CORVALLIS, Ore. - Five winning writers have been chosen for "The Great Work: Re-imagining Humanity as the Planet Changes," the first annual sustainability writing contest for Oregon State University students.

OSU's Spring Creek Project and the Student Sustainability Initiative sponsored the contest. Winners receive $100 and a chance to help shape the future.

Charles Goodrich, program director for the Spring Creek Project, said the motivation for the contest is "to encourage students to imagine new ways of thinking about success, community, and happiness as climate destabilization and declining cheap energy lead to environmental, economic and social disruptions."

"We have some ideas about greener technology," said Goodrich, "but the bigger challenge - imagining hopeful stories about better ways of human thriving - has hardly begun."

The contest was funded by a grant from the OSU Student Sustainability Initiative. Erin Harrington, graduate student in English and this year's Spring Creek Project intern, wrote the grant proposal and directed the contest.

The writings will appear in a forthcoming insert of the Daily Barometer, OSU's student-run newspaper, to be published the week of May 16.

Listed by hometown, the winners are:

Bend: Gina Meredith, senior in liberal arts (OSU Cascades) - winning Piece: "Fruition"

Corvallis: Danielle White, senior in wood science and technology - winning Piece: "Buffalo Road"

Portland: Alexis White, graduate student in MFA program - winning piece: "Anadromy"

Shoreview, Minn.: Rebecca Olson, graduate student in MFA program - winning Piece: "Subdivision"

Yachats: Dylan McDowell, freshman in education and fisheries and wildlife - winning Piece: "Riding a Green Bike into a Greener Tomorrow."

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Charles Goodrich, (541) 737-6198