Students honored for ethical leadership

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.  – The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State has selected two Penn State students as the recipients of its 2013 Stand Up Awards. These students exhibited extraordinary ethical leadership during their time at Penn State and each leaves behind a legacy that will continue to play an important role in addressing the ethical challenges our community faces.

This year’s honorees are Taryn Noll, Class of 2013, Schreyer Honors Scholar and Paterno Fellow, majoring in communication arts and sciences at the University Park campus; and Gizelle Studevent, Class of 2013, member of the Penn State Lady Lions basketball team, majoring in crime, law, and justice at University Park.

Noll is being recognized for creating the student group The Power of Pink after realizing that no student support group existed at University Park for those, like her, who were dealing with a loved one’s diagnosis of cancer. Her hard work, leadership and commitment to helping others allowed her to develop and grow a network of support for young people at Penn State who are coping with a very difficult situation.

2013 Stand Up Award Winner Taryn Noll

Communication arts and sciences major Taryn Noll tells why she founded The Power of Pink, a support group for students dealing with difficult personal situations such as a family member's illness. The group supports awareness of breast cancer and the importance of such research.

Studevent is being recognized for organizing the group Penn State Athletes Take Action in an effort to help young people learn about and address the problem of bullying. Her leadership, commitment and compassion led her to found an organization of student-athletes that harnesses the power of their status within the community and promises to help countless children to avoid and overcome the negative effects of bullying.

2013 Stand Up Award Winner Gizelle Studevent

Crime, law and justice major Gizelle Studevent, right, launched Penn State Athletes Take Action to help children address the problem of bullying. As a member of the Penn State women's basketball team, she founded an group of student-athletes to help children in the community avoid and overcome the effects of bullying.

Image: Rock Ethics Institute

Nominations for the Sixth Annual Stand Up Awards were sought widely from all campuses and academic colleges across the University. Recipients receive a $1,000 cash award and a certificate, and will be featured in posters promoting ethical leadership across the Penn State campuses.

More information, along with photos and videos, can be found at

The Stand Up Award is one of many programs organized by the Rock Ethics Institute, which promotes the integration of ethics across the Penn State curriculum and supports innovative interdisciplinary ethical research, teaching and outreach. The institute supports curriculum development for new courses or to add ethical dimensions to existing courses; organizes faculty resources and seminars on ethics education; and sponsors conferences, lecture series and research projects, particularly on key themes of bioethics, ethics education, leadership and climate change.

The Rock Ethics Institute is based in the College of the Liberal Arts. More information can be found at

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Last Updated May 19, 2016