Stand Up PSU

The Rock Ethics Institute inaugurated the Stand Up Award to honor Penn State undergraduate students who have demonstrated courage, fortitude, and ethical leadership by taking a stand for a person, a cause, or a belief. This award and the individuals it honors should remind the entire Penn State community of how often the extraordinary act is possible in ordinary circumstances.
by admin Oct 26, 2015

In 2015:

Melissa McCleery Stand Up CATA image

Melissa McCleery met the challenge, stood up, and made a difference by helping to combat sexual violence by educating others to stand up for the dignity and respect of all persons. 

Carolyn McDonald Stand Up CATA image

Carolyn McDonald met the challenge, stood up, and made a difference in poverty relief efforts in Haiti by mobilizing her peers and developing education programming for Haitian students. 

Parker Werns Stand Up CATA image

Parker Werns met the challenge, stood up, and made a difference in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equity by advocating for underserved queer communities at Penn State and beyond. 

Meet the 2015 Stand Up Honorees

Video: Michael Podolski, Blackbird Media Group, Inc.

To learn more about their individual stories, visit the 2015 Stand Up Awards page.

What do you need to Stand Up?

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. 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
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 and activism 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

What can you do?