Arts and public service topics win the 2008 York Public Affairs Essay Competition

York students Rachelle Mendoza and Jennifer Lee are the winners of the 2008 York Public Affairs Essay Competition by the Glendon Research Group in Public and International Affairs.

Mendoza, a student in the Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law Program offered through York’s School of Public Policy & Administration in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, took the top spot in the graduate category for her paper, titled "The Ontario Public Service as a New Public Organization? An Analysis of the OPS Human Resources Landscape", which provides a thorough account of public service sector reform in Ontario.

Lee, a double-major undergraduate student in political science and visual arts in the Faculty of Arts as well as the Faculty of Fine Arts at York, won in the undergraduate category for her essay, "State of the Arts: A Contextual Analysis of Fine Arts as Policy in Canada".

Winners will receive $100 made possible through the contributions of Paul Cantor, a member of York’s Board of Governors and a long-time supporter of public administration studies at the University.

Each category also had a runner-up. In the graduate category, York student Tracy Verhoeve is the runner-up for her paper, "Agricultural Uses of Biotechnology, Public Administration and Democratic Dialogue", which integrates social sciences theory and public administration. The runner-up in the undergraduate category is Glendon’s Adam Kochanski for his essay, "Plan Colombia: Tracing the Evolution of US Counterinsurgency and Economic Imperialism".

The judges noted that once again the essay submissions to the competition were of high quality and the number of submissions of graduate papers had risen.

Mendoza is also York’s nominee to the annual National Student and Thought Leadership Awards supported by the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC).

The National Student Award winners will be asked to participate in a poster session describing their best piece of research or analysis at the IPAC conference in Québec City in August. A jury will select and rank the three best poster presentations for the Thought Leadership Awards. The gold winner will receive $1,000, the silver winner will receive $500 and the bronze winner will receive $250.

For more information about the 2008 York Public Affairs Essay Competition, visit the Glendon Research Group in Public and International Affairs Web site or contact York political science Professor Ian Roberge at