Dr. Susan Jones, recently retired entomology professor at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, was honored this year by industry fraternity Pi Chi Omega with its 2019 Award of Achievement.
As recounted in the book chronicling Pi Chi Omega’s history, Dr. Jones was both the first female scholarship winner (and thus, first female member) and the first non-Purdue student when she won the 1978 scholarship as a senior at Louisiana State University. She received her doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1987. As noted in PMP’s 2016 profile on the Louisiana native:
The late Dr. Jeff LaFage, Dr. Jones’ mentor and a champion of termite research, submitted her name for a state urban entomology scholarship. Dr. Jones — who had been valedictorian of her high school — lost. She says the scholarship committee assumed that because she was a woman, she wouldn’t enter a crawlspace.
“They didn’t even ask me whether I would, let alone whether I had,” laments Dr. Jones, who received her doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1987. “It was ironic, because I have been in countless crawlspaces over my career.”
Her first-ever grad student, Dr. Nicky Gallagher of Syngenta Professional Solutions, gave an emotionally charged introduction during the “Raise the Bar” event Pi Chi Omega hosted at the Tequila Bar & Grille on Thursday evening. Dr. Jones’ award was actually announced during the Monday membership meeting, but was a surprise to her when she was “coerced,” as Dr. Gallagher teased, into coming to the Raise the Bar event.
The event also served as a fundraiser for Pi Chi Omega’s scholarship fund. The 50/50 raffle winner, James Miller, Trécé, bought four “arm-lengths” of tickets. He won $710 and Pi Chi Omega raised $710 for the scholarship fund. In addition, J.T. Eaton sponsored three drawings for raffle participants. Winners included:
- David Moore won the $25 Home Depot gift card.
- Santos Port won the $50 Home Depot gift card.
- Mark Swihart won the $100 Home Depot gift card.