Health and Physical Education Major Jessica Ras to Speak at ESU’s Winter Undergraduate Commencement
Jessica Ras, a graduating health and physical education major from Kingston, Pa., is East Stroudsburg University’s student speaker for the winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 14, at 10 a.m. in Koehler Fieldhouse. Ras was selected from a pool of student speaker candidates.
Criteria for student speaker candidates includes: a minimum 3.0 grade point average entering the fall semester; a demonstrated record of service to the university community and a record of leadership and cooperation; demonstrated evidence of meaningful extra/co-curricular involvement; and must be in good academic standing.
Ras currently has a 3.955 cumulative grade point average. Throughout her years at East Stroudsburg University, she has been a committed and involved member in many clubs and organizations, including the International Buddy Program, Captains Council and the Health and Physical Education Club. With these clubs and organizations, she also has served on several university-wide committees, such as the homecoming committee, food committee, strategic planning and implementation committee, and the tutoring task force.
A member of the East Stroudsburg University softball team for four years, Ras served as captain for the 2012-2013 seasons. She has been an active member of the ESU Student Senate for seven semesters, served as the recruitment chair for the “Warrior Elite” Student Ambassador Program for six semesters and has been president and vice president/president elect for the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society.
In addition, Ras has represented ESU by serving as a presenter at the PSAHPERD (Pennsylvania State Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) State Convention and the PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) Annual Diversity Summit.
Ras’ volunteer work includes being a guest speaker for the American Red Cross and the Pennsylvania State Little League tournament. She volunteered at the university’s women in sports day clinics, ESU’s softball team clinics, the Stroudsburg Head Start Christmas parties and the Pocono Mountain ironman triathlon. She has been a volunteer assistant coach for the softball team at Meyers High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and through personal initiative, raised money for the Medical Oncology Associates “MOA Prescription Fund” via her “Pillows for Patients” fundraiser.
Ras has received many honors and awards, including having been named Homecoming Queen for the 2012-2013 academic year. She also received the East Stroudsburg University “Winning Warrior” Award, the highest award given through the ESU athletics department. Ras is a member of Who’s Who Among American College Students and is also an East Stroudsburg University APSCUF (Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty) Honor Student.
Ras has been honored as a NASPE (National Association for Sport and Physical Education) Health and Physical Education “Major of the Year” and also a PSAHPERD Outstanding Future Professional. Through athletics, she has received the ESU softball coaches’ award, PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) Scholar Athlete Award, and the Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award. Along with being on the Dean’s List, she has been named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
“Through my academic, athletic, and co-curricular involvement, ESU has provided me with the experience I need to become an accomplished member of the professional community,” Ras said. “East Stroudsburg University has afforded me the opportunity to form relationships that I will always value. Along with this, ESU has inspired me to set high goals and strive toward excellence. I will forever treasure my time as a Warrior.”
After graduation, Ras plans to teach in the field of Health and Physical Education and coach a high school softball team. In addition, she would like to pursue a master’s degree and earn her Ph.D. Ultimately, she would like to one day write a book that gives hope to children and young adults who are battling leukemia and other cancers.