Virginia Martin Gender Issues Essay Winners Announced at LHU

April 2, 2014-Lock Haven University is pleased to announce the winners of the 3rd annual Virginia Martin Gender Issues Essay Contest. Amanda Cole, Sara Guthrie and Alexa Weissert received their awards at the annual Let Her Voice Be Heard event held at Avenue 209 in downtown Lock Haven, March 27th, which marks the finale of LHU Women’s History Month celebration.    Gender Issues Essay Contest

Third place winner Alexa Weissert is an English Major and WGS minor actively involved in exploring gender issues in her coursework and activities on campus. In the past year, Alexa has worked at the HOPE Center. Alexa's prize-winning essay "Sex Education, Abstinence Clubs, and the Media: What are Young Adults Really Learning?" was written as part of the course requirements for Dr. Lisette Schillig's Introduction to Women's Studies course in fall 2013. Alexa received a cash award of 100 dollars and a certificate. “Being in WGS classes, doing research papers on these issues, and being able to openly voice my opinion on societal issues has made me more confident of the fact that I believe just one person can have a huge impact on society,” said Alexa.

Sara Guthrie, second place winner, is a Sociology major and WGS minor actively involved in campus gender awareness activities and the GSA. Sara's prize-winning essay "Women's Depiction in Advertisements" was written for Dr. Lisette Schillig's Introduction to Women's Studies course in fall 2013. Sara received a cash award of 150 dollars and a certificate.

First place winner Amanda Cole is an HPED major and WGS minor actively involved in activities for promoting gender equity on campus. Amanda is one of the office bearers for Gender Equality Liberation (GEL) student group. Amanda's prizewinning essay "Silent Shadows: How Sexual Scripts Generate Rape Culture" was written for Dr. Cindy Allen's HLTH 341 course in fall 2013. Amanda received a cash award of 250 dollars and a certificate. “Winning the Virginia Martin Gender Issues Essay Contest is a great accomplishment to me. This contest includes excellent submissions every year, filled with issues that are all equally important. I am honored to be a selected winner amongst those submissions,” said Amanda on her first place award.

Virginia Martin Gender Issues annual essay contest is made possible by a gift funded by the late Associate Professor Emerita Virginia Martin and Dr. Julie Story of TRIO Student Support Services to recognize students who do exceptional academic work on gender and women's issues as the topic, focus of analysis or thematic concern. Teacher, scholar and life-long supporter of gender studies and retired faculty member of the LHU English Department, Professor Martin played a pivotal role in establishing the Women's Studies Program at LHU. The essay competition is open to all registered LHU students.

“The WGS minor is grateful to Virginia and Julie for their unwavering support of the minor and what it stands for,” said Dr. Gayatri Devi, coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies program. A WGS faculty committee comprising of Dr. Beth McMahon, Prof. Margie Maddox Hafer and Dr. Lisette Schillig reviewed the 2013-2014 submissions.

Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.