Women’s Herstory Month Essay Contest
Student Activities

K. Della Ferguson Womyn's Resource Center

First Annual



The theme for the 2013 Women’s History Month essay contest is: “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” Did you know that the technology that operates your cell phone was designed by a silver screen goddess in the 1940s? Or that the first computer programmer was actually the daughter of an 18th Century English poet? The stories of these and other women who were courageous enough to succeed in male dominated professionals serve as role models for young women today. Who are the other women who expanded our knowledge and taught us that we can achieve what we set out to do?


Topic #1 Women's Innovation in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields

Identify a woman or women who have been innovators in a STEM field, talk about her (or their) contributions, and their impact in their field. Alternately, write about the impact women have had in these fields throughout history and their current contributions.

Topic #2 Women's rights and how far women have come

Consider issues of gender equality and gender equity in a variety of aspects. Write an essay exploring these questions: What do you see as having been the core issues for women and women’s lives in recent history (past 200 years)? How successful at addressing these concerns have the women (and males allies) at the forefront of battles for these rights and the quality of women’s lives been? What do you see as the most crucial concerns for women currently, and how well is society doing in addressing those concerns (or not)?

Topic #3 Personal story

Write a piece where you identify a specific woman that has enriched your life and describe her as well as the impact she has had on your life.


The style for submissions is open to academic essays, memoir/reflective style essays, or poetry.
  • Essays may describe either contemporary or historical American women.
  • Only an individual student writer may submit an essay.
  • Essays must be written in paragraph format, be between 500 and 750 words in length, double spaced, and 12 point font.
  • Submissions must include the following information:

    Cell phone number
    E-mail address
  • Three Utica College faculty members will act as judges.
  • Four WRC interns and Dean of Students, Alane Varga, will do an initial sorting of submissions to determine the final 6 submissions to be judged by the faculty judges. All judging, both the initial and final rounds, will be “blind” – names and other identifying information will be omitted before essays are reviewed.
  • Essays may be submitted in two ways:

    ♦ Via e-mail to womynsrc@utica.edu (use subject line: WHM Essay Contest). Essays submitted this way must be in MS Word format and sent as an attachment with a cover email with all of the required information included.

    ♦ Hard copies of essays may also be dropped off at the Office of Student Affairs (room 205 Strebel Student Center).


  • Theme must be clearly addressed.
  • Responses must include information based on research as well as personal experience and/or opinion.
  • Content must include relevant, authentic information and ideas must be fully developed.
  • Content must demonstrate critical and creative thinking.
  • Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation must be consistent with accepted usage.
  • All source material must be appropriately cited.


Essays must be received by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.


First place: $75 Visa Gift Card
Second Place: $50 Visa Gift Card
Third Place: $25 Visa Gift Card

Winners will be invited to read their essay at the Annual Pub and Awards Night.


Alane Varga, MA
Dean of Diversity & Inclusion
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY, 13502 (Strebel 103)

(315) 792-3324
(315) 792-3181 (Fax)
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502