Events & News
#HeforShe Celebrating Three Winners

#HeforShe Celebrating Three Winners

Date: Monday, August 10, 2020

St. Jerome’s University (SJU) is pleased to congratulate the winners of the fifth annual SJU #HeforShe Gender Equity Essay Contest. In an unprecedented decision, the Adjudication Committee (Associate Professor, Norm Klassen; Associate Professor Chad Wriglesworth; and Librarian, Zack MacDonald) has named three first-place winners – Jude Blasutti, Trenton McNulty, and Maya Venters.


“Of the many fine essays that were submitted, the three selected stood out for their various approaches to this important topic,” noted Adjudication Committee Chair, Norm Klassen. “They all had in common a strong voice and deft handling of sources, were very well-written, and offered illuminating insights. In the end, the adjudicators found that they did not want to choose between them.” Klassen adds that this is the last term of the contest, so they proposed that it go out “with a splash” and reward “three equally deserving contributions to the conversation.” The university’s administration “gratefully” supported this wish.


#HeforShe is part of an initiative launched in 2015 by UN Women to advance gender equity and women’s empowerment. St. Jerome’s University and the University of Waterloo have joined this initiative and pledged to address issues of gender equity and serve as catalysts for change.


The annual essay contest provides students with the opportunity to share their vision as to how to meet the goals of the #HeforShe movement to promote gender equity. Each year students currently registered at St. Jerome’s University (SJU) or University of Waterloo undergraduate students enrolled in an SJU course in any year or discipline, are invited to submit essays relevant to that topic for a chance to win a First Place prize of $500, or the $250 Runner-up prize. The following submissions received this year’s highest honour:


  • Jude Blasutti (4A), “The Power of Choice in Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ – a Lesbian Feminist Reading”, a paper written for Tristanne Connolly in ENGL 325: Austen, Fall 2019
  • Trenton McNulty (4B) “Pure and Virtuous, Dirty and Fun: The Intercourse of Sexuality and Consolatory Female Reading in Jane Austen”, a paper written for Tristanne Connolly in ENGL 325: Austen, Fall 2019
  • Maya Venters (4B), “Trauma, Women, and the War: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Language of “Craziness” in A Farewell to Arms”, a paper written for Chad Wriglesworth in ENGL 344: Modern American Literature, Winter 2020


“It is encouraging to see such fine scholarship on topics related to gender equity coming out of SJU courses,” noted David Seljak, a professor in the Department of Religious Studies, and a faculty advocate for the initiative. “It is evidence that St. Jerome’s provides a supportive environment in which talented students can produce first-rate work on this important topic.”


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