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March 24, 2011

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab




SRU Alumni Association names 2011 Outstanding Man, Woman


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The Slippery Rock University Alumni Association has named Christine Lundblad, a senior chemistry and dance major, the 2011 Outstanding Senior Woman of the Year, and Andrew Ryan, a senior environmental geoscience/environmental science major, the 2011 Outstanding Senior Man.

Both dean’s list students are from Pittsburgh. They will be among those recognized at the annual SRU Alumni Association Awards Recognition Banquet scheduled for April 16, 2011, in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center. The event will honor alumni association scholarship winners and this year’s Young Alumni Award winners.

           Lundblad was cited as an “exemplary student. “She came to class intent on gaining as much knowledge about the topic as possible, was conscientious in her understanding. In the laboratory, Christine was hard working, thorough in her laboratory exercise and enthusiastically went about the assignment scheduled. Her laboratory reports were concise and well written. She was one of the top students in lecture and the top student in the laboratory,” wrote one nominator.

           Lundblad has been accepted into the inorganic chemistry doctoral program at Oxford University in England. (A story about that accomplishment is available in today’s edition of rockpride online.)

           She was cited for her time management skills, excellent writing, consistency, honesty, articulation skills and demeanor. “Christine impressed me with her foresight and enthusiasm about her future,” said a nomination letter.

           At SRU she worked with Donald Zapien, professor of chemistry, on a research project dealing with electrochemical reduction and iron release in recombinant horse H-chain ferritin mutants. Their work was presented at the American Chemical Society spring and summer conferences and at the ACS national meeting, among other locations. Her presentation at the 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus received a first-place designation.

           In addition to her tutoring work with fellow chemistry students, Lundblad has been active in the SRU Chemistry Club and local Girl Scout activities.

           Ryan was recommended as an “exceptional young man with an insatiable desire to learn.”

           When Ryan ran into a roadblock for a research paper, he started a subscription to the journal Nature and bought several books related to his research topic, said one nominator. “Whatever he does, he gives unwavering attention.”

           As a student in a “Modern Physics” class, he attained the highest grade among physics majors and “always asked the most thought-provoking questions in class.”

           Ryan was chosen as an intern in NASA’s Undergraduate Student Research Program at the Johnson Space Center in 2009 and received a second internship at the Goddard Space Flight Center in the Lunar and Planetary Science Academy the following year. The project involved analysis of waveform data from the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor and align aerial photography GPS data to corresponding flight topography data. He is expected to present the research results at the Geological Society of America section meeting.

           He plays trumpet with the SRU Jazz Ensemble and participated in the Galileo musical skit as part of a service-learning project for SRU’s “Astronomy” class. He participated in the “Laserfest.” The show marked the 50th anniversary of the laser presented by the modern physics, optics and space science class.

           Ryan worked with Michael Zieg, associate professor of geography, geology and the environment, on a research project presented at national conferences.

           He has been offered admission to the Arizona State University, University of Arizona and the University of Washington, doctoral programs in planetary sciences.

           Ryan is president of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the SRU earth science honorary, and is vice president of the SRU Geography, Geology and the Environment Club. As a physics minor, Ryan was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honorary at SRU.

           He served as an orientation ambassador during his freshman year and was a member of the SRU Rugby Club. He most recently served as a tutor at SRU’s Tutoring Center.

           Linda Williamson (chair), Lorraine Troiano-Barron, Ben Addison, Walt Patterson and Lynette Beattie, all members of the SRU Alumni Association board of directors, comprised the award selection committee.


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 lies.