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 SRU Honors Student, Faculty with Rev. King Civil Leadership Awards 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service program held Monday at Slippery Rock University saw three faculty members and a student presented the annual Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Leadership Award in honor of their outstanding involvement and community leadership.

           This year’s recipients are:

            Ebony Bishop, a sociology major from Erie cited for her service as a Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service volunteer, her work as an Ameri-Corps member of the health and human service team and as an Ameri-Corps project leader at the Atlanta [Ga.] Women’s Shelter, coordinator of SRU’s Building Bridges Program, which helps teach about appreciating campus diversity, a member of the SRU Black Action Society, a junior mentor in SRU’s Office of Intercultural Programs and a student trained in “Safe Zone,” enabling her to communicate effectively with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, and her work as a member of the National Coalition Building Institute, and other activities.

Dr. Steven Doherty,assistant professor of parks and recreation/environmental education, cited for his work with ALTER, a volunteer group associated with SRU’s Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research, and the university’s master’s program in sustainable systems. He was nominated for his work that provides a component of sustainability that includes social justice, including development of awareness, support and respect for ideas and philosophies that come from across the strata of modern society. Last spring, he delivered a number of speeches in support of global peace, and he has been instrumental in bringing a number of philosophers and social leaders to campus for seminars and lectures. Last fall, he organized an on-campus movie series covering topics of peace, social justice and cultural diversity.

Dr. Patrick Grant,professor of special education, was nominated for his work as chair of the Student Council for Exceptional Children, coordinator of SRU’s Community Programs for Americans with Disabilities Program and for his mentoring of incoming African-American freshmen. He was cited for his committee work as a member of various national, state and local committees that address social justice for individuals with disabilities and those from non-majority backgrounds and for his work in extensive writing and presentations of issues related to African Americans, including presentations to the National Association of African American Caucus and the National Council for Black Studies.

            Dr. Rachela Permenter, professor of English, was cited for classes that consistently familiarized students with the injustice that has dominated American mainstream culture in the past and that continues to disenfranchise many Americans. She was nominated for consistently using classes to engage students in the value of literatures and perspectives that have often been overlooked or suppressed and for bringing important speakers to campus, most recently the award-winning writer Sherman Alexie, who spoke about race and prejudice. Permenter is a national and international speaker, addressing Native-American literature and culture and a member of the statewide conference on addressing issues and concerns for women of color.

           The awards were initiated last year at the first Dr. King Day of Service program. The day is devoted to community service with SRU students traveling throughout the region to offer service, including reading to shut-ins, offering tutoring to youngsters,singing to residence of personal care and nursing homes and helping with building and beautification projects. Some 175 students participated in this year’s Office of Intercultural Programs organized program.



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