The annual Bethany College Scholarship Symposium returns to an in-person format on the morning of April 7. Today, we will feature some students who will present research or projects. For a complete schedule, click here.

BETHANY, W.Va. – Education and self-discipline separate people from being who they aspire to be, said Roselanda Simon, a freshman from Martinsburg, W.Va.

In “Influence of Individualism,” Simon examines the effects of a lack of discipline in a general and societal view and the personal benefit of achieving discipline. She will present at 11:05 a.m. in Richardson Hall 21.

As an example, she points to the wide availability of education in the United States and argues that everyone has the resources to live to their full potential. The disconnect lies in self-discipline.

“This idea was inspired by the study of epigenetics: the occurrence that our genes are not permanent,” Simon said. “They can be influenced and changed based on our environment and attitudes.”

The human body generates from one cell that multiplies into itself. She describes each cell as disciplined to read only a specific part to eventually create a complex and self-sufficient organism.

“Without discipline, cell specialization would not happen,” Simon said. “We would have teeth for hands and eyes for feet. The body would just be a tumor or a blob of cells.”

She applies that idea to a society in which everyone is encouraged to pursue wealth, youth and beauty. Ultimately, they become competitive, money-driven and insecure.

“To be disciplined would mean to reject social norms and be themselves,” Simon said. “It’s easier and more socially acceptable to be like everyone. With self-discipline, people would live to their full potential and feel purposeful. In a society where people are disciplined, we would see less comparisons, less jealously, less resentment, people would be more sympathetic, more understanding, and more forgiving.”

Simon’s personal study was inspired by a human development course she took in Fall 2021 with Dr. Edward Shephard, associate professor of education.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.