SRU awards $24,000 in scholarships to Junior Academy of Science regional meeting winners

March 2, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University presented $12,000 scholarships to a pair of students from Freeport Area High School as part of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science's 61st Annual Region IX meeting Feb. 24 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. It was the 21st consecutive year SRU has hosted the event. William Sigmund, SRU professor of biology and Nicole Dafoe, SRU associate professor of biology served as University coordinators.

Nearly 500 students, grades 7-12, from several counties in western Pennsylvania participated. Students were required to do an oral PowerPoint presentation showcasing the results of their science research project.



Michaela Mattivi, a high school senior from Sarver, captured the PJAS Senior Scholarship, for her work in engineering and Lurena Stewart, a high school junior from Sarver, won the PJAS Junior Scholarship for her work in microbiology. Each scholarship provides $3,000 per year for four years to attend SRU.

SRU's Mathematics and Statistics Department presented $100 awards to:

-John Zurisko, a junior from Freeport Area High School, and

-Jennifer Cichra, an eighth-grader from Butler High School, for their math presentations.

SRU's Chemistry Department presented a single $100 award to Henry Bartony, a senior from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School, for the overall top chemistry presentation.

Mattivi Headshot


The Biology Department provided $100 awards to:

-Zakaria Karanikos, a senior from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School), and

-Haley Doyle, a junior from the Beaver Area School District, for their biology presentations..

Top presenters in each discipline also earned cash awards or gift certificates from the Region IX committee and other program sponsors.

Nearly 200 judges, including SRU and high school faculty, professionals and SRU students, participated in the program, spending 8-10 minutes reviewing individual student works and asking questions about the project before rendering a final ranking.

Participants who received a "First Place" ranking have the opportunity to participate in the state competition that will take place at Penn State University in May.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |