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COPLAC Board Establishes Student Award in Memory of David J. Prior

The COPLAC board of directors has established an annual student essay prize in memory of the organization's late President and Chancellor of the University of Virginia's College at Wise, David J. Prior.

The David J. Prior COPLAC Award recognizes two senior-level undergraduates whose academic careers and future goals have been shaped by the transformative power of the liberal arts and sciences experience at a COPLAC institution. Each student's reflective personal essay will highlight one or more of following features of COPLAC's student-centered approach to teaching: emphasis on active learning, ethical reasoning, interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge, community engagement, critical and reflective skills, and connections between liberal learning and informed, active citizenship.

The competition is open to seniors in good standing who will graduate in fall or spring of the academic year in which the essay is submitted. Each campus, using its own review and selection process, will select one essay per year and forward it to the COPLAC Office no later than 30 March. A four-person review panel consisting of emeritus Presidents/Chancellors and Provosts will select the two winners from the essays submitted. Winners will be announced each May 1st. The two winners each will receive an award of $500 and their essay will be featured in the Spotlight section of the COPLAC website and archived in a searchable data base for future reference.

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