Cook Honors College Student a Runner-Up for Ali-Zaidi Award

Posted on 4/14/2010 2:02:28 PM
Melissa Rogers, surrounded by comic books

Melissa Rogers, of Hawley, a Spanish and English major, is one of two runners-up for the Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence.

The Ali-Zaidi Award was established by Syed R. Ali-Zaidi, a founding member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors, to recognize and reward, on an annual basis, a graduating senior from one of the fourteen state-owned universities. Funds for the annual award come from donations made to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation.

Each of the fourteen PASSHE university presidents nominated a student for the award; Rogers was IUP’s nominee. Three IUP students have won the award since its introduction in 2000.

The Board of Governors’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee members selected the winner, Joshua Philip Bow from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Rogers and the other runner-up, Seth Sykora-Bodie of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, each received a certificate and $500.

Rogers will graduate from the Robert E. Cook Honors College in May. In addition to her dual degree, she is completing a minor in Women’s Studies.

A Ronald E. McNair Scholar, Rogers has a grade-point average of 3.94 and plans to obtain a doctoral degree in English. Her honors thesis for the McNair Scholars Program is “From the Gutter to the Mainstream: Women Comics Writers and Marginalization.”

Rogers completed an internship with the editorial department of Marvel Comics in New York City. Her work there was the subject of an IUP Magazine Web Exclusive, “Serious about Comics.”

She also participated in a study-abroad experience in Mexico. She is president of both Vote IUP and the Commonwealth Association of Students.

Rogers has presented her research at local and state conferences, including the English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities Conference and the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture. She is editor of IUP’s New Growth Arts Review Literary Magazine.