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Pi Chi Omega Awards Four Scholarships for 2017

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Pi Chi Omega, the national entomology fraternity is happy to announce the 2017 recipients of the Pi Chi Omega scholarships. Recognizing the need for college educated professionals in the field of urban and industrial pest management, Pi Chi Omega makes available scholarships each year to students majoring in urban and industrial pest management or some closely related plan of study. This year, 4 scholarships were awarded: 1 for $3,000 and 3 for $2,000 each. "The object of our scholarships is to encourage and assist outstanding students to prepare for careers in pest control", said Judy Black, Pi Chi Omega President.

The $3,000 Osmund Scholarship was awarded to Mark Janowiecki from Texas A & M who is currently a PhD Entomology student under Dr. Ed Vargo. Mark’s dissertation research, will investigate inter- and intraspecific subterranean termite colony interactions. Specifically, his objectives include examining the process of how termite colonies detect nearby colonies, how they distinguish same from unique colonies, and their reactions to opposing colonies.This project will help to better understand the general biology of subterranean termites. It also has the potential application to pest control by potentially manipulating these mechanisms of termite recognition and avoidance.

Mr. Janowiecki received his B.S. degree in Entomology from Ohio State University, under Dr. Susan Jones. He received his M.S. degree in Entomology from University of Arkansas, under Dr. Allen Szalanski. He has extensive experience giving presentations at scientific meetings, as well as extension presentations to meetings of pest management associations.

Sudip Gaire, a PhD student in Entomology (Urban Pest Management) at Purdue University is the Founder’s Scholarship Award Recipient in the amount of $2,000. Sudip’s dissertation research under Dr. Ameya Gondhalekar focuses on the toxicity and neurophysiological impacts of essential oils on Bed bugs. He received a B.S. degree from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He followed that up with an M.S. degree in Agricultural Biology, with a research specialization in Urban Entomology from the University of New Mexico under Dr. Alvaro Romero.

Also studying at Purdue University, Aaron Ashbrook, is a recipient of one of the $2,000 scholarships from Pi Chi Omega. Aaron is a PhD student in Entomology studying under Dr. Ameya Gondhalekar. His research seeks to address the significant knowledge gap associated with the long-term usage of heat as a control technique for bed bugs. Aaron earned his B.S. in Biology from Grand Valley State University. He also earned his M.S. in Entomology under Drs. Gary Bennett and Ameya Gondhalekar.

Annie Rich, the only M.S. student receiving a scholarship this year, received one of the $2,000 scholarship awards. Annie is majoring in medical and veterinary entomology at the University of Georgia under Dr. Nancy Hinkle, where her research focuses on the interface of urban pest suppression and medical entomology, specifically on bloodsucking pests and disease vectors. Her research is oriented toward solving problems affecting human health and comfort. She also has a passion for extension education.

Stephanie Hill, Chairman of the Pi Chi Omega Scholarship Committee, said of the process, "Our committee had a very difficult job choosing the four award recipients from a very qualified pool of 8 applicants. It is a great problem to have . . .seeing this many students pursuing important research in the field of urban and industrial pest control.

To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled full-time in undergraduate or graduate studies in urban or industrial pest management or a related field. The award is based on: the student being in good academic standing (3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale); and on character, personality, school activities, and professional activities.

Applicants must submit a completed application form; resume or curriculum vitae; an official transcript from the school currently attending; a one page essay describing how their studies, research, and/or work experience will contribute to the urban and industrial pest management industry; two letters of recommendation; and a letter of support from a Pi Chi Omega member.


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