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 University Recognitions 



The University will attract positive regional, state, and national attention to the quality of its programs and institutional reputation.  The standard is reports of national rankings and significant recognitions by faculty, students, and the university during the fiscal year. 

National Rankings and Significant Recognitions July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010

July 2009
The Chronicle of Higher Education selected SRU as one of only 150 colleges and universities nationwide to be designated, “A Great Place To Work.” 

Citing its “breathtakingly beautiful campus” and solid academic program, the Princeton Review named Slippery Rock University one of the 218 best colleges and universities in the Northeast.

In a separate listing, The Princeton Review named SRU to its Guide to 286 Green Colleges Guide, the first comprehensive guidebook cataloging institutions that have shown above average commitment to sustainability. The guidebook was published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.

WorldWideLearn, the world’s premier online directory of education, named Slippery Rock University No. 2 on its Top 20 Rural Colleges and Universities in the U.S. list.

Slippery Rock University was named one of the safest university campuses in the nation by the Daily Beast, an Internet news e-zine. SRU was ranked 14th nationally.

Slippery Rock University was included in the 2009 edition of "Beyond the Books, Guide to Service-Learning at Colleges & Universities," which profiles the nation's top institutions for service learning. 

Boozel Dining Hall captured the American School and University Magazine’s Educational Interiors Showcase Outstanding Design Award in the cafeteria/food service areas category.

Boozel Dining Hall was also selected for inclusion in University Business magazine’s Dining Halls of Distinction. Only 12 dining halls nationwide were selected. The program honors excellence in all aspects of operations, including a variety of entrees, satisfaction, atmosphere and sustainability.

G.I. Jobs magazine named Slippery Rock University as a Military Friendly School for 2010. Only 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide made the list.

David Dailey, professor of computer science and the author of the only book commissioned by the World Wide Web consortium, was selected to present at the International Conference on Scalable Vector Graphics at Google headquarters in California.

August 2009
Ursula Payne, professor of dance, was one of only 52 dancers internationally selected to present original choreography at the American Dance Guild Performance Festival.

September 2009
Stephen Hawk, music professor, was a featured soloist for the concert kicking off the three-day G20 world summit in Pittsburgh. Hawk, who plays the trumpet, performed for U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev among others.

Slippery Rock University and Metis Secure Solutions, LLC announced they have entered into an agreement to install a state-of-the art, location-based emergency notification system at the University. SRU will be the first public university to install system, which won the 2009 Technology Innovation of the Year award.

Slippery Rock University’s incoming class of 1,545 broke records for quality with 42 percent ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school class. Entering students carried a 3.39 GPA. The entering class was part of record setting class of 8,648 students, an increase of 2.25 from the prior year. Freshman retention numbers set a record at 80 percent for the first time.

Kelly McBane, a 2009 theatre graduate and award-winning makeup artist, was profiled in Makeup Magazine. As an SRU senior, McBane won the Alcone Company Make-Up Design Award at the 2009 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Jen Blasko, a graduate student in physical therapy and a women's volleyball standout as an undergraduate, was named the 2008-09 NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners' Association's Atlantic Region female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

C. Vivian Stringer, a 1970 and 1973 Slippery Rock University physical education graduate and the current head women’s basketball coach at Rutgers University, was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA

October 2009
Affirming its commitment to full transparency, Slippery Rock University launched a Budget Planning Website as a vehicle for soliciting input and comment regarding ways to reduce the University’s 2010-11 budget.

Talk/Minority Opinion Magazine honored Jessamine Montero, senior officer for diversity, with a Minority Achievement Award at the 35th Annual Minority Achiever’s reception.

The U.S. Department of Justice awarded Slippery Rock University a $251,222 grant to support The Bridge Project, a prevention program focusing on eliminating violence against women.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages named Slippery Rock University’s secondary-education programs in Spanish and French programs of distinction.

The Regional Learning Alliance learning and conference facility, conceived and developed by Slippery Rock University, marked its fifth anniversary of service. The RLA, which has promoted economic development in western Pennsylvania by providing corporate training opportunities to more than 500 companies as well as classes for thousands of college students, also marked a milestone of providing 1 million people hours of professional development training at the facility

November 2009
SRU Honors Program participants post a 95 percent proposal acceptance rate during the past two years at The National Collegiate Honors Council Conference, besting the national average by up to 50 percent.

SRU, a pioneer in greening education and promotion, announced it would use recycled gowns for the spring 2010 Commencement, becoming the first institution in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to go 100 percent green. Each gown will keep an average of 23 plastic bottles from winding up in landfills.

The Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance named Pam Arnhold, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, the Adapted Physical Activity Professional of the Year. 

Robert Smith, president of Slippery Rock University, signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Joanne Leight, associate professor of physical education, was named “Teacher of the Year” for the college/university division of the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

John Hicks, a member of the Slippery Rock University Council of Trustees and a professor emeritus of elementary education and early childhood at SRU, was inducted into the Plum High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Scott Spinucci, documentary filmmaker, media producer and 1991 Slippery Rock University communication graduate, discovered a national treasure – the first official American park – River Common, located along the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre.

The 12th-ranked Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship Saturday with a 2-1 win over No. 1 Millersville at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium.

Anna Cypher from Ellwood City and Angela Fenk from Pittsburgh, two senior Slippery Rock University vocal performance majors, won top honors at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Tri-State Auditions.

Matt Thompson, Slippery Rock University men’s head soccer coach and 1998 SRU graduate, was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season in All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference voting.

Slippery Rock University’s women's rugby club, one of 26 sport clubs, won the Midwest Championship for the second consecutive year.

December 2009
The English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities named Robert Crafton, assistant professor of English, the Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year.

The Resort and Commercial Recreation Association awarded Bruce Boliver, assistant professor of parks, recreation/environmental education, the 2009 Howard Uibel Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional leadership, foresight and character.

Marybeth Miller, an assistant professor of physical education, was awarded the Professional Honor Award from the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Karla Forner, Bridge Project coordinator, and Jodiann Solito, director of the Women’s Center, were selected to the U.S. Department of Justice’s inaugural Advocacy Learning Center class.

Jeremy Deighton, a marketing major from Broadview Heights, Ohio, was named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer All-America team.

Laurel Dagnon, director of programming for the Institute for Community, Service-Learning and Non-Profit Leadership, was appointed to the board of directors for the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg. The research and policy institute is working to create jobs.

C.J. Bahr, a junior kicking specialist on The Rock’s football squad, was one of 10 finalists nationally for the inaugural Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award presented to the NCAA Division II or Division III kicker who excels on the football field and in the community.

January 2010
Richard Wukich, professor of art, was featured on a CNN “Anderson Cooper 360°” special “CNN HEROES: Saving Haiti” for his efforts to promote production and manufacture of ceramic water filters that remove harmful bacteria and make water potable.

Slippery Rock University took another step toward greening leadership by registering to participate in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a national program for evaluating and improving sustainability education and implementation. SRU is the first Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institution to participate.

February 2010
Sixty-five Slippery Rock University students and their advisers spent spring break lending a hand as volunteers in cities across the U.S., as part of the University’s annual Care Break program. This year’s trips included service projects in East St. Louis, Ill; the Mascalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; San Francisco, Calif.; and New Orleans, La.

SRU students raised a record $57,070 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at annual “Up ‘til 2” event.

The University was selected to serve as a hub for the $130,000+ Pennsylvania Research and Education Network.  The project will bring more than 4,000 miles of fiber optic networks statewide allowing for affordable, enhanced broadband services to a variety of users.

The Slippery Rock University Student Government Association Preschool and Child Care Center was awarded a $93,920 four-year funding grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide child-care financial assistance to qualifying student parents.

SRU purchased a biofuels processor to turn French fry oil into tractor fuel. Each gallon of biodiesel used, which replaces one gallon of petroleum diesel, reduces the University’s carbon dioxide emissions by 17.32 pounds.
The Venango County Chamber of Commerce named James Hawkins, a 1971 graduate, Citizen of the Year.

Jody Brylinsky, a 1977 undergraduate and 1979 master’s degree recipient, was selected as the 2010 Woman of the Year by Western Michigan University and the Varsity "W" Club board of directors.

Beth Cooper, a 1993 and 1999 graduate, was awarded the 2010 Elementary Educator of the Year Award from the Carnegie Science Center. The award honors an educator who inspires students to understand and appreciate science.

Eight Slippery Rock University students were honored at the 25th National Model NATO Conference in Washington, D.C. The SRU delegation received the “Outstanding Overall Delegation” award for its work across all five committees at the conference.

Two SRU theatre majors take Kennedy Center program awards. Maya Ogasawara, an international student from Japan, took top honors in the Region II and Regional Best Costume Design and Best Costume Design Awards for her designs for “Cymbeline,” and Kelly Myers, a theatre major from Natrona Heights, was named a finalist for her costume designs used in the theatre department’s “Hedda Gabler” production.

USA Water Polo honored Richard “Doc” Hunker, professor emeritus of computer science at Slippery Rock University, with the establishment of the Doc Hunkler Distinguished Women's Coaching Award. The award will be presented annually to the top scholastic coach in the nation.

The women's ice hockey club team, in only its third season of  American Collegiate Hockey Association Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference competition, upset the tournament’s top two seeds in succession to win its first-ever DVCHC Division II championship.

March 2010
The Society of Collegiate Journalists named Josh Rizzo, Irwin senior and editor-in-chief of The Rocket, the 2010 Arthur H. Barlow National Student Journalist of the Year.

Nearly 300 Slippery Rock University students used their spring break to expand their world knowledge through trips to Spain, England, Greece, Costa Rica, Hungary, Peru, the Bahamas, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy and St. Lucia.

Wayne Forbes, assistant professor of biology, was awarded a U.S. Patent for his isolation of a compound that kills an often-fatal intestinal parasitic roundworm called “threadworm.”

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams were named All-Academic squads by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association W. Va., selected Jen Hansen, senior pole vault standout from Charleston, as the Atlantic Region Female Field Athlete of the Year.

The Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators named Kathleen Paul, director of the Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education, administered by Slippery Rock University, the 2010 recipient of the Keystone Award.

Slippery Rock University’s Office of Public Relations won five College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania Awards for creative excellence in marketing. No other institution in the state received as many CUPPIE awards from CUPRAP, an organization that supports public relations in higher education.

April 2010
The Rocket, Slippery Rock University’s student newspaper, captured 11 awards for content, feature writing, sports layout and photography. The Rocket won 10 national awards from the Society for Collegiate Journalists and one state award from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. No other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institution placed in both contests.

Seth Jenny, a 2002 graduate now serving as an exercise physiologist at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, was named Civilian of the Year for the 39th Air Base Wing.

SRU dance major’s work heads to Kennedy Center. Todd Englander, a dance and elementary education major from Wantagh, N.Y., had his choreography unanimously selected to represent the region and SRU at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of the American College Dance organization’s national conference.

Thomas Flynn, professor and chair of the communication department, received the "Distinguished  Teaching Fellowship Award” from the Eastern Communication Association.

A. Lee Williams - professor of Elementary Education/Early Childhood at Slippery Rock University, was recently reappointed to the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. 

May 2010
Seth Sykora-Bodie, a political science, geography and French major and honors student, was selected from nearly 5,300 applicants as one of 575 undergraduate and graduate students to receive a U.S. Department of State Critical-Need Language Scholarship. Sykora-Bodie will study Arabic in Tunisia as part of the language program.

Cindy LaCom, professor of English and director of the Women’s Studies Program, was named a Sunshine Peace Award winner by the Sunshine Peace Foundation founded by Doris Buffett. The $10,000 award was established to honor advocates whose efforts assist victims of domestic violence.

University Public Relations received five national awards in the 25th Annual Educational Advertising Awards competition, bringing home one gold, one silver, one bronze and two merit medals.

The therapeutic recreation program was named one of the top 12 programs in the country for producing Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, a credentialing organization for the profession.

The University, with 56 recipients, ranked sixth all-time in Division II in terms of total Academic All-America selections. SRU is the only PSAC institution in the top-10.