The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is full of student successes. Here are a few of their stories:
Pittsburgh Asia Consortium Undergraduate Research Conference: Asian Studies faculty mentored students who presented their research at the PAC Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of Pittsburgh.
Emily Gaertner, a senior majoring in philosophy/pre-law and criminology, won Best All-Region Attorney with a near perfect score at the American Mock Trial Association meeting at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She credits her success to her philosophy major: “Studying philosophy has opened my mind to new perspectives, challenged me to analyze theories and arguments from a neutral viewpoint, strengthened my problem-solving skills, and helped me communicate more effectively and efficiently. I strongly believe philosophy is one of the most practical majors one could possibly pursue.”
Cody J. Benjamin, a junior majoring in journalism and public relations, won a Keystone Award from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, for his story published in the HawkEye : “ Favoritism, finance and football at IUP.” Benjamin’s story reported on favoritism, financial contributions, and family connections in IUP’s NCAA Division II football program. Benjamin's story is the most-read in the HawkEye’s history. According to David Loomis, editor of the HawkEye and a professor of journalism and public relations at IUP, “Cody’s story and its half-dozen sidebars reflect some of the most thorough reporting the HawkEye ever has published,” Loomis said. “His work is a model of professional-grade sports journalism, it’s a first-rate example of investigative public-service reporting, and readers clearly responded to it.”
Rachel Applebaum, a graduate student in Geography, won the an IUP Women’s Leadership Award, which is given to women who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and leadership roles in the community. In addition, she also won third place in the graduate level at the Women in Mathematics, Science, and Technology Forum and the Dean’s Award for Excellence for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Graduate Scholars Forum.
Shelby Ledger, who is pursuing a dual baccalaureate degree in K-12 Spanish Education and Spanish, with minors in French and Latin American Studies, has studied abroad both in Costa Rica and Peru. According to Ledger, “I would advise any student to make the most of their time here, to take as many classes as possible and try different majors and different minors, and travel because it opens avenues for the future.”
Laura Ragsdale, an English major, used an independent study to get the experience she needed to work in the music industry. In her words, in order to succeed, students need to: “Play hard and work hard. Have a blast, but don’t lose sight of why you’re here. Create opportunities, make goals, and find people to support you.”
Kyle Murray, an anthropology major, spotted a rare lemur while participating in a five-week field school based in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar. Now he’s considering graduate school in biological anthropology.
Julia McBride, a political science major, is interning in Harrisburg with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This internship has given her valuable professional experience and confirmed her desire to attend law school after graduation. According to McBride, “The Harrisburg Internship Semester program has been a life changing experience.”
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