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 Gammaa Mu Awards Committee, the committee's chairperson recommended 8 scholarship recipients and 3 alternates for awards totaling $11,000 to the Board of Trustees in 2023. The Trustees awarded scholarships to the following lifetime members of Pi Gamma Mu:

Tara Sutton

Tara Sutton received the $2,000 Carroll Parish Scholarship. Tara was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the Hawaii Alpha Chapter at The University of Hawaiʻi–Mānoa. Dr. Lorey Takhashi and Asst. Prof. Ulla Hasager are the faculty sponsors of the chapter.

Completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with degrees in Communicology, Anthropology, and Ethnic Studies, Tara is continuing her educational journey there as a Master's student in the Department of Geography and Environment. Her academic aspirations were ignited after life adventures that included raising children in Alaska's demanding conditions, diverse employment roles from bakeries to prison systems, and a deep-rooted curiosity about how people communicate and interact. These rich life experiences have shaped her into a dedicated researcher with a strong focus on community involvement. Currently a member of the Red Hill Task Force, Tara investigates the social outcomes of the Red Hill water contamination and plans to extend this research in her future Ph.D. program. She credits her family's steadfast support and her multifaceted life experiences for shaping her academic interests and career goals. Tara values her Pi Gamma Mu membership, acknowledging it as a driving force for both academic and real-world pursuits. This scholarship serves as both a validation of her efforts and a stepping stone towards achieving her broader research goals examining the element of trust between institutions and communities after periods of environmental contamination.

Olivia Jade Camarena

Olivia Jade Camarena received the $2,000 Effie B. Urquhart Scholarship. Olivia was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the Kansas Theta Chapter at Newman University. Dr. C. Laurence (Larry) Heck is the sponsor of the chapter. She was president of Pi Gamma Mu for over two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. During her time at Newman, she learned how to be a leader, the gift of responsibility, and how to work as a team player.

Olivia is working on her Master of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas, focusing on macro social work practice. She is fascinated by the world around her and loves to study, research, and learn more about how she can create policies or programs to help the homeless population in her local area as well as volunteering regularly at local charities and food banks.

Olivia wants to thank her family and Dr. Heck, as their constant support played a huge role in her success, as well as her cat Tuti. Olivia is following in the footsteps of her father Carlos, as he attended the same master's program in 1989 and is hoping to continue her family legacy after graduation in May of 2025.

Julia Queen

Julia Queen received the $2,000 Marvel Stockwell Scholarship. Julia was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the Maryland Theta Chapter at The University of Maryland Global Campus. Prof. Katherine (Kathy) Im is the faculty sponsor of the chapter. Julia was accepted into the Master's degree program in Counseling Psychology at Bowie State University. She was thrilled to start classes in the fall of 2023.

Clara Sherwood

Maria del Alba Clara "Clara" Sherwood received the $1,000 Gordon E. Mercer Scholarship. Clara was inducted into Pi Gammaa Mu at the Pennsylvania Alpha Omicron Chapter at Washington & Jefferson College in 2022. Dr. Zheya Gai and Dr. Anudeep Gill are the faculty sponsors of the chapter.

Clara graduated summa cum laude from Washington & Jefferson College with a triple major in International Studies, Spanish, and "Music & Conflict Resolution" (self-designed, thematic major). Clara is currently a New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists and a former US Fulbright Grantee to Morocco. An experienced research, public relations, and communications intern for U.S. Government programs and think tanks focused on diplomacy and security, she recently began her graduate program at George Washington University where she is studying international affairs and Arabic. Clara has worked and studied in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and is currently researching the role non-governmental entities play in the intersection between nuclear escalation, crisis management, and digital narratives.

Kyle Jedlicka

Kyle Jedlicka received the $1,000 Daniel E. Quigley Law Scholarship. Kyle was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the Nebraska Delta Chapter at Wayne State College. Dr. Randy Bertolas and Dr. Jean Karlen are the faculty sponsors of the chapter.

Kyle is a J.D. candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law. At Nebraska Law, he is involved with the Student Bar Association, St. Thomas Moore Society, and the Federalist Society. Kyle graduated from Wayne State College in May of 2023 with majors in Political Science and Criminal Justice and a minor in Pre-Law. Before Law School, he previously worked for the Nebraska Governor's Office and the Colfax County Attorney's Office. Kyle credits Pi Gamma Mu for furthering his academic career through his participation in the 2021 Pi Gamma Mu International Conference as a student presenter and through the generous scholarship he received. He plans to practice constitutional law after graduating from Nebraska Law in May of 2026.

Sophia Widdekind

Sophia G. Widdekind received a $1,000 scholarship. Sophie was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the New York Sigma Chapter at LeMoyne College. Dr. Jeffrey Chin is the faculty sponsor of the chapter.

Sophia completed her A.A.S. in Mechanical Technology in Winter 2019, her B.A. in Psychology in Spring 2023, and is currently attending Syracuse University for her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy through Falk College. Sophia is an active member of the Trans Team and is interested in specializing in gender-affirming care. Outside of school her interests include singing and art.

Ravyn Hicks

Ravyn Hicks received a $1,000 scholarship. Ravyn was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the Maryland Theta Chapter at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Prof. Katherine (Kathy) Im is the faculty sponsor of the chapter.

Ravyn is a Logistics Analyst with General Dynamics. Her daughter, Jenesis, will be two in January. Jenesis is signed with two agencies and competes in pageants. Ravyn also has a three year old Puggle named Xan. Ravyn hopes to enter a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling upon completion of this current MA in Forensic Psychology through the University of North Dakota. She hopes to, then, gain licensure as an LCPC, and as a long-term goal, become a Forensic Psychologist.

Jackie Dimalanta

Jacqueline "Jackie" Marie Dimalanta received a $1,000 scholarship. Jacqueline was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the Philippine Alpha Chapter at The University of the Philippines. Prof. Maria Fe Villamejor-Mendoza is one of the faculty sponsors of the chapter.

Jackie earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2022. Following this accomplishment, she gained admission to the university's Direct Ph.D. in Psychology program, specializing in Clinical Psychology. As a dedicated clinical psychologist in training, Jackie aspires to advance her advocacy for enhancing the accessibility of mental health services for all. In addition to her Ph.D. studies, she actively contributes as a research assistant, peer support volunteer, and engagement specialist for mental health professionals. During her leisure time, Jackie finds joy in mindfully connecting with nature, playing with her pets, and creating music.

Sadie M. Harris

Sadie M. Harris was selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship, but declined due to a change in her plans. An alternate was selected to receive the scholarship. Sadie joined Pi Gamma Mu through the Nebraska Theta Chapter at Midland University. Dr. Megan Nielsen is the faculty sponsor of the Chapter.

Due to family matters Sadie was unable to attend law school this semester as planned, but with all things back to normal for her family she has submitted law school applications for the Fall 2024 semester. She anticipates hearing back soon. She is currently working at Foulston Siefkin LLP as a Legal Assistant to stay in touch with the legal world as she waits.

Emily Barylske

Emily Barylske was selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship, but declined due to a change in her plans. An alternate was selected to receive the scholarship. Emily joined Pi Gamma Mu through the Illinois Pi Chapter at McKendree University. Dr. Michael Hahn is the faculty sponsor of the Chapter.

Emily is planning to go into missionary work for 2 years with the Southern Baptist IMB; as long as her interviewing process is successful. Currently, during her off time from Graduate School, she works as a Project Coordinator at Dometic located in Litchfield, IL. She has helped Dometic with their interior and exterior designing process, and it has made her reconsider my Grad School plans as well to consider Project Management. She finds that her bachelor of arts degrees has helped her in the business world to be able to understand people and also think outside the box more. She finds that McKendree University has set her on the right path for life post-graduation, and she still keeps in contact with some of her professors to discuss life plans and to get advice from them.

Melissa-Hong Thuy Kieu was recommended as an alternate to receive a scholarship if one became available due to another selected student declining the award. No award became available for Melissa, although her success is recognized by her selection as an alternate. Melissa was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu at the Kansas Lambda Chapter at Wichita State University.



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