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Voices of UD Audio Essay Contest returns

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Students submit powerful and emotional essays about “Why is Everyone So Angry?”

Voices of UD: Connecting the University of Delaware Community

​​​

NEWARK, Del. — Last fall, University of Delaware students took to their microphones with entries for the Voices of UD 2021 Audio Essay Contest, hosted by the Center for Political Communication. And they had plenty to say following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, coinciding with historic political and social events.

Freshman to senior undergraduate students — plus one student from UD’s Osher Lifelong Learning Program — were among this year’s contest participants. They submitted 2- to 4-minute essays about “Why is Everyone So Angry?” from the perspective of not only themselves but their communities. They described what actions they are taking as citizens of the United States.

“The CPC is proud to present the Voices of UD project, which has tapped into our individual experiences and helped us find commonalities. The Fall ‘21 entries amplify that purpose with voices expressing anxiety, frustration, anger, and even solutions,” said Nancy Karibjanian, CPC Director.

The contest ran in tandem with the CPC's National Agenda 2021 speaker series, “Reflecting America,” which explored how political divides, social movements, and economic upheavals are redefining America. The winners will be announced at an event this May. Winners who are unable to attend will be notified by email.

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The Award Winners

The Award WinnersThe CPC presented the award winners of the 2021 Voices of UD Audio Essay Contest in an awards presentation on May 6, 2022. Judging was based on content; originality and creativity; delivery; and production value. The winners received cash awards of $500 to $50 (first place, second place, third place and three honorable mentions). The remaining top 10 finalists each received a commendation and a $25 gift card. To listen to essays from past Voices projects, visit Voices of UD (udel.edu) .

First Place
I Will Not Be Silenced ― Ella Lathan, a senior majoring in vocal performance and minoring in journalism, shares her painful, personal account of sexual assault.

Second Place
The Cost of Social Media ― Gina Cosenza, a senior majoring in media communications, explores the dark side of social media and its impact on vulnerable populations.

Third Place
When My Bubble Burst ― Samantha Shey, a junior majoring in communication, examines economic inequalities in America.

Honorable Mention
Role Switching Between Me and Money ― Stella Chen, a junior majoring in media communication and minoring in journalism, explores her relationship with money and how she can keep it from controlling her.

Honorable Mention
Algorithms Gone Mad! ― Max Sierzenski, a junior majoring in interpersonal communication and biology, explains how and why media organizations are in the business of stirring up anger.

Honorable Mention
Gun Violence and Teens ― Kaitlyn Sill, a freshman majoring in communication, describes the fear students must live with each day they decide to go to school.

Commendation
Gun Violence ― David Isenberg, a senior majoring in media communications and minoring in sport management, says progress isn't possible unless Americans work together and listen to each other.

Commendation
Globalized Rage ― Ryan McLoughlin, a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in political communication, describes his growing disillusionment with the state of American democracy.

Commendation
Anger in Perspective ― Richard Plotzker, an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute student, offers a historical and biological perspective on anger in America.

Commendation
Powerlessness and Anger ― Sara Tideman, a senior majoring in art history, says young people are denied a voice on issues and policies that affect them. ​

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About Voices

The CPC debuted the Voices project in 2017 as part of its mission to promote civic engagement. Through nonpartisan, interdisciplinary outreach, the CPC equips students and the community with the political, social, and communication literacy needed to engage in civil discourse. Please email cpc-info@udel.edu if you have questions or call 302-831-7771.

The CPC launched the program in partnership with the University Writing Center, the University of Delaware Library, Delaware Public Media, the College of Arts & Sciences Journalism Program, WVUD Radio (91.3), the University of Delaware Vice Provost for Diversity and the University of Delaware Department of Communication. ​​

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