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School of Nursing Student Wins Wallace G. Kay Writing Competition for College of Health Sciences Division

Each year an undergraduate student paper in each of the six academic colleges at Boise State University is awarded the Wallace G. Kay Writing Award by the Boise State chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Each winner is given $200.

This year, nursing student Donna McKenzie won for the College of Health Sciences with her paper, “Smoke Free Home Rules.” McKenzie wrote her paper for the advocacy paper requirement in NURS 420: Policy, Power and Voice taught by Pamela Gehrke, associate professor in the School of Nursing. McKenzie received her award and cash prize at the Phi Kappa Phi Induction ceremony on April 26. McKenzie joins other former NURS 420 students who have previously won this prize.

Faculty evaluators within four colleges judged submissions on content, organization and flow, originality, and creativity, and also considered grammar, spelling and readability. Evaluators selected one winner per college. Papers written for Boise State classes during the spring, summer or fall semesters of 2014 were eligible for the 2015 award.  A nomination from the faculty member for whom the student wrote the paper had to accompany each submission.

“Phi Kappa Phi is dedicated to promoting superior scholarship, and the Boise State chapter commends these students for their exemplary work,” said Russell Willerton, chapter president and associate professor of technical communication. “It is exciting to see students across many disciplines produce outstanding written work.”

“We are grateful for the financial support from the Office of the Provost that helps us recognize outstanding writers every year,” Willerton added.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, most selective and most prestigious all-discipline honor society.

The annual writing competition honors the late Wallace G. Kay, who served Boise State University as assistant director and later as associate director of the Honors Program and as an English professor. He came to the university in 1986 from the University of Southern Mississippi and served until his death in 1996. Professor Kay was honored three times by Top Ten Scholars as “Most Influential Professor,” and he was a gifted poet and scholar.