Coakley Ames Writing Excellence Award

The Department of Writing Studies is pleased to announce the Coakley Ames Writing Award for students interested in improving their writing through advanced study. This award is made possible by a generous donation from the Coakley Ames family who supports improvement in student writing at the University of Minnesota.

Application Deadline

November 30, 2023


One $3,000 award.


Applicants for this award:

  • must be a technical writing & communication major with at least one semester of coursework remaining.
  • must have taken at least 9 credits of WRIT courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in those classes 
  • must be registered full time during the following spring semester at the University of Minnesota.

Funds will be awarded spring semester 2024. If the recipient of the award currently receives financial aid through the University of Minnesota, the award will be applied toward the student’s financial aid.


All submissions collected by November 30,2023,  will be considered for both the Coakley Ames award and the Mikelonis award.

To apply for the award, submit the following:

  • An academic writing sample from a previous class (minimum of five pages).
  • A one-page statement explaining your interest in the TWC major, how you hope to improve your writing through advanced study in TWC, and your goals as a major.
  • An unofficial copy of your transcript.

When evaluating these writing samples and statements, in addition to the writing quality, the scholarship committee looks for the following: 

  • Document design and organization
  • Audience awareness 
  • Ability to engage complex ideas and cite sources when appropriate 
  • Clearly articulated interest in and understanding of the TWC major

Contact with any questions about the award.

Past Recipients

  • 2024: Nikolas Mead
  • 2023: Hannah Hanson and Joshua Hebeisen
  • 2022: Livie Hanousek and Rosemarie Lam
  • 2021: Maximilian Bechtold and Jaclyn Willems
  • 2020: Melissa Baker and Alexandra Finley
  • 2019: Liv Riggins and Shane Rose
  • 2018: Chris Lemke and Nathan Rockershousen
  • 2017: Paige Harker and Jacqueline Laliberte
  • 2016: Caitlin Shirk and Alicia Wilson
  • 2015: John Orzechowski and Stephanie Ales
  • 2014: Mary C. Stokes and Alexa Keenan
  • 2013: Heidi Cameron and Carah Kucharski
  • 2012: Phillip Stubbs and Frank Liang
  • 2011: Andrea Daughtery, Alison Seacord, Micah Sandberg-Spieler, and Jennifer Nicklay