Pi Gamma Mu Key
International Honor Society in Social Sciences
The mission of Pi Gamma Mu is to encourage and promote excellence in the Social Sciences and to uphold and nurture scholarship, leadership, and service.


After much deliberation on the part of the Pi Gamma Mu Awards Committee, the committee's chairperson, Dr. Clara Small, recommended nine students and five alternates to receive Pi Gamma Mu Scholarships to the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees awarded the scholarships to the following lifetime members of Pi Gamma Mu:

Mehak Rajesh Advani

Mehak Rajesh Advani was awarded the $2,000 Carroll Parish Scholarship. The International Board of Trustees funded this scholarship to memorialize Carroll Parish, the late chancellor of Pi Gamma Mu's Western Region.  Advani graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Science from Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, California.  She was inducted into the California Chi Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu in 2019.  Dr. Peter Burns is the Chapter Sponsor. 

As an undergraduate, Advani was particularly interested in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Her bachelor's senior thesis is entitled, "Does a Giving Culture Make People More Willing to Share Counter-Normative Ideas?"   Through this research Advani investigated individuals' giver/taker nature (derived from Adam Grant's Give & Take book), and how it influences their constructive deviance behaviors in the workplace.  She is currently attending graduate school at the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, where she is pursuing a Master of Science in Human Resource Management.  Her long-term career goal is to develop tailored policies, strategies and programs to effectively manage workforce. She also hopes to publish peer-reviewed articles in the field of business psychology.

When asked about how her membership in Pi Gamma Mu impacted her, Advani said, "My membership in Pi Gamma Mu enabled me to have intriguing social science conversations even outside class and problem-solve with peers.  It gave me a platform to express myself and share ideas.  I also benefitted from reading peer-reviewed articles in the journal, International Social Science Review, and aim to present at the Pi Gamma Mu research convention." 

Elisabeth S. Noland

Elisabeth S. Noland was awarded the $2,000 Marvel Stockwell Scholarship. The International Board of Trustees funded this scholarship to memorialize Marvel Stockwell, late Pi Gamma Mu International First Vice President.  Noland was inducted into the Chapter at Valparaiso University, where Dr. Daniel Saros is the Chapter Sponsor.  She majored in Psychology and Spanish and is particularly interested in prejudice reduction strategies. 

Noland is attending graduate school at Purdue University where she is working toward a PhD in Social Psychology.  For her Master's thesis she is examining the potential relationship between personal and systemic bias.  Her long-term career goal is to be a professor at a research institution working with and mentoring underrepresented students and shaping the next generation of scholars.  Regarding Pi Gamma Mu, Noland noted that her membership has provided her with a network of other scholars and provides great funding opportunities.

Peter J. Varga

Peter J. Varga received the Effie B. Urquhart Scholarship of $2,000. This scholarship is funded by the Board of Trustees to memorialize Effie B. Urquhart, Pi Gamma Mu's late national executive secretary.  Varga completed his BA degree at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC where he was inducted into the DC Alpha Chapter.  Varga majored in Psychology with minors in Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Theology & Religious Studies.  In addition to being Vice President of his Pi Gamma Mu Chapter, he was President of the university's Medieval Society.  He was also an undergraduate peer tutor in the University Writing Center, where he conducted a study of the effects of writing center consultations on clients' writing apprehension and self-efficacy.  Within the Psychology Department, he was a senior research assistant in the Mental Load and Performance Laboratory (examining the effect of social stress on prospective memory) and a research assistant in the Lunar Psychophysics Virtual Reality Laboratory (comparing visual perception in environments with terrestrial and lunar light scattering effects).  He continues to serve as a research consultant for the Global Research on the Aesthetic Dimensions of Science project (based out of the Sociology Department), which is examining the role of experiences of beauty, awe, and wonder on scientists' job satisfaction and well-being.

Varga is currently working toward a Master of Science in Psychology at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.  His long-term goals include becoming a professional psychological scientist, most likely in an academic setting at the university level.  Regarding how his membership in Pi Gamma Mu has impacted him, Varga said, "As someone who has always striven for interdisciplinary collaboration, I came to really appreciate the integration of the social sciences promoted by Pi Gamma Mu.  It was the first formal setting in which I could engage with my colleagues from the whole breadth of the social sciences--from social work to politics--rather than just my peers in psychology."

At the time of Varga's induction into the DC Alpha Chapter at The Catholic University of America, Prof. Sandra Barreuco was the faculty sponsor of the chapter.  The current chapter sponsor is Dr. Abby Adler Mandel.

Gregory Michael Rivera

Gregory Michael Rivera was selected to receive the Gordon Mercer Scholarship of $1,000. The International Board of Trustees established this scholarship to honor Dr. Gordon E. Mercer, Pi Gamma Mu's 13th International President.  Rivera is a member of the New York Tau Chapter at Pace University, Pleasantville.  He majored in Political Science with a double minor in History and Philosophy.  He participated in the National Model U.N. Conference in the Fall of 2018 held in Washington, DC.  Rivera was awarded Outstanding Position Paper for the General Assembly First Committee (GA1) Germany and Honorable Mention Delegation.  He also participated in the Southern Regional Model U.N. Conference in the Spring of 2019 held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rivera said, "One of my passions is politics. I have been fortunate to intern for the government on the local, state and federal levels." 

Rivera currently attends Pace University Graduate School, working on a Master's degree in Public Administration, Government Track.  His long-term career goal is to work in public service. He hopes to play a role in public policy agenda setting that will influence salient and positive change.  Regarding his membership in Pi Gamma Mu, Rivera said, "My membership in Pi Gamma Mu encouraged me to strive for academic excellence, building a framework for critical thinking, communications, leadership. teamwork and research."  He is currently working as a Graduate Assistant helping Pace Faculty Members with research on a Covid-19 study. 

Dr. Linda Quest is the Faculty Sponsor of the New York Tau Chapter and Dr. Gregory Julian is the Faculty Sponsor at the Pleasantville campus.

William Samuel Godwin

William Samuel Godwin received the Dan Quigley Scholarship of $1,000. The International Board of Trustees funded this scholarship to memorialize Atty. Dan Quigley, Pi Gamma Mu's late legal counsel. This scholarship is awarded specifically to students in their first year of law school.  Godwin attended undergrad at Campbell University and was inducted into the North Carolina Mu Chapter where Dr. Lloyd Johnson is the faculty sponsor. He earned a BBA degree with a double major in Economics pre-law/Business Administration.

Godwin enjoys learning about economic development.  In the future, he hopes to help combat the ever-increasing burdens rural communities like his face, and to help empower the small businesses in these areas. He is attending law school at Campbell University, Norman A. Wiggins School of Law where he is a candidate for a JD degree.  His long-term career goal is to become a practicing taxation/bankruptcy/business attorney within his rural community.  When asked about is membership in Pi Gamma Mu, Godwin said, "My membership in Pi Gamma Mu has impacted me immensely, especially in providing me with opportunities such as this to earn scholarships that have helped towards lowering my financial burden in achieving my career dreams and obtaining a legal education."  


The following were selected to receive $1,000 Pi Gamma Mu Scholarships:

Nicole Balbuena

Nicole Balbuena recently graduated from the University of California - Irvine ('19), majoring in Sociology, Chicanx/Latinx Studies, and Political Science.  Balbuena is a member of the Pi Gamma Mu chapter at UC - Irvine, where Dr. Teresa Neighbors, the Chapter Faculty Sponsor, inducted her. Currently Balbuena is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in Social Welfare with the specialization of Strengthening Children, Youth, and Families at the University of California - Berkeley. She also is a Title IV-E Scholar and Title IV-E Representative for UC -  Berkeley.  Balbuena is an active leader in her community and a driven researcher with expertise in immigration, gender studies, and intimate partner violence. Through Pi Gamma Mu, Balbuena fostered connections with professionals and like-minded peers and found her career passion in social work through Pi Gamma Mu's community service events.  Her long-term career goals incude completing her two-year fellowship work at the Orange County Social Service agency after she graduates and returning to school to pursue her Ph.D. in Social Welfare. 

Gabrielle M. Etzel

Inducted into Pi Gamma Mu in 2018, Gabrielle M. Etzel graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Economics from Grove City College in 2019. Professor of Political Science, Samuel S. Stanton, the Chapter Sponsor of Grove City College's chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, had a significant impact on Etzel's appreciation of both the necessity and limitations of social science in the study of political activity. In Summer 2020, she began her graduate study in Political Science at Baylor University, specializing in American political thought and public policy with the intention of combining her passions for policy analysis and teaching. Etzel's interdisciplinary education and co-curriculars that sought to synthesize the social sciences and the humanities have made a strong impression on her academic trajectory, and she plans to utilize her experiences to bring about positive sociopolitical change in the United States.

Madelyn M. Cittadino

Madelyn M. Cittadino was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at Le Moyne College where she majored in Political Science with minors in Legal Studies, Philosophy, and Criminology.  Dr. Jeffrey Chin is the Faculty Sponor of the Chapter.  During undergrad, Cittadino was in the Integral Honors Program and wrote her senior thesis on the intersection of race theory and mass incarceration.  Cittadino is attending law school at Syracuse University pursuing a J.D.  Her long-term goal is to become a public defender and work on criminal justice reform.  Regarding her membership in Pi Gamma Mu, Cittadino said, "Pi Gamma Mu has given me opportunities to connect with other social science majors and faculty in my undergrad institution and the PGM scholarship specifically has eased so much of my burden transitioning into law school."

Aiyana Angeni Gonzalez

Aiyana Angeni Gonzalez earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree at Barry University in May of 2020.  She was inducted into the Florida Theta Chapter at Barry University as an undergraduate student.   She is currently working on a Master of Social Work degree.  Her long-term goals include working within the field of Political Social Work to effect change within legislature, advocacy, and education related to Transgender/Non-Binary/LGBQ issues.  Regarding her membership in Pi Gamma Mu, Gonzalez said, "It has allowed me the possibility of bringing LGBTQ issues to the forefront of our University being one that upholds Catholic values and principles."

The 5 alternates approved by the Trustees were: Mikayla Rae Higgins, Samantha Dawn Martin, Jennie Alexis Morton, Dalton Thomas Bailey, and Karlie Peterson.

Mikayla Rae Higgins was inducted into the Indiana Epsilon Chapter at Valparaiso University where she studied History and Chinese Studies.  Her goals include studying Anthropology in graduate school.  Professor Niru Devaraj is the Faculty Sponsor of the Chapter.

Samantha Dawn Martin is a member of the North Carolina Mu Chapter at Campbell University where she majored in Social Work.  Dr. Lloyd Johnson is the Faculty Sponsor of the Chapter.

Jennie Alexis Morton joined Pi Gamma Mu at the North Carolina Mu Chapter at Campbell University with a major in Psychology.  Dr. Lloyd Johnson is the Faculty Sponsor of the Chapter.

Dalton Thomas Bailey is a member of the Indiana Theta Chapter at Manchester University where he majored in Criminal Justice & Psychology.  Dr. Leonard Williams, Dean of the College of Education & Social Sciences, is the Chapter Faculty Sponsor.

Karlie Peterson joined the Nebraska Theta Chapter at Midland University where she studied Applied Behavior Analysis.  Dr. Megan Nielsen is the Faculty Sponsor of the Chapter.




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