Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity announces 2021 Teaching Human Dignity resource contest winners

By Anna Bradley

Teaching Human Dignity Resource Contest Winners AnnouncedTeaching Human Dignity Resource Contest Winners Announced

Notre Dame, IN — The Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity in the McGrath Institute for Church Life is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 University of Notre Dame Teaching Human Dignity contest. Contest applicants were challenged to develop instructional plans and materials that address life and human dignity issues to create a rich, powerful learning experience for high school students. Three winners were selected this year.

Unit/Lesson Resource Winners

  • Grand prize: Sr. Eva Marie, O.P., student at Aquinas College, Nashville, TN ($900)
  • First runner-up: Eric Eble, Archbishop Moeller High School, Cincinnati, OH ($500)
  • Second runner-up: Deborah Sucich, St. Saviour High School, Brooklyn, NY ($350)

As the grand prize winner, Sr. Eva Marie’s unit, “Dignity of the Sick and Suffering” will be included in the Office of Life and Human Dignity’s Teaching Human Dignity series. The goal of this unit is for students to begin to understand the meaning and value of suffering; distinguish between true and false compassion; and recognize that authentic respect for human dignity prompts us to alleviate suffering, but not at any cost—it also prompts us to help people accept and be transformed by their suffering.

According to the contest judges, all of whom have a background in education or actively serve as educators, “This is the type of learning that should be taking place across the board at Catholic schools. Theological issues and the Catholic worldview are not just limited to the theology classroom but are infused in every subject. This resource beautifully infuses the Catholic worldview into an English class in a genuine, substantial way.”

First runner-up Eric Eble is a graduate of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program and submitted a unit, “Building Bridges to Address Injustice: Rhetoric and Race,” that challenges students to consider the meaning of justice and construct their own letter on issues of racial justice. Second runner-up Deborah Sucich’s unit, “The Science of Hormonal Birth Control,” invites students to explore the physical, genetic, and environmental harms of contraception.

The contest elicited over 30 submissions from pre-service and in-service educators ranging in instruction from 9th-12th grade. Submitted materials covered a variety of subject areas including english, theology, computer science, science, and social studies. All submissions were original instructional resources that reflected both the characteristics of high-quality learning and the mission of the Teaching Human Dignity series. This was the contest’s second year.

Jessica Keating, program director of the Office of Life and Human Dignity comments, “We were pleased to read so many excellent submissions that revealed the breadth of great teachers across the country already doing such important work. We hope that this contest will continue to allow us to expand the reach of these teachers to other classrooms by making the materials freely available in the Teaching Human Dignity series.”

If you are interested in receiving the new Teaching Human Dignity resources when they become available, enter your email address below.

Contact: Brett Robinson, director of communications, 574-631-6109,