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AEL Collegiate Essay Contest


After careful review by the contest judges, we are delighted to announce three winners of the 2022 AEL Collegiate Essay Competition. 

First Place: Vivian Turnbull, Hillsdale College

Second Place: Angie Benitez-Garcia, University of Central Florida

Third Place: Marijus Maksvytis, University of Florida

The essay prompt the students addressed was: "In what some would characterize as an era of political correctness, groupthink, and cancel culture, what are some viable options for promoting viewpoint and ideological diversity on our college campuses?"


portrait of vivian

Vivian Turnbull is a second-year student at Hillsdale College, pursuing a double major in politics and rhetoric and public address. Following graduation, she plans to get her master’s degree in political science. Vivian aspires to enter public service, perhaps by pursuing a career in speech writing or running for local office. She is passionate about finding ways to overcome partisan divisions and creating workable solutions for all Americans.


portrait if angie

Angie Benitez-Garcia is a senior working towards a bachelor of fine arts in emerging media. Working at organizations such as NASA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has taught her that visual design can influence many parts of people’s daily lives, from historical space missions to global humanitarian relief. Angie hopes to become a creative director for a major advertising firm or a technical artist in animation.


portrait of Marijus

Marijus Maksvytis is a second-year student at the University of Florida majoring in health science on the pre-medical track with an anticipated minor in religion. He is interested in surgery and family medicine and aspires to become a doctor, building meaningful relationships with patients by treating everyone with dignity and respect. He also enjoys creative writing and is in the process of finishing his first publication.