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April 4, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU senior captures PASSHE Ali-Zaidi academic award

Rebecca Burcher, a graduating senior at Slippery Rock University from Walnut Creek, Calif., is this year's winner of the Syed Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence presented by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Burcher, nominated by SRU, is the first SRU student to win the honor, which includes a medallion and $1,000. The formal presentation ceremony will be part of a PASSHE board of governor's meeting in Harrisburg.

SRU will recognize Burcher as part of its Academic Honors Convocation at 1:30 p.m., April 5, in Morrow Field House.

"The candidates for this award are outstanding students and citizens and serve as a testament to the opportunities PASSHE provides not only for success, but to excel," said Frank Brogan, PASSHE chancellor. Each PASSHE university is permitted to submit one nominee.

Burcher has a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate from SRU in May with dual degrees in dance and community programs for Americans with disabilities with a specialization in adapted physical activity. She has been part of the fifth-year master in science program in adapted physical activity at SRU and will earn her master's degree in 2015. She plans to also earn a master of fine arts degree.

Dance faculty said Burcher exemplifies "the meaning of academic and artistic excellence in the quality, inventiveness and creativeness of her work that separate her from her peer group. She brings passion, dedication and an unparalleled level of commitment to all that she does."

"This is a young lady with a vision and the determination to make it happen," SRU President Cheryl Norton said.

Additional details may be found in today's edition of rockpride online.

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.