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Essay Writing Competition 2014 International Champions

This and last week, the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme awarded prizes to the winners of essay-writing competitions for high school and university students from the former Yugoslavia.  Following the first two successful essay writing competitions held in 2013 and 2014 for high school students in BiH, the Outreach Programme launched a regional competition this year, extending it to university students, in order to engage with a wider audience of young people in the former Yugoslavia.

High school students in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia were asked to share their thoughts on the topic: “How important are war crimes trials for moving forward after times of conflict?”. University students were invited to submit their essays on the topic: “ICTY: War crimes trials as an important element in dealing with the past. A total of 133 young people from across the region sent their entries to the competitions this fall. The jury, composed of representatives from all relevant sections of the Tribunal, was impressed by the exceptional quality and diversity of the essays.

At the award ceremony for the high school competition, the winner, Hamza Ajanić, student at the 2nd Grammar School in Sarajevo, noted that “We can show our maturity only if we make the first step in facing the past and, for that reason, I took part in the ICTY essay writing contest. It is my way of taking action and I hope that our essays will encourage other people to ask themselves what they can do to help normalise relations among people in the former Yugoslavia.

The second place was awarded to Ajla Memić from the Medical School in Tuzla, BiH, and the third place went to Vivian Bister from the School of Economics and Trade in Čakovec, Croatia.

At the award ceremony for the university competition, the winner, Saša Miličević, student of the Law Faculty of Banja Luka University, said that “Writing this essay was an opportunity for me to further build my attitude towards the ICTY and its contribution to the proper articulation of the traumatic experiences of war… I wish there were more such programmes implemented in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, in particular in BiH, enabling law students to think and write about and discuss ICTY legacy.”

The second place was awarded to Stefan Jeremić from the Law Faculty of Belgrade University, and the third place went to his fellow student Petar Brudar.

The competition is part of the Tribunal’s youth outreach programme, which connects young people from the region with the Tribunal’s work.

As the ICTY nears its closure, the Outreach Programme is strengthening efforts to ensure that young people across the region have access to information and materials about the Tribunal’s work. These initiatives aim to increase understanding of the Tribunal’s legacy among young people and contribute to their long-term interest in transitional justice and post-conflict development.

The Outreach Programme benefits from the continuous support of the European Union and its work with young people is generously supported by the Finnish government.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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Tel.: +31-70-512 5210; +31-70-512 5882, +31-70-512 5271 - Email: press [at] icty.org

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Congratulations to our 2014 ISEC Winners and Runner-Ups!

Kevin Jong-Hyeon Shin, of the Seoul International School in Seoul, South Korea, was awarded first place for his essay “Bona Fide Beauty Led Off By Bona Fide Change.”Victoria Yang, of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA, received second place for her essay entitled “Graphene: The Hope for Renewable Energy.”

In addition, Alexander Stangl, of Bergen County Academics AAST in Hackensack, NJ, won third place for his submission describing Quantum Cryptology and Ivan Yeo Weimin, of Hwa Chong Institution in Singapore, was honored as a runner-up for his essay describing membranes and reverse osmosis methods used in water desalination.

The DUJS Editorial Board would like to thank all who participated in ISEC 2014. This year we received over 265 submissions from twenty-one different countries, making our selection process extremely difficult. To all of our contestants, we wish you all the best as you continue your studies in science. We would also like to thank the Dartmouth College Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the National Association of Science Writers, and the American Society of Cell Biology for supporting ISEC 2014.

First Place Winner: Kevin Jong-Hyeon Shin
Grade: 11
Topic: Nitrogen Plasma Surgery
Seoul International School, South Korea

What are your thoughts about winning ISEC 2014?

It is a true honor to be recognized as this year’s first place winner. This opportunity allowed me to scrutinize a specific topic in the realms of Science and gave me a chance to elaborate on such topic. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the help and advice I received from my teachers, family, and friends.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I learned that it requires sincere knowledge and passion to be able to express your scientific thoughts through writing. It is not possible to produce a genuine piece of writing if you do not have the deepest ideas and spirit for that subject. It requires more than inchoate knowledge to be able to produce a greatly elaborated essay, and more importantly, it is important to communicate with your audience through your unique voice.

What do you hope to study in college? 

I hope to take on a medical path in college, meaning it would be my passion to study Biology and Chemistry. I believe that the applications in the world of medicine are overwhelming, and it would be a pleasure to learn those skills.

Second Place Winner: Victoria Yang
Grade: 11

Topic: Graphene: The Hope for Renewable Energy
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, USA

What are your thoughts about winning Second Place?
I am honored to win second place and am glad that ISEC provided me an opportunity to combine my two passions, writing and the sciences. I am excited to be able read my work in print and am thankful to everyone who made my participation in this competition possible.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I learned a lot about the research being conducted with new materials such as graphene, and how these materials are being applied across such a wide variety of fields.Most of the current research I read was about how graphene was being applied in the field of physics, so it was interesting to delve deeper and research its use in renewable energy.

What do you hope to study in college? 

In college I either hope to study chemical engineering or biochemistry.

Third Place: Alexander Stangl
Grade: 11
Topic: Quantium Cryptology: A New Foundation for Information Security
Bergen County Academics, USA

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I had previously believed computer science to primarily be a tool which lends itself to the sciences through facilitating the modeling and analysis of complex systems. The notion that some of the core principles of quantum mechanics could lend themselves to theoretical computer science had been a pleasant surprise for me.

What do you hope to study in college? 

My current intention is to major in either mathematics or physics, with a minor in computer science.

Runner-Up: Ivan Yeo Weimin
Grade: 11
Topic: Membranes: A Solution for Our 21st Century Water Woes
Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I learned that scientific innovation and discovery requires the collaboration of many scientists around the world as different people have expertise in various fields. We should not be constrained by the rules of the past and think that past theories are set in stone as science is a dynamic and robust field.

What do you hope to study in college? 

I hope to study Chemical or Biomedical Engineering in college.




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