Midland College celebrates excellence in writing, art and music

Midland College celebrates excellence in writing, art and musicMay 05, 2023

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. MC music student Jared Reiff and the Midland College Jazz Band performing "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" co-arranged by MC Music Department Chair Dr. Rabon Bewley.

Midland College (MC) has a long tradition of honoring students’ work in fine arts and communications.  This week, the College held events on Wednesday, May 3, and Thursday, May 4, to recognize and celebrate students’ talents in these areas.  

On Wednesday, May 3, Midland College honored students writing in the categories of feature stories, narrative nonfiction and essays/reports.  During the Non-Fiction Writing Contest held in the Allison Fine Arts Building Wagner & Brown Auditorium, finalists read excerpts from their entries.  First place, second place, third place and honorable mention winners were announced for each category.

Feature Stories

  • First Place - “My Mother, My Mentor” by Jennifer Estorga
  • Second Place - “Confidence from My Dad” by Audrey Gardea-Perez
  • Third Place - “Knowledge or GPA” by Azaan Waseem
  • Honorable Mention - “Words from Mom” by Taja Stephens

Narrative Nonfiction 

  • First Place - “Importance of Everyday Mentoring in Learning a New Language” by Joseline Cejas
  • Second Place - “The World in Two Square Inches” by Audrey Upham
  • Third Place - “Underdogs” by Angelli Sanchez
  • Honorable Mention - “Forgiveness for the Win” by Natalie Molinar


  • First Place - “A Case Study on Removal of Important Literature at Keller, TX” by Lourdes Acosta
  • Second Place - “London Busking” by Gunnar Witcher
  •  Third Place -  “Hamlet’s Feigned Insanity” by Amie Weaver
  • Honorable Mention - “The Fears of Technology in 1984” by Alejandro de la Rosa Azumendi

“The judges were very impressed with the quality of work,” Dr. William Christopher Brown, MC department chair and professor of English, said.  “Many of these winners have just recently discovered their writing talents.  Their entries demonstrated the art of nonfiction writing, which is making ideas and information that already exist more interesting and available.”

The next evening, Thursday, May 4, MC honored finalists of the annual Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest in the Allison Fine Arts Building Wagner & Brown Auditorium.

The annual contest includes $1,300 in prize money going to the top four winning poets.  It was established in 1988 to honor the memory of Hilda Simmons Levitt by her husband Stanley.  

For many years, the Levitt family owned and managed a successful Midland clothing business on Florida Street.  From 1979 until her death in 1986, Mrs. Levitt took creative writing classes at Midland College. The Levitt’s daughter, Carol Schwartz of Washington, DC, continues to underwrite the contest and was present at this year’s awards celebration.  

“We are so grateful to Mrs. Schwartz for her generous contribution and willingness to recognize the creative works of Midland College students,” Dr. William Feeler, dean of MC’s English, Humanities, Fine Arts & Communication Division, said.  “The contest inspires our students and encourages them to continue to write.”  

Francisco Javier Sanchez, wrote the winning first-place poem, “American Boy.”  He received a $600 cash award.  Second place winner and recipient of a $400 cash prize was Alejandro de la Rosa Azumendi for his poem “If We Try.”  Mikaela Mandujano received the third-place award and $200 for “Prisoner in My Own Home.”  Fourth place winner and recipient of a $100 cash prize was awarded to Azaan Waseem for “Lost Like My Left Earpod.”  Honorable Mention recognition went to Ana McQuitty Bryan, Dustie Roland, Jessica Matsuda, Anna Morrow and Jadon Montgomery.  MC will publish a collection of the finalists’ poems in Tableau, the Midland College literary magazine.

The May 4 evening festivities also included the annual student art show exhibit and concluded with a concert featuring MC music students, the MC choir led by Assistant Professor Katie Osuampke, MC guitar students directed by MC Adjunct Music Instructor Mary Miller and the MC Jazz Band led by MC Music Department Chair and Professor Dr. Rabon Bewley.

MC Office of Institutional Advancement

Pevehouse Administration Building, Room 141
Midland College, 3600 N. Garfield
Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 685-4556


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