A Day That Puts Student Achievement Front and Center

All day and all over campus, the Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) offers a menu of student research, interests and talents. A dance titled “Choices, Changes, Changes,” a Bonner leader panel and a prize for an essay on ethics were just some of the food for thought.

La’Shante Cox ’16 created a dance/theater piece that delves into what it means to make a choice. She spent the last two semesters researching how to create a successful production and developing the choreography to tell the story. “People take chances, to make choices that can potentially change their lives for the better,” she said. “My message to the audience is that they have the option to take any path because every path is potentially the right path” as a learning experience, she said.

The evening performance, which engaged some 130 audience members and involved 18 students in the production, was one of many presentations April 21 during the Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA).

According to CoSA organizer Kelly Sorensen, associate dean, the number of presentations this year grew by 30, and more attendees were noted in most presentations. Hundreds of students from first-years to seniors, from almost every discipline, presented talks and poster presentations, ranging from “Achievements of Ursinus Athletics” (Athletics) to “Overview of the Boron Family” (Chemistry) to “Spoken Word Poetry Slam” (Creative Writing) to a Bonner leader presentation.

The prize for the Richard T. Schellhase Essay Prize in Ethics was awarded during CoSA. The first prize of $3,000 was awarded to Alex Lowe for the essay, “Reparations for Racism: Why the Persistence of Institutional Racism in America Demands More than Equal Opportunity for Black Citizens”

Jordan Ostrum took the second prize of $2,000 for the essay, “Feminist Futures and Campus Changes: Dismantling Ursinus College’s Greek Life.” Alicia Baker won the third prize of $1,000 for “Raj Rajaratnam: Cheater.”

Will Abele ’61 developed the contest to honor the Rev. Richard T. Schellhase ’45, a teacher and wrestling coach who is still an active scholar. The contest has grown to 57 entries. Five alumni judges selected the winners. The U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies sponsors the competition. – W.G.