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April 4, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU names convocation speaker

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Taylor Shenberger, a Slippery Rock University senior accounting major, has been selected to deliver the address at SRU's April 5 Academic Honors Convocation. Her topic will be "Opportunities Abound."

The 1:30 p.m. event in Morrow Field House is expected to draw nearly 3,000 students, parents and family members. The convocation honors academic achievement, including those earning presidential scholarships, dean's list honors, academic honorary societies, scholar athletes, service learning scholars and scholarship recipients.

President Cheryl Norton will also present the annual President's Awards.

Shenberger was selected, in part, because of her demonstrated motivation in obtaining 10 scholarships to help finance her education and the fact she will graduate a year early.

She has a 4.0 grade point average and works 20 hours per week.

She plans to graduate in May and is an SRU Presidential Scholar and Gold Key National Honor Society Member. She recently traveled to Italy as part of the University's "Retail Management" course's spring break international study program.

As an SRU student, she has interned with SRU's Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, working on advertising for the North Country Brewing Co. in Slippery Rock. She has also served as a student worker for the Secondary Education Office and has worked for Giant Foods Store in Dover since 2009.

Shenberger is a member and secretary of the Student Accounting Society and has served as executive vice president and vice president of alumni relations for Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity.

She will join UPMC's cost management department following graduation.

Others being honored at the convocations are: Thomas Sparrow, instructor of philosophy, who will receive the 2014 President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement; Bruce Orvis, associate professor in the SRU School of Business, who will receive the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching; Wendy Stuhldreher, professor of public health and social work, who will receive the newly created President's Award for Outstanding Academic Advising; and Nicholas McIntire, constituent services and database assurance manager in Advancement Services, who was selected to receive the President's Award for Outstanding Service.

Rebecca Burcher, a graduating senior from Walnut Creek, Calif., will be recognized as this year's winner of the Syed Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence presented by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. She is the first student from SRU to be selected to receive the award.

Burcher was nominated by SRU and will receive the award's medallion and $1,000 in Harrisburg as part of an upcoming PASSHE board of governor's meeting.

Ali-Zaidi nominees must demonstrate outstanding academic performance; be recognized by members of the university faculty; participate in extra/co-curricular activities; and submit an essay addressing how the university has prepared them for the next step in their career.

The Ali-Zaidi Award is presented annually to a graduating senior at one of the 14 PASSHE universities. It was crated by Syed Ali-Zaidi, a charter member of the PASSHE board of governors in honor of his grandfather Mir Wilayat Hussain.

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.