Skip to main content





March 6, 2012
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab



Madden lands student speaker spot


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Jessica Madden, a Slippery Rock University elementary education and dance major from Frederick, Md., with a 4.0 grade point average, has been selected as the student speaker for the University’s April 1 Academic Honors Convocation. The event recognizes more than 3,000 students for their academic achievements.

           The 2 p.m. event is in Morrow Field House. Parents and family members of the honorees have been invited.

           The annual convocation, which launches the University’s Honors Month, will include recognition of Presidential Scholars, academic honor society members, last spring and fall’s dean’s list students, scholar athletes, community service learning scholars, academic scholarship recipients and the Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award nominee. The President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the President’s Award for Outstanding Service will be presented.

           Madden, who will graduate in December, was an SRU Presidential Scholar in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and a College of Education Senior Presidential Scholar in 2011 and 2012. She received the Lucy Isacco Sack Academic Year Dance Scholarship, the McKeag Education Scholarship and the SRU Honors Program Scholarship (four years). Her address is titled, “The Million Dollar Question.”

             She said she enrolled at SRU because of its beautiful campus, its academic programs, the ability to major in both of her passions – teaching and dance – and the many international study opportunities offered.

           As part of her dance major studies, she spent a semester studying the classical Indian dance form of Bharata Natyam. As an Honors Program student she visited Greece as part of a course taught by Richard Findler, professor of philosophy.

           “This experience enabled me to truly gain an understanding and appreciation for the past, present and future of Greece and its people. In order for a society to function cohesively and harmoniously, one has to recognize and acknowledge the difference between its members. Beyond recognition however, one has to find an appreciation and mutual respect for those differences, even if they are unfamiliar, because at the end of the day, we are more similar than we are different. All of my experiences, both here at SRU and abroad, have taught me this,” she said.

           Her campus activities include being a member of the Honors Program since 2008, a participant in the SRU Dance Theatre, both as a dancer and choreographer, including the Senior Synthesis Dance Concerts and an appearance as a dancer and minor character in the SRU theatre department’s presentation of “Cymbeline.”

She served as assistant choreographer for the 2009 production of “Cabaret” and has been active in the dance department, including service as a member of the crew for the SRU Jazz and Tap Ensemble and stage manager for the department’s winter concert.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.