The keystone of Pi Chi Omega’s philanthropy is their scholarship program which aims to support full-time university students engaged in urban and industrial pest management studies.  The objective of Pi Chi Omega’s scholarship program is to encourage and assist students to prepare for careers in pest management. Aside from bringing young minds into our Industry, Desiree Straubinger, Chair of the Pi Chi Omega Scholarship Committee, reflects that “the research students are doing influences the future of our Industry and is very important in the ever-evolving world of pest control.”

This year marks 44 years of providing financial scholarships that support formal education within the field of entomology.  Because of a generous, anonymous donation in Norm Ehmann’s name, a 5th scholarship was added to our scholarship program, bringing the total amount of scholarship funds awarded to $11,000.  The scholarship committee reviewed 8 applications and have selected the following 5 exceptional students to receive Pi Chi Omega scholarships as follows:

  • John Osmun Scholarship awarded to Tiana Molitor, University of Minnesota for $3,000
  • Founders Endowment Scholarship awarded to Fabian List, Texas A&M for $2,000
  • Alain VanRyckeghem Memorial Scholarship awarded to Aaron Rodriques, Purdue University for $2000
  • Austin Frishman Scholarship awarded to Amanda Penicks, Cal Poly Tech for $2,000
  • Norm Ehmann Scholarship awarded to Rajani Sapkota, Purdue University for $2,000

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, student-life at the University level has been significantly impacted. Given the resiliency of our young people we are confident they’ll see their way through this unprecedented time and evolve their methods of learning, collaborating and researching in ways we can’t even fathom. Pi Chi Omega recognizes the efforts these students place on their education and as Desiree said, “to be able to support that work is a great honor.”  We look forward to reporting on the progress each of these five students make over the next year.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Pi Chi Omega Scholarship program to support and encourage students to pursue a career in our industry, you can make an online donation at, or contact the Pi Chi Omega staff at or 540/376-3617.