SRU celebrates its ‘rising stars’ at annual awards ceremony


Rising Star graphic

Members of the Slippery Rock University campus community were recognized for their leadership at 2022 Rising Star Student Involvement Awards ceremony, April 20.

April 21, 2022

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's Office of Student Engagement and Leadership presented its 2021-22 Rising Star Student Involvement Awards, April 20, at the Smith Student Center.

The Rising Star and Distinguished Leader awards are presented to students who positively influence change, effectively communicate, inspire others, delegate and empower their organizational members. Rising Star awards are given to underclass students, and Distinguished Leader awards are given to upperclass students. These awards are presented to students who successfully balance academic life and make the most of out of organizational leadership opportunities.

The Rising Star award recipients included:

  • Caleb Grabowski, a sophomore computing major from Aliquippa.
  • Emma Papariella, a freshman recreational therapy major from Pittsburgh.
  • Rose Resnick, a freshman mathematics major from Slippery Rock.

The Distinguished Leader award recipients included:

  • Jocelyn Buhite, a senior dual communication and interdisciplinary programs major from Kittanning.
  • Sarah Dodds, a junior health science public health major from Dillsburg.
  • Casey Woodford, a senior geography major from Ridgway.

Angelina Saldamarco, a senior exercise science major from Allison Park, won the Student Leader of the Year award, an award that recognizes student leaders for their outstanding contributions to campuswide, cocurricular programs and leadership and organizational ability in helping plan and present programs.

The Housing and Residence Life Offices presented three awards: Sydney Lewis, a junior exercise science major from Altoona, won the Rising Rookie Community Assistant Award; Shiann Malcolm, a graduate student majoring in public health from Johnstown, won the Shining the Light Award; and Brett Lejeune, a senior homeland and corporate security major from McMurray, won the Mentor Community Assistant Award.

Other individual awards winners include Alicea Chludzinski, a senior dance major from Erie, as Student Employee of the Year; Taylor Ritzert, a graduate student majoring in student affairs higher education from Chicora, as Outstanding Graduate Assistant; and Seth Jenny, assistant professor in exercise science and rehabilitative sciences, as the Outstanding Student Organization Adviser.

Group awards included the Outstanding Collaboration Award presented to University Program Board, Black Action Society, the Gender Studies Program, the Office for Inclusive Excellence and the Frederick Douglass Institute; The Outstanding Diversity Achievement to the Student Organization for Latino, Hispanics, and Allies; the Fraternity/Sorority Chapter of the Year to Phi Sigma Sigma; the Club Sport of the Year to the Esports Club; and the Student Organization of the Year to Delight Ministries.

The winner of the Educational Program of the Year Award went to "The Legend Behind the Plate: A Negro League Insider" hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha.

For more information about the Rising Star Student Involvement Awards, call 724.738.2092 or email

MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Conn | 724.738.4854 |