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 SRU Alumni Association names outstanding young alumni 



March 29, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:


SRU Alumni Association names outstanding young alumni 


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - They are physical therapists, teachers and accountants. All of them used their Rock Solid education to launch successful careers. Now the Slippery Rock University Alumni Association is honoring them with 2007 Young Alumni Awards.

            Physical therapist Scott Wise, 1990, '93, '05, music teacher Jason Kush, '04, education consultant Miecha Galbraith, '96, and accountant Charles Gottschalk, '90, will be recognized April 21 at the association's annual awards dinner at the University Club in North Hall.

           "The recipients were nominated by alumni, faculty and staff," said Michael Saraka, alumni relations director, said. "I am very proud of this year's winners."

           The alumni association created the award in 2005 to honor high-achieving alumni who have graduated within the past 20 years. The award goes to one recipient from each of SRU's four academic colleges: Education; Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts; Business, Information and Social Sciences; and Health, Environment and Science.

           Wise (College of Health, Environment and Science) owns Wise Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in New Castle and Grove City. He received his doctor of physical therapy, master of physical therapy and bachelors of science degree in health science from SRU.

           He is active in his community serving as the Mercer County Pine Township supervisor,  as director of sports medicine services for the Slippery Rock Area School District and as a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and other organizations.

           Kush (College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts) received his bachelors of science degree in music education in 2004 and a master of music degree in jazz pedagogy from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in 2006. He is enrolled in the doctor of musical arts program in saxophone performance at Frost.

           He has performed with Andrea Bocelli for an audience of more than 7,000 fans and  recorded an album with the Henri Mancini Institute Orchestra, which was nominated for two Grammy Awards. 

           "I owe much of my success to the supreme faculty at Slippery Rock University with whom I had the pleasure to study, particularly Terry Steele and Stephen Hawk," he said. "These professors significantly impacted my life and have continued to provide crucial mentorship as my career progressed."

           Galbraith (College of Education) received her bachelors of science degree in elementary education with a minor in special education in 1996. She received her masters of science degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 1998. She has certification and endorsements as Nevada School Administrator, K-12; Teacher, K-12; and Substitute Teacher, K-12. She is currently working as a consultant for the National Education Association conducting research and lesson plan development for various grant projects between the National Education Association, Health Information Network and the Environmental Protection Agency. 

           Galbraith helped SRU's College of Education develop the summer student teaching program that has been in existence for more than 10 years.

           Gottschalk (College of Business, Information and Social Sciences), is a certified public accountant in Gibsonia, graduated with honors with a bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1990 and remains active with his alma mater and serves as an officer of the SRU Business School Advisory Board. He also serves on the SRU Foundation, Inc., board and is a member of the Amethyst Lifetime Giving Club. 

           He is chief financial officer for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) where he is responsible for all aspects of the audit, tax, finance, risk management and legal functions. Gottschalk's ideas and fresh approach have branded him as a dynamic leader and garnered him the respect of many within the racing industry. For example, he developed a method for dividing his company's NASCAR operations into "operating company" and "manufacturing company" - bold move that resulted in cumulative savings in excess of $3 million. This methodology has become standard in NASCAR. 


            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.

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