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Weston Essay Prize

Burns H. Weston International Human Rights Essay Prize

The UICHR sponsors the annual Burns H. Weston International Human Rights Essay Prize. Each year, two awards are made: one to an undergraduate and another to a graduate or professional school student. The prizes honor the fine work of University of Iowa students and the lifetime work of Professor Burns H. Weston of the College of Law. The winners receive $750 (undergraduate) or $1000 (graduate or professional student), and are recognized at an awards event. The writing competition is open to all students enrolled during the 2013-2014 school year at the University of Iowa, Iowa State, or the University of Northern Iowa in any academic discipline.

Undergraduate essays should be 15-20 pages in length; graduate essays 25-40 pages in length. Essays can discuss current events or history, law, public policy, or the arts & humanities. The essay does not need to be produced exclusively for the competition in order to qualify for review; the essay can be a paper written for a class. The only requirement is that the essays address issues of international human rights.

The deadline for the 2013 Weston Essay Prize competition is December 20, 2013. Please bring essays to the UI Center for Human Rights office in 1120 University Capitol Centre or mail to UICHR, 1120 UCC, 201 So. Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA 52242.

2012 Winners

Wilson Juarez

Graduate, History
“Searching for Paradise after a Genocide: Searching for Peace and Reconciliation”

Jennifer Pray

Undergraduate, International Studies
“Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect Principle in Libya”

Abigail Behr

Honorable Mention
Exceptional Incoherence: Humanitarian Intervention in Post-Cold War American Policy”

2011 Winners

Alexis Stevens

Graduate, American Studies
“Hope Dies Last’: The Matter of R-A- and Gender-Based Asylum Claims”

Sarah Voigt

Undergraduate, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, BA in International Studies.
“Water Privatization and Global Health: A Threat to the Human Right to Water”

2010 Winner

Julia Zalenski

Undergraduate, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, international studies/ pre-law: “Human Rights Policy: The Bridge between Rights Philosophy and Rights Practice”

2009 Competition:

This year’s pool as a whole was of outstanding quality, and we received the largest number of submissions ever! We received seven undergraduate submissions and sixteen graduate submissions representing diverse disciplinary perspectives and diverse types of formats and styles.

2009 Winners

Kara Moberg

“Extending the Refugee Definition to Cover Environmentally Displaced Persons Displaces Necessary Protections” (Graduate/Professional, College of Law)

Annah Vollstedt

“U.S. Funded HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs in Kampala, Uganda: the Gap Between the Theoretical and the Practical” (Undergraduate, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Communication Studies)

Runner-up/Honorable Mention: Judith Faucette

“Affirming Equality: An Argument for Express Recognition of the Prohibition on Orientation Based Discrimination in International Human Rights Law” (Graduate/Professional, College of Law)

2008 Winner

Rebecca Bowman

Dual-degree student seeking a J.D. at the College of Law and a Ph.D. in higher education
“Lubanga, the DRC, and the African Court: Lessons Learned from the First ICC Case.”

2007 Winners

Julia LaBua

Senior in History and Geography
“Outside the Public Eye: How the Carter Administration Used ‘Quiet Diplomacy’ to Impact Human Rights in Argentina.”

Stacey Meyer

Second-year College of Law
“Conflict of National Identity with Minority Religious Rights in Russia and France: A Conundrum for the European Court of Human Rights.”

2006 Winners

Kevin Kenjar

Senior in Religious Studies and International Studies
“The Rise of Orthodoxy and Heresy in Pakistan: The Institutionalized Persecution of the Ahmadiya Religious Minority.”

Matthew Stromquist

Second-year College of Law
“Towards an Optional Protocol to the ICESCR: Local Contexts, Global Norms, and a Trickle-Up Theory of Justiciability.”

2005 Winners

Neil Peterson

Senior in Women’s Studies and Anthropology
“Speaking from Behind Closed Doors: The World Health Organization, Maternal Health and Hegemony.”

Mary Sevandal

College of Law
“Bringing Back the ‘Real Iraq’: Eliminating Honor Crimes in Post-War Iraq.”