The Sweetland Center for Writing awards six Upper-Level Writing Prizes annually. The winning entries are published digitally to showcase excellence in writing across the College of LSA. Maia Muzumdar, a computer science major in COGSCI 302, was nominated by course instructor Dr. Mara Bollard for this year's writing prize.
Maia has been selected as one of two winners of the Excellence in Upper-Level Writing Prize in Social Science. "Moral Anger and Compassion" was chosen by a panel of judges who considered it among a number of other nominated papers and recognized hers as exceptional.
Upon receiving this award Maia said, "it’s such an honor and pleasant surprise to have my paper chosen and published, and I am very grateful! I really enjoyed writing this paper because I am inspired by the real world implications of compassion and moral anger. I think everyone’s interpersonal relationships can benefit with the practice of compassion and allow us to continue making social progress. My newfound knowledge about moral psychology broadened my own perspective and allowed me to see the ways in which interdisciplinary work in cognitive science can apply to and improve our daily lives". Maia thanks Dr. Bollard for providing helpful feedback on her writing throughout the course, saying that it was instrumental to building her knowledge of moral psychology and improving her writing skills.
Mara Bollard says that she chose to nominate Maia's paper for the writing prize because it "was beautifully written, thoroughly-researched, and successfully integrated insights from multiple theories to argue for a nuanced and compelling position about the value of moral anger." Mara explains that writing well in moral psychology is especially challenging because moral psychology is an interdisciplinary field that requires content expertise in both moral philosophy and empirical psychology, going on to say that Maia clearly demonstrated this expertise in her paper.
To read Maia's paper and discover the other 2023 award winners you can visit the Sweetland Center for Writing's website.