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Best of FYE Essays

Each year, the Writing Committee selects and honors a few outstanding papers from the pool of successful works produced in First-Year Experience courses.

Because one of the main goals of the FYE program is to help new students develop their writing skills, the selected students are distinguished with a publication of their efforts on our website.

In previous years, the Writing Committee selected a few essays from among those nominated by faculty.  This year’s Best of FYE publication celebrates the breadth of work done by First-Year Experience students by publishing every essay nominated by faculty as representative of the best work from the associated FYE course.

A Word from the Writing Committee:

You will notice a broad range of topics and approaches here. There are papers from all three academic divisions — Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences — and formats that range from reflective interpretations to research papers. First-year students wrote the papers collected here as specific assignments for their courses, so their content also reflects some of the types of writing professors are currently seeking from students.

None of us, from first-year student to professor, is ever finished with the process of learning how to write. As you will see, the papers here are works in progress — fine examples of what our first-year students can do with an assignment, a few days time, and a word processor. They all reflect intelligence, clarity of thought, and hard work. None of them are meant to stand as examples of perfection, or models for grading. All are tributes to the importance we place on good writing at Colorado College.

— The Writing Committee: 
Jane Murphy - Chair, Tracy Santa, Sarah Labrie, Roy Jo Sartin, Brenna Swift and Sarah Milteer

Best of FYE Essays 2014-2015

Best of FYE Essays 2000-2013

2013 Winners

Ellie LaCourt
"Inequality in Public School Funding: Making Policy Match Values"

Natasha Riveron
"Embarrassment: Personal Pain for Social Gain"

2013 Honorable Mention

Sunil Butler
“Analysis of the Criminal Investigations of Richard Sagerstein and Theodore Kaczynski with a Focus on Explosives

Emma Logevall
“The Chacoan World Identity: Its Origin, Evolution, and Image in the Modern Day”

Anna Squires
"Ritual Renewal in Ancestral Puebloan Societies: Collective Memory and Social Control" 

2012 Winners

Tessa de Oliveira
"From Trolls to Trans: A History of the Changeling"  

Erica Evans
Ocean Acidification and the impacts for Northeast Pacific fisheries in relation to the California Current System 

Jacob Walden

"The Temple Mount/ Al-Haram Al-Qudsi Ash Sharif: The Power of Narrative and the Intersection of Civic and Religious Space"

2011 Winners

Melissa Chizmar
Secrets for Changing Life: Pouvoir in Rimbaud’s “Adieu

Elliot Mamet
"Oklahoma State Question 755: A Response to Islam"

Jake Sullivan
“Ripples in God's Image”

2011 Honorable Mention

Malcolm Barnes
“Masonic Ideas in Mozart’s The Magic Flute”

Richard Forbes
“Monteverdi’s Masterpiece?”

2010 Winners

Taylor Kelson
“Go in Pi: Mathematical and Thematic Elements”

Jimin Kim
“Michelangelo’s Rome Pietà: How the Physical ‘Lies’ Reveal Philosophical ‘Truths’”

Ed Spangenthal
“Race, Religion, and Language: The Epistolary Mode in The Color Purple”

2010 Honorable Mention

Tabetha Katz
“The New Women’s Shuffle Dance Song: A Fusion of Traditions”

Jenny Wool
“Mill, Medicalization, and Individuality”


2009 Winners

Kati Goldstein
The Upside of Turbulence

Sarah Perez-Sanz
Evidence of a Silurian Ocean in Michigan

Camille Tallichet
Power of the Poet

Armantin Varona
The Howl of Inspiration: Yelling Mathematicians and their Creations


2008 Winners

Chris Lowenstein
Modeling Salinity in the Ogallala Aquifer

Kristina Nordwall
Egyptian Feminism: The Effects of the State, Popular Trends and Islamism on the Women’s Movement in Egypt

Madalyn Rilling
Reflections on Machiavelli in the Changing Moral Context

2008 Honorable Mention

Hildy Schott
The Mirror’s Revelation

Bernadette Stocker
Reactions to the Mexican Oil Expropriation


2007 Winners

Kyle Hemes
Transcendent Truths: The Literary Classics of Boeithus and Goethe

Elizabeth Stephan
Thinking Sociologically-Background and Environmental Activism

Lark Turner
"The Highest Principle:" The Fractionalization of Mao Zedong's Red Guards

Will Vunderink
That Darker Side

2007 Honorable Mention

Joey Glick
A History of the History of the Jewish Emancipation

Megan Van Aken
Gregor's "Little Legs"


2006 Winners

Artie Niederhoffer
“A Tale of Two Countrysides: Impositions of Culture and Nature in Daphnis and Chloe and Pride and Prejudice

Kim Hurd, An Dang, Dan Lenzen, and Kristin Rider
“A Call to Action”

Alex Tom
“Why the Majority of Americans are Wrong About Prayer in Public Schools”

2006 Honorable Mention

Jessica Olson
“Integrate for Efficiency: Traditional Yoruba Medicine in Nigeria”


Andrew Salimbeni
“Raga Bhimpalasri”


2005 Winners

Matthew Baum
"Novel Technique using Naturally Competent ADP1 to Clone Variable lux Genes via Homologous Recombination Tested"

Tara Menon
"Carving the 'Old Trunk of Olive'/ Inventing a Path in the Sand: Narrative as Construction of Human Identity in The Odyssey and The Sand Child"

Nikki Muyskens
"Falling in Love with Pemberley, Falling in Love with Darcy: Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice"

Naiara Posniak
"Pathologizing the Female Body: An Analysis of a Commercial Menstrual Product Website"

2005 Honorable Mention

Amy Hepner
"8086 miles (13014 kilometers) away"

Ella Street
"A Sunni Islamic Approach to Suffering"


2004 Winners

Nicole Vettese
"Serratia Exposed to UV Radiation Show Increase In Survival Capabilities"

Sean Anderson-Branowitzer
"WWED: What Would Epicurus Do?
Epicurus, Happiness, and Psychology in Modern America"

Jette Petersen
"Story in the Floor Plan: Intentions and Familial Relationships through Spatial Relations in The Metamorphosis"


2003 Winners

Jeff Jacobson
"The Inner Struggle of Empire"

"The Chechen Pursuit for Independence and the Role of Islam"

Rachel Feder
"Literary Conflict and Transformation in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis"


2002 Winners

Kyle Bartsch
"The Vinland Map: The Controversy Continues"

Marlesa Moore
"The Vinland Map: 15th Century Artifact or 20th Century Forgery?"

James Kerrigan
"Regarding Indefinite Administrative Detention"


2001 Winners

E. Wilson Myers
"A Comparison of Nietzsche and the Death of God Theology"

Loren Udall
"Search for Islamic Order"

Stella Copeland
"Science and Literature"


2000 Winners

Rebecca Haimowitz
"The Core of 'The Triangular Pear'"

Corey Josselyn
"The Thecodont and Theropod Hypotheses: On the Origin of Birds"

Carla Wojczuk
"Science and Literature"