Annually presented by Michigan State University’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC), the 2023 Professional and Public Writing Outstanding (P2W) Senior Award was presented to three graduating seniors who succeeded in and out of the classroom in their years at MSU. The WRAC Department also presented a new award this year, the P2W Faculty Recognition Award, to one deserving graduating senior.
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. This year’s recipients are Charlotte Bachelor, Kyla Chamberlain, and Kara MacKenzie.
The P2W Faculty Recognition Award recognizes a student who went above and beyond in their efforts throughout the school year. The 2023 recipient of this award is Kyleigh Meyers-VanDouser.
Charlotte Bachelor graduated in Spring 2023 with a B.A. in Professional and Public Writing and a minor in African American and African Studies.
“I am truly honored to receive the P2W Outstanding Senior Award. It feels amazing to be recognized for my hard work and dedication in the program over the last three years,” Bachelor said. “This is one of the highlights of my MSU experience along with the launch of my nonprofit Detroit Accessibility Project.”
In her time at MSU, Bachelor had many achievements including founding and establishing the Detroit Accessibility Project (DAP), a nonprofit organization that serves as an online resource for accessibility information on several venues located in downtown Detroit.
In the winter of 2021, Bachelor won the Out of the Box Award at MSU’s 4th annual Social Justice Art Festival for her print series, A Call to Protect Our Black Sisters.
During her time with WRAC, Bachelor worked on a “zine,” a mini magazine, with faculty member Hilery Glasby for the book she co-edited on Queer Appalachia and received a fellowship for this work in the summer of 2020.
“After graduation, I’m taking a month off to relax and am starting a Policy and Engagement fellowship with the City of Detroit in June,” Bachelor said. “I am excited to take what I’ve learned at MSU and use it to be a positive force for change in my community. I am eternally grateful to WRAC for providing me with such a well-rounded education rooted in doing good in this world.”
Kyla Chamberlain graduated in Spring 2023 with a B.A. in Professional and Public Writing and a minor in Public Relations, specializing in editing, publishing, and content strategy.
After graduating high school, Chamberlain decided to go to the University of Alabama. Transferring after her freshman year, she started taking business classes at MSU, but, with her love of environmentalism, grant writing, and pop culture, decided to pursue writing.
“At MSU, I felt at home. I’m from the East Lansing area, so I grew up with MSU in my backyard,” she said. “A highlight of my time at MSU has been my two-year internship at The Cube. I worked as a writer, researcher, and content strategist for community-based projects, and I developed valuable skills from those experiences and my team.”
Chamberlain started her internship with The Cube in October 2021 and has held her passion for it since.
“Winning this Outstanding Senior Award is another highlight from my time here,” she said. “I’ve worked tirelessly to establish myself as a professional in this program, and I feel honored to get recognition for my hard work. My long-term goal is to move down south to Tennessee or North Carolina to work as a content strategist or UX writer.”
Kara MacKenzie graduated in Spring 2023 with a double major in Professional and Public Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies.
“I would describe myself as a feminist scholar, writer, and designer who is interested in the intersections between rhetoric and social justice,” MacKenzie said. “I have spent my time at MSU exploring the applications of professional writing for driving positive social change by working with a variety of local nonprofit organizations, including the Center for Gender in Global Context and the Michigan Library Association. I have also had some life-changing experiences during my undergraduate years, including a study abroad trip to Amsterdam and the chance to learn from professors and peers who are doing amazing work.”
Hoping to use her communication skills to benefit nonprofit organizations, MacKenzie said she was honored to receive the award. She also graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, which earned her the Board of Trustees Award.
“I am truly honored to have received the P2W Outstanding Senior Award. It feels like validation that I am on the right path to making a positive difference in my communities,” she said. “I am currently looking for ways to continue this focus in the future by working with a passionate nonprofit on branding, communications strategy, and digital marketing.”
Kyleigh Meyers-VanDouser graduated in Spring 2023 with a B.A. in Professional and Public Writing and a minor in Korean.
“Receiving this award meant so much to me. To know that my professors truly recognize my writing and all my hard work,” she said. “When I look back on my MSU education, I will fondly remember the warm conversations of encouragement with my advisor Dr. Casey Miles. WRA 484 with Dr. Houghton challenged me in a way that I’ll take with me, to think more deeply about writing and the impact only I can make.”
Meyers-VanDouser worked for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity as a Communications and Social Media Intern where she worked on social media and digital marketing strategy. She also interned with the College of Arts & Letters Marketing and Communication team.
“As I walk through the doors into the future, I’d like to be a writer who touches the lives of others, whether it be by screenwriting, content writing, copywriting, journalistic writing, or writing novels,” she said. “I also plan to travel around the world, specifically South Korea and Spain to start to enrich my perspective and life experiences.”