Servant Leadership Short-Essay Contest Of Champions

The Reed Institute for the Advanced Study of Leadership and the Elwood Center for Student Success (CSS) host an award convocation on during Chapel each Spring semester to honor the lifetime leadership of a selected individual. This award program is designed to challenge students, faculty, and staff at Olivet by highlighting select men and women who exemplify certain leadership qualities and characteristics. In addition to honoring an individual, the CSS sponsors the ONU Reed Leadership Essay Contest. All SOPHOMORES are invited to write a paper based on a prompt which is provided. A first-place cash prize of $500, a second-place cash prize of $250, and a third-place cash prize of $100 will be awarded to three students by a panel of judges. Winners’ papers are displayed on the Benner Library Digital Commons.


Submissions from 2017


1st Place Essay: A New Weapon, Jennifer Cox


2nd Place Essay: Called to Lead, Timothy Mayotte


3rd Place Essay: Christian Leadership in Modern Culture, Rachel Tobey

Submissions from 2014


1st Place Essay: Leadership: Fulfilling the Purpose of Art, Amanda Johnson


2nd Place Essay: The Art of Leadership, Bailey Heemstra


3rd Place Essay: Leadership: A New Art, Matthew D. Reed

Submissions from 2013


1st Place Essay: Bringing Revival to Central and Eastern Europe, Chelsea Risinger


2nd Place Essay: Leading without Limits, Whitney Knox


3rd Place Essay: Serving God on the Mission Field, Abbie Allen

Submissions from 2012


1st Place Essay: The Head of the Body, Anna Stiker


2nd Place Essay: The World Needs Leaders with Integrity, Nicholas Eckart


3rd Place Essay: What is the Role of Integrity in Leadership?, Michelle Pinkney

Submissions from 2011


1st Place Essay: True Christian Leadership, Kolby Meador


2nd Place Essay: The Best Leaders Are Those Who Serve, Rachel M. Groters


3rd Place Essay: Leadership, Kristin Thompson

Submissions from 2010


1st Place Essay: The Penthouse of Leadership, Blaine Manning


2nd Place Essay: On Becoming a True Leader, Connor Dimick


3rd Place Essay: Authenticity in Leadership, Victoria Smallegan


Essay Contest

About the Contest

The Lasker Essay Contest engages young scientists and clinicians in a discussion about big questions in biology and medicine, and the role of biomedical research in our society today.  The Contest aims to build skills in communicating important medical and scientific issues to broader audiences.  The Essay Contest topics are announced annually no later than the second week of February and can be found on this webpage.

The topic of the 2018 Essay Contest is: How can social media help build trust in science and the research enterprise? Your answer should include a discussion of the benefits and challenges of your recommendations. 

The deadline to submit all materials is March 30, 2018. Winners will be announced in early July on our web site.


The Contest is open to medical school students, interns, residents, and fellows; doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research; graduate students in public health programs; and graduate students in other health professions programs.  The 2018 Essay Contest is open to both US and international applicants, including those from programs outside the US.


First-place award is $10,000 and an expense-paid trip (economy class travel and one-night hotel stay) to New York City to meet the 2018 Lasker Award winners (on September 21, 2018). Second- and third-place prizes are $5000 and $2500, respectively. All monetary prizes are to be used towards educational expenses.


Essays should be of 800 words or less and must be written in English. The file containing the essay should include the essay title and the applicant's name, email, and institutional affiliation. Figures and references are not required but one image (uploaded separately) and up to 10 references (included within the text body) may be submitted. Specific examples from the world of biomedical research should be included in your essay to illustrate your ideas more effectively. Field-specific scientific jargon should be avoided or explained.

Evaluation criteria

Essays will be evaluated based on 1) the innovation of the ideas and proposals and 2) how well these ideas are conveyed, i.e. the quality of writing, style, and clarity. Essays that are not written in English or are longer than 800 words will not be considered. 

Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive updates about the Essay Contest program and winners:

2017 essay contest and winners

2016 essay contest and winners

2015 essay contest and winners

2014 essay contest and winners

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