Annie Dubois, Naomi Johnson, and Sydney Wilson are the 2021 recipients of the Professional and Public Writing (P2W) Outstanding Senior Award.
Presented by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC), the Professional and Public Writing Outstanding Senior Award recognizes graduating students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, success in experiential learning, and engagement with the community.
During her time at MSU, Dubois worked as a Communications Intern for the College of Arts & Letters’ Marketing Office as well as a Communications Coordinator for MSU’s Office of the Provost. Outside the university, she worked as a Technical Business Writer for the Michigan Health Information Network nonprofit.
“P2W is unique because great emphasis is placed on finding internship experiences that suit your interests. Every internship experience I’ve had has shaped my philosophy as a writer and expanded my skillset,” Dubois said. “I am especially thankful to the College of Arts & Letters’ Marketing Office, which I have worked at for almost three years. This position and my mentors have helped me grow exponentially as a writer and professional.”
Dubois also had the opportunity to work with Associate Professor Benjamin Lauren on two projects, the MI Homeless Voice Album, an album featuring spoken word by formerly homeless individuals, and Callback Records, an up-and-coming academic music label at MSU.
The P2W program has been tremendous in helping me actualize my passion for writing, and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the help of the amazing College of Arts & Letters faculty, students, and mentors I’ve worked with over the years.Annie Dubois
In summer 2019, Dubois, a Digital Humanities minor, studied abroad in the U.K. as a part of the Digital Humanities London and Scotland study abroad program. There, she visited museums, libraries, archives, and universities to learn more about the digital humanities field and take credits to complete her minor.
“It is a huge honor to win the P2W Outstanding Senior Award,” Dubois said. “The P2W program has been tremendous in helping me actualize my passion for writing, and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the help of the amazing College of Arts & Letters faculty, students, and mentors I’ve worked with over the years.”
Dubois will graduate in fall 2021, and afterwards plans to work in communications and eventually attend graduate school in the U.K.
As a double major in Professional and Public Writing and Graphic Design, Johnson has accrued a diverse set of experiences during her time at MSU. In summer 2019, she worked as a Creative Development Intern for Living Spirit Productions in London, England, through the College of Arts & Letters placement program. She also worked as a Copyeditor for Constellations Blog, MSU DocLab, and Agnes Films and, more recently, worked as a Content Administrator for MSU’s MATRIX program. In addition to her internships, Johnson simultaneously worked as a nanny for two years.
“The most memorable part of my MSU education was living and working in London, England, for two months,” Johnson said. “It was my first time ever leaving the country, and my first real job aligning with my major — a life changing experience I’ll never forget.”
Johnson also participated in an Integrative Studies in Social Science (ISS) innovation research forum with Assistant Professor Eddie Boucher. After winning first place overall in the 2020 ISS Fall Film Fest, Boucher invited Johnson to be part of his research team, where she explored the role of documentary storytelling as a form of engaged learning in general education.
Double majoring was not easy…There were times where I felt so overwhelmed and burned out. Winning this award makes me feel like all my hard work and stress is finally paying off.Naomi Johnson
“Winning this award means everything to me,” Johnson said. “Double majoring was not easy. I used to feel like I was putting in so much work without getting anything in return, besides more stress. There were times where I felt so overwhelmed and burned out. Winning this award makes me feel like all my hard work and stress is finally paying off.”
After graduation, Johnson plans to move to New York in January 2022 to begin her journey as a professional writer and graphic designer.
During their time at MSU, Wilson worked as a gallery monitor at RCAH’s LookOut! Gallery in Snyder-Phillips Hall and was an intern at The Cube and for The Offbeat Literary Journal. Wilson also volunteered as a reader for the Red Cedar Review, which led to a position this past year as its Prose Editor.
“The most memorable part of my MSU education was the warmth and dedication of my P2W professors and faculty,” Wilson said. “I loved working with them all, both inside and outside the classroom because they were so passionate about their work, and all of them were genuinely happy to be teaching us students about it.”
There are truly some amazing people graduating from P2W this year, and the fact that I am considered to be among the best of them is mind-blowing and humbling.Sydney Wilson
Wilson has been accepted into the Denver Publishing Institute, a four-week graduate-level program focused on book publishing and will pursue that virtually after graduation in the hopes of someday going into the commercial publishing industry as an editor.
“Winning this award means a whole lot to me. Because of how heavily I was involved in the program outside of classes, I know first-hand the number of incredible, hard-working, dedicated students I was up against when I applied. If I had not won, I would be neither shocked nor bitter,” Wilson said. “There are truly some amazing people graduating from P2W this year, and the fact that I am considered to be among the best of them is mind-blowing and humbling.”