Two Wilkes University students and a staff member will be adding to their travels abroad this summer after winning an expense-paid trip to a Caribbean resort in a study abroad essay contest held Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Essays by Jill Price, Adventure Education coordinator, and students Jacob Parrick and Yehia Alzawaidah were selected by judges to be the recipients of a trip to Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa in the Dominican Republic.
The Wilkes University Center for Global Education and Diversity sponsored the essay contest in conjunction with The Beacon student newspaper, the Graduate Creative Writing Program and Barnes & Noble-Wilkes/Kings. It consisted of three categories: American students who have studied abroad, international students studying in the United States, and faculty or staff who have traveled abroad.
“Our main approach to globalization is to enable as many of our students as possible to become acquainted with other cultures by travelling abroad and having an immersion experience,” Director Global Education Diversity Affairs, said. “However, we understand that not everyone can travel abroad for a variety of reasons. Thus, the essays will become conduits for transferring valuable knowledge gained abroad to those in our community who have not traveled.”
The three trips were donated by Sundance Vacations in Wilkes-Barre. Runners-up won a free weekly café drink from Barnes & Noble-Wilkes/King’s and third-place finishers received a gift card from the bookstore.
Students, staff and faculty were invited to participate in the first essay contest by submitting a 500- to 750-word essay detailing how their experience abroad changed their perceptions, altered their world view or introduced them to new and interesting people and cultures in other parts of the globe.
Other winners included: second place American student, Francis Dumbreski, third place American student Angela D’Alessandro and honorable mention Cody Null; second place international student Doan Kim, third place international student Ahmed Allam; second place faculty-staff, Susan Biskup, third place faculty staff KarenBeth Bohan and honorable mention, Dana Burnside.
Winners were announced and had a chance to read their essays during the ceremony in the Henry Student Center.
The turnout far exceeded my expectations,” Fonjweng said. “When these types of events here at Wilkes attract 25 people, they are considered successful. We had over 80 people at the essay contest award ceremony and that is well beyond my expectations.”
Contest winners read their essays during a separate ceremony held Friday, Feb. 15, at Barnes & Noble-Wilkes/King’s.