Skip to main content

 Good News: Academic Honors Convocation salutes Ali-Zaidi Award nominee 



SRU Good News for March 30, 2009


Academic Honors Convocation salutes Ali-Zaidi Award nominee 


Nicole L. Ritzert, a chemistry major with minors in mathematics and physics who has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average, has been nominated as Slippery Rock University's candidate for the Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence presented by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

            The selected recipient of the $1,000 award will be honored at the student's home campus during spring semester commencement.

Ritzert will be saluted Sunday as part of SRU's annual Academic Honors Convocation, which honors outstanding academic and leadership. Nearly 2,600 SRU deans' list students and other scholars and leaders will be saluted at the 2 p.m. ceremony in Morrow Field House. More than 2,000 parents and guests are expected to attend.

The Ali-Zaidi award, established by Dr. Ali-Zaidi, a charter member of the Pennsylvania Sate System of Higher Education board of governors and a strong advocate for the system's universities, honors students who excel in the pursuit of knowledge. The award was inspired by Ali-Zaidi's memory of his grandfather, Mir Wilayat Husain.

Criteria for the award include outstanding academic performance in the student's academic major and other areas of study; recognition of scholarship by university faculty; participation in extra- or co-curricular activities as an undergraduate; and submission of an essay on how the university has prepared the student for the next step.

            Following her graduation from SRU, Ritzert plans to pursue a doctorate in physical and analytical chemistry. Her research experience at SRU includes work with Donald Zapien, associate professor of chemistry.

Her work already includes publication with S. S. Casella and D. C. Zapien on research titled "Electrochemical Characterization of Horse Spleen Ferritin Covalently Immobilized on Self-Assembled Monolayer Modified Gold Electrodes" published Jan. 26 in "Electoanalysis." The three also wrote "Surface-Electrochemistry of Ferritin Adsorbed on 8-Mercaptooctanoic Acid-Modified Gold Electrodes" that appeared in the Feb. 12 online publication "Electrochemical Communications." 

A member of the SRU dean's list since enrolling at the University, Ritzert was named a Presidential Scholar during her sophomore, junior and senior years. She was named the Outstanding Sophomore Chemistry Major in 2007 and the Outstanding Junior Chemistry Major in 2008. She is a recipient of an SRU Merit Scholarship, the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, the College of Health, Environment and Science Chemistry Scholarship and earned the Ritts Scholarship, Coen Family Scholarship, Lynne Ernes Woman in Science Scholarship, Joseph and Eva Puntureri Memorial Scholarship, Leadership in Science Scholarship and a George Smith Memorial Research Grant.

Ritzert won the SRU department of chemistry recipient of the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh College Chemistry Award. She is a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society and the Electrochemical Society.

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.


Editor's Note:The successes of our friends and colleagues at the University are something we should all celebrate�and share. The University Public Relations Office has introduced a daily E-feature to share a good news story about a person, program, activity or service associated with Slippery Rock University. When good news happens to you, please let us know so we might share it with others. Submit items through campus e-mail to: 

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report