USD's Alcalá Chapter of Mortar Board Awards Four Scholarships

USD's Alcalá Chapter of Mortar Board Awards Four Scholarships

The University of San Diego's Alcalá Chapter of Mortar Board, a national organization, awarded four of its students scholarships during an April 14 event in the Degheri Alumni Center boardroom.

The Alice B. Hayes Mortar Board Scholarship, named in honor of USD's second president, was given to Kristina (Tina) Kimsey, who is a liberal studies major with a literature concentration and a French minor. She has a 4.0 GPA, serves on the Liberal Studies Leadership Board, was the scholastic chair for the Living Learning Communities Program, volunteers and works with USD's Karen and Tom Mulvaney Center for Community Awareness and Social Action as a youth engagement initiative mentor, and has been a Search Retreat member for University Ministry.

Kimsey, who is from Lake Oswego, Ore., will join USD's School of Leadership and Education Sciences' dual-credential and Master of Education in Curriculum Education program this fall. Her plans are to earn her multiple subjects and special education teaching credentials and pursue a career in elementary education with an emphasis on art integration and well-round literature education.

The USD Mortar Board Alumni Scholarship was given to Sarina Haghighat, who is majoring in mathematics and minors in theatre and chemistry. She has a cumulative 3.8 GPA, is a National Science Foundation S-3 S-STEM scholar, has been on the executive board of the Math Club and Pi Beta Phi sorority for women. Haghighat tutors students in the Math Learning Center, has worked with differently-abled children and adults in theatre through the Stage and In Focus program and has helped children to read at the YMCA.

Haghighat, who is from Irvine, Calif., has also worked in dentistry as a clinical assistant and plans to attend dental school in the fall. She hopes to become an orthodontist.

The third honoree, recipient of the Joanne Tartre Herrin Scholarship, was Pitrina Gilger, an English and Political Science double major. This scholarship is named for Tartre Herrin, who has been a Mortar Board alumna since 1950 from the University of Washington. She was also in attendance for the presentation of the scholarship.

Gilger, who is from San Diego, has a 3.95 cumulative GPA, is a member of the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta and the Political Science Honor Society Pi Sigma Alpha. She's the USD chapter president of the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement and chair of the Torero Program Board. She volunteers with San Diego's Therapeutic Recreation Services program in the summer and works for the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

Gilger plans to pursue a career in law and has been accepted to several law programs including three in Southern California. Her desire is to go into entertainment law to work within the music industry and her ultimate goal is to start a program using music to help solve social and ethical issues.

The fourth scholarship awarded was the Judith Lewis Logue Mortar Board Scholarship, is named for Logue, who retired earlier this year as USD's Financial Aid Director after 29 years here and nearly 55 overall in this field. Logue has also been the USD Mortar Board director since its inception, handing the reins over to USD Math Professor Perla Myers, PhD, this academic year.

The recipient of the Logue scholarship was Austin Hirsh, a graduating mechanical engineering major and math minor who has a cumulative 3.95 GPA. Hirsh, who is from Gig Harbor, Wash., is a member of the USD Honors Program and an Industry Scholar. He's been an Outdoor Adventures guide, president of the Engineering Honors Society known as Tau Beta Pi, studied abroad in Peru where he worked with Peruvian volunteers to teach math to children, served as USD Mortar Board's President in 2017-18 and he's a serial entrepreneur. He has been a finalist in two USD events, the Venture Vetting (V2) Pitch Competition in 2018 and, in 2019, a USD representative in the Center for Peace and Commerce's Fowler Global Social Innovation, with different projects.

Hirsh will graduate from USD in late May, will pitch his Re:Fresh Smoothies social innovation idea June 14-15 in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge and then move back to Washington to immediately start a Master of Arts degree in engineering entrepreneurship at the University of Washington. He plans to work on developing more start-up businesses.

In addition to the scholarships, the Mortar Board event program featured two guest speakers, Judy Lewis Logue, and USD Mortar Board and USD alumna, Aya Ibarra '04. Ibarra currently serves as a business development executive for IBM.

Photos provided by Mortar Board Director Perla Myers, PhD.

Members of the 2018-2019 USD Chapter of Mortar Board announced the winners of four scholarship awards during a Mortar Board special event program on April 14.Members of the 2018-2019 USD Chapter of Mortar Board announced the winners of four scholarship awards during a Mortar Board special event program on April 14.

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