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Juniata College Junior Wins Bailey Oratorical Contest

(Posted February 24, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Michelle Calka, a junior from Johnstown, Pa. studying communications and information technology, received the first-place award in the annual Juniata College Bailey Oratorical by making the point that almost any action, even the purchase of a pair of Nike sneakers, has global consequences.
Calka, who received $1,000 for her award, and six other contestants were asked to address the topic "What Does it Mean to be a Citizen of the World?" before a panel of judges and an attentive crowd, Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the ballroom of Ellis College Center on the Juniata campus.

Andrea Mundis, a senior from Dallastown, Pa. studying psychology, received the second-place prize, receiving $500. Stephanie Durnford, a senior from Accokeek, Md. studying communication, received the third-place prize, receiving $300.
In her winning speech, Calka said, "Americans are global citizens and the daily choices we make have powerful repercussions internationally. By exploring how unaware we are, what global awareness means, and why it is important, we can see that being aware of our impact on the rest of the world is the first step in becoming positive global citizens."

She went on to say, "Global awareness looks like every single one of us. We don't need to join an activist group or protest the government to be globally aware. Take a look at your clothing. Check the labels -- see where they were made.

"If we claim to be the most powerful nation on earth, we have a moral and economic obligation to better understand the rest of the world and our effect on it," she added.

Judges for the event were Jim Gregory, executive assistant for state Senator Robert Jubilerer and former sports anchor for WTAJ-TV in Altoona; David Shoenthal, a 1998 Juniata graduate and a graduate assistant at Penn State University in mathematics; and Nina White, president of the Interfaith and Community Coalition Against Prejudice and Violence (ICC), a nonprofit organization in State College that she helped to found in 1999.

The other finalists in the competition were seniors Joshua Hicks, of Mount Union, Pa.; Jesse Rhodes, of Franklin, Ind.; Adam Foote, of Bethel Park, Pa.; and Amanda Wallis, of Largo, Fla.

The original Bailey Oratorical Award was established in 1915 by the Honorable Thomas F. Bailey, who served as president judge of Huntingdon County from 1916 to 1936. The oratorical contest has a long tradition at Juniata College, as students from all areas of study can compete for the monetary prize. In addition, the name of the winner will be permanently inscribed on an antique loving cup.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.