Dr. K. York & M. Noelle Chynn
CUNY Ethics and Morality Essay Contest

Funded by the Chynn Family Foundation

2013 Essay Contest

Best Essay
Walter Marcus (LaGuardia Community College)
Filial Piety

First Runner-up
Sherica Daley (Lehman College)

Second Runner-up (Tie)
Xingcan Li (Queens College)
Sowing Hope in Others

Second Runner-up (Tie)
Amara Shafi (Medgar Evers College)
The Fruitful Cycle of Delayed Gratification

Honorable Mention (Last Name Order)
Oludare Banwo (Baruch College)
Benedicta Darteh (John Jay College)
Krystel Edwards (City College of New York)
Albert Han (Hunter College)
Wendy Harper (Hunter College)
Bilkis Kadri (Bronx Community College)
Genevieve Moro (Queensborough Community College)
Rebecca Rosenblatt (Queens College)
Marianela Torres (Queens College)

Submission Guidelines

Fall 2013 Essay Topic: Virtue

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:

  • Prudence/Wisdom

  • Justice

  • Fortitude/Courage

  • Temperance/Self-control

There were additionally Three Theological Virtues:

  • Faith

  • Hope

  • 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)

  • Xin  (Integrity, Honesty, Fidelity)

In today's modern society however, virtues have slowly begun to lose their importance, or oft forgotten, in the busy daily goings of people's lives. To remedy this problem in China, officials recently enacted a new law to foster filial piety among its citizens in order to compel adult children to visit their aging parents. By recognizing the importance of virtues in our lives, it will lead to better communication, understanding, and acceptance between us and our fellow man.

For your essay, please select one Virtue from the list above to discuss in detail. 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?

Submission must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled CUNY undergraduate or graduate student. Please submit copy of your college ID and current semester program. (No recommendations letters or transcripts are required.)

  • Cover page containing topic of the essay, name of the student, name of the CUNY college, and date.

  • Length: 1,000 to 1,500 words

  • Typed, 12-size Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, and double-spaced.

  • Work-cited: Reference all materials that is not your own. Include at least five sources.

  • All work must be original material. Attribution and references to quoted materials must be included.

  • No online submissions. Hard copy of essay can be submitted by postal mail (postmarked by Oct 15, 2013, due to Oct 14 being Columbus Day) or hand-delivered to AAARI office on October 15, 2013, by 5PM)



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CUNY Ethics and Morality Essay Contest

Spring 2011

Fall 2011

Fall 2012

Fall 2013

Fall 2014

Fall 2015

Fall 2016

Selection Committee
KY Chynn
Joyce Moy

Antony Wong


Asian American / Asian Research Institute 2018

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