Symposium essay contest open to WCU undergrads

Western Carolina University undergraduate students have until Friday, March 27, to enter their essays in a contest being held in conjunction with the upcoming interdisciplinary symposium “North Carolina in Dialogue: Our Past, Present and Future.”

Set for Friday, April 10, the symposium will bring a lineup of distinguished scholars, public activists and intellectuals to campus to offer perspectives on North Carolina history, politics and culture, said Rob Ferguson, an assistant professor in WCU’s Department of History who is co-organizing the event with Chris Cooper, head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs.

Panel sessions will address public education, farming and foodways, social change, and politics and voting rights. Among the speakers will be June Atkinson, N.C. superintendent of public instruction, and former Charlotte mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Harvey Gantt.

WCU undergraduates are invited to submit a 750-word essay that addresses the questions: “Where do you see yourself within the unfolding history of North Carolina, and how do you envision your role in shaping the present and future of the state?” The contest winner will receive a $200 prize and read his or her essay for the audience during the keynote portion of the symposium.

For more information about the contest, contact Ferguson at 828-227-3502 or rhferguson@wcu.edu. Essays should be submitted to Ferguson via email.