The Valpo Core Reader

The Valpo Core Reader (formerly the Freshman Reader: A Magazine of Student Writing) collects and honors excellent writing from Valparaiso University students who have been through the Valpo Core Program the previous year. These essays address a wide variety of texts and topics and include many genres of writing, including argumentative papers, personal narratives, and more. Main themes are drawn from the curriculum of the Core Program, which is arranged according to important aspects of human experience: origins, education, love, leadership and service, work and vocation, and matters of "life and death."


We welcome submissions from Valpo Core faculty and students. Submissions may be sent to core@valpo.edu.

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Leadership and Service Essays

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The Journey of the Damned (2011), Nick Goodman

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There Is No Commandment Greater Than These (2012), David Rutkowski

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Family Honor (2012), Taylor Ward

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Pilgrimage to Nonviolence: Part 2 (2012), Erin Watkins

Education Essays

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Don’t Bank on Today’s Education (2012), Donny Scheffler

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Defining the Purpose of Education (2012), Emily Steinbacher

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The Best Education Lies in the Middle (2011), Chuandi Zhao

Film Review Essays

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Billy Elliot Film Review (2012), Louise Conces

Life and Death Essays

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The Beauty of Death (2011), Mohammad Albalooshi

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The Human Experience in Regards to Self-Sacrifice (2012), Louise Conces

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Between Truth and Service (2011), Anthony Dary

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The Experience of a Life Time (2012), Christina Healy

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The Significance of Stories (2011), Megan Marimen

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There and Now (2012), Nathaniel Shields

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Living, Working, and Learning Together: A Study of the Human Experience (2012), Vicky Zaplatosch

Love Essays

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The Tales of Two Love Stories (2011), Rachel Gilman

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Love Takes Action (2011), Sara Meeter

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Love Has No Boundaries (2012), Stefan Mukoski

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Can't Buy Her Love (2011), Justin Phillips

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Love Manifested in Hospitality (2012), Christy Warner

Origins Essays

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A Picture “Perfect” Life (2012), Avery Blackburn

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Grenade in Grenada (2012), Sean Hatfield

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Airborne (2012), Darren Lo

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My Origins (2012), Danny Mosco

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Jason and Amanda vs. the World (2012), Amanda Riley

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Me, Myself, I, and Alex (2011), Andrew Vande Guchte

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First Lesson—To Be Modest (2011), Yang Wu

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Pangu and Ancient China (2011), Weiwei Yao

Portfolio Introduction Essays

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Experience (2011), Anthony Dary

Student Papers

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Two Ways to Run a Baseball Team (1984), Richard Bellas

Work and Vocation Essays

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Connections: Inside and Out (2011), Heather Albertson

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Answering the Call (2012), Andy Alessio

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A Profession of the Mind, Soul, and Body (2012), Louise Conces

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Behind the Badge (2012), Nicole Maenza

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Wearing Blue (2011), Brooke Vail

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Jeanne Wittmann, PTA: Patient, Temperate, Admirable (2011), Travis Wittmann