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Three Appalachian Students Win Yes! Magazine’s Writing Competition

March 8, 2012. BOONE — Appalachian junior Bradley Stone, senior Tim Hefflinger and junior Wesley Mikiska have each been named as Yes! Magazine writing competition winners in 2011. Yes! Magazine is an online and print publication that uses in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement and stories to tell about real people who are working for a better world.

Yes! Magazine reaches 150,000 readers quarterly with their printed publication and more than 140,000 people monthly on their website.

Mikiska, an appropriate technology major, was named one of two winners for the Powerful Voice Fall 2011 writing competition. The writing prompt to follow was, “Has anyone close to you—a friend or family member—chosen to distance themselves from you or sever the relationship because of what you believe? What was the issue? How did you feel? Were you able to resolve it?” His essay, “Reasoning With My Better Half,” told the story about how he and his wife worked together on cutting down on her excessive shopping and on their TV watching. In the end, he says through compromise they were able to come to an agreement and cut down on both. 

Mikiska is the third student from Appalachian to receive an award from Yes! Magazine. Stone and Hefflingers’ essays were chosen as winners for the spring 2011 writing competition.

Hefflinger, a sustainable development and philosophy double major, was selected as the university winner for the Spring 2011 writing competition. The writing prompt to follow was, “What is your gift? How do you share it?” His essay, “Realizing My Gift,” speaks of how he came to realize that his calling is to talk and write about what impassions him and to seek out those that are in pain and injustice and give them a voice. 

Stone, an anthropology major, had his essay, “The scapegoat of terrorism,” named as an exemplary essay for the Spring 2011 writing competition. He answered the writing prompt “How do you define terrorism? What role does the globalized trade market play in the creation and portrayal of terrorism?” His essay focused on how people are more alike than different and terrorism itself is a byproduct of the world’s economic model. His essay was also published in the Yes! Magazine education newsletter and on the For Teachers website.

One of the most challenging things is for students to learn to talk about this new thing called sustainability and also to share their ideas with people who don’t understand it or who disagree with it,” said Dr. Sandra Lubarsky, director of sustainable development program.“This is such a wonderful exercise in expressing their ideas to a large public and sharing their ideas in a meaningful and moving way. It empowers them and I think it empowers the readership.”

All three were students of Professor Courtney Baines. In order to enter into the contest, students must work with a Sustainable Development instructor. To enter for the winter 2012 writing competition, go to: http://www.yesmagazine.org/for-teachers/essay-bank/for-teachers. The deadline for submissions is March 31.