Starkville High School students take home top awards in MSU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Writing Contest

(Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Three Starkville High School students are receiving awards for outstanding entries in Mississippi State’s Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Writing Contest.

Pictured at a recent ceremony are (left to right) Don Shaffer, associate professor of English, African American Studies program interim director and Presidential Endowed Scholarship program mentor; Ra’Sheda Forbes, assistant vice president for multicultural affairs and director of the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center; Kinsey Profice, SHS senior, third place; Abigayle Green, SHS junior, second place; Muneebah Umar, SHS sophomore, first place; and MSU President Mark E. Keenum.

Each student received a special commemorative plaque. Umar also read her award-winning essay during the program, which was organized by MSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

For more on OIDI, visit; the College of Arts and Sciences and its Department of English and African American Studies program at, and; Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College at; and Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at