Faculty member will judge national writing competition

February 12, 2013

Julie Baker, assistant academic specialist in the undergraduate English program at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) was recently invited to serve as a judge in the Achievement Awards Program for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) for high school juniors. The Awards is a school-based writing program established to encourage high school students in their writing and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation.

“I am excited to be part of an event that celebrates aspiring young writers and their creative works,” said Ms. Baker, “I currently teach research writing courses at CPS, so I’m looking forward to the creativity that this kind of fiction-based writing offers.”

Ms. Baker’s students will also benefit from the competition.

“After the competition, I’ll bring back new strategies and ideas for my students, particularly students writing creative pieces in the early stages of the College English I course,” she said.  

The Achievement Awards Program is an NCTE-sponsored competition designed to honor students in the United States, Canada, and American schools abroad for excellence in writing. Entries are accepted until February 13, 2013, and results will be announced in May 2013.

The awards process begins with high schools selecting one or two nominees, who are required to submit two entries: a piece of writing that the student considers his or her best work and a themed writing, which is a topic developed by the Achievement Awards Advisory Committee. This year’s theme is “Personal Mount Rushmore;” students are asked to choose four individuals that they would represent on Mount Rushmore if they had been tasked with designing the monument.

Critiquing writing is not something new for Ms. Baker, who before she started teaching at CPS in July 2012, was on the editorial board for Amoskeag, a national literary journal where she judged submissions for inclusion.  

“Reading creative works of young writers renews my own enthusiasm for pursuing writing skills, and I bring that passion back to my college-level classroom,” she said.

The National Council of Teachers of English with 35,000 individual and institutional members worldwide, is dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.


Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence.

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a comprehensive, global research university. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and more than 165 graduate programs, ranging from professional master’s degrees to interdisciplinary PhD programs. Northeastern’s research enterprise is aligned with three national imperatives: health, security and sustainability. Northeastern students participate in co-op and other forms of experiential learning in 90 countries on all seven continents.