Aug. 6, 2021

2021 Barbara Schneider Student Writing Awards

These awards were established to recognize student excellence in CMF across three categories: Communication and Media Studies (Undergraduate), Film Studies (Undergraduate), and Communication and Media Studies (Graduate)
Photo of the 2021 Barbara Schneider Student Writing Award Winners

The Department of Communication, Media and Film is delighted to announce the 2021 Barbara Schneider Student Writing Award winners. Congratulations to Sarah Elliot, Donald Shipton, and Sam Stockton! Honorable Mentions to Drew Miller, Anna Navarro, and Andrew Watts.

These awards were established and made possible through the generosity of former CMF professor and Department Head, Dr. Barbara Schneider.

Photo of Sarah

The winner of the 2021 Barbara Schneider Student Writing Award (Communication and Media Studies - Undergraduate) is Sarah Elliot, for her essay “Framing the Anti-Mask Movement’s Collective Action on Facebook”. The award committee was impressed by Sarah’s skillful navigation of scholarly literature on social movements, her well-executed methodology, and her incisive analysis on the ways the Freedom Unity Alliance Facebook group frames their anti-mask agenda as a community-minded, unifying force. The committee also appreciated the originality of her approach, applying a framework typically used to study progressive social movements to a reactionary one.

The committee would also like to recognize Drew Miller’s essay with an Honorable Mention for this award category. Drew’s essay, “Understanding Archer Pechawis’ HORSE” deftly situates Pechawis’ work within the tradition of Indigenous media-making, and skillfully analyzes the different meanings evoked by his stylistic choices. Drew’s work shows exceptional promise and we look forward to reading more of it in the future!

Photo of Donald

The committee was unanimous in its nomination of Donald Shipton’s essay, “Time to Burn: Elemental Temporality in Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Passion According to Andrei” for the 2021 Barbara Schneider Student Writing Award (Film Studies - Undergraduate). Focusing on prominent issues related to Andrei Tarkovsky’s cinema – the films’ use of elemental images, and their relation to temporal flow – Shipton’s essay raises new discussion points regarding these issues, forging a genuine contribution to scholarship. The way the paper’s richness of thinking is matched with superb writing is a special quality of the essay, bringing eloquence to an already acute assessment. This paper comes from a student whose core degree specialization lies outside of film and media studies, making it all the more impressive.

The committee also wishes to recognize Anna Navarro’s submission with an Honorable Mention for this award category. Anna’s essay, “Cultural Nutrients: Origin and Maternal History in Lisa Jack’s Suckerfish” is an excellent short piece on film topics. Navarro’s eye for filmic detail is unusually sensitive, finding nuances within Jackson’s film that are beautifully expressed on the page. We look forward to reading more of Navarro’s work as she moves forward in her degree!

Photo of Sam

Sam Stockton is the winner of the 2021 Barbara Schneider Student Writing Award (Communication and Media Studies - Graduate). Sam’s essay, “Video Games as Vehicles for Ideology and Power” offers a skillful interpretation of key theoretical works concerned with ideology, illuminating discussion of these works’ historical backgrounds, and thoughtful and nuanced application of theory to the critical study of video games. The award committee agreed that Sam’s essay embodied many of the strengths we hope to see in our graduate students’ writing.

The committee would also like to acknowledge Andrew Watts with an Honorable mention for this award category. Andrew’s essay, “Bray Studios: Animation and Educational Cinema in the Transitional Period,” traces the studio’s efforts to use animation techniques for non-fictional purposes. The essay moves seamlessly between film, audience, and discourse, illuminating some of the ways new media techniques (such as animated film) were understood and employed in their early history.