Penn State Smeal reveals RISE Above Graduate Student Award recipient

July 22, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Smeal College of Business Director of Honor and Integrity Michelle Darnell recently announced that Nick Tessmer has been selected as the 2019-20 academic year recipient of the RISE Above Graduate Student Award.

Tessmer, who is on active duty in the United States Navy, is a student in the Smeal-led Penn State Online MBA Program (OMBA).

“The Smeal College of Business proudly recognizes OMBA student Nick Tessmer for his courageous commitment to preserving honor and integrity in the Penn State Online MBA classroom,” Darnell said.

“In addition to doing the right thing in a very charged situation, Nick’s reporting of unethical actions that he observed enabled program leadership to dig deeper into their reporting processes and policies and will also enable leadership to use this unfortunate incident as a learning experience to make the Smeal College of Business culture of honor and integrity the strongest it can be.”

The RISE Above Graduate Student Award recognizes a Smeal graduate student who shows ethical awareness and ethical decision-making, and demonstrates an on-going commitment to integrity and ethical behavior. This commitment can be demonstrated by showcasing best practices in the classroom and/or the workplace, leading and inspiring others to aspire to the highest ethic

“It was evident from our very first interaction that Nick was authentically committed to honor and integrity, not just in his academic arena but in his professional and personal life as well,” said Janet Duck, the director of excellence in teaching and learning at Smeal and the academic integrity officer for the OMBA.

“Although Nick never wavered in his decision to take action in this situation, he did so with genuine concern, care, and respect for all involved. Ethical decisions are never easy, but throughout this process Nick exhibited a genuine pledge not only in his role as a student, but to those in his life that nurtured a sense of responsibility and duty that inspire Nick to make difficult decisions and to do the right thing.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2020