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MVCC Student Takes Grand Prize for Garfinkel Essay Contest

MVCC student, Joshua Pawlikowski, was awarded the NYS Community College Grand Prize for this years David A. Garfinkel essay contest, which is hosted by the The Historical Society of the New York Courts. Aside from statewide recognition, Pawlikowski received a $1,500 prize at the annual Law Day luncheon at the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany, NY.

With the generous support of Gloria and Barry Garfinkel, the Society has offered annually since 2008 The David A. Garfinkel Essay Contest established in memory of the Garfinkel's son David. This contest targets students from community colleges across New York State, offering them the opportunity to submit essays on topics of New York legal history. The competition seeks to draw students with a wide range of interests in law, history, social science and general research writing. The grand prize is $1,500, and the CUNY & SUNY Community College Prizes are $1,000 each.

This year’s topic, “Cyberspace and the Law: What Are Our Rights and Responsibilities?” drummed up 77 competitors from over 35 SUNY and CUNY community colleges. With the guidance of Prof. David Katz, Pawlikowski’s essay entitled, “A Slow Eclipse: The Fourth Amendment in the Age of Counter-Terrorism” brought home the top statewide honor.

Pawlikowski, a native of Blossvale, NY, is currently studying International Studies at MVCC and expects to graduate after the Fall semester. “I decided to participate in the contest because I’ve had an interest in cybersecurity for some time now, specifically how bills like CISPA and SOPRE are affecting our society.” Pawlikowski says, “A prime example being their impact on our 1st and 4th Amendment rights.”

After graduation, Pawlikowski hopes to make a career out of creating a public platform for discussion concerning social and political issues through his writing.