UMA-Rockland student wins Camden Conference essay contest

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 10:45am

Two University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) students received the first and second place awards in a essay contest by The Camden Conference. The college and university student essay contest theme: ‘Is This China’s Century?’ 

Pamela Schaltenbrand placed first with her essay, China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Melissa Verburgt was awarded the second prize for her essay, The Future of U.S.- China Trade: Partners or Opponents.

Both students attend classes through UMA’s Center locations, Schaltenbrand at the UMA Rockland Center and Verburgt at UMA Ellsworth Center.

Both essays can be found at

According to the Camden Conference, in a news release, “This award was established by Captain Bill Taylor who was a longtime supporter of the Camden Conference and of education programming. Captain Taylor had a distinguished career as a Naval Officer, an Academic in Warfare Science, and Director of Long Range Strategic Planning for Anti-Submarine Warfare at the Pentagon. His career took him all over the world during various wars, and his creative influence on Naval Warfare lingers.”

Education programs of the Camden Conference are designed to promote knowledge, perspectives, and dialogue opportunities on world affairs with high school and college educators and their students. Several Maine high schools and colleges offer academic courses based on the annual Conference topic. Twenty percent of the nearly 1200 Conference attendees are high school and college students who receive Camden Conference scholarship funding to defray their registration cost. The students who enter the essay contest do not have to be enrolled in a Camden Conference course, but they do have to attend the Conference.

First prize in the high school contest went to Sophie Laurence from Gould Academy, for her essay Cybersovereignty: Redefining Digital Citizenship in the Cyber Era. Jennifer Simon from Piscataquis Community High School won the second prize for her essay A Global Solution. Third prize went to Caitlyn Drinkwater from Piscataquis Community High School, for her essay Human Rights in China.

The basis of the college student contest is the submission of an evidence-based research paper focused on one specific challenge that confronts the United States and its relations with China today as discussed during the 2019 Camden Conference Is This China’s Century?

The Camden Conference was founded in 1987 as a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization with a mission to foster informed discourse on world issues.