2021 Professional Writing Minor Award Winners

Each year the Writing Program recognizes outstanding student writers in the Professional Writing Minor with the Ellen Reid Writing Award and the First Generation Scholarship Award. Both awards are made possible through generosity gifts from donors who support excellence among UCSB student writers.


The Ellen Reid Writing Award is given each year to support a UCSB student pursuing a career that involves writing or publishing. The award was established by Doug and Irene Fogelson to honor the legacy of Ellen Reid, Santa Barbara’s “book shepherd”. Ms. Reid was an award-winning writer and a consultant to independent authors for many years. The award continues her passion for guiding beginning writers to academic and professional success

2021 First Prize: Jacklyn Vo

Jacklyn Vo is a 4th-year Environmental Studies major, minoring in Earth Science and Professional Writing, Science Communication. She’s passionate about planetary health and addressing the health inequities that come with climate change.

Honorable Mentions: Samantha Alvarado & Molly McAnany

Samantha (Sami) Alvarado is a fourth-year English major and Professional Writing minor with an emphasis in Professional Editing. During her time at UCSB she worked as the English Major/Minor Peer Adviser, a student manager at Romaine's Soup and Salad Bar in the UCen, and was on the UCSB cheer team for two years. After graduation Sami hopes to pursue a career as a literary agent for aspiring YA authors.

Molly McAnany is a fourth-year English and Political Science Double Major and Professional Writing Minor in the Journalism track. She is currently hosting and producing a podcast with The Santa Barbara Independent as well as a radio show at KCSB-FM in Santa Barbara and hopes to move to New York to pursue a career in broadcast journalism or media strategy.


This award celebrates the accomplishments of our outstanding first-generation college students and writers. A generous Professional Writing Minor alum has provided a gift to the Writing Program to support first-generation students in the Minor.

2021 Award Winner: Lea Toubian

Lea Toubian is a fourth-year political science student minoring in Professional Writing, Professional Editing  and French Translation. She is currently serving as UCSB's Associated Students President, and hopes to move to Washington, D.C. to work in foreign policy research or diplomacy.

Honorable Mention: Michelle Qin

Michelle Qin is pursuing a degree in Communication and a minor in Professional Writing with an emphasis in Multimedia Writing. Currently, she works as a Global Communications Intern for Tencent, a Marketing Intern for Bragg Food Products, and a Marketing Outreach Coordinator for the UCSB Rapid Rehousing Program. After graduation, she plans to travel around Europe for a bit before hopefully landing a marketing or PR position at a tech or beauty company.