Education & ethics Maguire Ethics Center news Society & ethics

Announcing 2020 Maguire Ethics Essay Prize Winners

The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at Southern Methodist University is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual Undergraduate Ethics Essay Prize. The essay contest was launched in 2020 to celebrate our 25th anniversary, as a means to encourage the development of ethical discernment, imagination, and thoughtful reflection among students at SMU. 

The 2020 Undergraduate Maguire Ethics Essay Prize was an open ethics-topic contest. Participants were encouraged to describe an ethical issue they have encountered and examine what it taught them. Students were encouraged to consider influences such as a class they took, a professor who inspired them, a piece of art that evoked response, a law that affects them, a meaningful research experience, some moral quandary they have faced, or something that provides them with peace or happiness. The competition, which was open to undergraduate students in any concentration in any school or college of the University, received 12 submissions, reflecting the deep interest in ethics across the University.  


A list of the winners and their essay titles follows:

First Prize:
Marina Leventis: “The Repatriation Debate: Can Museums Still Exist in the Time of Cultural Restitution?” 

Marina is a senior studying Finance with minors in Public Policy and International Affairs and History. She is also a Tower Scholar with the John G. Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs. 



Second Prize: 
Ellen Taylor: “The Ethics of Individualism and Collectivism in the Study of Economics” 

Ellen is a sophomore studying economics and statistics with minors in Arabic and math. Ellen is also a Dedman College Scholar. 




Third Prize: 
Brady Martin 

Brady is a junior studying Human Rights, Public Policy, and Spanish with a minor in Law and Legal Reasoning. He is also a Hunt Leadership Scholar.  




Honorable Mentions: 
Isabelle Galko 


Major(s): Environmental Science 

Minor(s): Public Policy and International Affairs, Human Rights 


Reeth Magoo 


Major(s): Political Science and Philosophy  

Minor(s): History and Law and Legal Reasoning  




John Karr 


Major(s): Finance and Computer Science 





Aja Tom


Major(s): Biology and Health and Society

Minor(s): Psychology




Graduate students are welcome to apply for the 2021 Ethics Essay Prize. Those interested can find out more information here. Submissions are due Friday, April 16, 2021.  



Founded in 1995, The Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility is a university-wide center that supports student and faculty ethics-related education and activities. The Maguire Ethics Center seeks to recognize, honor and model ethical behavior; provide moral reflection on the contemporary issues; and celebrate ethics that reflect SMU’s fundamental goals. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *