We're very pleased indeed to announce that this year's winner of the annual JASNA Essay Contest at the undergraduate level is Mary E. Pinkes, a graduate of Jamesville-DeWitt High School near Syracuse, and currently a student at Mount Holyoke College. Her winning essay, entitled "Abilities, Affections, and the Art of Pleasing: The Ascent of Lucy Steele and Penelope Clay," can be read at this link. (How well this would have tied in with our discussion of "villains and schemers" in Binghamton in May! We hope it may be possible to organize a future Syracuse Region meeting around Mary and the essay, whenever her Mount Holyoke schedule permits.)
Mary's mentor in writing the essay was one of her teachers at JD High School, Constance Myers-Kelly. Both Mary and Constance have received one-year memberships in JASNA as part of their awards, and both have been invited to this year's JASNA Annual General Meeting in Brooklyn in October for the essay award ceremony at the Saturday evening banquet. In addition, Mary will receive a scholarship check for $1000 and a set of JA's novels in the Norton Critical Editions. Hearty congratulations and a warm welcome to the Syracuse Region to them both!