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EMU Participates in Peace Oratorical Contest

Posted on April 7th, 2008

EMU student Anna Engle
Anna Engle, a freshman history & social science education major with a TESL endorsement, won the grand prize award at EMU.

Six EMU students took part in the annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest held March 28 on campus.

Anna Engle, a freshman history & social science education major with a TESL endorsement from Streetsboro, Ohio, won the grand prize award of $250 with her speech, "Called to True Pacifism." A hard copy and video of Engle’s speech will be entered in the bi-national competition. The deadline for entries at that level is mid-May.

Participating EMU students were: Emily Derstine, a junior justice, peace and conflict studies (JPCS) major from Souderton, Pa.; Matthew Pearson, a senior theater major from Suffolk, Va.; Kristen Swartley, a senior music performance/liberal arts major from Cedar Falls, Iowa; Diana Terry, a junior JPCS major from Staunton, Va.; and Ethan Zook, a junior biology major with Secondary Education licensure from Harrisonburg.

The full text of the speeches is available online. Sponsoring departments are Bible and religion, language and literature and justice, peace and conflict studies.

EMU Grad Won ’07 Nationals

EMU has participated in the event for the past five out of six years, with Nicholas L. (Nick) Stoddard winning the grand prize at the bi-national level in 2007.

Stoddard, a 2007 biblical studies graduate from Wellman, Iowa, won a cash gift and a scholarship to attend a peace-related conference for his speech, "Connect the Dots." His oration focused on developing a mindset that sees how one’s actions have a direct effect on other people, even those at great geographic distance.

"This contest is a great opportunity for EMU students to speak in their own words to how they apply the Christian peace witness to specific issues they care about," said Nancy R. Heisey, chair of EMU’s Bible and religion department.

The contest was established in 1974 by the directors of the C. Henry Smith Trust as a way of honoring the late Mennonite historian who taught at Goshen (Ind.) College and Bluffton (Ohio) University.

It is administered annually by Peace and Justice Ministries of Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Students from every Mennonite and Brethren in Christ college in North America are eligible to participate.

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