Winner named in 9/11 monograph contest

LONG BEACH - A Columbia University student has been named winner of the Richard A. Clarke Graduate Student Monograph Contest.The competition, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, was sponsored by Cal State Long Beach's (CSULB) Center for First Amendment Studies and Graduate students in master's or doctoral programs at United States colleges and universities were invited to take part in the contest, which asked for monographs of no more than 50 pages on the following questions: What lessons have we learned from 9/11? Given the lessons learned, what policy changes would make America more secure? Sara Moller, studying in Columbia's Department of Political Science, captured first-place honors and a $20,000 scholarship for her monograph titled "Lessons Learned and Unlearned: The Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001." Two other prizes were also awarded. Dimitar Georgiev of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, garnered second place and a $10,000 scholarship for his monograph on "Failure of American Strategic Thought and 9/11," and Jennifer L. Freer from the Department of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology, earned third place and a $5,000 scholarship with her entry "The Patriot Act and the Public Library: An Unanticipated Threat to National Security." "We received entries from colleges and universities all across the country, including University of Texas, Harvard University, USC, Georgetown, Columbia, and the like," said Craig R. Smith, director of CSULB's Center for First Amendment Studies. "The three winners were selected by a panel of anonymous judges, all with Ph.D.s, who assessed the monographs in blinded form. That is, the judges did not see who wrote the essays nor what university they came from. The goal of the contest was to analyze the information leading up to 9/11, the United States' subsequent invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and related government decisions and actions in order to provide thoughtful analysis and public policy recommendations to make America more secure. Smith noted that the contest was made possible by a generous grant from Steven C. Markoff, who conceived and compiled the on-line database, All three winners will join Clarke, Markoff, and Smith to receive their awards at a commemoration of 9/11 hosted by New Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews on Wednesday, Sept. 14, on Capitol Hill in Room 2216 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The winning monographs will be posted on the center's website at

********** Published: September 08, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 21