SRU honors 10 individuals with 2023 President’s Awards


DiMarco and Caylor

From left, recipients of the Slippery Rock University 2023 President’s Award for Outstanding Service Danette DiMarco and Mary Caylor were recognized at SRU’s Spring Assembly, April 4, by SRU President Bill Behre.

April 4, 2023

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University has announced its 2023 President's Awards. These annual awards recognize a variety of individuals affiliated with SRU for their service, performance and/or civic engagement. Each award has its own selection committee, but all the awards are approved and released by the Office of the President.

Recipients will be recognized at SRU's Celebration of Achievement at 5 p.m., April 11, in the Smith Student Ballroom. Recipients of the award for outstanding service, were already recognized at the University's Spring Assembly, April 4, in the Smith Student Center. Employees with service milestones (10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years) were also recognized at the Spring Assembly.

Established in 1981 and funded by SRU supporters, the late Donna and Robert McMullen, '51, the President's Award for Outstanding Service recognizes extraordinary commitment to University service and citizenship beyond the scope of an employee's job function as demonstrated through active participation in on- and off-campus activities that benefit the University. Doug McMullen, an SRU Foundation, Inc. board member, and his wife, Linda, continue to sponsor the award. Each of the recipients of the President's Awards for Outstanding Service will receive a $1,000 cash award.

The 2023 recipients of the President's Award for Outstanding Service were Mary Caylor, administrative assistant, College of Engineering and Science, and Danette DiMarco, professor of languages, literatures, cultures and writing.

Caylor, who has worked with the Physics and Engineering Department for the last seven years, has been involved with the purchasing of equipment and time-sensitive preparation for SRU's new engineering laboratories, logistics of the SRU planetarium and the college's awards banquet, and other campus volunteer activities, including the Student Conduct Hearing Board and the Week of Welcome.

DiMarco, a member of the SRU faculty since 1995, has served the University in a variety of capacities, including multiple terms as a department chair, various committees for searches, events and curricular improvements. She was also recently named a faculty liaison to the council of trustees.

The following awards will be presented at the Celebration of Achievement:

  • President's Civic Engagement Ambassador Award: Mark O'Connor, associate professor of languages, literatures, cultures and writing, who has led multiple community writing programs including The Writers in the Schools program.
  • President's Community Partner Award: Tanya Vokes, chief executive officer, Dress for Success Pittsburgh, who has partnered with SRU to provide community members and SRU students access to professional attire for job interviews.
  • President's Student Civic Leadership Award: Kelly Pare, a senior interdisciplinary programs major from Pittsburgh, who is an active member of the Student Nonprofit Alliance at SRU and has helped lead projects and events to support local charities and food banks.
  • President's Award for Creative Achievement: Jason Kush, professor of music, who was recognized for his jazz compositions and album titled "Finally Friday."
  • President's Award for Scholarly Achievement: Sagar Bhandari, assistant professor of physics and engineering, who was recognized for his research article, titled "Imaging Andreev Reflection in Graphene," that was published in Nano Letters, an academic journal.
  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching: Elizabeth LaGamba, assistant professor of elementary education and early childhood.
  • President's Award for Outstanding Academic Advising (Emerging Category, fewer than three years' experience): Ann Cook, associate professor of occupational therapy.
  • President's Award for Outstanding Academic Advising (Established Category, three or more years' experience): Catherine Massey, professor of psychology.

The following are employees recognized for milestone anniversaries at the Spring Assembly:

10 Years
Stacy Arend
Ted Boron
Dan Brown
Chris Conrad
Keith Dils
Hope Dropp
Kerry Edwards
Paul Falso
Jennifer Griffith
Jessica Jopp
David Jordan
David Keppel
Andy Loue
Michael May
Allison Peiritsch
Christopher Scott
Rona Smeak
Jason Squatrito
Brandi Weber-Mortimer
Darcy White

15 Years
Scott Albert
Frances Amatucci
Beverly Barron
Brenda Beatty
Patrick Beswick
Gary Clark
Aaron Cowan
Christopher Cubero
Rebecca Farren
Justin Galbraith
William Huber
Casey Hyatt
Benjamas Jirasakuldech
Richard Maire
Jane Pichette
Tom Sanderson
Connie Schmidt
Vicki Sparano
Nicole Taggart
Mark Tarcy
Manuel Valera
Andrea Vetica

20 Years
Linda Enis
Brenda Fedokovitz
Karla Fonner
Wayne Forbes
Diane Galbraith
Barbara Haizlett
Christopher Kreiser
Jeff Lynn
Richard Marchand
Robert Martz
Holly McCoy
Mark O'Connor
Perry Petricca
Bonnie Simpson
Laura Smiley
Melissa Teodoro
Christophas Walker
Michael White
Charlene Winslow

25 Years
Tom Bechard
Patrick Burkhart
Brian Graham
Rose Ann Heilman-Houser
Jennifer Keller-Birkes
Matthew Meredith
Thomas Pearcy
Jon Shumway
Windy Stafford
Lisa Theodorson

30 Years
Kristina Benkeser
Edward Grossman Jr
Cindy LaCom
Kathleen Manning
Tina Moser
Mark Shotwell
Bonnie Siple
David Skeele

35 Years
Robertha Abney
Nora Ambrosio
Alice Del Vecchio
Connie Edwards
Jeffrey Forrest
Catriona Higgs
Elaine Trufley-Young

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