MIDDLETOWN, CT - Gina Savoy of Maplewood, who is currently a student at Wesleyan University, was one of five students chosen to receive a First-Year Seminar Essay award at a ceremony March 28, stated a release from Wesleyan University.

The students received cash awards and a book selected by their course instructor at the inaugural awards ceremony, which was made possible with support from The Endeavor Foundation of New York. 

Savoy, who is a graduate of Columbia High School, won the top prize for her essay, "The Church: A Lifelong Obstacle for Vincent van Gogh."

Wesleyan's First-Year Seminar program teaches students the specifics of college-level academic writing: formulating an original, debatable claim; supporting that claim with textual and scholarly evidence; making analytical rather than simply observational arguments; and synthesizing one's points into an effective conclusion, stated the release from Wesleyan University.