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On Top of the System

Each year, a graduating senior is chosen from the fourteen Pennsylvania State System universities to receive the Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence. This past spring, the award was given to IUP’s Luke Matthews, a Robert E. Cook Honors College student who graduated with a double major in anthropology and biology.

A Bryn Mawr resident, Matthews received $1,000 and a medallion in recognition of his outstanding academic performance and involvement in extracurricular activities. He spent the 2000-01 academic year at the University of New Mexico as part of the National Student Exchange and completed an independent study on the evolutionary genetics of chimpanzees. In the summer of 1999, Matthews attended the University of York Archaeological Field School in York, England. He began doctoral studies at New York University this fall.

The Ali-Zaidi award was established by Syed R. Ali-Zaidi, Shippenville, a founding member of the System’s Board of Governors.

Great Sax

The IUP saxophone quartet “A Few Good Reeds” won the bronze medal in the senior wind division of the 2002 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, held at the University of Notre Dame during last Mother’s Day weekend. Fischoff is the largest national chamber music competition, with sixty-two ensembles participating in the wind and string categories.

Saxophone music education students Kurt Cessna from Indiana, Brent Davis from Peckville, Aaron Patterson from Carlisle, and Jennifer Shuty from Portage have also performed at the 2001 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conference and the 2002 U.S. Navy-sponsored Saxophone Symposium at George Mason University.

Apparently Ed

Pre-production has begun on the movie Apparently Leaving, written by IUP theater professor Ed Simpson and based on his Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award-winning play Additional Particulars. The story is set in a fictional western Pennsylvania town, and filming may begin as early as spring, 2003.

Chinese Exchange

Faculty members from IUP’s College of Education and Educational Technology and the Office of International Affairs have concluded collaboration agreements with representatives from three Chinese universities that will result in exchanges of research, faculty, and students. Beijing Capital Normal University in Beijing, Soochow University in Suzhou, and Shanghai Teachers University in Shanghai are now part of a growing list of relationships that IUP maintains with international and American schools.