MLK Essay Contest Winners Recognized

Pictured, from left to right, are essay contest winners, Jody Vollmer, Owen Samuels and Laurie Miller with Director of Academic Affairs Debra Straussfogel. (Provided photo)

DUBOIS – Three Penn State DuBois students have been recognized for exceptional writing in the campus’ Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest. 

The three winners are Jody Vollmer, a Business Administration major; Owen Samuels, a Letters, Arts and Sciences major; and Laurie Miller, a Business Administration major. 

During the campus MLK Celebration on Wednesday, each winner read their essays to an audience in Hiller Auditorium, and each received a $100 cash prize. 

The contest was held as part of a month-long celebration of King and his legacy.  Entrants were asked: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”  What adversity or challenges have you faced that have helped form the person you are today?

All three winning essays told deeply personal stories in which the noted their authors’ struggles and how they have overcome them.  Depression, death of loved ones, dealing with negativity and stereotypes, coping with rejection and experiencing homelessness were all topics covered and explored in the essays. 

Director of Academic Affairs Debra Straussfogel served as featured speaker for the event.  The MLK Celebration was organized by the campus Diversity Committee led by Melissa Coles, in conjunction with the Student Life Office.

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