STARKVILLE, Miss.--While the top three freshman winners of Mississippi State University's 2014 Maroon Edition Essay Contest represent the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, upperclass honorees are all Magnolia State residents.
As part of the university's continuing quality enhancement effort to boost students' reading and writing skills, the "Maroon & Write" initiative organized the essay contest.
Maroon Edition is MSU's common reading experience. Each fall semester, incoming freshmen receive copies of a selected book. Sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, and faculty and staff also are encouraged to join in the campus-wide experience.
For the 2013-14 school year, the selection was "Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines" by Richard A. Muller. It also served as the essay contest's focus.
First-place winners in each category won $500 awards, while second- and third-place winners received $300 and $100, respectively.
Freshman winners were:
--First place: Anja C. Scheib for "Power of Informed Americans." She is a business administration major and the daughter of Shane and Cecilia Scheib of Canton.
--Second place: Thomas J. Manual for "Decision Making for Future Presidents." He is a mechanical engineering major and the son of Thomas and Phyllis Manuel of Ethel, Alabama.
--Third place: Kathryn M. "Katie" Grafton for "The Physics of Terrorism: How Knowledge is Key." She is an English major and the daughter of Kimble and Janet Grafton of Mobile, Alabama.
All seniors, the upperclass winners included:
--First place: Kaitlyn I. Byrne for "The Need for a Symbiotic Relationship Between Science and Ethics." She is a political science and communication/journalism double-major and the daughter of Donald and Rhonda Byrne of Senatobia.
--Second place: James B. Kimbrough for "A Change in Perspective: Global Warming." He is a kinesiology major and the son of Richard and Lisa Kimbrough of Saltillo.
--Third place: Zachary A. Brown for "Nuclear Power: An Ethical Solution." He is a mechanical engineering major and the son of Mark and Kimberly Brown of Bay Springs.
"The winners displayed both an understanding of this year's book and ability to communicate complex ideas in a written essay," said Deborah Lee, Maroon & Write co-director and coordinator of the upperclassmen writing contest.
The two-fold mission of Maroon & Write is to improve all students' writing quality and increase writing frequency, and to increase the numbers of faculty that incorporate writing-to-learn strategies in their classrooms, Lee emphasized.
"We are encouraged by the quality of student essays we reviewed and look forward to sponsoring these contests in the future," she said.
For more about Maroon & Write, visit qep.msstate.edu.
Discover more about MSU at www.msstate.edu.