One of the highlights of the Third Annual Student Research Conference on Civic Engagement, held last month at The National Archives at Atlanta, was the Ogden/New York Times First Amendment Essay Contest.
Presented to a currently-enrolled Clayton State student for literary achievement in the area of First Amendment rights and free speech, the Ogden award is an annual part of the Civic Engagement Research Conference, and is sponsored by the New York Times. The award is named in memory of James H. Ogden, Jr., late husband of Clayton State Associate Professor of Business Law Dr. Judith Stilz Ogden, and a lifelong supporter of First Amendment rights.
The winner of the 2011 Ogden/New York Times First Amendment essay contest was Michael Barnes, who presented his essay called, "Burning the Stars and Stripes: A Despicable Act, But One that Must be Protected." The award includes a cash prize.
Barnes is a resident of McDonough, Ga. Prior to attending Clayton State, he spent 12 years as a police officer in College Park, Ga., before deciding to go back to school.
More than 80 students from throughout the University System of Georgia attended Third Annual Student Research Conference on Civic Engagement. In all, there were nine different student presentations made by 17 students, and 11 students made poster presentations. Topics of these presentations included alternative breaks, a survey of civic engagement at Clayton State, civic engagement in the digital age, the impact of the HOPE scholarship cuts, and various mentoring and tutoring projects.