Single Showker Prize Team Works Towards Creating Unbiased News Source For Students

Six Bridgewater College Students are Working to Launch Solo Scholar


Kate Dear

(from left to right) First-year Caroline Griffin, sophomores Anton Kopti, Abby Gaver, Savannah Scott, Kate Dear, Elizabeth Gaver. Members of Solo Scholar hold both virtual and in-person meetings as they work to launch their website.

Sienna Sullivan, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Bridgewater College’s Annual Showker Prize looks a little different in 2021. In addition to being held virtually, there will only be one team of students competing for the $5000 cash prize sponsored by the Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership. 

The Showker Prize is a yearly competition aimed to develop the leadership skills and teamwork abilities of Bridgewater College students. A cash prize is awarded to an interdisciplinary team of students who outstandingly invent creative solutions to address a problem.

This year’s only competing team aims to create a website, Solo Scholar, where students can find unbiased news sources discussing current social issues. 

“There is so much on social media, you never know what is true,” said freshman team member Caroline Griffin. “So many times, I am looking at things and I don’t know what the truth is, and I think it is so important to find it and be educated about it.”

The group not only hopes to pool a variety of unbiased sources, but they will also be examining sources as a diverse-minded group themselves.

“All of us in the group come from different backgrounds and have opposing views on different social issues,” said sophomore team member Kate Dear. “We all value making your own opinion on a social issue and being informed on that opinion.”

Right now, the creative minds behind Solo Scholar are focusing on campus outreach and gauging student interest for their website.

“We are going to have a table set up soon, and we hope to get flyers out,” said Griffin. “At the moment we are focusing on how to promote our website and our Instagram.”

Though they will be the only team in the competition, the group’s final project will still be scrutinized by a panel of judges.

“[The judges] will say, based on the product we have come out with, what we do or don’t deserve to get,” said Dear in regards to the potential $5000 cash prize. 

Team members emphasized the skills working on a Showker team imparts, including collaboration, leadership experience and forming new connections with your peers.

“I get to work on a project that’s not just for a grade, and none of us are really doing it for the money,” said Dear. “It’s much bigger than that.”