Westminster resident Madeleine Gardner, a first-year student at Dickinson College, was recently recognized for exceptional writing and research with a 2015 First-Year Seminar Excellence in Writing Award. The awards were presented to first-year students who researched campus activism, culture studies, politics, environmental policy and world literature. Gardner won for her literary analysis of the Baldomero Lillo short story, "Gate No.12," for her first-year seminar, "Latin American Short Stories." Gardner was presented with a cash award and certificate during a special ceremony Feb. 11. She is a graduate of Gerstell Academy High School and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gardner, of Westminster.