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Freshman’s video about civil civic conversation wins national contest

June 24, 2024

Maze Gusa, who will be entering her sophomore year at Northwood University this fall, is among the national winners of the We The Future contest hosted by Constituting America.

“Maze had an exceptional freshman year at Northwood, and this achievement reflects not only her personal dedication but the values we uphold at Northwood University,” explained Dr. Alexander Tokarev, an economics professor who encouraged Maze, a 19-year-old from Ubly, Michigan, to enter this national contest.

Constituting America is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Americans about the Constitution and the rights and liberties it provides for all. Its keystone program is the national We The Future contest for elementary, middle, high school, and college students.

“My work was inspired by the power of conversation and the ability to advance society when we work toward a common goal,” stated Gusa, who won the best social media video category for her video about the importance of civil civic conversation.

“Conversation isn’t a fight, and civil civic conversation can unite us towards what is right,” Gusa states in her video. “ … Use your First Amendment right — the freedom of speech thoughtfully. The advancement of our society depends upon it.”

As a national winner, Gusa will receive a $2,000 scholarship and a paid trip to Washington D.C.

Outside of her hospitality management studies at Northwood, Gusa serves as vice president of the Michigan FFA Association. In this role, she has had the chance to travel throughout Michigan, in addition to Indiana, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C. Through her travels, she has expanded the impact that agricultural education can have on an individual and while sharing FFA’s mission of “premier leadership, personal growth and career success.”

When she is not busy with school or FFA, Gusa loves to grab a good book, go for a walk, or bake delicious treats like French macarons and cake pops. One day, she hopes to become an event planner or an inspirational speaker.

“Maze seized several opportunities to grow personally and professionally during her freshman year at Northwood, including serving as a presenter at our Outstanding Business Leaders Awards Gala at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn this spring, and then again on June 6 at our President’s Freedom Celebration,” stated Tokarev. “She is an inspiring presenter, and the entire Northwood community looks forward to what she will achieve moving forward.” 

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