Thomas Jefferson essay contest winners named

Four students won prizes in the 11th annual Philip Carret Endowment Thomas Jefferson Essay Contest. Winners were announced at a April 23 banquet. First place went to sophomore Kirsten Jane Holtje. Details...

Twelve students entered this year’s competition, writing on the following
topic: “Scholars have written a great deal about Thomas Jefferson’s tortured thinking about race and the nature of racial difference in recent years. But Jefferson was not the only one who wrestled with these questions; during the Jeffersonian Era (1770-1840) Americans debated the meaning of race in statehouses, churches and newspapers across the country. How did Americans’ ideas about race and ethnicity inform other important questions in the Jeffersonian Era? How did their ideas, for example, shape the discussion of issues like slavery, Indian policy, expansion, or national identity?”

Winner of the first place prize was sophomore elementary eduction major Kirsten Jane Holtje,
whose essay was titled “Race and Indian Policy in the Jeffersonian Era.” She received a $1,000 prize and will be invited
to tour Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello and stay overnight at the
Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, courtesy of
Dr. Daniel P. Jordan, President of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Holtje is from Vienna, Va., and is the daughter of Robert and Jane Holtje.
The second
place prize, which includes a $600 cash award, went to junior Zachary Warren Usher , whose essay was titled “Holding the Wolf by the Ears: the negotiated balance between justice and national preservation.” Usher is a
political science and history major from Matthews, N.C., and is the son of Jeffrey and Candice Usher.
Tied for the third place prize, which includes a $400 cash award, was senior Kevin William Delaney, a communications major from Cary, N.C. His essay was
titled “All Men are Created Equal, or Are They? How Changes in the Racial Perception of Native Americans Shaped  Policy.” Delaney
is the son of John Delaney and Carmen Barros.
Also tied for third place was senior John James McMackin III,  a business administration major from Chevy Chase, Md. His essay was
titled “Jefferson and Race: American Ideals and American Reality.” McMackin
is the son of John and Kathleen McMackin.

Other students who participated in this year’s competition
included Frances Brooks Adams; Tonya Jean Albert; Kristen Marie Kennedy; Jessica Catherine Keough; Rebecca Frost Kuhn; Andrew Todd Redman; Hayley Elizabeth Schools; and Donna Marie Webber. The essays were judged by faculty members Michael Carignan, David Copeland, and Charles Irons.