“Writing is power. If you have a good grasp of language, and you are able to transfer that to the page or the screen, it puts you into a really powerful position.”
Bunny Goodjohn Assistant Professor of English Director of the Writing Program
Randolph College’s student writing awards are some of the most coveted awards on campus, featuring a cash prize and recognition for exceptional academic writing.
Each year, the Writing Board, consisting of a group of faculty and staff, chooses student winners for Best Short Paper, Best Long Paper, and Best Senior Paper. Bunny Goodjohn ’04, an English professor and director of the writing program, wanted something more for students this year.
“We needed a vehicle that showcases the work of our exceptional students and promotes writing across the curriculum at the same time,” Goodjohn said.
So she created The Jack, Randolph’s first online academic journal. The journal, launched this fall, provides a place to showcase winners of the writing awards. Named for Theodore H. Jack, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College’s fourth president, the Web site includes information on the students, their nominating professors, and their winning papers. Students who receive excellent writing evaluations from two or more professors are also listed in The Jack.
“There is something strange that happens when you see your work move from a Word document to a published page,” Goodjohn said. “When you have something tangible in the form of a journal or a magazine, even one that is online, it is human nature for people who like to write to want to see their work published.”
The online journal also highlights Randolph’s writing intensive curriculum, which Goodjohn believes gives students an advantage when they enter graduate school or the workplace.
“Students find themselves writing in almost all their classes, irrespective of discipline, and faculty hold that writing to a high standard,” Goodjohn said.
“Writing is power. If you have a good grasp of language, and you are able to transfer that to the page or the screen, it puts you into a really powerful position. You are able to influence, to explain. Those are two hugely important skills, wherever you go.”