The Core Humanities program annually awards a $100 prize to the best essay written in each Core Humanities course. The best of the three top essays is awarded an overall prize for the best essay written in all courses. The overall winner receives an additional $100 and the essay is also published in The Montag, an undergraduate research journal for students taking courses in the College of Liberal Arts. The prizes are awarded in the spring semester each academic year, for essays written in the previous calendar year (spring and fall semesters).
Essays that receive A grades are eligible for nomination for the prize, and there is no minimum or maximum page length. The nomination procedure is as follows:
1. Discussion leaders (or the instructor in smaller classes) initiate the nomination process by suggesting to student writers that they submit their essays to the lead instructor in the class for consideration and by notifying the instructor that they have done this. Students may make revisions to their papers before sending them to the instructor.
2. Students submit electronic copies of their papers to the lead instructor. Students should include their contact information (name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number) in the message.
3. Lead instructors may nominate up to three essays from large lecture classes or one essay from smaller classes. Lead instructors forward electronic copies of nominated essays along with studentsí contact information to the Core Humanities office. The CH administrative assistant maintains the files and forwards them to the prize committee for consideration once the deadline for submissions has passed (late December).
The prize committee is made up of the Director of Core Humanities and the Distinguished Professors of the Humanities. Other faculty may be invited to join the committee if needed. The prize committee announces the winner early in spring and the prize is awarded at the reception to celebrate publication of The Montag. The essay prize winner and all Core Humanities instructors are invited to the reception.