FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 21, 2011
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Common Reading Initiative essay contest winners announced
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Winners of Mississippi University for Women’s Common Reading Initiative essay contest were announced at the opening of the annual Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium.
The creative essay contest was open to all students and contest topics were designed to prompt personal reflections which have a connection to themes in the CRI book.
First place went to Cassandra Chehab, who was the recipient of a $100 gift certificate from the Bookend. A freshman from Orlando, Fla. Chehab is an English/creative writing major. She is the daughter of Lindi Raasch and Ibrahim Chehab.
The second place winner and the recipient of a $50 gift certificate from Books-A-Million was Georgie McDaniel, a freshman from Tuscaloosa, Ala. She is a biology major and the daughter of Mark and Darlene McDaniel.
Jessica Thornhill, a freshman from Steens, was the third place winner and the recipient of a $25 gift certificate from Books-A-Million. Thornhill is an English major and the daughter of Debbie O’Dell and John Thornhill.
Dr. Bridget Pieschel, professor of English and director of MUW’s Center for Women’s Research and Public Policy, said the CRI is one of MUW’s most engaging and exciting programs and is a collaboration between a variety of departments at MUW.
“Each fall our students, faculty and staff discuss a selected book to enhance our intellectual community outside of the traditional classroom,” she said. “Not only does this program foster meaningful intellectual inquiry, but it deepens understanding of a variety of issues.”
This year MUW selected Joy Castro’s memoir, “The Truth Book: Escaping A Childhood of Abuse Among Jehovah’s Witnesses,” as its Common Reading Initiative text.
“Her book is rich with themes which have prompted debate and discussion,” Pieschel said.
Dr. Rita Hinton, head of the MUW Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy, and Shelley McNees, MUW assistant director of admissions, served as judges. The authors of the winning essays were treated to a special dinner with the Welty Symposium authors and will have their essays published on the CRI website at http://web2.muw.edu/index.php/en/womens-research-cri.html.