University of Evansville Announces Competition Winners

Posted: Monday, June 1, 2020

The University of Evansville today announced the winners of the 2020 Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition. Sponsored by the University’s Department of Philosophy and Religion, the annual competition asks area high school students to address fundamental human questions of immediate and pressing concern. This year, students were asked to consider the question, “What lessons should humanity learn from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic?” Essays were evaluated by a panel of faculty authors selected from the department and judged based on academic merit, creativity, and the expression of practical wisdom.

This year’s first place winner was Skylar Young (10th Grade – South Spencer High School) for an essay on understanding and appreciating the value of meaningful human interaction both in crisis situations and in the general course of life.

The second place winner was Aidan Kunst (12th Grade – Evansville Day School), who wrote on the value of kindness and the importance of understanding our true relationship with “mother nature.”

Third place went to Natalie Page (10th Grade – North High School) for her essay on the value of collaboration and being prepared for the kinds of contingencies that come with something like a coronavirus pandemic.

Two honorable mentions were awarded to Ally Barnett (10th Grade – Reitz High School), who wrote on the need for equity in education, and Jalyn Smith (10th Grade – Edwards County High School), who noted that though normal may be defined differently by different groups, it may nonetheless be interrupted at any time across all groups.

Cash prizes were awarded to the top three essays along with the offer of a UE scholarship. The offer of a scholarship was also extended to those who received honorable mentions. The University congratulates these fine young students and expresses its gratitude to all the contestants for putting their minds to issues that affect us all.

The Annual Tri-State Truth, Meaning, and Value Essay Competition was conceived to promote local attention to matters requiring critical thinking in times of change and uncertainty and to engage in community outreach as part of the educational mission of the University of Evansville.

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