Two LCC students earn LAND awards - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Two LCC students earn LAND awards

LAND scholars

John Kinney (left) and Dar Pung of LCC were among 10 statewide LAND Student Scholar award winners. Courtesy photos

Jonah Unger

By Jonah Unger
Staff Writer

Two LCC students – John Kinney and Dar Pung – were among 10 Michigan students selected as LAND Student Scholars.

The LAND (Liberal Arts Network for Development) Student Scholars competition is a contest available to any student enrolled in a credit class at any public two-year college.

The competition gives students the opportunity to do scholarly work, including formal research papers, musical performances or dramatic compositions. Students are expected to present original work for the judges to evaluate. 

Each of the 10 scholar receives $150, along with a certificate and a medallion. Students must present at the scholars conference. The 2023 conference was virtual.

“I think the biggest opportunity is having a chance to present to a wide audience,” LCC faculty mentor Rosalie Petrouske said, “to have your work recognized as outstanding, and to be able to place this accomplishment on a resume.”

Petrouske said there have been a lot of LCC faculty and students who have participated in LAND events. Faculty is always looking for students to mentor in both the student-scholar event and the creative writing competition, she added.

John Kinney’s entry is titled “Physician-Assisted Death for Mental Illness: Mercy or Malpractice?” Petrouske served as Kinney’s mentor for the piece.

This paper addresses that multiple countries approved physician-assisted deaths,” Kinney explained. It examines the struggles regarding mental health as a sole factor for physician-assisted death. This concerns the possible mismanagement if a patient were to request such a procedure. 

Kinney is in the second year of the mechatronics program at LCC. Kinney spends free time restoring old electronics, and as of late has been learning to draw. 

“My goal when I graduate is to buy a house with enough land to set up a workshop,” Kinney said. “There are a lot of things that I want to build!” 

Dar Pung’s entry is titled “Mary Oliver: The Hidden Realist.” Pung’s mentor for the project was LCC Professor Barbara Clauer.

This paper examines three works by Mary Oliver through different lenses, such as romanticism and realism. In the paper, Pung explores “Wild Geese,” “Invitation” and “The Poet with His Face in His Hands.”

Through his study, it becomes clear that all three works are showcasing a realist philosophy quite literally hidden in plain sight, Pung explained.

Pung is a 20-year-old student at LCC who has many hobbies. 

“In my spare time, I read, write poetry, play “The Sims 3” and spend time with my family,” Pung said. 

LAND offers students many opportunities other than writing. This gives students a chance to express themselves in a passionate manner. For more information on LAND scholars and its opportunities, visit Student Scholars Conference on the LAND website. For any student interested in getting involved, email Rosalie Petrouske at



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