Research Assistant Isaac Richards wins the George H. Brimhall Essay Contest

10.28.2022 | The Maxwell Institute

Isaac Richards, a research assistant at the Maxwell Institute recently won the George H. Brimhall contest with his essay “Parable of the Cane”. Richards currently works for scholar Taunalyn Ford at the Institute.

The George H. Brimhall essay contest honors the founders of Brigham Young University and “promotes understanding and appreciation of BYU’s mission and legacy and the challenges of its great founders. The student who wins each year receives $3000 in prize money. This year’s theme was “Unique in All the World”.

Holding Fast While Fitting In is an essay about wanting to fit in while still standing out. The life of James E. Talmage, an apostle and Brigham Young Academy professor inspired Richards’ essay, along with his own personal experiences.

An excerpt reads: “We all want to fit in, and we all want to be unique. The parable of the cane is about successfully balancing on that tightrope—conforming when it may not matter, but never compromising when it does.” Read his essay here.

His powerful message about staying true to what you know and not joining the crowd was shared at BYU’s Homecoming Ceremony.

When he is not working at the Institute, he is a graduate writing instructor in BYU’s English M.A. program and a Kennedy Center Student Fellow. His research interests include rhetorics, religion and memory. To learn more about Isaac, find his biography here.