Paterno Fellows Program organizes essay contest for students

November 08, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Paterno Fellows Program is holding The Collegiate Laws of Life essay contest to encourage Penn State undergraduate students to explore ethical values and intercultural issues, and their talent for expressing their views in writing.

Essay contest winners will receive $300 for first place, $150 for second place and $50 for third place. All winners will be acknowledged at the annual Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony on Jan. 22. Winning essays will be published on the Liberal Arts Voices blog. The contest is open to all full-time baccalaureate students who are enrolled at any Penn State campus for at least one semester of the 2013-14 academic year.  

Students will respond to one of the following prompts:

-- The current political culture in the United States is extremely polarized. What are the reasons for this conflict, and what can be done to fix the gridlock?
-- “The price of greatness is responsibility.” -- Winston Churchill. Recently, there have been several scandals involving people in leadership positions, both in our national government and here at Penn State. Do we expect too much from our public figures or should we hold them to a higher standard because of their status?
-- “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” -- Albert Einstein. Has the rise in technology and social media disabled our ability to communicate? Or has it enabled us?
-- As a response to increased concerns over national security since Sept. 11, National Security Agency developed a roster of extensive surveillance techniques which were recently exposed by Edward Snowden. The extent of this surveillance has alarmed many Americans and raised grave privacy concerns. Did Snowden do the right thing in exposing these policies, and can you envision a better way to protect the country and an individual’s right to privacy?
--“What you think, you become.” -- Mahatma Gandhi. The Paterno Fellows Program hopes to provide an “education for leadership” and to help students develop ethical principles. What is your personal honor code?

Essays should be no longer than 800 words and will be judged on originality, relevance and creativity. Essays must be submitted no later than Jan. 13. 

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Last Updated May 12, 2016