Incoming Niagara University freshman and NUOP student Dennis Henry was recently named the recipient of an annual prize given out by the Western New York Association of Phi Beta Kappa.
Dr. Jeanne Laurel, chair of Niagara’s English department, in agreement with Pat Randolph, head of the Western New York Association of Phi Beta Kappa, approached NUOP staff in late May of this year to see if students from their program might be interested in writing an essay to submit for the prize of either a new laptop computer or a new iPad.
The timing could not have been more perfect as NUOP staff members were gearing up for their annual five-week summer program for their incoming freshmen starting in early July. As part of this program, students participate in daily reading, writing and study skills courses taught by members of the university’s Office of Academic Support. The writing course, taught by Martha Krupa, coordinator of Niagara University’s Office of Academic Support Tutorial Services, would be the vehicle from which to select an award recipient.
As part of Krupa’s writing class, students were asked to write an essay based on their research and interest in topics related to the book Zeitoun which was read by each of the summer students. Those who chose to, submitted their essays to Dr. Laurel, Erin Karper, associate professor of English, and Diane Halm, writing instructor, for evaluation. All three of these essay raters unanimously agreed that Henry wrote the strongest paper, both in content, depth and accuracy in documenting, and he was announced the winner at the NUOP brunch at the end of its summer program on Thursday, Aug. 2.
This past Friday, Aug. 17, Dr. Laurel presented Henry with a new laptop computer, a lap mat with fan, Microsoft Office software, two 4GB jump drives, a Victrionix double gusset computer case and a check for $50 for software upgrades.
Henry’s efforts to research and write about what went wrong with the levee system in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina certainly paid off.