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Mortar Board Awards Four Scholarships, Celebrates National Org's Centennial

The Alcala Chapter of Mortar Board at the University of San Diego awarded $1,000 scholarships to four of its outstanding students and two USD Mortar Board alumna shared at its 2018 Scholarship Luncheon April 15 in the Degheri Alumni Center boardroom.

2018 Mortar Board Scholarship Lunch

The four USD student scholarship recipients are Julie Giannini, a biology major with minors in chemistry and Spanish, with the Dr. Alice B. Hayes Mortar Board Scholarship; Nicole Reitz, a behavioral neuroscience major, with the Mortar Board Alumni Scholarship; Trinity Manning-Pickett, an economics major and history minor, received the Joanne Tartre Herrin Scholarship (in honor of a Mortar Board alumna attendee from the University of Washington); and Annie Wright, a behavioral neuroscience major on the occupational therapy track, received the Judith Lewis Logue Mortar Board Scholarship.The scholarship announcements came after remarks from USD Mortar Board alumnae, Lindsey Binkle and Erin Alton.

Binkle, a 2014-15 Mortar Board alumna and a current graduate student in USD’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, spoke about her passion for Mortar Board. She described her search for a unique fundraising idea and how she created an online cookbook of food recipe favorites to attract donations for the Mortar Board STRIVE (Seeking To Reward Individual Visions of Excellence) scholarships awarded to graduating seniors at Kearny High School each year.

Alton, a 2009-11 Mortar Board alumna who earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in accountancy at USD, represents USD on the San Diego County Mortar Board Alumni Chapter Board. She spoke about the opportunities to serve through San Diego’s alumni chapter, which is for Mortar Board alumni from colleges around the country who live in San Diego County. Both USD and San Diego State University have undergraduate Mortar Board chapters. San Diego’s Mortar Board Alumni Chapter is one of 15 nationwide.

Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for their achievements in scholarship, leadership, and service. The organization facilitates community service projects, faculty-student interaction and leadership opportunities. There are more than 230 chapters from Hawaii to Massachusetts and the national organization is celebrating the 100th Centennial of its existence.

USD’s Alcala Chapter, which started in 2000, is led by its original advisor, Judith Lewis Logue. The organization has faculty advisors: Richard Custin, LLM, Clinical Professor of Business Law and Ethics; Nicholas Ladany, PhD, dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) and Mortar Board alumnus (University of Maryland); Judith Liu, PhD, Professor of Sociology; Susan Lord, PhD, Professor of Electrical Engineering; Michael Mayer, PhD, Professor of Biology; Perla Myers, PhD, Professor of Mathematics and Mortar Board alumna (University of Houston); and administrative advisor, Charles Bass, senior director of Alumni Relations and a Mortar Board alumnus (University of Tulsa). There are also 17 honorary Mortar Board members in the Alcala chapter, consisting of past and present faculty, deans, administrators, current USD President James T. Harris and two USD President Emerita, Mary Lyons and Alice B. Hayes.

The afternoon event concluded with each USD Mortar Board member standing up to introduce themselves to the audience and express their plans post-graduation, including some students who will be two-year participants in the program and return for another semester or year, including current Mortar Board Alcala Chapter President Austin Hirsh, a mechanical engineering major and mathematics minor.

The 2017-18 Alcala Chapter of Mortar Board student members are: Megan Archibald, Kennedy Avery, Mary Berset, Mary Kate Clancy, Kelsie Currie, Nicholas Dichristofano, Ashley Dunn, Michelle Fabian, Lindsay Fitzpatrick, Natalie Fournier, Julie Giannini, Kelly Goles, Danielle Grainger, Carmen Hanson, Seraphim Himes, Austin Hirsh, Yin Chen Casey Huang, Cait Imhoff, Kelly Kennedy, Heather Kovar, Eric Kraft, Courtney MacFarlane, Logan Mack, Trinity Manning-Pickett, Cameron Markowitz, Allison May, Ellen McCaw, Alexandra Murray, Luke Muskett, Brandon Orzolek, Priscilla Perez, Sydney Pidgeon, Nicole Reitz, Simon Revlock, Cathryn Sanders, Anthony Shao, Veronica Shelton, Ramon Solis, Tamae Sugiura, Joshua Wilson, Hannah Winterbottom and Annie Wright.

— USD News Center