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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 that you have encountered. Essays should articulate with clarity the ethical or moral issue and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself. Essays may include reference to published scholarship, but must be original, unpublished work and should reflect your individual voice.

Students may discuss moral dilemmas encountered personally or by family and friends. In addition, students can focus their essay around a specific ethics theme. Sample themes include (but are not limited to):

  • Why is morality essential to leading a fulfilled and happy life?
  • What are the obstacles to having a moral life, and how may they 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?
  • What personal characteristics are essential to a moral life?

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 winnings essays from the 2019 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:

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.


March 26, 2020