September 26, 2017 Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Congratulations to King’s recent graduates (pictured from left to right) Melanie Matthews, Aleksander Franiczek and Sam Boer for their success at the prestigious Undergraduate Awards.

The Undergraduate Awards is an international awards program recognizing creativity, excellence and innovative thinking within student coursework. It is the world’s leading undergraduate awards program which recognizes top undergraduate work, shares this work with a global audience and connects students across cultures and disciplines.

Global Winners are published annually in ‘The Undergraduate Journal’, as well as being invited to the UA Global Summit in Dublin, Ireland. This is an all-expenses-paid four-day networking and brainstorming event which brings the world’s top students together for a series of inspirational lectures, workshops and discussions. Winners and Highly Commended Entrants also gain access to the UA Alumni Network.

Entrants whose paper or project ranked in the top 10% of submissions in their category are shortlisted as Highly Commended Entrants.

Melanie Matthews, BSW ‘17, was named a Highly Commended Entrant. The highest performing Highly Commended Entrant in each region is named a Regional Winner of their category and has the opportunity to attend the UA Global Summit.

Matthews was named a regional winner for the US and Canada region. “I am very honoured to have been selected as the regional winner of the Social Sciences: Sociology and Social Policy category for my paper ‘A Review of Mental Health Services Offered by Canada's English Language Universities’. My paper explores the breadth of mental health issues experienced by Canadian post-secondary students and the mental health services offered by all the English language universities in Canada. I believe this is an important topic to discuss and I am grateful that my research will have the opportunity to be recognized on a global scale,” says Matthews.

Matthews completed an independent study within the School of Social Work at King’s, under the direction of Dr. Richard Csiernik. “Melanie Matthews demonstrated what can be achieved as an undergraduate student in terms of creativity and critical thinking. She identified an area where there was belief but not yet fact. Melanie framed the question, completed the literature review, conducted the research, analyzed the data and came to independent conclusions based on the process.  This is the essence of inquiry.  This is why you come to university not just to study but to know; not just to follow but to establish your own path,” says Dr. Csiernik.

Aleksander Franiczek, who graduated from King’s in June, 2017 with an honors specialization in English and a minor in French, was named a Highly Commended Entrant for his paper "The Pleasurable Pain of Melancholic Solitude: Examining Rousseau’s Emotional Self-Indulgence in ‘Reveries of the Solitary Walker." Franiczek wrote this paper for a fourth-year seminar course entitled "Studies in Solitude and Isolation" taught by Dr. Coby Dowdell. In his paper, Franiczek examines Rousseau's text as a predecessor to the Romantic movement's understanding on melancholy. “Having a paper I am truly passionate about be highly commended by the UA is incredibly satisfying as someone always striving to become a stronger writer. After receiving this honour I feel even more confident in pursuing graduate studies in the field of English to further develop my academic writing,” says Franiczek. Franiczek is currently working as a tutor at The Write Place at King’s.

Sam Boer graduated from King’s in June, 2017 with an honors specialization in English and a minor in Music. He was named a Highly Commended Entrant in the Literature category for his paper entitled "The Sounds of Violence: Textualized Sound in Frank Miller's 'Sin City' and 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns." Boer says, "I believe it vital that comics are beginning to be recognized in the academic world as valuable art forms. As part of a generation brought up taught to respond to visual media more than any other, I believe that graphic narratives have unprecedented power as works of literature."

Boer wrote this paper as his final assignment for ENG 3665E: The Graphic Novel, taught by  Dr. Selma Purac. "In his insightful paper, Sam analyzes the complex ways in which Miller visualizes sound in his work and addresses an aspect of Miller's work that is deeply important and yet often overlooked, thereby making a unique contribution to the field of comics studies," says Dr. Purac. "Being recognized by the Undergraduate Awards has inspired me to continue exploring and researching visual works outside of my undergrad and, hopefully, in the future as part of a master's program. I am so grateful to my graphic novels professor, Selma Purac, for her support and belief in this paper, and King's for its openness and innovation as an institution," says Boer.

King’s students often have their work recognized by the Undergraduate Awards. Three King’s students, Emily Denommé, Chris Ginou, and Wyatt Merkley were Highly Commended Entrants for the 2016 Undergraduate Awards. Read more about the 2016 Undergraduate awards highly commended entrants.

Students across all disciplines at King's are encouraged to submit their major projects and papers for consideration for next year’s selection.

Learn about the UA Awards and submit for 2018.