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Posted May 4, 2016 by

We are pleased to announce that we have chosen winners for our second annual paper competition for the Samuel Shellhamer Endowed Award in Urban Studies.

The topic for 2016 was "Inequality," and students were invited to write position papers responding to the following prompt:

Economic inequality is among the most important and controversial issues of 2016. Hardly a day passes without a new statistic revealing the extent of domestic and global disparities in both income and wealth. In the United States, inequality is more extreme than it is in most other developed countries and worse than it has been at any time since 1928. This economic inequality also intersects with race. Median income for black households is only 59% of the median income for white households. Economic inequality has bearing upon education, environmental sustainability, environmental justice, public health, and nutrition, among other issues. Urban communities that concentrate both the wealthy and the poor are often hardest hit by inequality.

What, if anything, should be done about inequality? Should faith-based communities – specifically Christian churches and other organizations – be involved in advocating reform? If so, why and how?

After careful consideration of all entries, CUE has named a winner and a runner up.

First prize goes to Mark Sawyer, a rising senior International Relations major, for his paper,  ?Equal to or Greater Than: Inequality, Education, and a Christian Calling to So Mark will be listed in the 2016 Honors Convocation program as this year's Shellhamer Award recipient and will receive a scholarship award of $300.

?Embodied Integration: A Christian Response to Inequality,??(PDF file) by Andy Kirk, a senior Anthropology major, received the runner-up award. Andy will receive a gift box from I Have a Bean, a repeat co-sponsor of this year's CUE writing competition.

Many thanks to our judges,  Professor Dr. Christa Tooley, CUE Faculty member, as well as CUE Community Engagement Council members, Jacob Lesniewski ’99 (Professor at Dominican University) and Christy Barton Joyce ’10, MA ’14 (A Better Chicago), in evaluating this year's papers.

The Shellhamer Award is named after Dr. Samuel Shellhamer, a former Wheaton College Vice President of Student Development. Dr. Shellhamer was a supporter of the Wheaton in Chicago program who visited the WIC students every semester to learn about their experiences in the city and helped to build bridges between our off-campus program and student development.