CUNY Ethics and Morality Essay Contest
Funded by the Chynn Family Foundation

2012 Essay Contest

Best Essay
Jesaiah Prayor
(Queensborough Community College)
Heroic Virtue

First Runner-up
Nicole Wong (Queens College)
It Starts at Home

Second Runner-up
Brandon Jordon (Queens College)
A Phoenix Rising From The Ashes

Honorable Mention (Last Name Order)
Miriyam Aronova (Queens College)
Joshua Hernandez (John Jay College)
Winnie Hu (Borough of Manhattan Community College)
Christie Paul (Queensborough Community College)
Keith Razack (Kingsborough Community College)
Jessina Thondiamthadathil (Lehman College)

Submission Guidelines

Fall 2012 Essay Topic: Virtue

Background: Regardless of where one lives, virtues form the moral foundation of one’s life. Throughout history, moral philosophers in all cultures have striven to answer the question of “What characteristics or virtues distinguish the moral man from the immoral one?” In ancient Greek times, the Four Cardinal Virtues were considered to be: Prudence/Wisdom, Justice, Fortitude/Courage, and Temperance/Self-control. There were additionally Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity.  Together, these comprised the Seven Virtues.

At about the same time in ancient China, Confucius formulated what he called the Five Constant Virtues: Ren (Benevolence, Love), Yi (Righteousness), Li (Propriety, Loyalty, Filial Piety, Chastity, Respect), Zhi (Wisdom), and Xin  (Integrity, Honesty, Fidelity.)

Please select one Virtue to discuss in detail from the Background section above. In discussing the Virtue you have selected, please incorporate all of the following points in your essay:

  • Tell us about your own experience in practicing the Virtue you have chosen to write about and what personal reward or satisfaction have you gained from it.
  • Why did you think the Virtue that you chose was an important one to practice in your life?
  • What obstacles did you encounter in practicing this particular Virtue and how did you, or do you, still strive to overcome the difficulties?






CUNY Ethics and Morality Essay Contest

Spring 2011

Fall 2011

Fall 2012

Fall 2013

Fall 2014

Fall 2015

Fall 2016

Selection Committee
KY Chynn
Russell C. Leong
Joyce Moy

Antony Wong


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