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Aerial view of Utah State University

About Voices of USU

Voices of USU offers undergraduate students the opportunity to present and publish essays and projects they complete in English 2010 classes. Since its inception in 2007, the program has published over 100 writers in the annual editions of Voices of USU: An Anthology of Student Essays, and hosted up to 50 student presentations each semester at the Citizen Scholar Conference.

Students see an actual outlet for the writing they produce in the classroom. The program invites students to contribute their voices to critical conversations while celebrating the power of words.

Objectives & Philosophy

Voices encourages students who discuss creative, innovative, unique, and relevant ideas in a variety of genres, aimed toward specific audiences. Voices reinforces the following USU Citizen-Scholar objectives:

  • Being an integral part of every student's experience.
  • Expressing and communicating through a variety of media.
  • Helping students develop intellectually, personally, and culturally.
  • Listening and viewing for comprehension.
  • Understanding the nature and methods of humanities and sciences.
  • Communicating effectively to an audience.


John Engler, senior lecturer in USU's Department of English, had an idea about a writing contest for English 2010 students. He approached Susan Andersen, fellow senior lecturer, with the proposal.

John and Susan collaborated on a proposal and submitted it to the student-centered Innovation Grant, for which they were awarded $16,800.

The program is now self-sustaining, serving hundreds of students, employing two interns, and publishing up to fifteen authors annually.