Student Essay Contest: Dear Paul Ryan…


Speaker Paul Ryan headshot against a banner of his last name

PHP is thrilled to announce its first student essay contest. The assignment is to imagine you are writing directly to House Speaker Paul Ryan. How do you convince him to make public health a priority as he considers new health reform legislation? What policy or policies do you recommend he enacts? The ideal responses will be engaging, provide compelling evidence, and speak to the current political realities. 

The top three finalists will be published on PHP and the winner will receive $250. There is a strict 1000 word limit. References should have embedded hyperlinks rather than a bibliography at the end. Each submission should also include 3 tweets (not counted against the word limit) that would be used to promote the post and attract attention from Speaker Ryan and other policymakers. The deadline for submissions is Monday January 2, 2017The winning posts will be published the week of Donald Trump’s inauguration, starting on January 16, 2017

Only students (at any level: undergraduate, masters, doctoral) during the 2016-2017 school year are eligible. This includes people graduating in December 2016. You do not have to be in a school of public health. Email Melissa Davenport with any questions:


What: Student essay contest
Question: Imagine House Speaker Paul Ryan will read your post. How do you convince him to make public health a priority in 2017? What policy or policies do you recommend he enacts? Why?
Prize: $250 and publication on Public Health Post
Eligibility: Anybody who is a student during the 2016-2017 school year
Word limit: 1000 words, plus 3 tweets (not counted against word limit)
Deadline: Monday January 2, 2017, by 12:00 midnight EST 
Submit essay to: Melissa Davenport at Indicate your school and expected date of graduation at the top of  the essay.

Image: Paul Ryan gives a speech at the Tampa Bay Times Forum after accepting his nomination for vice president. Photo by Mallory Benedict/PBS NewsHour