St. John’s University Libraries and The Friends of the Library are pleased to announce the winners of the First Annual Undergraduate Applied Social Justice Essay Competition.

Our first place student scholar, Princess Ikatekit, has written an essay entitled “Global Warming and Climate Change: a Catholic Perspective” under the mentorship of Prof. Sean Murray (Institute for Writing Studies). In her essay, Ms. Ikatekit focuses on global warming as “viewed through the lens of Catholic Social Justice.” Under the supervision of Dr. Robert Delfino (Philosophy), Kathryn Mordeno, our second place scholar, has addressed the issue of global poverty in her essay “Microfinance: the Path to Poverty Alleviation.”

In addition to exhibiting exemplary work in research, scholarship and writing, these winning essays demonstrated a keen ability to synthesize scholarly inquiry with the concepts of applied social justice.

We congratulate and applaud their work!

There will be an informal reception honoring the recipients on April 15, 2010 in Bent Hall 277A during Common Hour, where Ms. Ikatekit and Ms. Mordeno will give a very brief overview of their essay topics, followed by some Q & A, as part of St. John’s University’s Student Research Week. Seating is limited. Space is limited. In addition, soon their essays will be published on STJLiblog.

There were three main purposes in the formation and establishment of this competition. First, we hoped to promote and reward exemplary student research and scholarship. In addition, we hoped that it would provide another opportunity for students and faculty to engage in scholarship together. At the same time, we hoped to encourage our students to give thoughtful contemplation of social justice teachings and their potential (global) application beyond the classroom.

We would also like to acknowledge the students who submitted entries to the essay competition. Although we received many outstanding essays, we regret that we cannot award each of you a prize. We encourage you to continue in your enthusiastic endeavor of your academic studies, and wish you much luck in the future.

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the University Libraries and The Friends of the Library for their sponsorship of this competition, and particularly Prof. Joan D’Andrea for her guidance and support. A heartfelt thank you goes to Theresa Maylone, University Librarian, for her encouragement and support of this program. With her common sense and expertise, Professor Kathryn Shaughnessy has helped develop and guide this process and was an invaluable asset to the essay competition’s success. A special thank you goes to Sr. Margaret John Kelly, Executive Director, Vincentian Center for Church & Society, for generously volunteering her time and wisdom. Thanks to all the librarians and faculty who helped guide our students researching and writing the essay entries—your work does not go unnoticed.  It was truly a team effort that has made our First Annual Undergraduate Applied Social Justice Essay Competition such a success.

Caroline Fuchs, Outreach Librarian