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Warren woman finalist in ethics writing competition

A recent St. Helens High School graduate was honored as one of four finalists in the Muhammad Ali Award for Writing on Ethics competition.

The first-ever writing competition, meant to honor the legacy of the boxing legend and activist by exploring ethical issues in everyday life, drew more than 1,000 entries according to Karen Van Winkle, mother of finalist Katie Van Winkle.by: KAREN VAN WINKLE - Warren resident and OSU senior Katie Van Winkle used her ethical mindset to place in the first-ever Muhammad Ali Award for Writing on Ethics competition.

Katie Van Winkle, from Warren, wrote an essay titled “Speak up,” which examined her efforts to restore a book that was considered unacceptable for middle school students. She sought to illuminate “the importance of classrooms and instructional materials that address critical issues of social justice.”

The Muhammad Ali award was sponsored for the first time this year by the Muhammad Ali Center, the Norman Mailer Center and the Writers Colony, along with partner the National Council of Teachers of English.

Georgia Southern University student Evin Hughes won the competition and its $10,000 prize.

A judge in the competition was Nobel Peace Price winner Elie Wiesel, author of “Night.”

Katie Van Winkle plans to graduate in March 2013 from Oregon State University with majors in psychology and writing. She said writing is a part of her life every day and hopes to one day publish a novel.

“I know I’m only one person, and what can one person ever really do, but at least I’m helping to get the conversation started,” Katie Van Winkle said in an email.