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CMU Congratulates Winners of 2014 High School Essay Contest

CMU is pleased to announce that Marta Bunnett of Havelock, NB; Francesca Cammarata of St. Albert, AB; and Larissa Campbell of Winnipeg, MB, are the winners of the 2014 High School Essay Contest.

Students were asked to respond formally in a 950- to 1100-word essay to one of three questions:

  1. What does it mean to “compare” literature? Can the study of comparative literature foster mutual understanding among readers and between communities?
  2. How do visual media communicate and tell stories? Compare and contrast visual and written literacy.
  3. “With great power comes great responsibility”—Voltaire. To what extent are wealthy, highly developed societies responsible for aiding “developing” countries? What are some pros and pitfalls of “aid” and “international development”?

Bunnett’s essay Responsibility for a More Equitable World placed first, earning her $500 in prize money. Second place at $300 went to Cammarata for her paper Care with Consideration, and Campbell took third prize at $200 for her work on The Responsibilities of Developed Countries to Less-Developed Countries.

2014's High School Essay Contest Winners (l-r) Marta Marta Bunnett, Francesca Cammarata, and Larissa Campbell
2014’s High School Essay Contest Winners (l-r) Marta Marta Bunnett,
Francesca Cammarata, and Larissa Campbell

Bunnett, who will be attending CMU in the fall to study International Development, says her interest in the subject first took root at her family’s organic farm:

“My parents have had a big influence on my thought in this area; on the farm, they always prioritized growing good food and caring for the land equally. They model a very relational perspective, in terms of how we should interact with the land and others, rather than a utilitarian one.”

Bunnett says one reason she chose pros and cons of International Development for her topic was so she could use the project as a motivator to further research some of the issues in which she was already interested. She is excited to pursue International Development Studies formally at CMU this fall:

“I want to deepen my understanding of these things. Right now I have ideas, but they are not all necessarily grounded in much; I want to study and participate in discussions and really work through these issues with others on a deeper level.”

Cammarata, who will be graduating in June, said she was “thrilled” to place in the contest and aspires to pursue music studies for her post-secondary education. Campbell is a grade 11 student and will be completing her diploma at Miles Macdonell Collegiate in Winnipeg next June.

General News News Releases

CMU Essay Contest for High School Students

February 10, 2012  – Canadian Mennonite University has announced an essay contest for Manitoba High School students interested in the Humanities. The contest, to be judged by CMU faculty members from a number of disciplines within the Humanities, invites students to engage with important questions about art, ethics, and theology.  The contest offers prize money in the amounts of $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place.

“We launched the essay contest to encourage students who are still in high school to participate in the sort of critical thinking and writing that is part of a humanities education,” says CMU Professor Paul Dyck, Dean of Sciences and Humanities.  “We also wanted to build awareness of the opportunities for study that exist in the field of humanities.”  

Students are invited to write a 950- to 1,100-word formal essay engaging one of three questions:

  1. The World Library claims to be a list of the “100 Best Books Ever Written”; the American Film Institute released a list of the “100 Greatest American Movies”; in 2004 Rolling Stone released a list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.  Are some pieces of art – books, films, poems, songs etc. – simply better than others? If they are, on what basis can that judgement be made?  Or is it only a matter of personal opinion?
  2. In March 2011, after a UN resolution calling for the use of all means necessary to protect Libyan civilians, French, British and American jets attacked a number of military bases held by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  Do some nations have a moral obligation to intervene with injustices they see in other parts of the world? How can nations discern when and if interference is moral? 
  3. In the last decade, many prominent intellectuals have come forward to claim that Religion (and Christianity in particular) is evil – that it goes against reason, encourages violence, and halts progress.  Are these claims legitimate? 

Submissions will be accepted until March 31, 2012. Contest results will be released on May 1. The writers of the winning essays will be asked to present their papers at an evening awards ceremony hosted by Canadian Mennonite University.

To submit an essay, or for further information, contact Admissions Counsellor Andre Forget at 204.594.0537; email