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 Student Scholars, Faculty Excellence, Alumni in Business, Service to SRU Celebrated at Convocation 




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


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa.--An intellectual arsenal of 1,600 demonstrating excellence from the dance stage to the business world and from the classroom to the community will gather in celebration at Slippery Rock University’s
April 27 Academic Honors Convocation.

          Speaking on behalf of students at the 2 p.m. public event in Morrow Field House will be the top Presidential Scholar, honors student Liza Heilman-Houser of Dayton, Pa., a senior who has earned straight “A’s” in 140 credit hours of study. She is majoring inan elementary education and Spanish and minoring in French.

          Two nationally recognized alumni in the world of business, Robert J. Stevens, president and chief operating officer at Lockheed Martin, and Kenneth Wilcox, vice president and general manager for Frito-Lay North America, have been named recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Wilcox will also address the assemblage under the topic “Leadership at the Next Level.”

          Other honorees will be Dr. John Misner, associate professor and assistant chair of the School of Business, recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching; Jennifer Keller, assistant professor of dance, recipient of the President Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement; and Dennis Colosimo, labor foreman in facilities and planning, and Patricia Hladio, director of the Office of Financial Aid, recipients of the President’s Award for Outstanding Service.

           The program, led by Interim President Robert M. Smith, will salute the university’s academic honoraries along with students earning perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. Those named to last spring and fall’s dean’s lists will be recognized as will SRU’s Presidential Scholars from the sophomore, junior and senior classes along with the university’s Scholar Athletes and Service Scholars. Students receiving scholarships, and those alumni and friends who have financially supported scholarships, will also be honored.

           “Academic Honors Convocation is our annual opportunity to specifically salute the outstanding academic efforts of our student body. This special day recognizes the perseverance turned in by students, and, at the same time, salutes our faculty’s dedication in supporting the goals of both the university and their students. Convocation is clearly a capstone for the academic year, and I am proud to honor the efforts that have gone into building a rock solid education for each of our students,” said President Smith.

Teaching Excellence

           Misner was nominated for his awardby colleagues, an off-campus graduate student, an SRU graduate now at one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical firms and current students. The nominations focused on his devotion to seeing students emboldened with enthusiasm and passion for the business world. A three-year faculty member, Misner is credited with strengthening the School of Business by his involvement in nearly every aspect of its operations and has been cited as an example of faculty commitment instrumental in building the school’s reputation.

Scholarly, Creative Achievement

          Keller was nominated for her recent recognition on campus and throughout the region, including a $10,000 grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation, the prestigious Harry Schwalb Excellence in the Arts Award from Pittsburgh magazine, and intensive classwork scholarship involving fusing dance and technology. Nominations called her an “outstanding artist and scholar, as well as a master teacher” and cited for her scholarship in preparing and presenting her work titled “Body of Work.”

Distinguished Alumni

Stevens, a 1976 psychology graduate, heads Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s leading edge companies in technology and aeronautics. The worldwide company employs 125,000 with sales last year of $26.6 billion. With Stevens’ support and in recognition of his SRU roots, Lockheed Martin joined “The Campaign for Slippery Rock University” last year by pledging funds toward the university’s new $14.5 million Science and Technology Building.

Wilcox, a 1989 communication graduate, has worked at IBM, Pepsi-Cola and Campbell Soup before joining Frito-Lay, credits part of his success to leadership development skills acquired as vice president and later president of SRU’s Student Government Association. At the snack-food company, he heads a $3 billion portfolio.

Outstanding Service Award

          Both Colosimo and Hladio werecredited for their leadership and dedication to the university, with Hladio singled out for work with students and parents at high school financial aid programs, and Colosimo cited for readying Jack Critchfield Park’s grand opening last spring. The awards are made possible by support from Doug and Linda McMullen of Grove City in memory of Robert and Donna McMullen, both longtime SRU supporters.

          Music will be provided by the SRU Symphony Wind Ensemble conducted by Stephen Hawk, associate professor of music, and Colleen Neubert, assistant professor of music, as soloist. A reception for all convocation participants will follow in Morrow Field House.



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