Evin Hughes Recognized Nationally

Grace Huseth

Today Evin Hughes is attending a Benefit Gala in New York City, shaking hands with Muhammad Ali and receiving the Muhammad Ali Writing Award for Ethics for his essay Float Like a Plane, Sting Like a Bomb: The Ethics of US Drone Attacks.

Hughes is majoring in Information Technology and Writing and Linguistics with a minor in Criminal Justice and specialization in Networking and Administrative Telecommunications at Georgia Southern University.  His interest in writing has just as much variety as his multiple areas of study.

“I like to do an array of different types of writing, ranging from fiction to poetry to creative nonfiction,” Hughes said.

Hughes also likes to write about the injustices of today’s world, and this drive to communicate these injustices is what inspired Hughes to write the essay.

“I have been inspired by the voices of people whose homes and lives have been devastated by America, like the voices of the family members of nine civilian boys, killed in March 2011 by a drone strike in Afghanistan,” Hughes said.

Hughes plans to utilize his short trip with allowing some time for site seeing.

“Even though I will only be there for a short time I plan on visiting Central Park and its famous Bethesda Fountain,” Hughes said.

One of the judges of the writing contest was Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel.  Dallas said that what is further impressive about Hughes’ essay was that “someone of Elie Wiesel’s stature thought the essay was that phenomenal.”

Hughes was able to find a medium through which to express his views when Dr. Phyllis Dallas, associate professor of the Writing and Linguistics department, saw an announcement sent to creative writing faculty of a new writing contest on ethical matters.

“I saw that there was this writing contest and announced it to my students. It was under really fortunate circumstances that he had already been doing reading and research,” Dallas said.

In order to find further guidance on the subject, Hughes consulted a book titled The Wars We Inherit: Military Life, Gender Violence, and Memory by Dr. Lori Amy, who is associate professor of GSU’s Department of Writing and Linguistics.

By the end of this summer he had completed an essay in which he argued the unethical use of drones employed by American organizations.

“There are a plethora of reasons why drones are unethical agents for war touched on in my essay,” Hughes said.

This submission, with its style of writing and relevant content, stood out to the judges as a work that represented the award’s mission to honor Muhammad Ali’s legacy of promoting ethical living.

Hughes’ success should be seen as an inspiration to the rest of the GSU community, and in particular, writers.

Dallas said, “The creative writing faculty hears about student contests all the time. It is possible to submit and achieve.”