First-year medical students win Upstate’s top writing honors

SUNY Upstate medical students Bioethics

These first-year medical students at Upstate won top honors at the 28th Bruce Dearing Writing Awards sponsored by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities. (L-R) Kaitlin Kyi, Makandiwana Shoniwa, Julienne Abad and Brielle Stanton.

Four first-year medical students at Upstate were honored at the 28th Bruce Dearing Writing Awards Wednesday.

The annual writing competition is sponsored by Upstate’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities. The students’ work, along with winning submissions in the faculty/employee category, will appear in the next issue of the CBH’s literary and visual arts journal, “The Healing Muse,” in October.

The top award for student poetry went to Brielle Stanton for “The Cough.” Honorable mention went to Makandiwana Shoniwa for “The Forging.”

The winner in the student category for prose was Kaitlin Kyi for her essay, “Roman Bridges.” Honorable mention went to Julienne Abad for “Valerie’s Secret.”

The winners read from their works during Wednesday’s ceremony in the Medical Alumni Auditorium. Upstate Interim President Gregory Eastwood, MD, cited the importance of the arts and humanities, which “give us great joy as we go about our daily lives.” Ideally, the arts are “a part of us, not just what we do in our spare time,” he said.

Student poetry winner Brielle Stanton said “The Cough” was a creative exercise in seeing things from a different perspective. The poem, she said, was an attempt to understand the point of view of her family members and friends who smoke cigarettes.

Kaitlin Kyi’s essay “Roman Bridges” recounted the emotional upheaval of taking care of her mother as she battled cancer, and “how very badly I wore the badge of caregiver,” Kaitlin said.

Faculty/employee winners were:

Poetry: Pamela Freeman, of the Clinical Skills Center, for “Where Does It Hurt.” Honorable mention went to medical resident (and Upstate graduate) Michael Daugherty, MD, for “Bittersweet.”

Prose: Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital family therapist Ruth McKay, MA, for her short story, “Innocence in the Face of Darkness.” Ann Botash, MD, professor of pediatrics, won honorable mention for her essay, “Grandma’s Yarn.”

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