Student wins dean’s money in essay writing contest

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By Jasmine Maharisi – News Editor

UNO senior Andrew Lescelius received $200 cash from Arts and Sciences Dean Joseph Boocker’s pocket last week just in time for the holiday break.  

Lescelius won the money as the first-place award in the Dean Boocker’s October essay contest, “Why Should I Sit in on Your Class?” Contestants were required to write one-page essays about their favorite courses in an effort to persuade the dean to visit and observe the classes.

Lescelius, who is majoring in management information systems, wrote about the psychology class Limits of Consciousness. The class meets twice a week and is taught by former Arts and Sciences dean and psychologist Shelton Hendricks.

Dean Boocker visited Lescelius’ class Nov. 18 in Allwine Hall. At the end of class, he presented Lescelius with the cash.

“I’m happy,” Lescelius said. “I thought it was an interesting contest and a great way to provide feedback on the class and the teacher.”

Limits of Consciousness is a 3000-level class that focuses on the psychology, neurology and philosophy of the mind. The class debates such phenomena as extra-sensory perception, transcendentalism and the relationship between unconscious and conscious awareness.

Lescelius said he’s probably going to use his award money to help others.

“I don’t have any big plans for spending the money,” he said. “I’ll use it to finance micro-loans on kiva.org, which is a website where you lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs in poor countries.”

The runner-up in the contest was senior Travis Plummer, who wrote about his class Theory of Knowledge. Dean Boocker sat in on the class on Nov. 17. The class is under the philosophy department and is taught by William Melanson.

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