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 generous gifts from donors who support excellence among UCSB student writers.
2023 ELLEN REID WRITING AWARD WINNERS
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
Alexandra Goldberg is the 2023 Professional Writing Minor Ellen Reid Writing Award recipient! Alexandra is a student in the Journalism track of the Minor, and she is also a Communications major. Currently, Alexandra is the podcast host and producer of “The Indy: A Podcast” from the newsroom of the Santa Barbara Independent. Additionally, she is the producer of UCSB TV, where she leads a team of reporters producing news, events, and sports content in Isla Vista. Alexandra's work in audio journalism reflects her passion for sharing community stories about news, politics, social justice, and human rights.
Raana Naghieh is the first runner-up for the 2023 Professional Writing Minor Ellen Reid Writing Award! Raana is a student in the Business Communication track of the Minor. She also studies History and minors in Philosophy. Raana spent three years on UCSB's award-winning Mock Trial team, where she served as captain. She recently completed her senior honors thesis about Victorian sex radicalism and moral censorship. In addition to school and extracurriculars, Raana works two jobs: she is a legal assistant for an estate planning attorney in Santa Barbara and an LSAT class instructor.
Leila Katibah is the second runner-up for the 2023 Professional Writing Minor Ellen Reid Writing Award! Leila Katibah is a first-generation college student from Los Angeles from a Lebanese-Palestinian immigrant family. She is in the Civic Engagement track of the minor and majoring in Sociology and Middle East Studies. She is also a Raab Writing Fellow finishing up a research project on the dangers of the digital age with a special focus on AI technologies. For her senior thesis in Sociology, Leila interviewed eight journalists around the world targeted for illegal surveillance to analyze the impact of surveillance on journalism and the greater implications it has on human rights and democracy.
2023 FIRST GENERATION SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
This award celebrates the accomplishments of our outstanding first-generation college students and writers. A generous Professional Writing Minor Alumnus has provided a gift to the Writing Program to support first-generation students in the Minor.
Kiyan Atrian is being recognized as one of two award winners from the Professional Writing Minor for the First-Generation Scholarship. Kiyan is currently a student in the Multimedia Communication track of the Minor. They also study Political Science and minor in History and Music. Kiyan is involved in a number of organizations at UCSB: he is an internship coordinator at the MCC through the Jackson Program, is very involved in EOP, was named a Raab Writing Fellow for the 2021-2022 cohort, and hosts the radio show–"Embarcadero Is Burning"–on KCSB FM.
Lian Benasuly is one of two award winners from the Professional Writing Minor for the First-Generation Scholarship. Lian is currently a student in the Journalism track of the Minor. She also studies Communication. As a Jewish person, Lian is involved in several different Jewish organizations–such as Hillel, Chabad, and Mishelanu. Throughout college, her main passion has been activism against antisemitism. Writing has helped her to pursue this passion.