Cunningham Writing Contest winners recognized

February 26, 2020

Trine University awarded the winners of its annual Walter Cunningham Writing Contest during a ceremony on Feb. 18.

Now in its 12th year, the Walter C. Cunningham Writing contest is an annual competition to identify the best fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and academic writing by Trine University students. 

The contest’s namesake, Walter Cunningham, is a Tri-State University alumnus. Early in his career, while working for the U.S Department of Labor, Cunningham was asked to write reports that would be used as evidence in federal court cases. He found this experience so challenging that he embarked on a successful campaign to teach himself to write more effectively.

Cunningham and his wife, Don Nell, sponsor the Cunningham contest each year. Winners receive an award certificate and cash prizes — $100 for first place, $50 for second and $25 for third — and have their names inscribed on a plaque in Trine’s Taylor Hall.

Winning entries are posted at

Winners for this year’s contest are:


First: Mycah Houser, an English major from Valparaiso, Indiana, for “Feminist Rhetoric of ‘Nightmare.’ ”

Second: Madison Sanderson, a communication major from Leo, Indiana, for “Rhetorical Analysis of Thor Odinson’s Visual Representation.”

Third: Alaina Sallee, an English major from Winamac, Indiana, for “Women’s Obsession with True Crime: Taking the Power Back.”


First: Upasana Shrestha, a biomedical engineering major from Nepal, for “Running.”

Second: Travis Mersing, a chemical engineering major from Swanton, Ohio, for “The Visits,” and Adrian Files, an electrical engineering major from Holland, Ohio, for “That Was Then, This is Now.”


First: Andrea Davenport, an English education major from Downers Grove, Illinois, for “Angel.”

Second: Mycah Houser for “Decay.”


First: Eden Diller, a chemical engineering major from Fort Wayne, Indiana, for “My God.”

Second: Meghan Schrader, an English major from Fort Wayne, Indiana, for “White Girl on Immigration.”

Third: Eden Diller for “You.”

Photo: Front, from left, Upasana Shrestha, Madison Sanderson, Meghan Schrader, Eden Diller, Andrea Davenport; back, Travis Mersing, Adrian Files, Mycah Houser and Alaina Sallee.

Last Updated: 06/30/2020

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