2014 Shapiro Contest : Common Read Category Winners

Our first Common Common Read essay competition was a success!

Students entered writing projects inspired by this year’s Common Read text, Ten Letters: Stories Americans Tell their President.

Judges selected four prize-winning pieces.

Congratulations to James Bowser and Mary Schwab, who took prizes in both categories.

Composition I Common Read Research Category

  • Mary Schwab “Don’t Forget about the Animals.” $300
  • James Bowser “The Sole Way of Ending Poverty in America.” $300

Composition I Common Read Non-Research Category


  • Mary Schwab “Rhetorical Analysis of ‘I Was Bullied in High School and Seriously Contemplated Suicide.” $100
  • James Bowser “Letter to UT President Lloyd Jacobs.” $100


No Impact Poster Sessions

Make an Impact

Earth Day Poster Session: Wednesday, April 1 , 2015

8am-1pm/ Memorial Fieldhouse Atrium

Come view Mike Piotrowski’s student displays showcasing ways students can have an impact on their environment at the University of Toledo.

This event is in conjunction with UT’s Common Read Project: “No Impact Man,” by Colin Beavan

Ten Letters from UT President Jacobs


UT President Lloyd Jacobs wasted no time responding to the ten letters we delivered just days ago. Dr. Jacobs told us that he enjoyed hearing directly from students and thanked us for including him in this exercise.IMG_1291_1

Each student received a lengthy hand-written reply from the president on  university stationary.

Dr. Jacobs told the committee that he was particularly moved by student letters sharing concerns about the “oppressive” costs to earn a college degree, and high-prices of textbooks.

He also shared frustration with a student who, like he, is a vegetarian and has difficulty finding more than a few menu items on campus.

Ten Letters to UT President Lloyd Jacobs

The Composition Common Read committee met this week to select ten letters students wrote to UT President Lloyd Jacobs.IMG_1293

President Obama receives his letters each Sunday morning in a purple folder. We delivered our student letters to  Dr. Jacobs in a blue folder bearing the university logo.

Dr. Jacobs will be reading and answering his letters this week. Faculty will deliver his hand-written responses to the students in class.


Call For Entries: Ten Letters to UT’s President

Ten letter competition

Instructors are invited to submit student letters for consideration.

A committee will select ten letters from the pool and present them to Dr. Jacobs in a blue and gold folder. His responses will be sent to students via the instructor before the end of the semester.

  • We ask that instructors select 3-5 representative letters from each section of the course using the text.

(Note: This is not a writing competition. We are not looking for the “best” written letters, nor necessarily the strongest arguments, but we hope to send the president ten letters representing the most important issues and student perspectives).

  • Letters should be signed by the student.
  • Place your set of letters in an envelope or folder marked with your name.
  • Submit: To the basket in the English Department office.

Deadline: Friday, October 25 at 10 am.