Students Take Top Awards in Liberal Arts Essay Contest

July 14, 2016

Junior Sarah Huffman (left) and Sophomore Grace Kurtz (right) took top honors in the college essay contest sponsored by the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts. Huffman received first place in the third and fourth year student category along with a $1000 award. Kurtz took second place in the first and second year student category and received a $750 award.

The contest asked students to address different perspectives on a controversial issue. Both students focused on issues surrounding immigrants and refugees.

Huffman, a Criminal Justice major, used her own experiences living in Europe, applying for a residency card in Dublin, and witnessing the impact of Middle East refugees on that country as the basis for her essay. Kurtz, who is majoring in Civil Engineering, examined the debate surrounding possible resettlement of Syrian refugees in her home state of Montana.

“These essays show the value of a liberal arts education for richly understanding multiple perspectives on an issue,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Powers. “Through reflection and discernment, they become effective members and leaders of their communities.”

Seattle University students have received awards in each year of the essay contest.

The Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) is an association of Washington state public and private higher education institutions, organizations and individuals promoting the value of a liberal arts education to the people and communities of the state.

You can read the winning essays here.