Skip to main content




May 2, 2014
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

AVI Fresh salutes SRU's 'Rising Stars'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than 15 Slippery Rock University student leaders, employees and campus organizations were recognized for exemplifying leadership at the AVI Fresh Rising Star Awards Ceremony Tuesday in the Smith Student Center.

AVI Fresh, the campus contract food vendor, sponsored the program that included presentation of 10 Rising Star Awards. The honor includes having a star named for the recipient in the International Star Registry.

SRU's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and Student Government Association coordinated and hosted the event. More than 120 attended. SRU President Cheryl Norton hosted the reception.

Recipients are students who influence positive change, inspire peers, faculty and professional staff and effectively empower an organization's members.

The 2014 Rising Star recipients are:

Katie Hill, an early childhood education major from Stow, Ohio, who is involved in SGA as president elect, the Association of Residence Hall Students, the Green and White Society and other activities;

Matthew Scott, an environmental science major from Greenville, who serves as Building F senator for SGA. He is leading a fundraiser in an attempt to increase revenue for SGA projects.

Timothy Samec, a physics major from Drums, who serves as president of the Triathlon Club at SRU. Samec volunteers as an event manager for Special Olympics and recently directed SRU's campus recreation mini-triathlon.

Lauren Rojek, a resort and recreation management major from Lake View, N.Y., who is captain of the SRU volleyball team, secretary for the student athletic advisory committee and was a member of the 2014 retail management study opportunity in Italy.

Amber Kennedy, a Spanish and professional studies major from Mechanicsburg. She is in the Honors Program, a Watson Hall senator for SGA, a volunteer corps representative, Spanish Club treasurer and Phi Sigma Sigma scholarship chair.

Breanna Bayer, political science major from Meadville, who serves as a SGA senator, participates in the Green and White Society, Alpha Xi Delta, Order of Omega Greek Honorary and the Law Society.

Deedee Evans, a music therapy and chemistry major from Ellwood City, serves as a community adviser in Building B and president of the Music Therapy Club at SRU. She participates in the National Residents Hall Honorary.

Dane St. George, a biology major from Wayland, N.Y., is a community adviser in North Hall and president of the National Residents Hall Honorary at SRU. He is a member of the Spanish and biology clubs at SRU.

Kortnee Koziara, a biology major from Strattanville, who is president of the Beta Beta Beta biology honorary at SRU and vice president of Phi Kappa Phi at SRU. She is a member of the Blue Key Honor Society, a national society that recognizes scholarship and leadership.

Matan Cohen, business major from Rochester, N.Y., serves as president of concerts and comedians for University Program Board and is involved with the Sport Management Association at SRU.

Deb Baker, director of special events, was named Club Adviser of the Year for her leadership with students in the Green and White Society. Exceptional Service to Students honors went to Corrine Gibson, director of multicultural development, Dan Brown, assistant director of housing operations for residence life, and Jodi Katsafanas, assistant professor of special education.

Student Union for Multicultural Affairs was honored with the Cultural Event of the Year Award for Red Ribbon Monologues; the Collaborative Event of the Year Award went to Green and White Society for the 125th Anniversary Birthday Party.

The Physical Health Education Club and department received the Educational Event of the Year Award for a mini convention. University Program Board captured the Entertainment Event of the Year for Conjuring on Campus.

The Green and White Society received the Service Project of the Year Award for a campus cleanup; Rotaract received the Fundraising Event of the Year Award for a Uganda project raffle; Theta Xi received the Greek Organization Event of the Year for Joe Strong, a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Rhoads Hall received the Residence Life Event of the Year for its Halloween Ball.

Alpha Xi Delta received the Greek Organization of the Year Award; Alpha Kappa Psi received the Student Organization of the Year; and the Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts Living-Learning Community received the Living Learning Community of the Year Award.

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.