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Sept. 21, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab



SRU Alumni Association honors five as ‘Distinguished Alumni’


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Five Slippery Rock University graduates will be honored as “Distinguished Alumni” when the SRU Alumni Association hosts its annual awards dinner Oct. 14.

           The 5 p.m. event will be in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center as part of homecoming weekend.

           The award honors graduates who have translated their SRU experience into distinguished service in public, business, professional, educational, or service and philanthropy to the SRU community.

           This year’s recipients are:

·        U.S. Navy Capt.  (Ret.) Kathlene Contres, a 1977 SRU College of Health, Environment and Science health education graduate, who, during her military career, was the Navy’s highest-ranking, female, Hispanic, line officer as commandant of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute. She earned seven military decorations and six other awards and recognition. She taught from 1977-1980 before joining the Navy and earned a master of science degree from San Diego State. She makes her home in Melbourne, Fla.;

·        Sandra Kalin, a 1964 College of Education elementary education graduate, who is principal at Bethel Lutheran School in St. Louis, Mo. The U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals recognized her as a National Distinguished Principal. Under her leadership, her school was the first in the country to achieve national accreditation through the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association. She makes her home in St. Louis, Mo.;

·        Sam Kiefer, a 1979 College of Education physical education graduate, who is vice president for investments and senior managed account consultant for UBS Wealth Management, North America. He also is certified as an accredited investment fiduciary and is a member of the Boston Estate Planning Council and the Investment Management Consultants Association. He previously served as senior associate athletic director overseeing fundraising programs at Boston College, Temple University of South Alabama, the University of Pittsburgh and Tulane University. He earned his masters degree from Ohio University and makes his home in Wayland, Mass.;

·        Peter Oesterling, a 1978 College of Business, Information and Social Sciences, Education political science graduate, who began his legal career at Nationwide Insurance 25 years ago providing in-house legal counsel. In addition to his successful law career, he has served on the SRU Alumni Association board of directors and the SRU Council of Trustees. He established the Peter J. Oesterling Family Scholarship Fund at SRU. He earned his law degree from New Hampshire College and makes his home in Baltimore, Ohio; and 

·        Bruno Raso, a 1961 and 1966 College of Education graduate, who as a college athlete was named All-America, in the U.S. Army was named Soldier of the Month, in his professional career was named Allegheny County Elementary Principal of the Year and has been honored by Duquesne University as Allegheny County Outstanding Superintendent. He earned his masters degree in administration at Duquesne University and his doctorate of education at Nova Southeastern University. He also earned superintendent certification at Youngstown State University. He makes his home in Aliquippa.

           Recipients also must distinguish themselves by reaching the highest level of accomplishment and possess the highest standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of Slippery Rock University,” said Tracy Allison, assistant director of alumni engagement at SRU. “To be eligible, nominees must have graduated from or attended SRU at least 20 years ago.”

           A committee comprised of SRU alumni, faculty and staff select the recipients. Nominations are solicited from alumni, friends, family members, faculty, administration and students.

           Dinner reservations, $25, are due Oct. 10 and may be made by calling 724.738.2018.


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.