Paterno Fellows essay contest on ethical values open to students

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Any Penn State undergraduate student interested in exploring and writing about ethical values and intercultural issues can enter the third annual Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest, sponsored by the Paterno Fellows Program and the College of the Liberal Arts.

The contest is open to all full-time baccalaureate students who are enrolled at any Penn State campus for the fall 2016 semester. Essays should be no longer than 800 words and will be judged on originality, relevance and creativity.

Participating students must submit their essays on one of the following prompts by Dec. 19.

-- “Books are no more threatened by the Kindle than stairs are by elevators.” ~ Stephen Fry

In a growing technological age where people can find information at their fingertips in a variety of mediums, is there a possible future where print media, particularly books, will become obsolete? What is the future of print media?

-- Large pharmaceutical companies have recently received criticism for their decision to dramatically increase the price of certain life-saving products.

What are the ethical concerns and economic motivations behind such decisions, and what role, if any, should the government play in regard to regulating the issue?

-- “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” ~ Charles de Gaulle

What resources should universities be obligated to provide for international students in their transition to college life and life in the United States? What role should domestic students play in international students’ college careers?

-- “We are the forgotten ones, although we suffer every day from climate change.” ~ Diallo Déidia Mahamane Kattra, a Minister from Mali at the 2016 Paris Climate Talks

Is it fair that today, newly developing and still-industrializing countries are being asked to cut their emissions, thus stunting their ability to increase their own wealth and power? Are all equally responsible for funding solutions to climate change, or are established economies primarily responsible for recouping the damage that they have initiated?

Winners will receive $500 for first place, $400 for second place, and $300 for third place. All winners will be acknowledged at the annual Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 1, 2017. Winning essays will be published on the College of the Liberal Arts blog.

Submissions can be uploaded at

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Last Updated November 01, 2016