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2024 Audre Lorde Prize winners announced

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program has announced the winners of the 2024 Audre Lorde Prize.

The awards are named in honor of Audre Lorde (1934-1992), an intersectional feminist writer and civil rights activist who wrote the foundational text "Sister Outsider" (1984). Awards are given annually.

Designed to recognize excellence in scholarship in women, gender and sexuality studies at the undergraduate level, these winning submissions displayed excellent liberal arts scholarship and creativity, according to the judges.

The winners were selected in three categories by outside judges.

Long analytical essay

First place: Lainey Terfruchte, "Escaping from Myth: Denver’s Reclamation of Love in Toni Morrison’s Beloved" (instructor: Dr. Ashley Burge). Terfruchte is a senior from Bloomington, Ill., majoring in creative writing and English.

Second place: Bethany Abrams, "Sinning as Empowerment: Reclaiming God as a Black, Queer Woman in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple" (instructor: Dr. Ashley Burge). Abrams is a senior from Tinley Park, Ill., majoring in creative writing, English and psychology.

Honorable mention: Krisha Silwal, "Navigating Nepal's Legal Requirements for Transgender Inclusion Beyond Labels" (instructor: Dr. Kiki Kosnick). Silwal is a sophomore from Kathmandu, Nepal, majoring in business analytics; economics; and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Short analytical essay

First place: Paige Meyer, "Inside the Glass Closet: Analyzing the Representation of Queer Romantic Relationship in the Literature of Virginia Woolf" (instructor: Dr. Laura Greene). Meyer is a senior from St. Peter, Minn., majoring in sociology and anthropology and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Second place: Kazi Uzayr Razin, "The Future is Here" (instructor: Dr. M Wolff). Razin is a sophomore from Dhaka, Bangladesh, majoring in engineering (B.S.E.).

Honorable mention: Audre Lewis, "Care Ethics for Neurodiverse Students — Rethinking the Approach to Accommodations" (instructor: Dr. Jane Simonsen). Lewis is a senior from Denver, Colo., majoring in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Creative expression

First place: Ava Jackson, "Exploring the Stereotypes of Gender and Sexuality in Ballet and its Impact on the Dance Community" (instructor: Dr. Jennifer Heacock-Renaud). Jackson is a junior from Oak Park, Ill., majoring in English; psychology; and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Second place: Allison McPeak, "Mad Young Creature: A Photostory" (instructor: Dr. Jennifer Popple). McPeak is a junior from St. Charles, Ill., majoring in English and theatre.

Honorable mention: Sarah Welker, "We All Bleed the Same Blood" (instructor: Dr. Jennifer Popple). Welker is a sophomore from Tinley Park, Ill., majoring in art and graphic design.

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