In October 2019, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity named Isabel de Katona ’19 its second-place winner for this year’s Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. De Katona, who took home a $2,500 cash prize, wrote the essay “Global Citizen” when she was a senior at Barnard; she is a 4+1 program student now in her second year at the School of International and Public Affairs. De Katona shares what the prize means to her and how her time at Barnard shaped the vision for the essay:
“While the conception of the essay was very much my own, Barnard gave me the skills to effectively communicate it. As an anthropology major, I was trained to engage critically with how, and why, humans interact in the way they do. As a Barnard student, however, I was pushed at every turn to challenge the literal and metaphorical boundaries that divide people. [Among] Barnard’s greatest strengths are the mentors available to students, and, though I have graduated, they continue to be instrumental to the courage I have to pursue opportunities such as this.
“Winning this prize is more humbling, and more of an honor, than I had anticipated. To be recognized for words I wrote exploring a deeply personal internal conflict is to feel implicated to live by, and through, them. At the same time, it is a validation that I am not the only one attempting to find my place as a citizen and a humanist in my country and in the world, and it encourages me to keep asking these questions.”
Read the award-winning essay here.