Ruback Prize for Distinguished Writing

History of The Ruback Prize for Distinguished Writing

The Ruback Prize for Distinguished Writing recognizes outstanding papers written for Honors College courses on any topic. The award is named in honor of former Associate Director Robin Ruback, who graduated from Honors College and was the Associate Director from 2009 to 2017. Winners of the award follow in the tradition of Honors College excellence fostered by Ms. Ruback during her two decades with the college as a student and staff member.

Guidelines and Criteria

Any work written for Honors credit in 2020 is eligible, regardless of course level. In addition, outstanding entries from 200-level classes will be awarded First Place, Second Place, and Runner-up Prizes.

Students must be in good Honors standing at the time of the judging (February 2022) and may submit only one 200-level and one upper-level paper per year. Please send your submission in pdf or docx format to at any time, but final deadline is 11:59 pm January 31st, 2022.

A committee appointed by the Honors College Writing Specialist will select the winners. Judges may decide to withhold or share awards based on the entry pool.

Tips for a competitive application:

  • Send your submission in pdf or docx format to
  • Include a title page with your name, address, and the course the paper was written for. Make sure your name is not included anywhere else on the paper.
  • Add any introductory information needed to understand your project outside of the classroom context.
  • Carefully proofread and edit your submission. You can consult your instructor or Honors College Writing Specialist, Lindsay Daigle for editing ideas.

2020 Ruback Award Winners

2020 Ruback Prize for Distinguished Writing

Kaden Van De Loo
“Into and Out of the Avant-garde: the Pivotal Self-Portraits of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí”

—Also to be congratulated are the winners of the 200-level division!—

First Place

Naomi Raicu
“’Remarque’s Pacifism Under Fire: Why All Quiet on the Western Front Angered the Nazis”

Second Place

Kiersten Hoff
“Lindauer’s Chief and Gerard’s Emperor–Comparison and Inspiration”