Ashley Lee ’21 Wins at ESU-Korea Public Speaking Contest

Ashley Lee ’21 won a Creative Prize for her address at the 2019 English Speaking Union-Korea Public Speaking Contest, held August 24 at Ajou University in Suwon, Korea. She was one of 120 participating students from across Korea.
Contestants were required to address the statement, “The only source of knowledge is experience,” and that’s what motivated Lee to compete. Inspiration came from an ethics course she took with Jason VonWachenfeld (chair of Lawrenceville’s Religion and Philosophy Department). “His class allowed me to have more interest in philosophy in general, and one of many sections of philosophy that I read about and studied over the summer was epistemology, which is related to the competition topic. I thought, ‘Why not I share what I learned and my personal opinion on this matter?’” Lee explained.
Lee said she was “very honored” to receive a Creative Award, which she believes she won for her unique approach to the topic. According to Fourth Former, the majority of the contestants spoke on “how personal experience is so much more powerful than indirect experience. . . . I was the only one who actually discussed the philosophical debates around the claim.”
She continued, “More than the recognition, I was honored for having the opportunity to share my voice, to inform others about the topics I am interested in, and to hear others’ thoughts.”
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