Harrisburg – Michael B. Jendzurski, a senior exercise science major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, has been named the 2013 winner of the Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence. He will receive $1,000 along with a commemorative medallion for his achievement.
Kerry Schutte from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Christopher William Smyth from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania were selected as runners-up for the award. Each will receive $500.
The Ali-Zaidi Award is presented annually to a graduating senior at one of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities. It recognizes outstanding academic achievement and participation in extra- and co-curricular activities. The award was established by Syed R. Ali-Zaidi, a founding member of the PASSHE Board of Governors.
Jendzurski of Collegeville, who also will receive a minor in communications studies in May, has earned a 3.87 GPA at West Chester. He is the recipient of numerous scholarships, including the Charles S. Swope Scholarship and Fellowship, the university’s highest academic and service award; the Russell L. Sturzebecker College of Health Sciences Scholarship, the top academic award presented by the College; and a PASSHE Board of Governors Scholarship. He also has received several awards, including the National Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellows Award for leadership and service and West Chester University Scholar Athlete of the Year.
A student in West Chester’s Honors College, Jendzurski is a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa, the national honors fraternity for physical education and health; Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership and service honor society; and Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society. He has held numerous offices in campus organizations and has participated in a variety of service projects while at WCU, including Light the Night, AIDS Walk Philly and Aid to South Africa. He is an Eagle Scout.
Schutte of Concord Township, Ohio, who also will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, with a minor in biology, has earned a 3.87 GPA while at Edinboro. She has received numerous scholarships, including the Dr. Jeremy D. Brown Millennium Leader Scholarship and William Rothenbach Outstanding Leader Scholarship, and a variety of other awards, including the President’s Award for Service to the Community and the Volunteer of the Year Award for The Ophelia Project.
She is a member of Phi Sigma Pi, a national honor fraternity, and has made numerous presentations at both state and national conferences. Schutte is a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Pennsylvania and a volunteer for Expanding Social Opportunities for Gifted and Exceptional Children.
Smyth of Christiana, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a concentration in marine biology and a minor in environmental studies, has earned a 3.82 GPA while at Lock Haven. He has received several scholarships, including the May Ireland Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship, the Paul and Shirley Klens Scholarship Award and a PASSHE Board of Governors Scholarship, as well as a variety of awards, including the 2012 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists Outstanding Student Award.
He has participated in a variety of research projects, including at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in LaJolla, California, and the Environmental Science Consortium Internship aboard the U.S. Brig Niagara. Smyth has volunteered with the Children Actively Protecting the Environment After School Program and the David School Mountain Serve Alternate Spring Break trip to David, Ky., and was a Relay for Life team coordinator.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with about 115,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Multi University Center in Philadelphia.