Troy Moore Undergraduate Ethics Essay Contest

Entries are due soon. Please see below for details.


Deadline Extended!


Annual Troy Moore Undergraduate Ethics Essay Contest

Each year, the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics sponsors an ethics essay contest, open to all GSU undergraduates. The contest is commemorates Orbun Troy Moore III, who attended GSU in the 1990s. His life was tragically cut short in an automobile accident before he graduated. He was awarded his degree posthumously. The annual Troy Moore Undergraduate Ethics Essay contest is made possible through the generosity of the Moore family. They honor the memory of the young man they called “Buddy.” He had inspired his family and friends by transforming himself as a student and a person with a GSU humanities education. The annual contest in his name offers undergraduates the opportunity to grow with careful research about themes in ethics.

The 2020-21 Troy Moore Undergraduate Essay Contest in Ethics

Sponsored by the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics

Prizes: First $250, Second $150, Third $100

The Troy Moore essay contest is an annual competition that challenges Georgia State University undergraduates to analyze the urgent ethical issues confronting them in today’s complex world. Students are encouraged to write thought-provoking and well-informed essays that address ethical questions in a reasoned and rigorous way.

This year’s suggested topics:

  • Critically consider the ethical merits of lockdowns during pandemics.
  • Critically consider whether we have a moral obligation to vote and why.
  • Do we wrong other people when we refuse to wear masks? If so, what is the nature of this ethical wrongdoing? Given your answers to the previous questions, analyze whether it is morally permissible to require individuals to wear masks in public places.
  • Is it ethically justifiable, permissible, or excusable to damage or destroy property during political protests?
  • Social media has had an outsized impact on recent political campaigns. Critics worry that some information posted there is false, dangerously misleading, or feeds into misguided conspiracy theories. Submit an essay discussing how ethics matters for understanding the power and limits of social media.
  • Carefully examine the ethical aspects or implications of a major literary work, a film, or significant piece of art.
  • Articulate with clarity an ethical problem or puzzle you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics, yourself, or the world.


In writing their essays, students are also encouraged to draw upon scholarly work in a field relevant to their topic.  For example, an essay might discuss and critically assess the competing views of two or three philosophers, political theorists, or legal scholars.

Essays are due to Donna C. Hardaway at, by noon eastern time on Friday, February 5, 2021. (MS Word or .pdf format only). 

Please read the rules carefully: