Kristi Schultz Broughton Liberal Arts Essay Contest
The Kristi Schultz Broughton Liberal Arts Essay Contest is an
annual competition which encourages Butler undergraduates from all
colleges to write a short essay in response to a prompt about
the value of the liberal arts education they are experiencing at
Butler. The author of the winning essay receives a $1000 prize.
The essay contest is named in honor of Kristi Schultz
Broughton. Although not a Butler grad, Kristi was an avid
supporter of Butler. Kristi was an elementary school teacher
and a Butler Mom whose life exemplified the values of liberal
education and a commitment to teaching and learning. The
contest is made possible through the generous gift of Kristi's
sister Karen Schultz Alter '85 and brother Steven R. Schultz
2015 topic - Vision for the Future
In describing Butler 2020 (http://www.butler.edu/butler-2020/)
the university makes use of six different verbs to articulate the
university's vision for its future, a vision deeply informed by and
invested in the liberal arts. Select one of the verbs that are part
of the vision for Butler 2020 and write an essay describing how
your liberal arts education has made that verb part of your own
vision for the future. In other words, think about and illustrate
how you will be better able to enact that verb as a result of your
liberal arts education.
Topics and Essays from previous years:
topic - Somewhere Between Right and Wrong
The distinction between what is right to do and what is callous or
offensive marks many of our decisions and can shape our lives and
the lives of those affected by our actions and attitudes for better
or worse. Moral choices are pervasive; we encounter them in the
occupations on which we may embark, the research we may perform,
and the lives that we lead. There is no universal agreement on the
principles that should guide our moral choices (e.g. many tend to
equate what is right with personal advantage or with some religious
or political ideology). Articulate and analyze the ways by which
your Butler Experience (Core and Major Classes, Community and
Cultural Requirements, Study Abroad, Service Activities, and so on)
has helped you to gain personal insight into the distinction(s)
between what is right and what is wrong.
Winning essay, "The Moral Code of Liberal Arts," by Bryant
2013 topic -
Primed to Serve, a Benefit of a Liberal Arts Education
In Professor Marshall Gregory's forthcoming book, Good
Teaching and Educational Vision: Not the Same Thing as Disciplinary
Expertise, he writes of the importance of "[making] some kind
of positive contribution to the world: to do something to make the
world more sensible or more peaceful or more civil or more
intelligent, and more congenial to human flourishing." Write an
essay that analyzes how your liberal arts experiences (in your core
and major classes, your community requirements, your service work,
or other experiences) have inspired or prepared you to make similar
sorts of positive contributions to rationality, peace, civility,
intelligence, or human growth.
Winning essay, "Bologna and Blogs: A Student's Journey
Towards Actualizing The Purpose of His Higher Education," by
topic - Mediating the Disconnect: Liberal Arts as
Inspiration for Activism
Virtually all news and media outlets frequently and urgently
remind us that we are at a historic crossroads and that local and
global societies and economies are facing extraordinary if not
totally unprecedented challenges. Yet many of us tend to feel
disconnected from these challenges, watching them as if they were a
show that we are free to observe or ignore or as a set of problems
others are responsible for solving, preferably without our
In what ways has your experience at Butler moved you to and
prepared you for a higher level of engagement with or response to
these challenges? How has your liberal arts education encouraged or
supported this change?
Winning essay, "Mediating Disconnected Communities with a
Liberal Arts Education," by Jennifer Redmond.
topic - Education as Commodity: Liberal Arts Education
in the Consumer Age
Contemporary higher education is increasingly dominated by the
realities and metaphors of the market economy. Education is
an investment or a product. Students are consumers.
Admissions counselors are salespeople and professors deliver their
customers goods and services. Write an essay about this
mindset and how it has affected your education. Have your
attitudes towards the commoditization of education changed during
your time at Butler? Fundamentally, how can or should liberal
arts education fit within this worldview?
Winning essay, "Metaphors of the Market Economy and The
Learning Community," by Ben Sippola.
topic - "The Importance of the Liberal Arts in a
... . The immediacy and ease of publication is fraught with
pitfalls and potential issues that provide new challenges for the
next generation of readers, writers, and thinkers. Consider the
place of your liberal arts education in this mix and write an essay
in which you analyze how that education has better prepared you as
a consumer of, contributor to, and critic of the texts that flow
from new media outlets.
Winning essay, "Mastering
the Digital Age: How the Liberal Arts Can Turn Technology into
Progress," by Caleb Hamman.
topic - Imagine that you had an hour to spend with
President-elect Obama and your task was to make sure he understood
the nature and value of a liberal arts education. What would you
say to him?
Two Winning essays!, "Learning the Art of Creation," by
Farhad Anwarzai, and "Dear President Obama: The Importance of
the Liberal Arts in Our Changeable World," by Michelle
topic - The Reach for Coherence: The Value of
Complementarity Among the Sciences and Humanities in Your Liberal
Winning essay, "The Liberal Arts as a Way of Being
Humane," by Mike Meginnis.
topic - What is the value of a liberal arts education
in the 21st century?
Winning essay, "The Glory of County Roads," by Betsy