Literary Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Samuel Eells Literary & Educational Foundation Annual Undergraduate and Graduate Literary Competitions.

2020 Undergraduate Competition Winners

Grand Prize: Daniel Pearl Award for Literary Excellence


  1. Sophie Kuhl, Brown University 2021 for “This is How to Bully a Man”
  2. Alvah Higginson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2022 for “The Pocket, California”
  3. Carmen Horn, Brown University 2021 for “Kermit”
  4. (Honorable Mention) Morgan Becker, Columbia University 2021 for “Precious Cargo”
  5. (Honorable Mention) Marie Piatski, Brown University 2020 for “The Stars of Ventura Boulevard”


  1. Alla Issa, Columbia University 2021 for “Intersex Rights and Wrongs: The Consequences of Obsessive Sexing”
  2. Ryan Carroll, George Washington University 2020 for “Secular Inclusion and Catholic Love: Communicative Dimensions, Genre, and Emotion in the Language of James Martin, SJ” and “Map of Amelia Island”
  3. (Third Place Tie) Carmen Horn, Brown University University 2021 for “Quaking Aspens”
  4. (Third Place Tie) Lauren Stock, Wesleyan University 2021 for “Excerpts from ‘What it Means to Live'”


  1. Brad Hong, University of Pennsylvania 2020 for “Albacore”
  2. Yosan Alemu, Columbia University 2021 for “The Unsung,” “Bodies,” “Spiders in the Home,” and other works
  3. (Third Place TIE) Isaiah A. Hines, Columbia University 2021 for “Null Landing”
  4. (Third Place TIE) Amber Chong, Columbia University 2021 for “Comedown Geography”
  5. (Honorable Mention) Ivanna C. Rodriguez-Rojas, Columbia University 2021 for “The Only Time I Drink Coffee is When My Father Makes It” and “Black Hole Sun (Won’t You Come)”

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Writing

  1. Sophie Kuhl, Brown University 2021 for “Climate Change and the Future of ENSO”
  2. Sophie Kuhl, Brown University 2021 for “Comparing the Successes of Image and Library Endmembers for Spectral Mixture Analysis with Hyperspectral Data”
  3. (Third Place TIE) Kacey Boardman, University of Pennsylvania 2021 for “The Parasitic Cowbird: Ecological Specialization of a Genus of Obligate Brood Parasites”
  4. (Third Place TIE) Morgan Becker, Columbia University 2021 for “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)”


  1. Maria Salameh, Brown University 2020 for “The Ice is Melting Series”
  2. Mari Rios, George Washington University 2021 for “Pride 2019”
  3. Nicole Kosar, Ursinus College 2020 for “Valle dei Templi (Temple of Zeus)”

Visual Art

  1. Alyssa Gengos, Columbia University 2020 for “Miss Picture City” (hooked rug, wool yarn and burlap) and “Lisbon/Barcelona” (intaglio etching on paper)
  2. Yukali Okkotsu, Binghamton University 2021 for “Oh Darling” (oil on canvas)
  3. Jenna Tishler, Brown University 2020 for “Gamorrah” and “The Smarginatura” (oil paint, fabric, video, and projection on canvas)

Music and Lyrics

  1. Krishna Canning, Columbia University 2020 for “Good Guy”
  2. Stephanie Gemmell, George Washington University 2021 for “Sinfoniette Poetica” (score)
  3. No award given.


  1. Charity Guiquin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2023 for “The Warm Jets”
  2. Brittaney Skavla, Binghamton University 2020 for “Nuclear Family”
  3. No award given.

2019-2020 Graduate Competition Winners

The 2020-2021 Graduate Competition runs in the Fall!


  1. Isabella “Isa” Martinez, Brown University 2017 for “Overlap” — Award to charity
  2. No award given
  3. No award given


  1. Olivia Lenz, University of Pennsylvania 2013 for “Outbreak of Canine Respiratory Disease in a Large Municipal Shelter” — Award to Project HOME
  2. Cailyn Hansen, Brown University 2019 for “With Weight Removed” — Award to Brooklyn Public Library
  3. Irissa Cisternino, George Washington University 2018 for “Global Governance, Creative Expression and Free Speech: Predictions for the 2019 EU Copyright Directive” — Award to New York Public Library and Turning the Page


  1. Michelle Katz, Wesleyan University 2009 for “2018 in America” — Award to Project Cicero
  2. Kieran DeMelfi, Ursinus College 2019 for “a crypt, a tree, a kingdom, a king” — Award to The Trevor Project
  3. (Third Place Tie) D’Or Seifer, Wesleyan University 2010 for “Love Bites” — Award to Rape Trauma Services
  4. (Third Place Tie) Becky Eidelman, Wesleyan University 2011 for “Wedding Poem” — Award to Teaching for Change’s Zinn Education Project


  1. Michelle Kawka, Wesleyan University 1999 for “‘Untitled’ series” — Award to NYC SALT
  2. Irissa Cisternino, George Washington University 2018 for “Skatepark on the Streets of London” — Award to New York Public Library and Turning the Page
  3. Alexander Schneiderman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2019 for “‘Icelandic Horizons’ collection” — Award to New York Public Library

Literary works may contain graphic, violent, explicit, and other material that some may find offensive. SELEF does not endorse any acts depicted in these works. The opinions and views depicted in the works posted on this website are solely those of the designated author or creator and do not reflect the opinions or view of SELEF.

See previous years’ winners: