria, Absence at the Dinner Table: Loss of Eating Habits Through Filipino Generations
Instructor: Stacey Van Dahm

Sarah Ebe, U.S. Foreign Oil Dependence
Instructor: Jon Haner

Alexandra Letzel, International Precedent or Victor's Justice
Instructor: Nuno Sena

Alyssa Munoz, Left Behind in the Global Economy
Instructor: Chris Dean

Vivian Wauters, English Language Learner Programs in California
Instructor: Vanessa Coloura

Honorable Mentions

Marie Tran, Execute the Mentally Impaired? The Eighth Amendment that Supports and Opposes Death Sentencing
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Ali Warrick, Microbial Water Testing in Third World Countries: Clean Drinking Water for All
Instructor: Chris Dean

Craig Schaller, Erosion in Santa Barbara
Instructor: Vanessa Coloura

Alex Wakeman, The Golden Age of Horror
Instructor: Nuno Sena

Abigail Wald, Pushing the Limits of Roe v. Wade
Instructor: Kathy Patterson

Kara Russell, Undocumented Mexican Immigrants: Is the American Public Wrong?
Instructor: Stacey Van Dahm

Amalie Tanaka, Designer Children: Products of Society's Desire for Perfection
Instructor: Kathy Patterson