Undergraduate Paper Prize

Each year the Children’s Literature Program sponsors a competition to reward the best undergraduate essay written for a children’s literature class at Pitt.
 
2021 
  • First prize: Lauren Clark for “Welcome to Mr. Kraus’s Neighborhood: Understanding Elements of Horror as Subversive Tools for Children in the Daniel Kraus Archive”
  • Tied for second prize: Sierra Posey for “Her Bright Materials: ‘Becoming’ Through the Medium of Clothing in Becoming Naomi Leon” and Patricia Jackson for “Gone Too Soon: The Pedagogical Evolution of Childhood Death from the Victorian Era to Sick Lit”
2020
  • First prize: Ella Marston for "Dread Nation's Efforts to Bridge the Gap in Children's Literature: The Proper Representation of a Minority Heroine and Implementation of Intergenerational Trauma,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
  • Second prize: Pauline Bayotas for "Over the Rainbow: How Graphic Narratology Creates a Space for Freedom,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
2019
  • First prize: Kate Eldridge for "Creating the White- and Euro-Centric Children's Literary Canon: A Case Study of Clifton Fadiman's Reception to The Black Arts Movement in Children's Literature,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills. Kate also worked with Clare Withers, Liason Librarian in Children's Literature, on this paper, as part of an Archival Scholars project.
  • Second prize: Laura Condon for "Bastard, Orphan, Playboy, Philanthropist: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton as a 21st Century Orphan Story,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
  • Third prize: Sara Kraus for "'Africanfuturism': Imagining New Futures in The Shadow Speaker,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
2018
  • First prize: Madeleine Shelley for "Sesame Street: The Gentrification and Destruction of Urban Childhood,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills. 
  • Second prize:  Morgan Buck for "Black Girls as a Vehicle for Social Change,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
  • Third prize: Hannah Berg for "Why Intersectional Children's Literature? A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Intersectional and Limited-Identity Characters in Picture Books Amazing Grace and Play Free,” written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
2017
  • First prize: Jennifer Orie for "Black Children as Agents of Change in The Black BC's," written for Children and Culture taught by Jules Gill-Peterson.
  • Second prize: Bradley Petyak for “Do I Look Like Charlie Brown to You?The Boondocks and Child Innocence," written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
2016
  • First prize: Taylor Saghy for ”Simulacra in Paper Towns," written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
  • Second prize: Christina Cerio for "Structural Analysis of Mister Rogers," written for Children and Media taught by Tyler Bickford.
2015
  • First prize: Alexandra Cathcart for "A Racialized Menagerie: Unpacking Race in Marc Brown’s Arthur Series," written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
  • First runner-up: Julianne Griffith for "Childism in Thompson’s Eloise and Bemelmans’ Madeleine," written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Courtney Weikle-Mills.
  • Second runner-up: Claire Werkiser for "Visible Invisibility: Socialization, Bodily Inscription, and Ideology at Work in The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing," written for written for Critical Approaches to Children's Literature taught by Anna Redcay.
2014
  • First prize: Alexandra Roden for “An Exploration into the Presentation of Heteronormativity in The Perks of Being a Wallflower," written in a class taught by Kerry Mockler.
  • Second prize: Craig Ranallo for “Bridge to the Queer," written for a class taught by Amanda Chapman Phillips.
  • Honorable mention: Julianne Griffith for “In Pursuit of the Infinite: Trauma and Transcendence in The Perks of Being a Wallflower," also written for Kerry Mockler
  • Honorable mention: Colette Slagle for “‘Freeing Dobby’: Violence in a Changing Children’s Culture,” written for Courtney Weikle-Mills