UWS science student wins liberal arts essay competition

For most stu­dents, writ­ing an essay is often just part of get­ting a good grade in a class, but for stu­dents at UWS, writ­ing an essay could mean win­ning a schol­ar­ship as well. Reba Buczyn­ski, a junior major­ing in Biol­ogy, Chem­istry and Broad Field Sci­ence, won the Lib­eral Arts Essay Schol­ar­ship Com­pe­ti­tion this spring.

“I didn’t really write the essay for the schol­ar­ship,” said Buczyski. “I really just wanted to write the essay. I hadn’t writ­ten a paper in a long time (sci­ence peo­ple don’t write much), and I felt like I had an essay inside of me that needed to be writ­ten.” She has been read­ing a book about writ­ing recently, which gave her some inspi­ra­tion, and her work tutor­ing in the UWS Writ­ing Cen­ter keeps her on her toes gram­mat­i­cally as well. Last year Buczyn­ski wrote an essay for the com­pe­ti­tion about being in the orches­tra, but did not make it to being a finalist.

Win­ning the con­test was no easy chore for Buczyn­ski, though. She said she began writ­ing a cou­ple months before the dead­line to give her essay time to be repeat­edly edited by many peo­ple. “I really wanted to write a great essay, and I think it’s appar­ent that I put a lot of effort into it,” said Buczyn­ski. “I gen­uinely cared about what I was writ­ing, and was able to chan­nel my pas­sion into words.”

The schol­ar­ship essay topic this year related to pol­i­tics and how a lib­eral edu­ca­tion can pre­pare a per­son to be an informed cit­i­zen who can inter­act with oth­ers whether or not they are in polit­i­cal agree­ment. Buczynski’s essay was focused on recent Wis­con­sin pol­i­tics and how she feels that being an indi­vid­ual as a col­lege stu­dent is bet­ter than being another num­ber in the sys­tem. Her favorite quote from her essay is: “We are a nation of people.”

Buczynski’s win­ning essay now has a chance at a state–wide schol­ar­ship if it wins in the larger state col­lege com­pe­ti­tion. She hopes to encour­age other stu­dents to write an essay for the next com­pe­ti­tion. “The essay itself wasn’t hard,” said Buczyn­ski. “The most dif­fi­cult part for me was stay­ing within the word limit! It’s very refresh­ing to write an essay that you don’t ‘have to’ do for class. It is your essay; it can go in any direc­tion you choose.”

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