McGarrity’s Intermediate Microeconomics Class Competed in an Op-Ed Contest

The students in Joe McGarrity’s Intermediate Microeconomics class competed in an Opinion / Editorial (Op-Ed) contest as part of their assignments for this class. The students generated their own ideas and each wrote a 500 – 800 word editorial. Dr. McGarrity structured the assignment so that students got feedback from each other and the UCA Writing Center, as well as receiving several rounds of feedback from Dr. McGarrity.

This writing program proved to be a huge success. The students competed for a study abroad scholarship funded by a grant. Three retired faculty members from UCA’s College of Business picked the winner. Eric Selvidge won the contest and the prize enabled him to study the Economics of Art in Florence, Italy this summer. The contest made Eric realize that international experiences could be a part of his education and he has decided to study for a semester in Thailand. Eric says that he never would have considered studying abroad if the contest had not confronted him with this possibility.

The competition for the study abroad scholarship encouraged the students to put a tremendous amount of effort into writing the Op-Eds. Thirteen students in this class of 26 wrote articles that were so good that they were published in the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper. These students, while not winning the contest, have an impressive addition to their resumes. While the Op-Ed contest has only been held once, Joe McGarrity hopes to secure permanent funding for the study abroad scholarship prize that may even one day make second and third prize study abroad scholarships available.