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 AVI, CSIL recognize campus 'rising stars' 



April 30, 2010

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab


AVI, CSIL recognize campus 'rising stars' 


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Seven Slippery Rock University student leaders have been presented Rising Star Awards  in recognition of their leadership on campus. As part of the award, the students will have an actual star named in their honor.            

           AVI Foodsystems Inc., the campus contract food vendor, and SRU's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership sponsored the Wednesday ceremony in the University Union.

           The annual Rising Star Awards are presented to students who influence positive change, inspire peers, faculty and professional staff, and effectively delegate, communicate and empower organization members. Recipients are also required to balance academic life with leadership opportunities and be recognized as standouts within their organizations.

           Receiving the honors were: 

      Jennifer Busser, an elementary education major from Darlington, who has served as president for the National Science Teachers Association Student Chapter and exhibited qualities of a leader, including attitude, strong work ethic, exceptional academic initiative, warm personality, professional area knowledge and creativity.

      Justina Cerra, a communication major from Apollo, who is vice president of programs for Alpha Xi Delta, a campus social sorority. She is a student ambassador for the Green & White Society, a writer for the Rock Review and a student who has completed Level 3 of the Compass Leadership Program.  

      Stephen Donaldson, a political science major from Pittsburgh, and an active leader in the Commonwealth Association of Students.

      Deron Jackson, an accounting major from Slippery Rock, who recently introduced Theta Delta Sigma, a new multicultural Greek organization to campus.

          Leslie Korbar, a health and physical education major from Monroeville, for her leadership in a number of organizations in the physical education department and for her positive impact on the campus as a role model for underclassmen.

          Ryan Sheely, a political science major from Moyock, N.C., for his positive impact on the SRU campus by reviving the Ski and Snowboard Club, which has become one of the largest and most lively student run clubs on campus. 

          Stephen Tucci, a sport management major from Lower Burrell, for his work, dedication, involvement and leadership as a sport management major and within the Sport Management Alliance, the SRU Inline Hockey Club, the Robert N. Aebersold Recreation Center and other volunteer work.


           SRU Student Government Association awards for outstanding programming went to the Green & White Society for it campus clean up service project; Residence Life and Campus Community for its collaborative "Up 'til 2 for St. Jude," fundraising event that garnered more than $57,000 for the Memphis-based children's hospital; the University Program Board's presentation of Jack Hanna, nationally recognized wildlife expert; and the "Rave-A-Palooza," black-light dance party organized by Residence Life and the Association of Residence Hall Students.

            The SRU Alumni Association named Alpha Xi Delta, a campus social sorority, as the year's Outstanding Greek Organization for its participation and organization efforts in campuswide activities, including campus clean up and the cupboard cleanout project; the SRU National Science Teachers Association as the "Student Organization of the Year," for its leadership in providing professional training and experiences for NSTA-SRU members and service as a group for science education instruction to elementary students; and Creating Connections (in Building B) as the "Living-Learning Community of the Year" for its impact on the campus and serving as a model community for residents to become engaged in learning about different cultures and backgrounds.  

           Michael Saraka, director of alumni relations, was name "Club Advisor of the Year" for his work and positive impact with the Green & White Society by creating opportunities for alumni to stay active and for students to meet and connect with alumni.  

           Itzi Meztli, assistant professor of English, was presented the "Exceptional Service to Students Award," for demonstrating commitment to student learning outside the classroom.  

           Catriona Higgs, professor of sport management, was presented the Academic Adviser of the Year Award for her passion, caring nature and positive impact on her students.

           Josh Lucas, an exercise science major from Leechburg, received the Student Community Service Award for making an impression on other students by being an advocate for people with disabilities and specifically athletes who are blind or visually impaired. 

           Marie Henrich, an English major from Gibsonia, received the Silent Inspiration Award, for her dedication in reaching out to others to make a positive impact on peers and fellow staff members. And, 

           Andrew Bolla, a history major from Fairview, was named Student Leader of the Year, for his numerous ways in helping the campus, including service as a student ambassador who has demonstrated to University guests his SRU enthusiasm when giving tours. He was also cited as a community assistant and a Compass Leadership peer mentor.


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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