Posted on October 2nd in General

25 Students to be Published in Literary Journal

Twenty-five Phi Theta Kappa members will have their writing published in the 2018 issue of Phi Theta Kappa’s online literary journal, Nota Bene. Five of the students have received scholarships for their exemplary entries.

Mackenzie Edmondson, a former student at Lone Star College-University Park in Texas, received the Ewing Citation Award for the most outstanding submission to the 2018 Nota Bene literary competition and a $1,000 scholarship. Her short story, “Paper or Plastic?” beat out more than 520 entries to take the top award.

Mackenzie has been writing on and off for most of her life, but she discovered her passion for it under the guidance of a professor, Dr. Greg Oaks, who “pushed me to dive into writing and create stories beyond what I ever thought I was capable of.” She was a Phi Theta Kappa chapter officer, and she helped charter the writing club at Lone Star-University Park.

In the fall of 2018, Mackenzie transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, where she is a Radio, Television, Film student. She hopes to adapt some of her stories into short films.

“To have excelled in such a competitive organization in this way is not anything I would have even imagined until now,” she said. “It makes me incredibly grateful for all of those who helped me along the way to this achievement.”

The Ewing Citation Award is named in honor of Nell Ewing, a long-time Phi Theta Kappa staff member who was a driving force behind Nota Bene. She retired in 2012 after serving 26 years with the organization.

Four other submissions were also singled out as outstanding, and those authors will each receive a Reynolds Award of $500. This award is endowed by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and honors the memory of the late Donald W. Reynolds, founder of the Donrey Media Group. The 2018 Reynolds Award recipients are:

  • Hannah Barry of the University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana for her poem “Pain, Love”
  • Joseph Page II of Central New Mexico Community College for his research paper “Dissolving the Iron Curtain”
  • Norris Banks of Paris Junior College in Texas for his essay “Marginality and Me”
  • Anastasiia Melnikova of Tidewater Community College in Virginia for her research paper “Conservation of Mass and the Dark Side of Climate Change”

Other works being published in the 2018 issue of Nota Bene:

Research Papers

  • “Piercing the Jungle Canopy” by Joseph Page II of Central New Mexico Community College
  • “Corruption and Contradicting Comments” by Kaileiani Louie of Skyline College in California
  • “Uprooting the Pacific Northwest” by Emily Brown of South Seattle College in Washington
  • “Those Who Fear Okadas” by Amarachi Onyekachi of Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina


  • “Making Sense of Modern-Day White Supremacy in America” by Cailin Filardo of Brookdale Community College in New Jersey
  • “The Bouzouki” by Kristina Seraphin of Central New Mexico Community College
  • “Between the Pages” by Valeriia Vlasenko of Portland Community College in Oregon
  • “Shades of Innocence” by Andrea Andrews of Grays Harbor College in Washington
  • “Life in a Doll’s House” by Seth Hatfield of Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia
  • “Dear Humanity” by Amanda Jiang of Wilbur Wright College in Illinois
  • “The Realities of the Gap Year” by Amy Duffy of Delaware County Community College in Pennsylvania

Short Stories

  • “Chile Rojo” by Jessey Martinez of Luna Community College in New Mexico
  • “Still I Stay” by Jordan Thacker of Columbia State Community College in Tennessee


  • “Night” by Amy Narkis of NHTI – Concord’s Community College in New Hampshire
  • “What Can’t Be Said” by Emily Hansen of Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Minnesota
  • “Red” by Erica Rosenthal of Brookdale Community College in New Jersey
  • “Battery Oval” by Kevin Reinhardt of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
  • “Going Home” by Patricia LoSasso of Brookdale Community College in New Jersey
  • “Warning: Shape Shifter on the Loose” and “The Bohemians I Met Down the Street” by Mariana Orrego Serna of Coastal Carolina Community College in North Carolina
  • “Anatomía de un Beso Mental” by Martha Urdaneta of San Jacinto College in Texas
  • “Reality of a Miracle” by Karie Pinnix of East Mississippi Community College

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