The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and the HOW Institute for Society announce the winning students of the 2021 Prize in Ethics Essay competition


2021 Laureates of the Elie Wiesel Prize for Ethics

The winners of the 2021 Elie Wiesel Foundation Ethics Prize Essay Contest, including Michael Zhu, Ester Villa Espinoza, Nejra Kravic, Tiffany Vaughn and Hannah Blair.

The winners of the 2021 Elie Wiesel Foundation Ethics Prize Essay Contest, including Michael Zhu, Ester Villa Espinoza, Nejra Kravic, Tiffany Vaughn and Hannah Blair.

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Michael Zhu, a recent University of Connecticut graduate, has won the 2021 Ethics Essay Competition Award presented by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and the HOW Institute for Society and its executive chairman and founder Dov Seidman.

In “A Lonely Farewell,” Zhu, who majored in molecular and cellular biology and economics with a minor in healthcare administration, compares Western and Chinese medical ethics, exploring the different values ​​and practices around healthcare. end of life and the moral complexities found in each. .

“As someone who hopes to work in the medical field, I want to be able to be there for my patients so they don’t feel alone. I don’t think the unwavering respect for the individual
autonomy is the answer to all questions surrounding the decision-making process, ”Zhu writes in the article. “Physicians should not hesitate to help their patients beyond diagnosing their disease and prescribing medication. They must take an active role in understanding the values ​​and desires of their patients to better help them choose the right care.

The second prize in this year’s competition went to Ester Villa Espinoza of Grand Canyon University for the essay “Shoulders of the Giants,” which highlighted the challenges the author’s family faced. in his decision to escape persecution from Soviet-era Ukraine. and seek refuge in the United States.

Nejra Kravic of Scripps College received third prize for “O Land of Bosnia: Identity, Belonging and Nation”, which addresses the issues of a post-genocide generation and the search for meaning for indigenous, minority and migrant communities in countries torn and shaped by war, as in the former Yugoslavia.

Honorable mention was given to two students: Tiffany Vaughan, a recent graduate of the University of Chicago and current student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for “Kidney Markets: Irreconcilable Aims of Medicine and Organ Markets”, and Hannah Blair, a recent graduate of Covenant College and currently an MA student at Arizona State University, for “Unseen and Unheard: The Neglect and Re-Victimization of Sexual Violence Survivors In America’s Legal System”. The winning essays are available on the Foundation’s website:

The Ethical Essay Competition Award, created in 1989 by Professor Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion Wiesel, is an annual competition that challenges students to address pressing and complex ethical issues facing the modern world. Since its inception, thousands of young people have written essays for review.

“Cultivating young moral leadership has never been more important. I know my dad would love to see this new generation of academics and activists debating their thoughts on the page, ”said Elisha Wiesel.

Driven by a long-standing pursuit and passion for ethical leadership, Dov Seidman became the exclusive partner of the Ethics Prize of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity in 2008, when the institution was in its 20th year. celebration of ethical decision-making among American youth. Dov has since partnered with the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity to ensure the continued existence of Elie Wiesel’s legacy by offering the award as part of the work of The HOW Institute for Society, a non-profit organization that seeks to create and nurture a culture of moral leadership. , principled decision-making and values-based behavior.

“We are proud to partner with the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity for the presentation of the annual ethics award. It is meaningful to join Marion Wiesel and Elisha Wiesel in celebrating this inspiring group of award-winning students, who so thoughtfully struggled with the consequential issues facing humanity and society through an ethical lens, and in such a way. both philosophical and personal. At a time when forces separate us and polarize our society, the winning students represent the hope that we can come together. These emerging leaders embody Professor Wiesel’s adage that “Think higher, feel deeper,” Seidman said.

About the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Competition
The Elie Wiesel Foundation Ethics Essay Competition encourages students to write thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, identify problems, and offer rational arguments for ethical action. The competition is open to full-time undergraduate juniors and seniors who are enrolled in accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States. All Essay Contest submissions are judged anonymously. The winning essays present intensely personal stories, originality, imagination and clear articulation and convey a real struggle with an ethical dilemma. For suggested essay topics and more information, visit

About the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
Elie Wiesel and his wife, Marion, established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity shortly after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The Foundation’s mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust , is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-oriented programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality. For more information:, “like us” on Facebook, or follow @eliewieselfdn on Twitter.

About the HOW Institute for Society
The HOW Institute for Society seeks to create and nurture a culture of moral leadership, principled decision-making and values-based behavior that enables individuals and institutions to cope with profound social, economic and technological changes. of the 21st century to uplift humanity.

The world is changing faster than we have yet been able to reshape our institutions, our leadership and ourselves. A future that includes vibrant capitalism, vibrant democracy, healthy communities and free societies depends on the rise of moral leadership and values-driven behavior.

The HOW Institute for Society is committed to building a world rooted in deep human values ​​and lofty ideals. The Institute is driven by a deep knowledge of moral philosophy, experience in applying philosophical reasoning to modern problems, and a belief in the urgent imperative of HOW. Today, HOW we do what we do matters more than ever and in a way never seen before.

For more information on the HOW Institute for Society, visit

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

CONTACT: Media contact: Kelly Buzby [email protected]


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