The Second Annual Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition
Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion

At the University of Evansville, we believe that young people have the potential to change the world. We want to invite area high school students to think big and pursue your ideas – and potentially win some money!

Cash Prizes

  • First Place: $500
  • Second Place: $250
  • Third Place: $100

Two additional entries will receive honorable mention.


  • Submission Deadline: October 31, 2020
  • 1,500 words
  • When planning your essay, consider the contexts of cognitive science, ethics and social change, philosophy, race and ethnicity studies, and religion. Essays that consider topics from other contexts are fine as well, so long as they are treated from a humanistic perspective.

Essays will be judged by University of Evansville faculty members, based on the following criteria:

  • Academic merit
  • Creativity
  • Expression of practical wisdom
  • Proper use of grammar and form


Past Winners

For this essay competition, we’re inviting you to answer this question:


How can we be happy and live meaningfully in the Internet age?


We want to hear your ideas! Submit your essay by October 31

Context for the Question

Modern technologies have changed how we work, learn, play, and socialize, and have even changed how we think. The internet in particular has revolutionized industry, inspired and fueled achievements that were unthinkable to previous generations, and democratized information by creating and providing global access to the largest information repository in the history of humankind. But despite benefiting from these technological advances, in many ways we have failed to flourish in the new world that we have created. The technology that was meant to bring us together often leaves us feeling more isolated than before. Depression and anxiety disorders are on the rise. Misinformation and conspiracy theories spread rapidly across social media. Political divisions have deepened and become increasingly bitter. Many of us are, to put it simply, unhappy.

Unhappiness is probably not an inevitable result of technology, but our current problems do suggest that we may need new strategies for living well in our new digital world. How can we be happy and live meaningfully in the internet age?

For more information

If you would like more information about the opportunities available through UE’s Department of Philosophy and Religion, please visit the following pages.