University Service Award Presented at ESU’s Winter Commencement
The University Service Award was presented to Jessica Ras of Kingston, Pa., at winter commencement exercises at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, December 14, 2013.
The University Service Award is presented to an outstanding senior who has demonstrated exceptional service to the university through on-campus, extra-curricular activities. To be eligible for the awards, a student must have attended the university for at least two years and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.60 or above.
Despite having been diagnosed during her freshman year with Leukemia, which required nine months of chemotherapy followed by an additional 18 months of a rigorous treatment regimen, Ms. Ras returned to East Stroudsburg University, where she committed herself to the academic and athletic communities.
Ms. Ras, who received her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education on Saturday, was part of 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, Ms. 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, Ms. 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.
Ms. 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 Mountains 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.
The list of honors and awards Ms. Ras has received is extensive and includes 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. Ms. 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.
Ms. 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.
Ms. Ras is the daughter of David and Donna Ras of Kingston, Pa.