Dr. Michael N. Compton Public Affairs Essay Contest

2021-22 Essay Contest 

The fall semester features the seventh annual Dr. Michael N. Compton Public Affairs Essay Contest.  Essays will address a general, or specific aspect, of the 2021-2022 public affairs theme, Bridging the Divide.

Contest Sponsorship

This contest is sponsored by the Institute for Development of Ethics And Leadership—IDEAL. IDEAL is a non-profit organization established by the alumni of the Alpha Rho Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity at Missouri State University.  Their mission is to further the development of ethics and leadership in the men of the fraternity.

Prize Details

1st Place 

The author of the winning essay will receive a cash prize of $500, plus an additional $500 to be donated in the winner's name to the charity or non-profit of their choice. The winning work will be published on the MSU Public Affairs website. First place prize is provided by Sigma Pi alumni via the Institute for Development of Ethics and Leadership (IDEAL)

Additional Prizes

Two, 2nd place prizes of $300 each will be awarded and are funded by MSU's Political Science Department.  Three, 3rd place prizes of $150 each will be awarded and are funded by the Sigma Pi - Institute for Development of Ethics and Leadership.    

The awarding of prizes is at the discretion of the Institute for Development of Ethics And Leadership contest selection committee.  

Submission Requirements

This contest is open to full-time sophomore, junior and senior level Missouri State University undergraduate students attending on the Springfield campus. Essays will address the 2021-22 public affairs theme, Bridging the Divide. Submissions may address the theme as a whole or an individual aspect of the theme.

  • Essay must be the original work by the person submitting the essay and address an aspect of Bridging the Divide.
  • Essays may be any length between 250 and 1500 words.
  • Submit a cover page that includes the following:
    • Your full name (kept anonymous during judging).
    • One to two sentence biographical statement about yourself, including your hometown.
    • List your academic year and interest of study or degree program and name of College.
    • What aspect of the theme your essay is addressing and the total word count.
    • The name of the charity or non-profit organization that you would choose to receive the cash award should you win the contest.
  • The judging committee will consider clarity, spelling, and grammar as well as the originality and compelling nature of idea(s).
  • Inclusion of evidence-based ideas is encouraged, but not required.

Entry Submission

  • Email your cover page and essay as one PDF document to PublicAffairs@MissouriState.edu
  • Deadline: Submissions must be emailed prior to midnight (11:59pm) on Sunday, October 24, 2021.
  • All submissions are kept anonymous during judging. Names will be removed and replaced with an identifier prior to being submitted to the judging committee.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted and awarded in November.
Missouri State's Office of Public Affairs Support helps to provide communication and web support for the contest. Please direct questions to 417-836-8832 or PublicAffairs@MissouriState.edu