Elizabeth McNeill won the German department's Alan P. Cottrell Prize for the best paper written in a German studies seminar over the course of 2017. Her paper, "The Self-Other in the Mirror: Polar Bears as Liminal Subjects in Yoko Tawada’s Etüden im Schnee," was selected for its breadth, capacious references to both primary and secondary literature, sense of purpose, and clarity of presentation.

Honorary Mention was awarded to Erik Pomrenke for the paper he wrote titled "On the Will to Suffer: Nietzsche and the Metaphysics of Pain."