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LAST UPDATED: March 22, 2023
NEWARK, Del. — If you've ever felt like a number, you're not alone. It's tempting for many to attach their identities to their grades, performance appraisals, or social media likes. Student debt may dictate future decisions about how and where to live and work. The scope and magnitude of numbers form an anonymous barrier that numbs society to the humans behind the statistics. University of Delaware students considered the impact of numbers for the 2022 Voices of UD Audio Essay Contest, hosted last fall by the Center for Political Communication.
The students shared how being treated like a number affected their own lives as well as their families and communities. They reflected on what they learned, how they responded, and the long-term impact on society.
The CPC proudly presents the 2022 winners, who received cash awards up to $500. Learn more about the contest at cpc.udel.edu/engage/voices-of-ud.
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I Broke the Cycle ― Gianni Dollard, a University of Delaware sophomore majoring in entrepreneurship, explored her path to becoming a strong Black woman. Gianni received a cash award of $500.
More Than Just a Number ― Esha Shah recounted how a microaggression has inspired her to take action. Esha is a senior majoring in public policy and communication with a concentration in media communication. Esha received a cash award of $250.
I'm More Than Enough ― Zoe Shapiro, a University of Delaware senior majoring in communication, explored how the pressure to achieve affects personal identity and self esteem. Zoe received a cash award of $100.
More Than Just My Student Debt ― Stella Galli explained why her student loans fuel her ambition to succeed. Stella is a senior majoring in communication with a public relations concentration, and minoring in political communication and journalism. Stella received a cash award of $50.
Blue Lights Through Rose-Colored Glasses ― Marisa Harczuk called for meaningful change on campus to stop sexual violence. Marisa is a senior majoring in communication and political science with concentrations in media communication and American politics. She is also minoring in advertising and journalism. Marisa received a cash award of $50.
My Great Grandma's Story ― Melanie Markowitz, a senior who graduated in December 2022 with majors in communication and psychology, honored the memory of her beloved grandmother, a survivor of the Holocaust. Melanie received a cash award of $50.
When Will It Be Enough? ― Roisin Daly described how she channeled her fear of becoming another victim of gun violence into a passion for advocacy. Roisin is a senior majoring in psychology and communication with a public relations concentration. Roisin received a Barnes & Noble gift card.
Humans Over Numbers ― Konner Metz considered the impact of assigning a number to a person's worth. Konner is a junior majoring in communication with a concentration in media communication. Konner received a Barnes & Noble gift card.
On Being a Number ― Osher Lifelong Learning Institute student Richard Plotzker shared how numbers defined not only his medical career but also the patients he treated. Richard received a Barnes & Noble gift card.
Dollar Signs ― Grace Sweetman examined the crippling effect of student debt on the futures of young people. Grace is a 4+1 student pursuing B.A. degree in women and gender studies and communication and M.A. degree in strategic communication. Grace received a Barnes & Noble gift card.
Submit your own Voices of UD message. Although the annual student contest has concluded, the Voices of UD project remains open to all. To learn more, visit cpc.udel.edu/engage/voices-of-ud.