SAGLA Liberal Arts Essay Competition

130 Collins Classroom Center
Contact: Deans Office
Phone: 715-346-4224

Each year UW System hosts an essay competition sponsored by the System Advisory Group on the Liberal Arts (SAGLA). Students submit essays based on the connection between their university experience and their education in the liberal arts. Winners are selected at each UW System campus and state wide across the entire UW System.

This Year’s Topic

Students pursuing liberal educations learn to make connections across disciplines. At first it can seem difficult, however, to bridge the gap between the sciences and humanities, since these disciplines not only offer different content but also different modes of thinking. Discuss a time in your college education when you have made connections between a humanities class and a science class that have resulted in unexpected and meaningful insights. Feel free to go beyond your own experiences by discussing essays/commentaries on this topic by other writers or speakers you’ve encountered in college.

Up to three UW-Stevens Point finalists will receive $100 scholarships, will have their essays posted on the College of Letters and Science website, and will be formally honored by the College of Letters and Science. Up to three students selected from across the UW System will receive $2,000 UW System scholarships.

Eligibility Criteria

This competition is open to any UW-Stevens Point undergraduate student in academic good standing who has completed a minimum of 30 credit hours by the end of the Fall Semester 2014, and who has at least one semester remaining (Fall 2015) as a full-time undergraduate student.

Submission Requirements
All submissions are to be original essays, 1,000-1,250 words in length, double-spaced. Each essay must include a title page with the following information.
  1. Title of essay
  2. Student's name
  3. Major
  4. Institution
  5. College
  6. Home address
  7. Email address
  8. Telephone number
  9. The following statement: "I hereby affirm that this is my own work, an original essay, and agree that it will become the property of the UW System Board of Regents and that it can be reproduced in the public domain."

Submission Process and Deadline
All submissions (Word document or pdf) must be sent, as an email attachment, to, by 4:30 p.m. Friday, January 23, 2015.

Students are strongly advised to confirm receipt of their submission by requesting acknowledgement from the Office of Academic Affairs.

Campus Selection Process
A committee of UW-Stevens Point faculty and academic staff will review submissions and select up to three finalists for submission to the UW System for review and final selection of winners.

The review committee will use the following criteria to judge essay submissions:

  1. Organization and clarity of thesis
  2. Development of content that is specific, interesting, appropriate, and convincing
  3. Transitions that contribute to a fluent style of writing
  4. Accuracy of grammar and spelling
  5. Command of mature, unpretentious English

UW System Selection Process
Final selection of winning essays will be determined by a group of judges from the UW System Advisory Group on the Liberal Arts (SAGLA). Recipients will be notified in Spring 2015.

More information about this competition, including a link to the archive of previous winners, may be found at

2015 Recipients

Katlyn Dugenske - Linking Anthropology with Ethnic Literature: How I Learned to Talk About Race and Racism

Lorelei Bassler - Balance

2014 Recipients

Katheryn Bermann - A Firsthand Account of Writing as a Craft of the Liberally Educated Person

Kaira Kamke - A New World Through the Eyes of the Liberally Educated

2013 Recipients

2012 Recipients