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February 4, 2011
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

National AAHPERD honors 3 SRU students

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Two Slippery Rock University physical education graduate students, Deana Waintraub from Slippery Rock and Andrea Vasil of Erie, and one undergraduate physical education major, Natalee Bufalini from Aliquippa, will be honored at the National American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention in San Diego, Calif.

The event is March 31-April 2, 2011.

Waintraub, who is serving as a women’s soccer team graduate assistant and working toward her master’s degree in physical education curriculum and instruction, will be presented one of two AAHPERD Graduate Student Abernathy Presidential Scholarships. The award, established in 1995, honors Ruth Abernathy, former AAHPERD president.

Waintraub was nominated for the award because of her 4.0 grade-point average in the physical education master’s program and for her involvement in numerous campus activities, including working with the SRU student-athlete advisory committee, help to organize fundraisers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and her volunteer work with the Forgotten Angels, I-Care House in New Castle, the Butler County Visiting Nurses Association and the Lighthouse Foundation in Butler. In addition to her SRU coaching duties, she also coaches with the Northern Steel Soccer Club in Butler, where she is responsible for working with goalkeepers.

Vasil, who is studying within the SRU physical education adapted physical activity masters program, will be honored with the APAC Masters Student of the Year Award in Adapted Physical Activity. The award will be presented at the Claudine Sherrill Awards Breakfast.

Vasil was nominated for her dedication to working in the SRU program and her involvement with individuals with disabilities.

She has served as a student coordinator and coach for the SRU VIP Clinic and Camp program for children with visual impairments. Her most recent clinic focused on horseback riding, judo, rock climbing and goal ball. Vasil coordinates the adapted physical education and adapted aquatics classes at SRU for children with autism and with other developmental disabilities.

She served two years on the management team for the Special Olympics Western Pennsylvania Fall Invitational and volunteers as a mentor to children with disabilities in the SRU “I Can Do It, You Can Do It” physical activity and nutrition mentoring program.

Vasil is graduate student coordinator for a new mentoring program for adolescents with and without disabilities for physical activity transition programs. She was recently nominated for the Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health-Related Student Recognition Award.

The National Association for Sport and Physical Education, a division of AAHPERD, will honor Bufalini as an outstanding future professional in physical education teacher education. She will receive SRU Outstanding Major of the Year recognition at the NASPE Awards Luncheon March 31 in San Diego.

She is serving as the Pennsylvania State HPERD president-elect of the student section of the professional statewide professional organization. She has served as secretary of Phi Epsilon Kappa honorary, treasurer of the PETE Club, secretary of Golden Key Club and is president-elect of the Future Professionals Division for PSAHPERD. As a PSAHPERD student officer, Bufalini attends fall and spring executive board meetings, the PSAHPERD and EDA conferences and the annual PSAHPERD Student Leadership Conference.

“Slippery Rock University’s physical education department is proud of Deana, Andrea and Natalee, and wishes each young woman much success in their future professional growth,” said Betsy McKinley, SRU associate professor of physical education and department chairperson.

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.