Denise Malberti, Patton Junior High School ninth-grader, was named the first-place winner of the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum 2020 essay contest April 20. Submitted photo

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

“This paper argues that today’s U.S. Army primacy in transportation capabilities is the result of significant technological developments that marked the evolution of the Army from the Frontier Era to World War 1.”

This was the thesis that led to Denise Malberti, Patton Junior High School ninth-grader, being named the first-place winner of the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum 2020 essay contest April 20.

Malberti was one of 16 high school students who entered the FFAM contest. All entries were judged on focus and detail; organization; sentence structure, grammar, mechanics and spelling; and research and bibliography.

“We are excited that we were able to continue the contest during this time,” said Stephanie Hixson, FFAM vice president. “We changed essay submission and judging from mail and in-person to e-mail to lessen contact and unnecessary trips to the post office. It seemed to work out well.”

Malberti said she was surprised when she was informed that she won first place.

“I could not believe it was true. I could not wait to tell my family about it. Also, I am very proud of this achievement because I am not a native speaker,” Malberti said. “I moved from Italy to the United States around two years ago. I knew I had put all my effort into this essay contest but winning the first place was unexpected.

“The biggest thing I learned is to remain confident in my capabilities and stay focused on my objectives,” she said. “I was intrigued by learning how to research a topic and present the information. This was a continuous challenge since I did not know very much about military transportation. I am proud of what I researched and wrote.”

Malberti received $1,000 for her first-place win.

“It is a significant amount of money for a girl my age,” Malberti said. “Still, it will enable me to become even more responsible. I would like to use this money to improve and continue my education.”

Cody Savage, Leavenworth High School senior, won second-place in the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum 2020 essay contest. Submitted photo

Cody Savage, Leavenworth High School senior, said he would use his $500 second-place prize for his education, too, having accepted an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy to study mechanical engineering.

“My future goal is to obtain a commission as an Air Force officer and work in their advanced research technologies division,” Savage said.

Savage said it was an honor to win second place.

“The biggest thing I have learned from this research exercise is how weapon technology has impacted our past military engagements,” he said. “History has always intrigued me, and I would like to see if there is a correlation of how past weapon technology will possibly affect our future.”

Susanna Jones, Leavenworth High School senior, won third-place in the Friends of the Frontier Army Museum 2020 essay contest. Submitted photo

Susanna Jones, LHS senior, was named the $250 third-place winner.

Hixson said FFAM has high hopes for the essay contest winners and all the students who entered.

“We hope students continue to use and improve their writing and research skills while learning new topics and exploring new interests,” Hixson said.

For more information about FFAM, visit ffam.us.

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