Pi Chi Omega finds ways to keep members connected


September 15, 2020


Members of Pi Chi Omega gathered after the meeting for a group photo at PestWorld 2019. PHOTO: HEATHER GOOCH

Pi Chi Omega is a service fraternity, and exists to connect and enrich the urban pest management industry. As a fraternity, we socialize, we come together to talk about the science of entomology, and we learn from one another about how to apply that science to our work, careers, research, studies and businesses.

Despite physical distancing limiting our in-person gatherings, I encourage everyone to play their own unique, but important role of enriching the urban pest management industry. Things may look and feel different right now. We may have a tough row to hoe. But our work to better the industry is as important now, as it ever was. Your Pi Chi Omega community can be a powerful tool as we work through the issues facing us. We can learn from one another, lean on one another, and make a difference.


The keystone of Pi Chi Omega’s philanthropy is our scholarship program, which for 44 years has provided financial support to full-time university students engaged in urban and industrial pest management studies. The objective is to encourage and assist students to prepare for careers in pest management.

Desiree Straubinger, BCE, chair of the Scholarship Committee and market technical director for Rentokil Steritech, 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.”

The 2020 Pi Chi Omega scholarship recipients are as follows:

  • Tiana Molitor, University of Minnesota, received a $3,000 John Osmun Scholarship.
  • Fabian List, Texas A&M University, received a $2,000 Founders Endowment Scholarship.
  • Aaron Rodriques, Purdue University, received a $2,000 Alain VanRyckeghem Memorial Scholarship.
  • Amanda Penicks, California Polytechnic State University, received a $2,000 Austin Frishman Scholarship.
  • Rajani Sapkota, Purdue University, received a $2,000 Norm Ehmann Scholarship.

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 PiChiOmega.org.




Pi Chi Omega is always eager to welcome new members — the more minds, the greater our impact. In 2020, we have welcomed 18 new members to the fraternity. Sept. 1, 2020, is the next deadline to submit nomination forms.

We normally get a chance to introduce Pi Chi Omega to prospective members at PestWorld. Now we are relying on our members to spread the good word about the fraternity. If you are interested in learning more about our dynamic organization, with members who are entomologists, pest management professionals (PMPs), manufacturers, consultants, researchers, professors, students and others dedicated to the technical side of structural pest control, please visit our membership page.


Last but not least, the nominations committee is searching for individuals to serve on the board of directors or on a committee. If you are inclined to get involved in a leadership position, please email office@pichiomega.org. A slate of candidates will be presented during the elections conducted at the Pi Chi Omega membership meeting, which will be held virtually this fall.

Pi Chi Omega goes virtual

Who isn’t disappointed that we won’t be meeting in Nashville, Tenn., for a face-to-face meetup at PestWorld? Certainly not Pi Chi Omega! We normally have a great time with our members throughout that event. If nothing else, this pandemic has forced our hand to try out new technology. Pi Chi Omega is planning ways to hold our membership meeting and some social time with our members this fall. Stay tuned for details, and keep an open mind as we negotiate uncharted waters.

The executive staff is already looking into fun virtual opportunities. We are determined to meet in some shape, form or fashion, even if it does mean sharing yourself on a webcam — or building the avatar you always dreamed of for yourself.

You can reach Mark Sheperdigian, BCE, vice president of technical services, Rose Pest Solutions, Troy, Mich., at shep@rosepest.com.

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