Hill to present convocation address


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Katelyn Hill, a Slippery Rock University early childhood and special education major from Stow, Ohio, and president of the Student Government Association, will deliver the keynote address when the University hosts is annual Academic Honors and Student Leadership Convocation at 1:30 p.m., April 18, in Morrow Field House.

More than 3,500 students, faculty, staff and family members are expected to attend.



Aleta Bullock, a health services administration major from Pittsburgh and SRU's nominee for the 2015 Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award presented by Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education board of governors, will also be honored.

Hill, who will graduate with honors in May, is an outstanding example of how academics and student leadership can be combined as part of a rock solid education at SRU, said Cheryl Norton, SRU president, who will preside at the event.

Hill's address is titled: "Our Shared Journey."

As a 4.0 student, she exemplifies academic achievement and as president and chief executive officer of SGA Inc., a $16-million corporation, she has shown clear and dedicated leadership backed by a determination to benefit all of her fellow students.

She was recently selected as the sole student to appear before the Pennsylvania legislature's budget committees offering comments in support of increased funding for the State System of Higher Education. Earlier this week, she appeared at a statewide press conference with state system Chancellor Frank Brogan at the Capitol rotunda in Harrisburg to help outline the important economic impact provided to the commonwealth by the 14 state system universities.



Hill has served as president of SRU's Green and White Society; as parliamentarian and president of House Council, part of the Association of Residence Hall Students organization; and as president and weekly meeting leader for the Campus Crusade for Christ organization. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, and a winner of its Outstanding Service Award, and a member and leader of Golden Key International Honor Society at SRU. She also served as an orientation ambassador helping new students transition to college life. The SRU Alumni Association named her the 2015 Outstanding Senior Woman of the Year.

A founder of the National Council of Teachers of English chapter at SRU, Hill is a member of the American Sign Language Club. She was named Leader of the Year at SRU in 2014 and was a participant in the State System's Women's Leadership Institute.

This semester she is completing her student teaching, which has included work with autistic third graders in the Slippery Rock Area School District, along with work in the Greenville School District, the Sharon City School District and other regional schools.

Other nominees for the speaker honor were Marie Heintzinger, a communication major from Valencia; Amy Youmans, a public health major from Winchester, Va.; and Courtney Ciccarelli, a history major from Butler.

Bullock's nomination for the Ali-Zaidi award followed a rigorous internal process that included nominations from across the University's academic community.

Bullock, who will graduate in May, received multiple faculty nominations for her outstanding and impressive blend of academics, leadership and service to the University. She enrolled at SRU after completing her associate's degree in the honors program at Community College of Allegheny County. She has been accepted to the 2015 UPMC Information Services Division Summer Associate Program and is working toward admission to its accelerated leadership program.

While pursuing high academic standards, Bullock worked to challenge other ethnic minority students through SRU's Office of Multicultural Development, as a resident assistant and as a student employee for the Alcohol and Other Addictions Coalition of Slippery Rock.

She was recognized for the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team that resulted in an SRU scholarship. At SRU she has maintained a 3.9 grade point average, while working four part-time jobs and serving in a number of student leadership roles, including president of the Future Healthcare Leaders Organization and as a residence hall community assistant.

Ali-Zaidi nominees must demonstrate outstanding academic performance; be recognized by members of the university faculty; participate in extra/co-curricular activities; and submit an essay addressing how their university has prepared them for the next step in their career. The award, given annually to a graduate at one of the 14 state system universities, was created by Syed Ali-Zaidi, a charter member of the state system board of governors in honor of his grandfather Mir Wilayat Hussain.

In her essay, Bullock wrote, "I used to think that college was only for people on television or for those who had a limitless amount of money, which did not apply to me. I came from a poverty stricken neighborhood where success meant graduating form high school and working a full-time job. I was expected to have the lowest level of education attainment and to drop out of school before earning a high school diploma, at least that is what many African American statistics project. I never had the influences or socioeconomic factors to help me make the choice to attend college. However, I decided to go to college at the age of 20, because all I had left was hope."

Other individuals being honored at the convocation include:

William Bergmann, assistant professor of history at SRU, being honored as recipient of the 2014-15 President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement, for his book "The American National State and the Early West";
David Valentine, interim dean of SRU's College of Business and professor of computer science, recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching;
Lorraine Craven, instructor in SRU's Academic Services and director of first-year and transfer student experiences, recipient of the President's Award for Outstanding Academic Advising; and
Patrick Beswick, director of residential education, and Lori Wolf, storekeeper II, recipients of the President's Award for Outstanding Service.
This year's convocation, the first to combine both academic honors and student leadership achievements, will honor SRU 2014 spring and fall semester deans' list students, presidential scholarship recipients, academic honorary societies, scholar athletes, SRU scholarship recipients, service-learning scholars, SRU Honors Program students and Rising Star award nominees. Additional honors will include presentation of candidates for the Student Leader of the Year Award, the Silent Inspiration Award and the Student Community-Service Award.

"This special convocation will provide the opportunity for participants in all areas of campus life to become more aware of the tremendous achievements taking place on our campus," said Philip Way, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

Karl E. Schwab