The Roger Schwirck Award


The Roger Schwirck Award for Excellence in Philosophy is made possible by an endowment created in his memory through the generosity of Joseph Roif and the family of Roger Schwirck.

The first place winner will receive $1,500. Other monetary prizes will be awarded as is seen fit (deposited into their UNCG account).


To be eligible, you must:

  • be a current UNCG student;
  • be majoring in Philosophy;
  • have completed five Philosophy courses by May of the current year (current PHI courses, and PHI courses completed at other institutions count);
  • have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher;

  • submit a well-written, well thought-out paper on any topic in Philosophy for consideration by the review panel.

More information

About Roger Schwirck

Roger David Schwirck graduated from UNCG in 1989 with a BA in Philosophy and a minor in Latin. His pursuit of these elements of a classical education was distinctive and admirable. Roger Schwirck was an outstanding student who exemplified the ideals of academic excellence (and a good person who was much loved and respected by his professors and fellow students). Excelling in Logic, The Theory of Knowledge, Metaphysics, and Ethics, he maintained a perfect record in the philosophy courses he took at UNCG.

In 1989, Roger Schwirck won a prestigious UNCG Student Excellence Award and became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. When he graduated from UNCG later that year, he received his BA in Philosophy with Honors, Magna Cum Laude. After graduation, Roger Schwirck continued his studies at Ohio State University in a nationally recognized PhD program in Philosophy. He was not able to complete his graduate work due to the tragic events which led to his death in 1998.

Here’s what the award committee is looking for:

  1. It is suggested that the papers be between 2,000-5,000 words. This is not a requirement.
  2. The paper should use proper citations of texts and any other sources used.
  3. Technical terms should be clearly defined.
  4. Every paper should explore a philosophical topic; clarity is highly valued, as is fairness to all relevant philosophical points of view.
  5. If a paper tries to solve a philosophical problem or to answer a philosophical question, then it should
    • clearly state the problem it is trying to solve, or the question it is trying to answer,
    • take a position regarding that problem or question,
    • and construct at least one argument or critical assessment of a position.
  6. If the paper addresses opposing positions, those positions should receive charitable treatment.
  7. Most papers are revisions of papers written for class, but that is not required.


The next deadline for submission will be in Spring 2025. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Insa Lawler ([email protected]).

Everyone who submits a paper gets a complimentary Schwirck Award t-shirt!

Past Winners of the Roger Schwirck Award include:

2nd and 3rd Place Winners:

  • 2023
    • 2nd Place: Bill Pribble
    • 3rd Place: Natalie Roux Adams
  • 2022
    • 2nd Place: Natalie Roux Adams
    • 3rd Place: Mark D. Wills
  • 2021
    • 2nd Place: Mark Dockery
    • 3rd Place: Ryan Hrabovsky
  • 2020:
    • 2nd Place: Mark D. Wills
    • 3rd Place: Mary Wolfe

Honorable Mentions:

  • 2023:
    • Sarah Hedrick
    • Jennifer Mason
    • Cimarron Rose Saunders
    • Sabrina Shea Scott
  • 2022
    • Dylan Flippin
    • Michael Schantz
  • 2021
    • Patrick Buchanan
    • Bevin Hamilton
    • Jeremy Schlanger
  • 2020
    • Austin Graham
    • Brianna Vargas
    • Sara Weaver
  • 2019
    • Jeannie Ake
    • Shelley Brown
    • Brian Bolling
    • Joshua Fugate
  • 2018
    • Shelley Brown
    • Brendon Kenney
    • Jason Varner
    • Michael Villanueva
  • 2017
    • Shalonda Branch
    • Tyler Draughn
    • Brendon Kenney
    • Mark Lynch
    • Temere Rountree
  • 2016
    • Nicholaus Chase
    • Dominic Chiellini
    • Caroline Kane
    • Jorge Lopez
    • Cecil Yancey
  • 2015
    • Alexandra Harris
    • Michael Scates
  • 2014
    • Alexandra Harris
    • Zack Murcoch
  • 2013
    • Caroline Kane
    • Tyler Kenefeck
    • Joshua Moore
  • 2012
    • Tyler Kenefeck
  • 2011
    • Jacob Boyd
    • Kathleen Huie
    • Joshua Moore
    • Aaron Sullivan
  • 2010
    • Laurell Bell
    • Kathleen Huie
  • 2009
    • Benjamin Shook
    • William Davis
  • 2008
    • Serena Reavis
    • Joshua Johnson
    • Ben Shook
  • 2007
    • Ronald Farlow
    • Daniel Nash
    • Jacob Linney
    • Adam Eggleston
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