Queensborough students Daniel Savitz, Wai Shan Ng and Mavis Duncan-Dyer won first, second and third prizes, respectively, in the CUNY category for the 2016 Garfinkel Essay Scholarship Contest held in May. Students from approximately 50 SUNY and CUNY community colleges participated in the annual contest by submitting essay responses to the question: What Role Does Jury Service Play in our Democracy?
“The contest is included as one of the required writing assignments in my Writing Intensive Business Law course. While I provide the students with all the resources they need to write the Garfinkel contest essay, it’s important that their final draft be a purely organic expression of their own thoughts,” said Dr. Leslie Francis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Business. Dr. Francis is a co-mentor to the students along with Dr. Ted Rosen, Associate Professor in the Department of Business.
One of the winners, Mavis, used her essay, “Why is Jury Service Important to Our Democracy? Doesit Promote Civic Participation?” to discuss how jury service compels public engagement in municipal government. She said that, “This experience has opened my eyes to the privileges of serving on a jury and the accountability that goes with it. It is a civic duty that spells out how closely we work with our elected officials to affect positive change in our communities.” Mavis, originally from Jamaica, had a successful career in both law enforcement and as a systems analyst for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene before she enrolled at Queensborough in the fall of 2014 to major in Business Administration.
Previous Queensborough student winners of the Garfinkel Essay Contest include:
2015 Joshua Cruz: How have the New York Courts Addressed Equal Human Rights for the LGBT Community?
2014 Lida Ramos Arce: Who Watches the Watchers? Free Speech and Free Press in the Electronic Age
2013 Ruby Singh: Cyberspace and the Law: What are Our Rights and Responsibilities?
2009 Dawar Jamal, First Prize: The New Netherland Legal System and the Law of 21st Century New York
The David A. Garfinkel Essay Contest is sponsored by the Historical Society of the New York. The scholarship is open to all students enrolled in a New York community college in the fall and/or spring semester. Six scholarships are available through the contest, three for CUNY students and three for SUNY students. The top prize for each group is $1,500 with runner up prizes of $1,000 and $500. The student essays must be between 1,500 and 5,500 words in length and must contain original writing and research. This spring, winners of the top three prizes were honored at the Law Day Ceremony of New York, presided by The Chief Judge of the State of New York and attended by the Attorney General and the Bench and Bar of New York.