Gretchen Heine 2014 Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award runner-upGretchen Heine, a dual major in Spanish and history, received $500 as a runner-up for the 2014 Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence.

The award is presented to a graduating senior from one of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools in recognition of academic achievement and participation in extra- and co-curricular activities. Candidates for the award are recommended by their university president at the conclusion of a campus application and selection process.

Heine, a native of Frederick, Md., has traveled far and wide as a student of IUP. She has studied abroad in Mexico, Bermuda, and Germany and served as a teaching assistant in Nicaragua and Italy.

Here at IUP, Heine worked with two of her professors to revamp the Spanish Honors Program, was a member of the university's Leadership Governance and Administration Sub-Committee for Middle States Accreditation, and has been involved in several research projects.

Sara Dickson from Clarion University was also a runner-up, and Rebecca Burcher from Slippery Rock won the award of $1,000.