Winning Essays for 2016

2016 Essay Topic: Education in Emma

The 2016 Essay Contest Topic aligned with the JASNA Annual General Meeting theme, Emma at 200: “No One But Herself”:

Education is a running theme in Emma. For instance, there are teacher/pupil relationships, a school, and former and aspiring governesses.  Discuss how this emphasis shapes the plot, develops characters or reflects the views of the period.

High School Division

First Place Winner: Annette Nayeon Kim, Chinese International School, Hong Kong
Essay: “Emma’s Education: Challenging the Standard of Female Education.”
Second Place Winner: Leah F. Palmer, Homeschool, Newberry, FL
Essay: “Education in Emma: The Development and Dethroning of the Highbury Queen.”
Mentor: Carole Palmer
Third Place Winner: Seth Kim, Blair Academy, Blairstown, NJ
Essay: “Education as Social Currency in Jane Austen’s Emma.”
Mentor: Marguerite Egan

College/University Division

First Place Winner: Stephanie Diehl, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
Essay: Emma and Emile: Austen’s Critique of the Rousseauist Model of Education.”
Mentor: Elizabeth Veisz
Second Place Winner: Navya Dasari, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Essay: “No Teacher But Herself: Education, Feminism, and Romance in Emma.”
Third Place Winner: Keelin desRosiers, University of Dallas, Irving, TX
Essay: “Jane Austen’s Emma: An Education in Empathy.”
Mentor: Bernadette Waterman Ward

Graduate Division

First Place Winner: Jayda Coons, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ
Essay: “‘The Vehicle for Gallantry and Trick’: Educating Emma’s Readers.”
Mentor: Lynda Zwinger
Second Place Winner: Tiffany Schubert, University of Dallas, Irving, TX
Essay: “Fair Lady and Humble Knight: Chivalric Education in Emma.”
Mentor: Theresa Kenney
Third Place Winner: Emmabel Orendain, Chapman University, Orange, CA
Essay: “The (Mis)Education of Harriet Smith: Confidence, Perception, and Character Development in Emma.”
Mentor: Lynda Hall

Honorable Mention

Click here to see a list of the essays awarded “honorable mention.”


Many thanks to all judges of the 2016 Essay Contest.  There were two rounds of judging.  During round one, the judges read all the submissions from students at their judging level and selected the best to go forward to round two.  For round two, the judges read the selected essays at all levels and determined the winners listed above.

Meg Levin, Essay Contest Chair

High School Division

Adrienne Berg, Woods Charter School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Caroline Bolt, University of Texas, Dallas, Texas
Barbara Burnham, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
Courtney O. Carlisle, University of Texas, Dallas, Texas
Becky Dolin, Graham School, Univeristy of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Susan Durst, Boise Public Schools (retired) Boise, Idaho
Norah Glickstein, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Jeanie Hoffman Lewis, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Lisa Lintner-Valenzuela, Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, Kentucky
Jennifer Little, Horace Mann School, New York, New York
Keiko Parker, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
Sue Scott, Wake County Library, Raleigh, North Carolina
Gina Sipley, Nassau Community College, Garden City, New York
Maria Spray, Saint John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hannah Swamidoss, University of Texas, Dallas, Texas
Alisa Thomas, Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa Falls, Georgia
Judith Umbach, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
Karin Wiberg, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

College/University Division

Pauline Beard, Pacific University (emerita) Forest Grove, Oregon
Rosa Beyer, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Rachel Brownstein, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Marjean Cockran, Enterprise State Community College, Enterprise, Alabama
Jessica Connolly, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Wendy Anne Lee, New York University, New York, New York
Nora Nachumi, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University, New York, New York
Laura Novo, Friends Central School, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Stephanie Oppenheim, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York
Lisa Tyler, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio
Kathleen Urda, Bronx Community College, City University of New York
Susan Weisgrau, Akiba Hebrew Academy (retired) Merion Station, Pennsylvania

Graduate Division

Deborah Knuth Klenck, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
Sally Palmer, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota
Juliette Wells, Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland