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Annual Picnic and Awards

Every spring, Geneseo's Black Studies program holds an essay contest that recognizes student achievement in multiple categories, as well as a picnic for award-winners and faculty.

2018 Award Winners

Best Research Paper: Priscilla Thomas
"Online Communities: Navigating Racial Stereotypes and Standards of Gender and Beauty on YouTube"

Best Analytical Essay: Izzy Graziano
"The Paradox of Oz: from Embodiment of Classical Narrative to Template for Experimentation"

Best Creative Writing: Kazon Robinson
"Do I Recognize You?" After Olivia Whitmarsh's "Dear Black Boy"


2017 Award Winners

Best Research Paper: Stella Oduro
"Geneseo's Diversity Efforts and Its Missing Link"

Best Analytical Essay: Sean Welch
"Stars, Slaughter, and Hope" 

Best Creative Writing: Chloe Forsell
"An (Abridged) Anthology of Blackness in Nature"

Special Award for Collaboration: Jeanmarie Ryan, Brendan Mahoney, Sara Feinland, and Malachy Dempsey
“The War on the War on Drugs: Its Policies, Its Flaws, and Its Solutions”

2016 Award Winners

Best Research Paper: Kathleen O'Brien
"Would There Be Slave Resistance Without Women: The Crucial Role Women Play"

Best Analytical Essay: Azaria Davis
"Colorblind? That Ain't Right!"

Best Creative Writing: Chloe Forsell
"Mother Tongue"


2015 Award Winners

Best Research Paper: Cassandra Nicol

Best Analytical Essay: Sean Niell

Best Creative Writing: Devon Poniatowski


2013 Award Winners

Best Research Paper: Liz Dierenfield
"'Oh, Lord, Don't Let 'Em Drop That PCB on Me': African Americans, Religion, and the Fight against Toxic Waste in Warren County"

Best Analytical Essay: Lara Elmayan
"Choosing, If the Choice Exists"

Best Analytical Essay: Katherine Menjivar
"Steering the Wheels from Slavery"

Best Analytical Essay--Honorable Mention: Todd Christensen
"The Albany Movement Through the Lens of the Organizing Tradition"


2012 Award Winners

Best Research Paper: Stephanie C. Iasiello
"Her Own Pen? On Authorship and (Mis)Attribution in The Story of Mattie J. Jackson"

Best Research Paper: Matthew McNeill
"Analysis of the Topsy-Turvy Doll from a Material Cultures Perspective"


2011 Award Winners

Best Research Paper: Dave O'Donnell
"To Be Planned With--Not For": Self-Determination, Community Control, and Black Power Organizing in Rochester, NY

Best Analytical Essay: Stephanie C. Iasiello
(Re)visiting the Canon: A Reading of "Visiting Yorkshire--Again"

Best Creative Writing: Fiona Harvey
Akwaaba to Ghana

Notable Research Paper: Catherine Wallwork
The Portrayal, Execution, and Outcome of Aid in Africa: A Closer Look at the Work of Invisible Children

Notable Research Paper: Justine Porter
Clandestine Operations in Cold War Congo: A Case Study on the Realist Nature of U.S. Foreign Policy

Notable Analytical Essay: Chelsea Rives
Colonial (Mis)Representation

Notable Analytical Essay: Chernor Barrie
The War for Liberation and Preservation


  • Best Analytical Essay Winner: Priscilla Thomas
  • Best Creative Writing WinneR: Kazon Robinson
  • student awards
  • student awards
  • student awards
  • student awards
  • student awards
  • faculty award
  • picnic
  • speech