Pi Chi Omega Honors Four Students with Scholarships

Pi Chi Omega Honors Four Students with Scholarships

Four extraordinary students have been selected as recipients of a total of $9,000 in scholarships from Pi Chi Omega.

April 16, 2018
Edited by Brad Harbison
People Training

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Four extraordinary students have been selected as recipients of a total of $9,000 in scholarships from Pi Chi Omega – the national fraternity for pest control professionals. This year marks 42 years of supporting undergraduate or graduate students pursuing degrees in urban and industrial pest management.  Since 1976, Pi Chi Omega has distributed over $150,000 to up-and-coming entomologists, chemists and related scientists.

New in 2018, is the Alain VanRyckeghem Memorial Scholarship, established just 4 short months after Alain’s passing last November.  This is a perpetual scholarship of $2,000 available in perpetuity, based on the collected contribution of $50,000 to the Pi Chi Omega Scholarship Fund. Established to honor Alain’s passion for science, education and entomology, the Fund was created by generous contributions from Insects Limited, Alain’s family, friends and colleagues.  

The inaugural recipient of the Alain VanRyckeghem Memorial Scholarship, in the amount of $2,000, is Johnalyn Gordon.  Johnalyn is a Master’s student under Dr. Thomas Chouvenc at the University of Florida, where her research currently deals with the hybrid of two incredibly damaging invasive termite species in South Florida: the Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) and the Asian subterranean termite (Coptotermes gestroi). These species have been introduced to southeastern Florida, making this one of only three regions in the world where invasive populations of these species overlap.

The recipient of the Dr. Austin Frishman Scholarship of $2,000, Patryk Tomaszliewcz, is the only undergraduate student to receive a Pi Chi Omega Scholarship this year.  Patryck is a senior double-majoring in medicine and entomology at Texas A & M.  With high aspirations of applying his personal values of inclusion to his ultimate goal of being a doctor, Patryck has discovered a real passion for entomology and is studying entomology-based arbovirus research.

Pi Chi Omega is actively seeking donations to the Scholarship Fund in Dr. Frishman’s name. In October, 2017 the Pi Chi Omega membership voted to create the Austin Frishman perpetual scholarship. If the total amount contributed reaches $50,000 in 2018 – this scholarship amount will be increased to $3,000 per year.

Fabian List is the 2018 recipient of the Founder’s Endowment Scholarship in the amount of $2,000. Fabian is a Ph.D. student under Dr. Ed Vargo at Texas A & M. He came to the United States from Germany for his Ph.D. for the outstanding research opportunities and established Entomology facilities.  His current research is centered on the invasive tawny crazy ant (Nylanderia fulva) including possible RNAi constructs with potential for effective long-term treatment against colonies.

The final Pi Chi Omega scholarship award of $3,000 – the Osmun Scholarship – is awarded to Joanie King, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Ed Vargo’s lab at Texas A & M.  Joanie’s primary research focus is on investigating the interactions and biology of red imported fire ants and phorid fly parasitoids. Phorid parasitoids help suppress fire ant populations. Research on how these phorid parasitoids manipulate their hosts will lead to a better understanding of how they naturally control fire ant populations – which is important because fire ants are a major invasive pest insect in the United States.

For more information about the 2018 Pi Chi Omega Scholarships, or to make a contribution to the Scholarship Fund, please contact Andrea Coron, Pi Chi Omega Executive Director, at office@pichiomega.org or 540/374-3617.

Copesan Contributes to Frishman Scholarship Fund. Pi Chi Omega gratefully announces the generous contribution of $6,590 by Copesan Services, Inc. to the Dr. Austin Frishman Scholarship Fund on March 19, 2018, bringing this fund to over $29,000.  The contribution was made at the NPMA Legislative Day. 
The Copesan network of local service providers has been raising funds for seventeen years in support of Pi Chi Omega and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) Foundation for research through their annual Copesan Charity Raffle. “Supporting the industry and its growth through research and education is important to the Copesan family. We have so many generous team members in our network who value the efforts of these organizations,” shared Deni Naumann, Copesan Services, Inc., President. “And, we are especially excited to earmark this year’s Pi Chi Omega donation to the Dr. Austin Frishman Scholarship Fund. Dr. Frishman had a profound impact on our network in the early years, playing a key role in the development of our training platform and the protocols that provide the foundation for our quality service delivered by local experts.”

“Copesan’s on-going and very generous gifts since 2001 have helped Pi Chi Omega to build a very strong cache of funds restricted solely to awarding $9,000 in scholarships annually to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing degrees in urban and industrial pest management,” shared Dale Baker, Pi Chi Omega President. “And in celebration of their own 60th Birthday, Copesan included an additional $2,000 in Dr. Frishman’s name! Happy Birthday, Copesan!”

At the October 2017 membership meeting, Pi Chi Omega members voted to create the perpetual Dr. Austin Frishman Scholarship in the amount of $2,000.  “Pi Chi Omega would love to increase the annual award of this scholarship to $3,000,” shared Desiree Straubinger, Chair of the PCO Scholarship Committee. “This is within our grasp in 2018, if we can increase the total amount raised in Dr. Frishman’s name to $50,000. Copesan’s earmarked gift certainly made this goal achievable!”

The Pi Chi Omega Board would like to invite anyone moved to support this effort to make a donation directly to Pi Chi Omega.  So that 100% of your donation will go towards this worthy effort, please mail a check to: Pi Chi Omega, PO Box 187, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. Please write “Dr. Frishman Named Scholarship Fund” on the memo line. If you’d like to pay by credit card, please call us at 540-376-3617 or make the contribution through PayPal by paying pichiomega@pichiomega.org and adding a note that the funds are made in support of the Dr. Frishman Named Scholarship Fund.