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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
January 7, 2005

Living the Dream: Carnegie Mellon Honors Student Winners of Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Awards

PITTSBURGH—The winners of the sixth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Awards at Carnegie Mellon University will honor the vision and sacrifice of the slain civil rights leader when they read their work as part of the university's Martin Luther King Day celebration at 1:30 p.m. Monday, January 17, in Rangos Hall in the University Center.

Students from Carnegie Mellon and several Pittsburgh-area high schools submitted essays or poetry reflecting on the role race has played in their lives. Awards were given in two categories: prose (fiction and nonfiction) and poetry, and winners received cash prizes.

The writing awards ceremony follows Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon's annual state of diversity address, and it is one of the highlights of the university's celebration of King's life. The awards are sponsored by the university's Creative Writing Program, which is part of the Department of English in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The awards are co-sponsored by Student Affairs and the Office of the President at Carnegie Mellon.

A list of winners follows.

High school poetry:

First place: "Keeping" by Emily Nagin, Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA)

Second place: "I am Oh Yes I am" by Kisha Landais, Schenley High School

Third place: "Have You Ever" by Emma Blackman-Mathis, Schenley, "Three Steps to Racism" by Elizabeth Spires, CAPA

Fourth Place: "Rose Parks" by Chelsea Jones, Winchester Thurston Academy; "Silent River" by Chris Devita, Winchester Thurston

Honorable mentions: "Black Thoughts" by Atrio Walker, Perry Traditional Academy; "Bubble Yum and Mocha Chocolaty" by Brittney Chappell-Ross, Westinghouse High School; "Pritchard Street" by Sierra Abram, Peabody High School

High school prose:

First place: "My Lightening Bug" by Katie Scheines, CAPA

Second place: "Ghost Dance" by Rachel Belloma, CAPA; "Jumping Rope with American Girls" by Katie Thompson, CAPA

Third place: "Oreo" by Patrice Desirae Alexander, Winchester Thurston

Honorable mentions: "Another Challenge to the Dream" by Brittany Boyd, Winchester Thurston; "Being A Muslim" by Marwa Saad, Peabody

Carnegie Mellon poetry:

First place: "My Father Tries to Bond with Me," by Jonathan de Vries; "Reading" by Sarah Smith

Second place: "article poem" by Kami Smith

Third place: "The War on Terror" by Kat Mandeville

Honorable mentions: "Segregation" by Frances Ruiz; "MLK Day Poem" by Dylan Goings

Carnegie Mellon prose:

First place: "Two Wrongs to a Right" by Ashley Birt

Second place: "WhiteWash" by Ruben Quintero

Third place: untitled by Shuang Karen Xie

Honorable mentions: "Amen" by C. Scudera; "The Land of Other" by Alyana Frankenberry


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