EDINBORO, Pa. – An Edinboro University student has been chosen among candidates at all 14 PASSHE institutions for a prestigious honor and scholarship.
Elizabeth Bennett – a third-year psychology and data analytics major – was recently named the 2020 State APSCUF Scholarship Award winner.
“I was absolutely honored,” said Bennett, whose father, Dr. Daniel Bennett, is a professor in the Math and Computer Science Department at Edinboro and recommended that she apply for the scholarship.
As part of the application process, she was required to write an essay about how community service would fit into her future career.
“As the current plan is to become a professor, I talked about how I could serve the community in that capacity. I discussed community outreach and education,” she said. “I talked about the importance of performing my job to the best of my ability. I know from personal experience how much of a difference a good professor can make in the life of a student, so I plan to always do my best to help and encourage students with any problems they have, class related or otherwise.”
After submission, Bennett admittedly wondered about her chances. The decision was originally slated to be made in August, so when August came to an end, she wondered if someone else was selected.
She then received an email from APSCUF that said the competition was extremely difficult this year, and that the results would be delayed because a second round of scoring was necessary.
“At that point, I was pretty sure that I had been eliminated,” she explained.
Then came the official announcement from APSCUF on Sept. 14.
“The competition for this year’s award was fierce,” the announcement noted. The committee is pleased to announce that you are the recipient of the 2020 State APSCUF Scholarship Award.”
Finding a way to celebrate was easy for Bennett.
“That Friday, we got victory tacos to celebrate,” she said.
In addition to the scholarship award, she was recently featured in Edinboro’s new student-interview series, “The Learning Curve,” where she discussed the award and her experience with virtual learning. Watch the video here.
“I truly love Edinboro, and I could go on about my time here forever. Research with Dr. McLaughlin, Marching Band with Mrs. Smith, the Honors College with Dr. Solberg, the study abroad trip to Ireland with Dr. Jenrette and so many more experiences have made my time here incredible. If I had to list every professor I was thankful for, I would write the name of just about everyone I have encountered,” Bennett said.
As a result of her experience thus far, Bennett wanted to give further advice for getting through virtual learning due to the pandemic.
“Setting a routine helps, but sometimes you need more than that. Support from friends and family is invaluable, and you have to keep a positive attitude,” she said. “Focus on the work you have completed, not on what you still have left to do. And tell yourself that you are doing well, that you are making progress, and that you can and will get through this. Make sure to reward yourself for your accomplishments, even if it’s just making it through a tough day.”
Another resource that Bennett utilizes is Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which provides a range of services on a short-term basis to currently enrolled students. In addition, CAPS provides consultation and referral services for students, faculty, staff and campus professionals.
“After speaking to a counselor, I learned techniques to manage my stress, and I talked through my anxiety,” she said. “Even after just one session I began to feel better. I highly recommend this to anyone who is struggling. I even recommend it to people who are not struggling. Counselors are specially trained to work with people and use techniques to help them grow.”
While virtual learning can be difficult, Bennett looks forward to the future.
“As for my future, it’s hard to choose what I want to do,” she said. “There are so many things I love learning about. It’s difficult to focus on just one.”