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Writing student receives Muhammad Ali ethics award for essay

Georgia Southern University senior Evin Hughes, from Swainsboro, Ga., won the Norman Mailer Center Muhammad Ali College Ethics Writing Award for his essay “Float Like a Plane, Sting Like a Bomb: The Ethics of U.S. Drone Attacks.”

Hughes, who is working to complete two degrees, on in Information Technology and one in Writing and Linguistics, will receive a $10,000 prize; recognition by the Muhammad Ali Center and the Norman Mailer Center at the Mailer Center’s annual gala on Oct. 4; travel, lodging and tickets to the gala; and the opportunity to participate in a week-long writing workshop at the Norman Mailer Center in Provincetown, Mass., during summer 2013.

In his essay, Hughes references The Wars We Inherit: Military Life, Gender Violence, and Memory by Lori Amy, Ph.D., a faculty member of the Department of Writing and Linguistics. Hughes says that he began researching the U.S. drone attacks while in Amy’s “Writing the Body” class and that he first learned of the competition through a University summer course.

“Evin has an exquisitely honed ethical sensibility, and we see this in how he writes as much as in what he writes,” Amy said. “His words are carefully chosen, sentences crafted with a fierce loving, a careful attention to detail. Even when he is describing painful, heart-wrenching scenes, his language – rich in metaphor, elegant in its clarity of thought and courage of heart – illuminates our path through the darkness to which is writing bears witness.”

The Muhammad Ali Writing Award for Ethics is presented by the Muhammad Ali Center, the Norman Mailer Center and the National Council of Teachers of English and is awarded to the college student whose writing best honors Ali’s legacy of dedication to high ethical standards. Students were asked to submit a piece of writing on an ethics topic relevant to their generation and to consider how Ali’s values address that topic.

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