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MLK essay winners announced

Pictured, from left, is OUS English professor Dr. Hayley Haugen, left, third-place winner Sarah Lemaster, first-place winner Olivia Goodenough, second-place winner Sydney Bane and OUS dean Dr. Nicole Pennington.

Pictured, from left, is OUS English professor Dr. Hayley Haugen, left, third-place winner Sarah Lemaster, first-place winner Olivia Goodenough, second-place winner Sydney Bane and OUS dean Dr. Nicole Pennington.

At the 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration at Ohio University Southern on Tuesday three middle school girls walked away as winners of the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest sponsored by the OUS Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

First-place winner was Fairland Middle School eighth-grader Olivia Goodenough; second-place was awarded to Fairland Middle School seventh-grader Sydney Bane; and third-place went to Sarah Lemaster, a seventh-grader at Portsmouth Junior High School. There were no submissions from high school students.

“I asked the students to pay special attention to Dr. King’s creative choices in his speeches,” Dr. Hayley Haugen, contest faculty coordinator and OUS associate professor of English, said. “They were asked to look at his use of metaphors, simile, analogy, symbol and repetition. Students wrote their own speeches on a contemporary social topic they thought Dr. King would be interested in if he were still with us today.”

Like King, Haugen said the students made use of a variety of creative techniques to “broaden the audience, capture the readers’ attention and inspire leaders to make a difference.”

First-place winner Goodenough received $100, second-place winner Bane $50 and third-place winner Lemaster $25.

First, second and third-place speeches will be published on the OUS website. Along with the cash award, winners received a certificate of achievement, an OU T-shirt, a writing journal and a $25 Amazon gift card.