Portraying the Power of Words

Lise van der Eyk is one of two TWU students to win the Spring 2009 McGraw-Hill Power of Words Competition.

Trinity Western University is pleased to congratulate the winners of the McGraw-Hill Ryerson Power of Words Competition. Each semester, the publishing company hosts the competition and papers are submitted by professors at universities across Canada. The pieces are then evaluated for content, structure, writing style, clarity and grammatical correctness.

Out of the 50 papers submitted for the Spring 2009 competition, two TWU submissions were selected as category winners. Karis Brynjolfson, a third year International studies major from Langley, and Lise van der Eyk, a fourth year English student also from Langley, took the prizes for the “Definition” category and the “Comparison and Contrast” category respectively.

TWU Assistant Professor of Cross-Cultural and Leadership Communication Ruth Anaya submitted both students’ essays which were originally written for Cross-Cultural Communications. While Brynjolfson and van der Eyk did not write to compete, their superior work set their essays apart. “Good work done needs to be acknowledged,” Ruth says, “and it is an incentive to all to keep doing well.”

The adjudicators’ high praise of the students’ essays reflects the quality work which Brynjolfson and van der Eyk produced. Of van der Eyk’s paper which explored the uses of rhetorical devices in Mubalagha and Arabic, one juror commented: “Van der Eyk’s superb writing skills explain the complex linguistic subject while providing an interesting comparative examination of two cultures.”

Anaya is thrilled that the Power of Words Competition honors students’ work and shows them the wider influence of their studies. “The students are doing research that can inform the larger community about very important topics. It is not just about completing an assignment, but the information is valuable to others and needs to be shared.”

Van der Eyk is pleased by the recognition of her work by the competition. “A confirmation of this kind of one’s ability to write well is always encouraging,” says a happy van der Eyk.

Brynjolfson, who is currently studying at the Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa, is also honored by the award. “It's nice to know that the papers I write for class can be used for more than simply completing an assignment and that it is possible to gain recognition through writing academic papers.”

For Trinity Western University, Brynjolfson and van der Eyk’s achievements mark the second consecutive semester in which TWU students have been acknowledged by the McGraw-Hill competition. TWU Alum Leigh Boyle also won during the fall semester in 2008. “The recognition,” Anaya says, “continues to show students they can aim for their best and achieve it.”

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

Last Updated: 2009-10-19
Author: Elisabeth Fallon