John Jay College Develops Rubin Museum Writing Contest

The Rubin Essay Award.

A Student Essay Contest will be held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in collaboration with the Rubin Museum of Art. This contest, for The Rubin Essay Award, will offer Criminal Justice students a unique opportunity to juxtapose their studies of justice with expressions of Himalayan Art. Finalists will be rewarded with both a cash prize and certificate as well as a year of free admission to the Rubin Museum of Art, allowing the students to continue their exploration of Himalayan Art.

The contest is being sponsored by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. 

The guidelines for the competition are as follows:

Who May Enter:

The contest will be open to all students who are in good standing, and are enrolled full-time or part-time, at John Jay on the final date for submissions.

Exceptions: employees and affiliates of the Rubin Foundation or the Rubin Museum and members of their immediate families shall be ineligible.

Topic of the Prize Essay:

The Topic for the 2012 Contest Shall be:

“Choose a work or set of works of art from the collection of the Rubin Museum of Art.
Write an essay about the work (or those works) that explores how the piece or
pieces define or express the idea of justice.
Your essay may consider any of a wide range of issues, including but not limited to:
justice as it relates to retribution and punishment; justice as it relates to
death; justice as it relates to the possible differences between what gods and
human beings consider fair; justice as it relates to violence and non-violence.”

Facilitating Activities at the Rubin Museum

The Rubin Museum of Art offers free admission during regular hours for John Jay College students, faculty, and staff. The RMA also has vast resources about exhibitions and Himalayan Art and Culture available on line and on their iTunes U website.

Form of Submission

In order to be considered by the jury, an essay must be typewritten and submitted in hard
copy. No e-mailed or faxed entries will be considered. The essay must be between 1000 and 3000 words long. The student must submit four copies of the essay to the Office of Honors, Awards, and Special Programs during the submissions period stated elsewhere in these rules. The first copy of the essay must be accompanied by a detachable title page bearing the name of the student and the last four digits of his/her Social Security Number. The remaining pages of all copies of the submission must include the last four digits of the Social Security Number and no other identifying information.

Judging of the Contest & Selection of Finalists

All timely submissions from qualified contestants shall be reviewed by a jury of three full-time instructors chosen from the John Jay faculty. The jury shall consist of one representative each from the departments of English, philosophy, and art and music and shall be appointed by the Dean of Undergraduate Study in consultation with the chairs of the three aforementioned departments. The jury shall select three finalists and will communicate the partial Social Security Numbers associated with those essays to the Director of Honors, Awards, and Special Programs. The finalists shall not be made public until the final award of the prize has also been determined.

Selection of Award Recipient

The essays of the three finalists will be reviewed by the Faculty Director of the John Jay Undergraduate Honors Program, who shall then announce the winner of the Prize. The names of the winner and the two other finalists shall be published in the campus publication At John Jay and on the John Jay website.


The Rubin Essay Award shall consist of a certificate, a one-year complimentary pass to the Rubin Museum, and three cash award in the amount of $3000, $2000, and $1000, to be
underwritten by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

Periods for Submissions
and Decisions:

The jury shall accept submissions from January 15 to February 15 of the year of the contest. The jury shall select the three finalists no later than March 15. The Faculty Director shall announce the results of the contest.

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