Farrell woman receives Penn State Rock Ethics 2010 Stand Up Award

Peggy Styles of Farrell, Pa., was one of three Penn State University students to receive this year’s 2010 Stand Up Award presented by the Penn State Rock Ethics Institute at a ceremony on April 25 at the University Park campus. The Stand Up Award, now in its third year, honors Penn State undergraduate students who have the courage to stand up for what they believe and are ethical leaders in their communities. Styles is currently working on her bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies at the Shenango campus and is the founder and coordinator of “Healing the Women Within.”

Winners of the Stand Up Award were chosen because they are able to see a problem in their communities and are committed to fixing it. They actively seek answers to fundamental questions of right and wrong and try to put those answers into every day practice. They use moral imagination to formulate ethical solutions to the problems they face and exhibit positive character traits including honesty, integrity, and caring and seek to improve their community, acting out of unselfish concern for others. Styles' nominator, Penn State Shenango's career services coordinator Heidi Friedrich, said this about her, “Peggy is known throughout the community as having not only the passion to help those in need, but possessing the skills to be an advocate for others. Her attitude toward life is positive and her work is truly inspirational.”

Styles' story began several years ago with the passing of her daughter Chloe. Soon after her tragic loss, Styles recognized a need to help others in her own neighborhood address their issues of loss and grieving. What began as a relatively small group gathering in Styles' living room has since grown into a wide network of services available for individuals and families in the Shenango Valley. Styles' leadership brought together numerous women from various walks of life, all of whom share a common bond—their pain and suffering, and a common desire—to be healed by helping to heal others' pain and suffering. The same motivation that helped Styles form the organization “Healing the Women Within” led her to become involved with both the Pennsylvania Weed and Seed's efforts to improve the quality of life and deter crime in smaller communities and with the Arc House's efforts to provide services for displaced women.

Styles' ethical leadership will continue well beyond her time at Penn State Shenango. In addition to organizing a 2010 conference on women’s issues, she is planning to branch out and take the program she has developed to other parts of the country where individuals and communities are experiencing similar needs. In giving of her time and energy to these causes, Styles is standing up against despair while honoring the memory of her daughter and healing herself by helping others.

This is the second year in a row that a Penn State Shenango student was recognized for this award. In 2009, letters, arts, and sciences graduate Koann Eicher of Sharon, Pa., received the Stand Up Award for her leadership in raising awareness about Pennsylvania's Safe Haven Law, which provides for a safe, legal, and confidential alternative to abandoning a newborn.

The Rock Ethics Institute aims to help people better understand the cultural contexts of ethical problems, disagreements, and responses. It believes that in today’s world, ethical literacy is essential to being active, informed citizens and to living vibrant, professional and personal lives. Call 814-863-0314 or e-mail rockethics@psu.edu or go online to http://rockethics.psu.edu/leadership/standup/ to find out more information.

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Last Updated May 11, 2010