ND launches essay scholarship award in name of longtime Grand Forks representative Eliot Glassheim

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College of Arts & Sciences


Contest grants scholarship to the UND junior who writes the best paper on Capitalism and the Public Good

The University of North Dakota Institute for Philosophy in Public Life’s (IPPL) and longtime Grand Forks legislator Eliot Glassheim have established the new “Eliot Glassheim Essay Award on Capitalism and the Public Good.”

The institute will begin accepting entries in September. The essay contest awards a $500 to $750 scholarship to the UND junior who writes the best essay on a question related to the theme Capitalism and the Public Good.

“This essay contest touches the heart of why anyone can and should do philosophy,” says IPPL Director Jack Russell Weinstein. “It is about examining what we believe and explaining to others what is important to us.”

This year’s question is: “What is the difference between self-interest and greed?”

“Eliot chose the theme because he wanted people to think seriously about the areas of politics that we all take for granted,” said Weinstein. “It is a non-partisan attempt to get people to think about being an American citizen and a citizen of the world.”

All entrants must be enrolled as UND students and have junior standing, although it is open to both full and part time students. Essays must be original, never published and be between 1,500 and 2,000 words in length.

In accordance with IPPL’s mission, entries must also be written for general audiences.

“We want everyone to be able to read the winning essays, not just academics and scholars,” Weinstein said. “Like all of IPPL’s programming, this is an opportunity to create a community-wide discussion.”

By establishing this award, Glassheim, a long-time Grand Forks city official; educator; businessman and proponent of collegiality and respect in the North Dakota Legislature, intends to encourage thoughtful, critical analysis of capitalism's claims.

“I am beyond honored to assist with even this small part of Eliot’s legacy,” said Weinstein. “He has been an inspiration to so many of us and I look forward to watching him award the first prize.”

IPPL will host the contest, which is intended to be an annual offering, as part of its mission to engage in philosophical discussion off-campus and to create discussions “between professional philosophers and those who have interest in the subject regardless of experience or credentials.

In addition to administering this award, the IPPL also produces the popular radio show “Why? Radio,” which can be heard on the second Sunday of each month at 5 p.m., on Prairie Public Radio at 89.3 in Grand Forks, 91.9 in Fargo, 90.5 in Bismarck and on other Prairie Public radio network stations across the state.

About Eliot Glassheim:

Glassheim earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1960 from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. His first impulse after graduation was to delve into journalism, and he held positions at TheWashington Post, and later The Wall Street Journal in New York City. After discovering a love of teaching, Glassheim attended graduate school at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he received a master’s degree (1966) and doctoral (1973) degree in American literature. Glassheim then moved to North Dakota to pursue a professorship in the English Department at UND. He taught for three years (1972-1975) before being elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1975.

He has also been a member of the Grand Forks City Council for more than 20 years. He is married to Dyan Rey and has two children.