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 SRU Art Professor Receives New Castle NAACP Award for Humanitarian Work 



Nov. 15, 2006

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854;


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – For local community service and teaching water purification to villagers in Sudan, Iraq and Honduras, Slippery Rock University art Professor Dick Wukich has received the President’s Award from the New Castle NAACP. It is the highest honor given annually by the New Castle branch.

“I admire him as a person who gives so much of himself,” Evelyn Ward, New Castle NAACP president, said. “There are not a lot of people doing the type of work he does, and the work often goes unrecognized.”

Wukich, a ceramist who started at SRU in 1968, volunteers at the I Care House in New Castle, a facility offering services to low-income families. His work with potable water purification systems in developing companies has been showcased several times, most recently at a three-day conference SRU hosted in early November.

Through Potters for Peace, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that networks potters and  educators working to develop water filter systems worldwide, Wukich has taught villagers in Sudan, Iraq and Honduras to use a simple clay system to filter harmful bacteria and chemicals from water. The ceramic systems are in use in Ghana, Cambodia and Nicaragua, he said.

“The goal is to create sustainable micro-enterprises that are able to help solve the world’s number one health issue, access to potable water,” Wukich said. “Much good can be accomplished by people working together to promote positive social change. The New Castle NAACP is a great example.”

Wukich teaches pottery making at SRU.


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