Just as Seminar is a cornerstone of the Saint Mary's education and experience, the Newman Awards are the highest recognition an SMC Seminar student can achieve. Each year, The Undergraduate, a journal founded by Professor Barry Horwitz, recognizes and celebrates outstanding student essays from the Seminar program at this awards ceremony.
Four awards were given at this year's 21st annual Newman Awards ceremony at the Soda Center on April 27-one from the 19th and 20th Century Thought seminar and three from the Greek Thought seminar:
Left to right: Robby Tabor, Kristin Henry and Sam Ricci accept their awards.
Kristin Henry was recognized for her paper on "Athena and Odysseus: A Mutually Dependent Duo," which analyzed relationships in the context of Homer's Odyssey.
Sam Ricci, an English major, was honored for her essay, "Moral Martyrdom," which incorporated multiple texts as well a psychological analysis.
Robby Tabor was honored for his essay "Revenge or Justice? Morality in The Oresteia," which remarked on the changing definition of justice throughout the play, and how that definition is still prevalent in modern-day justice systems. Tabor thanked the judges for his award, then remarked on how his essay started as an homework assignment, then evolved as he became more fixated on the idea of justice. Along the way, he discovered that all good essays have something in common, he said. They all "need passion."
Natalee Grimes, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was recognized for her the 19th and 20th Century Thought essay, "Fear, Faith, and Frenzy in Of Love and Other Demons," a novel by Gabriel GarcÃa MÃ¡rquez.
About 70 people the turned out to honor the award winners. The awards are given to students who go beyond an "A" essay and show a deeper understanding of the source materials, which may range from Socrates to Malcolm X. Seminar and English Professor Torbie Philips introduced the honorees and described the process for choosing the winning essays, which are not ranked in any order. First, Seminar professors nominate outstanding essays from their classes. These essays, which numbered just under 60 this year, are then read and voted on by faculty members. Essays must not only be well written, they must also be thought-provoking, engaging and exemplary.
Copies of The Undergraduate, featuring the winning essays, can be found around campus and in the English Department offices.
Story and photos by Thomas Vo '12