President’s, service awards to be presented March 22


sue hadley playing a guitar

Susan Hadley, professor of music, is receiving the President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement for her book, "Experiencing Race as a Music Therapist: Personal Narratives." 

March 8, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Darcy White, director of web communication and development, in the Office of University Communication and Public Affairs, will be presented with the President's Award for Outstanding Service, and Susan Hadley, professor of music, with the President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement at 12:30 p.m., March 22 in the Smith Student Center ballroom in conjunction with Slippery Rock University's "Celebration of Excellence" month activities.

Darcy White Profile


In addition, more than 100 SRU staff and faculty members will be recognized for their years of service to the University. Among those are 34 people that have served for 10 years; 21 that have served for 15; 15 that have served for 20; 13 that have served for 25; 14 that have served for 30; nine that have served for 35, and; one each having served for 40 and 45 years.

White was nominated for his efforts in planning, developing and implementing SRU's new website.

When the University decided to implement a strategic and comprehensive redevelopment of its site, one of the biggest challenges was having only one professional staff member, institution wide, with expertise in this area. White fit the bill.

The project involved a huge amount of work in both planning and execution. First, a plan had to be developed to migrate all content to a staging environment, so that the work of the University could go on without interruption throughout the process; vendor specifications had to be developed, issued, evaluated and a contract ultimately awarded; user focus groups conducted and analyzed so that the new site would meet users expectations; a variety of "skins" designed, tested and presented for selection; static coding, debugging and beta testing completed; usability testing implemented; 501 compliance issues addressed, and a complex workflow developed to ensure the entire process would be on time and on budget.

According to his nomination letter: "(White) has extraordinary skills in planning and improvising, but collaboration is his strong suit. In order to make this project run smoothly and seamlessly, he reached out to 'web leaders' in each of the major divisions of the University and invited them to be part of the process. He built an incredible team of student developers and included them at every stage of the process.

"Darcy is a one of a kind employee who through his phenomenal professional dedication, passion for his work, outstanding technical skills and seemingly innate mix of the right personal attributes has continuously and unselfishly enabled his makeshift team to excel beyond expectations. The results of his efforts was the implementation of a new website (on time and budget), that is responsive across all platforms, is 501 compliant and that meets users needs. And (is) a site that was just awarded bronze medals in the National Collegiate Marketing and Educational Advertising awards as one of the best websites nationally."

The President's Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1981 through the generosity of the late Robert and Donna McMullen, long-standing patrons of SRU who contributed consistently during their lives to support the University's advancement. Robert McMullen was a member of the Class of 1951 and chaired the SRU Foundation Inc. board of directors. The award continues through the generosity of their son, Doug, and his wife, Linda.

Hadley is receiving the President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement for her book, "Experiencing Race as a Music Therapist: Personal Narratives." The work is a compilation of critically engaging narratives that grew out of conversations with 17 music therapists living in different parts of the world, from various racial groups, about their experiences of their racialized identities in the therapy setting.

The therapists describe the raced contexts in which they were born and lived at various times in their lives, and experiences of their racialized identities when they were studying music therapy and later in their professional lives. The narratives depict how life experiences shape people's understandings of themselves and others, their assumptions and biases, and the effort with which they form relationships with different groups.

"These narratives are shared in the hope that we can learn to sit in our discomfort, without judgment, lowering our defenses, to learn more about others, and ourselves, in order to deepen our understandings and our relationships across racialized lines," said Hadley.

Reviewer Sue Baines, a music therapy professor at Capilano University, said of Hadley's book: "(It) is a triumph and must read. In her typically courageous manner, Hadley takes on the tough topics and opens our minds and our hearts to complex and often difficult truths."

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |