College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Junior Biology, Political Science Major Wins in National Essay Competition

Steven Moreton of Cleveland, a junior at the University of Mississippi, has been named a winner in a national essay competition. As part of the prize, he is in New York and Washington, D.C., this week (Oct. 16-24) to attend the Executive Leadership Council’s weeklong Honors Symposium.

Moreton, a biology and political science major, won the expense-paid trip, along with a $3,000 scholarship, for placing fifth in the National Business Essay Competition, coordinated by the Executive Leadership Council, with the Coca-Cola Co. as the 2011 corporate sponsor.

As guests of the ELC, Moreton and nine other winners are in New York to participate in meetings at corporate offices on Wall Street and the financial district in Manhattan, and attend the council’s Mid-Level Managers’ Symposium, featuring presentations by minority managers and career coaches.

The young scholars are also invited to the council’s 25th Anniversary Gala, where guests will include corporate executives, special musical and theatrical entertainers from recording and television, congressional leaders and top-ranking elected and White House officials. They will see the sights in New York and attend a Broadway musical. On a daylong trip to Washington, D.C., they are slated to visit the White House and congressional offices, and engage with ELC members and Coca-Cola sponsors.

At Ole Miss, Moreton holds an Academic Excellence Scholarship, and he is a member of IMAGE, a support group to help open gateways of opportunity to all minority science, engineering and math students.

Moreton said he found the essay opportunity online and decided to enter  even though the essay subject was outside the realm of his majors. The essay was based on the question: What is America’s role in the international business community? He said he was surprised when he received word that he was a winner; however, a couple of his professors agree that Moreton is indeed a very capable student.

“I have been teaching since 1975, and I can say that if I had to pick the most remarkable student after all of these years, it would be Steven Moreton,” said Ann Phillippi, biology instructor. “Steven never misses an opportunity – not only does he not miss an opportunity, he creates them himself, then succeeds in taking advantage of them. And, as important as his academic and intellectual achievements are, his approach to others is equally impressive. He is so fair-minded, so non-judgmental and so kind that he is destined to become a very well-educated, accomplished leader.”

Jon Winburn, assistant professor of political science, concurred.

“Steven is a smart and energetic student, who has excelled in both classes he has taken under me,” Winburn said. “From an academic standpoint, he provides a model for other students, as he comes to class prepared and asks important and insightful questions during class. His performance has been stellar, as he not only has an intellectual grasp of the material but also puts in a dedicated effort.”

Moreton, who graduated from Cleveland High School, admits that he did not do his best in high school, but he eventually saw the need to change.

“The summer after I graduated, I realized I had not tried like I should have, and I made up my mind to become a better person – more focused on what’s important,” he said.

He first enrolled at the University of Miami, because he had relatives in that area, but he soon decided it was not the place for him, and he transferred to Ole Miss.

“The people here are more personal, willing to help and go beyond their duty, from the professors to the custodians,” he said.

As for his future career, Moreton says he has long wanted to be a biologist, but he has not ruled out looking into medical school. He gives a lot of credit for his upbringing to his great-grandmother, Otha Mae Bush of Cleveland.