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Want to change the world? Stand up.

In the classroom, stand up for intellectual rigor and honest achievement.
In the workplace, stand up for the customer and the shareholder.
In the community, stand up for all voices, and for those without a voice.
In your world, stand up.

You can stand up if you have:

  • CONFIDENCE, borne of solid understanding of the tools for ethical inquiry;
  • EXPERIENCE that leads to understanding the possible pitfalls and benefits of speaking out;
  • KNOWLEDGE of the culture, language, and ideals in which ethical norms are embedded.

In the face of difficult challenges, social pressures, and conflicting claims concerning what to do, it takes courage and conviction to stand up for the beliefs that we hold dear. We at the Rock Ethics Institute are extremely proud that one need not look very far to find examples of such courage and conviction among the undergraduate students at Penn State. Community involvement, activism, and philanthropy are clearly alive and well on all of our campuses across the Commonwealth. Because of this, it is especially impressive when a student stands out by standing up in a way that involves:

  • ARTICULATING the particular ethical values and principles that are most relevant to the situation;
  • ASSESSING where really substantive agreements and disagreements occur;
  • MODELING productive ways of addressing disagreements.

In 2008, the Rock Ethics Institute inaugurated the Stand Up Award to honor Penn State undergraduate students who have the courage and fortitude to take an ethical stand for a person, a cause, or a belief in a way that demonstrates this kind of ethical leadership.  It is our belief that this award and the individuals and stories it honors will remind the entire Penn State community of how often the extraordinary act is possible in ordinary circumstances.

Nomination Criteria:

  • enrolled as a full-time baccalaureate student at any Penn State campus during at least one semester of the 2012/13 academic year;
  • demonstrated ethical leadership either at Penn State or in the community;
  • fostered the ethical development of peers.
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