Nicole Zelniker ’17 is spending 18 days in January with eight other students in a “thesis boot camp” for Guilford College seniors, thanks to a cash award she received as the inaugural Rachel Lindner Leahy Award recipient.
An English and Creative Writing major and editor-in-chief of The Guilfordian, Nicole chose to use the award to pay tuition for the January term course. She’s completing a creative writing thesis with an analytical portion under the guidance of Mylène Dressler, assistant professor of English and Creative Writing.
The nine boot camp students have committed to weekly accomplishments, motivating each other and focused time to write in various locations around campus and the surrounding community. They will take part in communal meals and rewards that include short study breaks at local bookstores and libraries and dinner at their professor’s home.
Outside the Classroom
The Leahy Award was established by family and friends of Rachel Leahy ’14 in 2015 to provide English and Creative Writing majors the opportunity for outside-the-classroom learning experiences like J-term courses, study abroad, internships, conferences or workshops. Students are invited to apply for the award annually.
Rachel was an English honors student from Virginia who was devoted to books, traveling and Guilford College. She was employed in the Communications and Marketing Office at the College after graduation. She died following a sudden and unexplained illness in November 2014.
Nicole is a talented writer who plans to apply for admission to an MFA program after graduation from Guilford this spring. She has won several awards for her writing, including first place in the 2014-15 Anthony Abbott Undergraduate Poetry Competition sponsored by the Charlotte Writers Club.