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 University showers stars on 12 SRU student leaders 



May 21, 2007
Contact: K.E. Schwab


University showers stars on 12 SRU student leaders

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Check out the evening sky. A dozen stars now have new names, courtesy of the Slippery Rock University Alumni Association and AVI Food Systems, Inc., the campus contract food vendor, which purchased the stars to honor the dedication and service of 12 student leaders.

The stars were presented at the annual Rising Star Recognition Reception. Recipients are nominated by fellow students, faculty and staff.

The awards program, begun in 2004, includes presentation of a rising-star paperweight and a CD computer program that allows the recipient to find the exact star registered in their name. Ten awards are sponsored by AVI FoodSystems and were presented by John Vag, resident director for AVI. Two awards are sponsored by the association and were presented by Michael Saraka, alumni relations director.

Recipients, their academic majors and hometowns, are:

  • Gregory Acre, a secondary education, social studies and history major from Cabot;
  • Ashley Borchilo, a communication major from Saegertown;
  • Rashad Brown, an exercise science major from Aliquippa;
  • Ashley Contee, a communication major from District Heights, Md.;
  • Nikki Gwin, a special education major from Bessemer;
  • Jason McGinnis, a health and physical education major from Altoona;
  • Chelsea Neil, an elementary education major from Irwin;
  • Jessica Peconi, a health and physical education major from Jefferson Hills;
  • Katherine Piscopo, a psychology major from Beaver;
  • Morgan Rizzardi, a psychology major from Warren;
  • Kellen Cassidy, a therapeutic recreation major from Erie; and
  • Scott McCaskey, a special education major from New Castle.

(Cassidy and McCaskey received their awards from the alumni association.)

The nominations cited the students for their ability to lead by example, engage in campus activities, display strong observation talents and make use of strong organization skills. The "Rising Stars" were repeatedly praised for their involvement in student life and campus activities as well as their volunteer efforts and determination.

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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