Three students selected as winners of Paterno Fellows essay contest

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The winners of the Collegiate Laws of Life Essay Contest read their winning essays at the Paterno Fellows Recognition Ceremony on Feb. 1. The contest was sponsored by the Paterno Fellows Program and the College of the Liberal Arts.

Students selected one of a number of prompts ranging from topics related to technology and print media, pharmaceutical companies, international students and climate change.

The first-place winner was Abdulla Naouf, a Palestinian freshman majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. His essay was titled, “Special treatment is only fair.”

Second place went to Jason Waltersdorff, a sophomore from Pennsylvania. His essay was titled, “…in which we discuss EMPs, burning iPads, grandpa’s USB library, and cat videos.” Waltersdorff is majoring in political science through World Campus and was unable to attend the ceremony.

The third-place student was Nakul Grover, a sophomore from India. His essay was titled, “The colonist, the environment, and a billion dreams.” Grover is a majoring in chemical engineering and English. He is a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar.

The annual contest was open to all full-time baccalaureate students who were enrolled at any Penn State campus for the fall 2016 semester. Essays were judged on originality, relevance and creativity. Anyone interested in learning more about the Paterno Fellows Program can visit

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Last Updated February 28, 2017