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    University Presents Earth Day Essay Contest Awards

    The University of Scranton announced the winners of its Earth Day Essay Contest for students in grades 11-12.From left: University students Emily Burgers, Woodland Park, New Jersey, majoring in environmental science; Emma Warras, Kinnelon, New Jersey, majoring in environmental science; Mark Murphy, director of the Office of Sustainability at the University; University student Karla Shaffer, Doylestown, majoring in political science; Hannah Burke, Blue Mountain High School in Schuylkill Haven, third place; Norah Kennedy, Holy Cross High School, first place; University student Nathaniel Smith, Wilkes-Barre, a neuroscience major and member of the University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM; and University graduate student Matthew Kinback, Factoryville. Absent from photo was: Dante Warhola, Holy Cross High School, second place.
    June 10, 2022

    More than 300 students in grades five to 12 from Northeast Pennsylvania, New York and Singapore participated in The University of Scranton Earth Day Essay Contest this year. Awards were announced at the University’s Evening of Environmental Science Event on campus in April.

    “Some teachers are very connected with doing projects related to sustainability and the environment. They pass this along to their students and put a lot of work into ensuring that the essays submitted by their students are done very well,” said Mark Murphy, director of the Office of Sustainability at the University, about the quality of the record number of essays received this year for the contest.

    University students who work in the Jesuit school’s Office of Sustainability reviewed the essays submitted, in addition to organizing the award ceremony. University students participating in the ceremony and helping with the event were: Nathaniel Smith, Wilkes-Barre, a neuroscience major and member of the University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM, who served as MC for the award presentation; Emily Burgers, an environmental science major from Woodland Park, New Jersey; Meghan Caffrey, an English major from Wilkes-Barre; Angela Hudock, a biochemistry, cell and molecular biology major from Sayre; Matthew Kinback, a 2021 graduate of The University of Scranton and current graduate student at the University from Factoryville; Sam Marranca, a history major from Pittston and member of the University’s undergraduate Honors Program; Michael Quinnan, a biomathematics major from Shavertown and a member of the University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM; Karla Shaffer, a political science major from Doylestown; and Emma Warras, an environmental science major from Kinnelon, New Jersey.

    This year’s essay theme was “We Are All Connected.”

    Three of the four fifth-grade essay contest winners were from Dallas Intermediate High School in Luzerne County. Carley Knorr won first place, Callie Comstock won second place, and Ryan Ricardo, who tied for third place with Alec G. from All Saints Academy in Scranton.

    The sixth-grade essay contest winners were Emma DeSanto, first place, from Holy Rosary in Duryea; Nicholas Ardolino, second place, from Bay Academy in Brooklyn, New York; and Devin Rong, also from Bay Academy, tied for third place with Alex Rosencrance from Holy Rosary.

    The seventh-grade essay contest winners were: Maggie Butler from St. Clare/St. Paul’s in Scranton, who tied with Maeve Judge from Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School in Scranton for first place; Edie Hann from Northeast Intermediate School who tied with Cole G. from All Saints Academy, Scranton, for second place, and Matthew Cohen from Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School who tied with Edwin Camacho from West Scranton Intermediate School for third place.

    The eighth-grade essay contest winners were: Mckayla White, first place, Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School, and Justin Gao and Briana Huang, tied for second place, both from Bay Academy. Both third place winners, Kayla V. and Cleo D., were from All Saints Academy.

    The ninth-10th grade essay contest winners were: Brooke Bilski, first place, Holy Cross High School, Dunmore; Archer Jones, second place, West Scranton High School; and Ella Cohen, third place, Scranton Preparatory School.

    The 11th-12th grade essay contest winners were: Norah Kennedy, first place, Holy Cross High School,; Dante Warhola, second place, Holy Cross High School; and Hannah Burke, third place, Blue Mountain High School, Schuylkill Haven.

    Information about next year’s essay contest will be posted to the University’s Sustainability webpage in January 2023.

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