Congratulating the winners of the PSU 2013 University Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest

January 10, 2014

Remarks as prepared.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the top 3 award winners for the 2013 Penn State University Civic Engagement Public Speaking Contest.

Students for the competition are nominated by their classmates in recognition of their speaking performance throughout the semester.  In total, 1500 students vie in the competition.

Their speeches are what Aristotle, who wrote about rhetoric, would classify as “deliberative” – meaning their work is intended to spark public dialogue on matters of  social or cultural importance.

The contest is judged by representatives from Pearson, the New York Times, Penn State, and the State College community.

For this year’s competition, Amanda Hofstaedter, of Chalfont, PA, won first prize for her piece titled “Mandatory GMO Labeling: A Win-Win for Companies and Consumers”.

Sarah Bastian, of State College, PA, took second place, for her work titled, “Driving Down Demand: An Answer for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking”.

And finally, Prithvi Nilkant, of Mars, PA, took third place for her work entitled, “Creating a Safer Society for All”.

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate these winners along will all competing students, for not only their hard work, but also for their creativity and passion for public engagement.

I yield back.