Hope College has announced three winners in the 24th annual Howard Plaggemars Essay/Poetry Competition, held for students enrolled in the 2005 Vienna Summer School.

All entries responded to some aspect of each student's experiences in Europe this past summer under the guidance of Dr. Stephen I. Hemenway, who has been director of the program for the past 30 years and is a professor of English at Hope. Howard Plaggemars of Holland, donor of the prizes, is a 1960 and 1961 alumnus of the Vienna Summer School.

Two students tied for the first-place award. Elizabeth Brichacek, a senior from Carol Stream, Ill., who is pursuing a double major in French and exercise science, won for her essay, "My Viennese 4th of July." Jessica Schmidt, a senior English and German major from Portage, won for her essay, "Lost." Both Brichacek and Schmidt received $75.

The third-place winner is senior Ashley Anne Boer of Modesto, Calif. A major in studio art and creative writing, she was honored for her poem "sugar cubes patient on the porcelain saucer."

This year's judges, who are all previous winners of the Plaggemars Essay/Poetry Competition, were Tom Bamborough, Christopher "McG" McGarvey and Dr. Elizabeth Trembley. Bamborough, a 1983 Hope graduate, is the principal of Bamborough Print Communication in Ada. McGarvey, a 2005 Hope graduate, is currently spending a year doing volunteer work for Emmaus Ministries in Chicago, Ill. Trembley, a 1985 Hope graduate, is an associate professor of English and director of the FOCUS and SOAR programs at Hope, and a writer of scholarly works and popular fiction.

Consisting of two three-week sessions, the Vienna Summer School offers students a choice of work in art history, communication, economics, Austrian history, music history, German and Austrian literature, Eastern European literature and a Senior Seminar, all taught in English, as well as courses in the German language, taught in German. Students are housed with Austrian families, and are free to plan their leisure time and take weekend excursions led by Hemenway to places like Salzburg, Venice, Budapest, Prague and the Austrian Alps.