Political Science Freshman RyAnn Schoenbaechler Wins 2017 Constitution Day Essay Contest

By Gail Hairston

Organizers of the University of Kentucky’s Constitution Day activities last week have announced the winners of the essay contest associated with the national holiday.

Political science freshman RyAnn Schoenbaechler won the 2017 Constitution Day Essay Contest with her article titled “Donald Trump: The Modern Day Killer of the First Amendment.”

Schoenbaechler won $500 for her essay, which was evaluated by a panel of judges chosen by the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. Their assessment was based on the following criteria: historical and legal accuracy of the content; the strength and logic of the argument; the original ideas presented; the organization of the argument, including the thesis; and the quality of the writing.

The second place winner Kelsey Mattingly, a senior majoring in journalism, received a $300 cash prize for her untitled essay. Third place and its $200 prize went to Michael Di Girolamo, a sophomore majoring in foreign language and international economics, for his essay titled “The Fine Line Between Criticism and Control: How the Trump Administration is Weakening Freedom of the Press.”

Honorable mentions went to Callum Case, a freshman history major; Emily Baehner, a junior journalism major; and Duncan Barron, a sophomore political science major.

The essay contest for undergraduates was sponsored by the UK Scripps Howard First Amendment Center, the Office of the President and the Provost’s Division of Student and Academic Life. The essays were blind‐judged by former UK journalism students, who are now lawyers, UK professors and media law professors at other universities. 

To read the UK undergraduate students’ essays, visit http://uknowledge.uky.edu/cdec/.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue


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