Four share Fabilli-Hoffer essay prize


2 staffers

Staff members Nellie Haddad, left, and Joanne Sandstrom — two of this year’s four Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize winners — kid each other about their first-place essays.Addressing the topic “If Only,” the pair shared the top spot with two student winners, making it the first time that four contestants have split the award.
Peg Skorpinski photo

13 March 2002 | Two Berkeley staff and two undergraduate students will share this year’s Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize for their insights on the theme “If Only….”

The staff winners are Joanne Sandstrom, a principal editor in the Institute of East Asian Studies, and Nellie Haddad, a student affairs officer in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science. Also tying for first place were undergraduate students Eric Walton and Joseph Kim. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $750 for his or her essay of 500 words or less.

Haddad was “surprised and pleased” by the news. “I wasn’t expecting it,” she said.

Sandstrom was jubliant. “Alaska, here we come,”she said, thinking she might use her prize money to fly to Alaska, see friends and meet her son, a sailor, in July. “Drinks are on me,” she joked.

Honorable mentions went to undergraduate students Jimmy Tran, Karen Lam and Lynley Lys, and to staffer Carol Wood, scholarship program coordinator in the Financial Aid-Undergraduate Scholarship Office.

The award is the only campus prize open to students, faculty and staff alike, and is given each year through a special fund set up in 1970 by philosopher Eric Hoffer.

Hoffer believed that every idea could be expressed in less than 200 words. However, contestants are given 300 extra words to meet his challenge.

See links below for Haddad’s and Sandstrom’s essays.


Dreamers and visionaries, by Nellie Haddad
If only, by Joanne Sandstrom


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