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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Sept. 1, 2006
Website

SMC STUDENT WINS TOP
NATIONAL HONORS LITERARY PRIZE

Santa Monica College honors student Dean Stewart has won the top prize in a national community college literary contest sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Stewart, 66, of Sylmar receives the $1,000 Citation Scholarship for having the best overall submission for the 2006 Nota Bene literary anthology published by Phi Theta Kappa. His submission, a short story titled Pain, is a coming-of-age story about a boy whose mother is a child abuser.

His was one of more than 1,600 entries of short stories, poetry and essays submitted, from which a total of 21, including Stewart’s, was picked for publication in this year’s issue. The anthology, due out this month, is distributed to more than 1,700 libraries nationwide and abroad.

“I was pleasantly surprised and shocked when I won it,” said Stewart, a semi-retired entertainment industry accountant who has taken classes off and on at SMC since 1990, after a stint in 1968.

Stewart, who plans to transfer to California State University, Channel Islands in Camarillo this spring, is an English and creative writing major who studied screenwriting through UCLA Extension. He has written five screenplays and several short stories and is working on a novel.

While at SMC, he was not only a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, but also the Alpha Gamma Sigma honors club. In addition, he appeared in two SMC theatrical productions, The Laramie Project and Cabaret.

Phi Theta Kappa, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the oldest and largest honor society in American higher education with 1,200 chapters on two-year campuses in all 50 states, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the British Virgin Islands, and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 100,000 students inducted annually.

 


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