$9,100 in prizes awarded to graduate students

2012 Brian Bolton Graduate Student/Mature Student Essay Award winners

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has awarded graduate students (or any students 25 or older) $9,100 in this year’s essay competition. Students were asked to describe “Why God and government are a dangerous mix, especially in an election year” in 850- to 1,000 words.

There were six major winners with a tie for fourth place, plus seven honorable mentions. The top six essays can be found on pages 9, 10, 14, and 15.

First place ($3,000): Elizabeth Pipal, Harvard Graduate School of Design. 

Second place ($2,000): Wilson Melón, Purdue University. 

Third place ($1,000): Lynn Wilhelm, North Carolina State University.

Fourth place (tie, $500 each): Bryan Johnson, Colorado State University; Vicky Weber, Colorado State University.

Fifth place ($300): Jemille Bailey, Columbia University.

Honorable mentions ($200 each):

Anastassia Smorodinskaya, Columbia University.

Antwon Kennedy, Kennesaw State University.

Ashley Miller, University of South Carolina.

Justin Vacula, Marywood University.

Kristina Beverlin, University of Kansas.

Maria Rodriguez, University of Connecticut School of Law.

Wanda Thompson, Western Governor’s University.

The awards are made possible by the generosity of FFRF Lifetime Member Brian Bolton, a retired psychologist, humanist minister and university professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas. 

FFRF would also like to extend a warm thank you to FFRF members Dean and Dorea Schramm for providing the honorable mention awardees and the fifth-place winner with a $50 bonus.

Freedom From Religion Foundation