The Center for a Public Anthropology fosters "public approaches to public problems", and one way it does so is by engaging students in ethical issues, including an essay competition on a set topic. This year's competition was on the topic: "Based on the information presented in the five case studies, you are to voice your view on how Institutional Review Boards (in the U.S.) and/or Review Ethics Boards (in Canada) should enforce a set of common rules regarding research. How much freedom should researchers be allowed in conducting their research? What regulations should be enforced to prevent the abuse of research subjects and ensure, more generally, that the research strives to promote positive benefits for the larger society sponsoring it?"
Professor Sasikumar Balasundaram always encourages the students in his Cultural Anthropology to enter the competition. This was an optional part of the course, but nine students' essays were chosen by the Center as winning entries. The awarded students are John Coble, Lauren Cunningham, Sarah Belay, Rebecca Gaborek, Lyla Rossi, Rachael Cooper, Katie McCormack , Ryan Muro, and John Edwards. To read their winning essays, visit the awards site.