posted October 28, 1998

Winners Announced in Plaggemars Essay Competition

Five students who participated in Hope College's 1998 Vienna Summer School have been named winners in the 17th annual Howard Plaggemars Essay Competition.

          The winners are: first place, Robert Dietz, a
  senior from Reynoldsburg, Ohio; second place, Amy
  Strassburger, a 1998 Hope graduate from Alto; and three
  third place winners, senior Kelly Martin of Oswego, Ill.,
  junior Erin Selmer of Seymour, Wis., and senior Janelle
  Coffey of Spring Lake.
          All entries responded to some aspect of each
  student's experiences in Europe this past summer under the
  guidance of Dr. Stephen I. Hemenway, who has been the
  director of the Vienna Summer School program for 23 years
  and is a professor of English at Hope.  The donor of the
  prizes, Howard Plaggemars of Holland, is a 1960 and 1961
  alumnus of the Vienna Summer School, as well as a 1960 Hope
  graduate.
          Dietz, who is majoring in English, received his
  award for a collection of poems entitled "Six Poetic
  Memories of Vienna Summer School."  Strassburger, who
  majored in history, received her award for a personal essay,
  "Stomach Ache."  Martin, a communication major, received her
  award for a personal essay, "Moments."  Selmer, an English
  major, received her award for a poem, "My Orbit."  Coffey,
  who has a combination major in English and communication,
  received her award for a personal essay, "Looking Back."
          Three Vienna Summer School graduates, all of whom
  are previous winners in the Plaggemars Essay Competition,
  served as judges:  Rebecca Russcher of Fennville, a 1996
  Hope graduate who is a research scholar in history; Tom
  Bamborough, a 1983 Hope graduate who is principal of
  Bamborough Print Communication in Ada; and Elizabeth
  Trembley, a 1985 Hope graduate who is head of academics at
  Davenport College in Holland and author of a recent study of
  Michael Crichton's works.
          The prizes included cash awards of $100, $50 and
  $25 for first, second and third places, respectively.
          Since the Vienna Summer School's founding in 1956
  by Dr. Paul G. Fried, more than 2,000 students from more
  than 175 colleges and universities have discovered how
  summer study in Vienna can provide them with a meaningful
  introduction to the rich heritage of European civilization.
          Consisting of two consecutive three-week sessions,
  the program offers students a choice of work in art history,
  communication, economics, Austrian history, music history,
  German and Austrian literature, Eastern European literature
  and a senior seminar, all taught in English, as well as
  courses in German language, taught in German.  Students are
  housed with Austrian families, and are free to plan their
  leisure time and take weekend excursions led by Hemenway to
  places like Salzburg, Venice, Budapest, Prague and the
  Austrian Alps.