Diversity takes prize

Posted May 18, 2007

The annual Diversity Forum was held to honor student winners of the Diversity Essay Competition May 10 in La Fetra Auditorium.

First place winner Ebony Williams, who is in the master of business administration program, wrote about transgender employees in the workplace.

Second place winner, College of Law student Julie Neal, wrote about the legal aspects of diversity in education.

Third place winner Nicole Paglione, who is in the doctor of psychology program, wrote about gangsta rap and misogyny.

“I believe the three winners in particular did an excellent job in the topics they chose to examine,” said Matthew Witt, associate professor of public administration and Diversity Essay Competition judge.

A panel made up of four faculty members judged the essays.

The finalists were given a chance to present their essays at the forum.

Finalists found out which place they took at the end of the forum.

“We had a lot of papers submitted this year that were pretty good,” said Bailey Smith, director of the Learning Enhancement Center and chairwoman of the Growing with Diversity Committee, which sponsors the annual event. “It was a pretty close competition.”

The honors came with cash prizes of $700 for the first-place winner, $500 for second place and $300 for third place winner.

Smith said the essays were so good that they even gave out special recognition certificates.

“I think they were of exceptional quality,” Assistant Professor of Management and Diversity Essay Competition judge Kathleen Duncan said.

Submitted essays had to be 10 to 15 pages and related to the current issues and/or trends in diversity.

“This year was pretty nice,” Associate Professor of Economics Julius Walecki said.

A member of the Growing with Diversity Committee, Walecki created this competition three years ago.

He said he was grateful for entries from colleges other than Arts and Sciences, which in previous years accounted for most of the submissions and winners.

“It was nice to get a broader range of disciplines this year,” Smith added.

Walecki hopes that more people will participate next year, especially undergraduates. Announcements for the competition usually begin in around January or February.

Sher Porter can be reached at sporter4@ulv.edu

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