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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Student Takes First in National Literary Competition

Student Takes First in National Literary Competition

The results from the 2012-2013 Student Literary Competition are in, and our very own Paulina Lopez has walked away as a national winner!

Paulina's entry, "Satellites" received first place within the poetry category. As a result, she has been awarded a cash prize and a Certificate of National Merit. Her work will also be printed within a catalog produced by Foothill-De Anza Community College, this year's competition host.

Paulina describes her piece as being about "juxtaposing the extremely small with the absurdly large and realizing that sometimes, inexplicably, the smallest things can hold the largest, most complex things within them." The inspiration of this piece came from her students among other things, she said.

After seeing a notice about the competition on the Brookhaven College Website, Paulina decided to submit two poems. She claims it was casual and thought nothing would come of it.

"I didn't have anything else to do," she said. "I had no idea it was tied to something this big."

Aaron Clark, Communications Division faculty, alerted Paulina via email that her piece had won. Initially, she thought her husband had somehow brewed this up as a practical joke as he tends to do, but once she realized its validity, she was overcome with surprise.

After receiving her bachelor's degree in studio art, Paulina came to Brookhaven College last semester to complete a prerequisite math course needed to apply for a master's degree in education. She has since been accepted into Southern Methodist University's Masters of Education program with about one and a half years left before completion.

Beyond fulfilling the program requirements, Paulina has no concrete future plans but is open to pursuing other interests.

"I change my mind a lot," she said. "But I'd like to get experience working as a lead teacher."

The Student Literary Competition is a national competition made possible by the League for Innovation. The competition allows community college students around the country to submit creative writing pieces to their schools within the categories of essay, poetry, fiction and one-act play. The Dallas County Community College District is one of 19 community colleges and districts around the country invited to participate annually. This year's competition included a total of 63 literary works submitted by students. Johnson County Community College will host the 2013-2014 competition.

Congratulations, Paulina!