Chynn Ethics Paper Prize

Dr. K. York and M. Noelle Chynn Prize in Ethics and Morality


Funded by the Chynn Family Foundation

The purpose of this brief essay competition is to stimulate self-examination about concepts of ethics and morality encountered personally or as a concerned member of society.

Essay Criteria

In 1,000 – 1,500 words, you are encouraged to raise questions, single out issues, and identify dilemmas of personal or social significance. In the Jesuit tradition of Eloquentia Perfecta, essays should analyze the ethical or moral question or issue with logical clarity. Essays may include reference to published scholarship, but must be original, unpublished work and should reflect your individual voice.

You may choose to write about questions, issues, or dilemmas that have personally impacted you, or your family or friends; that you have encountered in media or popular culture; or that you have learned about through your studies at Fordham. You are welcome to draw on a number of philosophical, theological, humanistic, and scientific perspectives, as well as your own biographical experiences. We also welcome essays that are focused around broader ethical themes, including (but are not limited to):

  • Why is morality essential to leading a fulfilled and happy life?
  • What are some especially salient contemporary obstacles to having a moral life, and how might those obstacles be overcome?
  • How can morality be instilled as part of the education process for our youth?
  • What moral responsibilities do individuals have to family members, friends, or the institutional, political or physical environments in which they live?
  • How does one balance personal and social moral responsibilities?

Winners will Receive

  • Best Essay ($1,000)
  • First runner-up ($500)
  • Second runner-up ($300)

Winning essays will be featured on the Center for Ethics Education website and the Ethics and Society blog.

Read the winning essays from the 2022 competition.

Submission Requirements

Submission must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled Fordham undergraduate student.
  • Cover page contains: Date of submission; title of the essay; student’s name, ID number, email address and year of anticipated graduation; name of Fordham college and major (if registered)
  • Essays written for a class requirement are acceptable, but must include the course title, course number, name of professor and semester the essay was written.
  • Length: 1,000 to 1,500 words
  • Typed, 12-size Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins and double-spaced
  • Work cited and referenced for all materials not your own.
  • All work must be original material, attribution and references to quoted materials must be included.
  • Prior to posting, winning essays may be edited and shortened for space.

Eligibility and Process for Submission

Submit one file as an email attachment to: [email protected].

Students are encouraged to email questions to Steven Swartzer, Ph.D., Associate Director for Academic Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Center for Ethics Education, Rose Hill Campus.

Extended Deadline

April 5, 2024