Three local middle school students were recently honored by Owens Community College’s Office of International Programs and Services for exhibiting writing excellence from a worldwide perspective as part of the first-ever International Essay Contest.
Madalyn Vesoulis of Sylvania, Savannah Brandon of Mount Blanchard, Ohio, and Lauren Meyers of Fostoria were recognized for their accomplishments in conjunction with the academic institution’s celebration of International Education Week.
“Each of their respective schools should be proud of them as they shared a very unique view of the world through their essays," said Deborah Gavlik, Owens director of International Programs and Services at Owens.
Each recipient was invited to read their award-winning essay during a special ceremony at Owens, which is based in Perrysburg Township.
Madalyn Vesoulis, a seventh grade student at West Side Montessori School in Toledo, was awarded first place for her essay titled “Cutting the Direct Line to World History.” Her essay sponsoring teacher is Mary Brandon.
Savannah Brandon garnered second place honors for her essay titled “A Lost Generation.” She attends Riverdale Local Schools in Mount Blanchard as an eighth grade student and her essay sponsoring teacher is Beth Wetherill.
Third place honors went to Lauren Meyers for her “The Effects of World History” essay. An eighth grade student, Meyers attends St. Wendelin Catholic School in Fostoria. Her essay sponsoring teacher is Adam Flugga.
The award-winning essays were chosen by a panel of current and retired Owens faculty and staff, as well as Owens international students.
Selection criteria included overall impression of the essay, how the essay engages the reader, grammar, organization, and main and supporting ideas, among other areas. Each applicant could choose from several questions focused on international education. The essay submissions were based on their own personal beliefs and experiences.
International Education Week was established as part of a joint initiative with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to support programs dedicated to preparing Americans for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.