Outstanding Major Award
Nicky Zamoida: 2014
"If someone had told me entering freshman year that I would graduate SU with a major in Writing and Rhetoric and a minor in LGBT Studies, I don't think I would have believed them," says 2014 Carol Lipson Outstanding Writing Major Award recipient Nicky Zamoida.
Nicky came to Syracuse University as an Entrepreneurship major and a Music Industry minor with the goal of founding and running her own recording label. However, she says, she discovered that business was not her forte and found herself struggling with a decision to either transfer to another college within the university or leave SU altogether. Nicky credits Emily Luther, her WRT 105 instructor, with helping her decide to stay and declare a major in Writing & Rhetoric. "I found a mentor early on," she says, "and stayed in touch with her during my four years, and the new home I found in the Writing Program was undoubtedly due, in large part, to her support and encouragement to do what I love."
"I don't think I took one writing class at SU that I didn't love, and every writing professor I had had an influence on me, as writer, as a student, and as a person. Collin Brooke made me view technology and the internet with regard to writing in a totally different light and largely influenced me to start my blog that I still update to this day. Patrick Berry's Intertext course threw me headfirst into the world of design and taught me the skills I needed to get the job I have right now. And Minnie Bruce Pratt and Kevin Browne had a great impact on my creative writing and my views of myself and the world around me. I cannot say enough good things of all the professors I had in the Writing Program."
In nominating Nicky for the Outstanding Major Award, Patrick Berry says "she demonstrated excellent skills as an editor and writer. Equally important was how she works collegially and thoughtfully with others. She has been an active participant at program events including the creative nonfiction series."
Nicky says she knew that Writing & Rhetoric was more than a major—that it was an actual home for her—when she took part in Eileen Schell's Distinction course during her senior year. She says Schell, "encouraged me to take my design skills to a new level and explore the pro-natalist world I live in as a woman who does not want to have children, and in doing so helped me find something I want to continue researching and writing about for the rest of my life. I am inspired by her to provide a voice for childfree women like me, and a goal of mine is to one day contribute to the material on this topic."
In her nominating letter, Schell refers to Nicky's participation in her Feminist Rhetorics course. "In a classroom filled with PhD students as well as undergraduate students, Nicky is a consistent classroom participant: thoughtful, focused on the texts, and on making connections across the readings. It's easy in a class full of highly motivated graduate students to get lost in the crowd, but Nicky stands out. Some of the graduate students have even asked me if she is a graduate student, not an undergraduate, due to the quality and insightful nature of her participation and remarks." Schell adds, "What I consistently admire about Nicky is that she is constantly pushing herself to be better, never satisfied with doing just a good job. Nicky strives for excellence in every way and also is truly excellent as a writer, thinker, and human being. She combines all of this with being incredibly humble and kind. I can't wait to see what she does after graduation!"
Nicky is currently working for GateHouse Media—a newspaper company that publishes nearly 300 daily and weekly newspapers across the United States—in Austin, Texas. She works in a division that designs newspapers for weekly publications in New England, which allows her to stay connected to her home in New Hampshire. She would like to get into book publishing and says that a masters degree in publishing may be in her future. In the meantime, "I am using the design and copyediting skills that I learned and strengthened while at SU."
Looking back at her decision to stay at SU and become a Writing and Rhetoric major, Nicky says, "I know that I made the right choice, and it was a journey I would take again and again if I could."
top: Professor Emeritus Carol Lipson presents Nicky with the award that bears her name.
middle: Carol Lipson, Nicky Zamoida, and Writing Program Director Lois Agnew.
bottom: Nicky celebrates with her Distinction classmates and Eileen Schell at their end-of-the-year event. From the left: Emily Gilson, Nicky Zamoida, Brianna Edgerley-Dallal, Katherine Richards, Eileen Schell, Taylor Baker, Michelle Polizzi, Teresa Nigolian.