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Introducing the Phi Upsilon Omicron Gamma 2023 Fall Initiates: A Celebration of Achievements

Updated: Apr 30

Have you ever wanted to step back in time for a few minutes and remember your campus experience? Attending a recent Phi Upsilon Omicron Event this past Sunday allowed that brief moment for Alumni and members of the Gamma Collegiate and Alumni Chapters. For several guests, this was the first time In Arps Hall for others it was a distant memory. The tall windows, iconic Rippled glass Mahogany classroom doors looked familiar but the remodeled space of Room 271 where we met, was a mystery. The features of the plaster scroll work on pillars gave away the true age of the building but the rather large room with a grand balcony puzzled us as to what it was before the remodel. For many alums, Arps was a secondary site for our studies. Most of us spent a majority of our time in Libraries or Campbell Hall. I was asked by a collegiate how it felt to come back to campus. Confusing was my first word that came to mind. After 50 years and the thought of stepping onto campus scared me but as a Gamma Alumni Board member, I’ve often stepped out of my comfort zone and tackled a few new adventures. Each time I step into a remodeled building I try to remember how it was during my days as a student but am blocked by all the new construction around the building I am in. Land is so precious on campus that many new additions have sprung up in areas I used to walk. Landmarks no longer are discernable. Perhaps you have had a similar experience. I think room 271 in Arps Hall may have housed the College’s Library. The picture below shows only 1/3 of the floor space we used for our event Arps Hall houses the College of Education and Human Ecology. It will be the new home to future Gamma Collegiate meetings and celebrations.

On Sunday, October 1, Gamma Collegiate and Alumni Chapters joined for a late afternoon celebration of Scholarship & Leadership. Welcoming the group is Dr. Ann Paulins, Chapter Advisor

Phi Upsilon Omicron Gamma collegiate members organized a contemporary initiation ceremony lead by chapter members Angela Valentino, Maria Abdul-Masih, Tsaifan “Gina” Weng , Sarah Marston & Anna Czarnecki.

Steven Szasz receives a membership certificate from Chapter President, Sarah Marston. Initiation Chair, Gina Weng holds the pin to be presented. Michelle Eastlake Alumni Initiation Chair looks on. Perhaps you remember being initiated into Phi U as a student. Depending on the year your ceremony may have looked different. Perhaps you wore a white robe but the basics remain the same. Symbolic rituals and the traditional oath are still recited. The values of Phi Upsilon Omicron continue to be passed on with each initiation.

Maria Abdul-Masih holding ribbons while explaining the meaning of Phi U colors, Gina Weng holding Violets, the Phi U flower. Sarah Marston presiding. Anna Czarnecki explains the significance of the symbols found on our pin.

On this day we welcomed 6 new initiates to the Collegiate chapter

Pictured here are: Steven Szasz senior Family & Consumer Science, Ana Escalante Graduate Student Hospitality Management, Sophia Troutman, Junior Hospitality Management, Ragul Senthil, graduate student Fashion & Retail Studies, Gabrielle Condo, Sophomore Fashion & Retail Studies

Jan Bonner congratulates Graduate Student, Carolyn Ready

Our featured speaker was Julianna Belynn, Scholarship Manager, College of Education and Human Ecology. Who shared with students the process to secure scholarship dollars toward their education.

Julianna Belynn Scholarship Manager, College of Education and Human Ecology - Featured Speaker

Julianna stated 1.7 million dollars in scholarships are available each year and encouraged students to start planning today for the Spring deadline. Dr Erik Profeli, Department Head of Human Sciences encouraged our student members to take the 30 minutes to respond to the On-Line Applications. Their best advice: secure records and recommendations early before semester break. Several Scholarships are available exclusively to Phi U Members. Longtime Alumni Scholarship Chair, Alice Miskell has been working with staff and students to increase the awareness of these scholarships. A priority of past president, Michelle Eastlake both enjoyed the news of 11 Phi U Scholarship recipients for 2023 1 Phi U National Scholar and 1 National Alumni Grant. In addition, Outstanding Undergrad Research Paper Award in June 2023 from Phi U / Omicron Nu. We are excited our students are being awarded these opportunities. Thanks to your support we continue to grow our Scholarship Fund!

2023 Scholarship Recognitions

Vishakha Kumari who received the Jean Dearth Dickerscheid National Fellowship to support her dissertation ($1,400)

Jane Shanely Phi U Graduate Scholarship ($1,000 each)

Maria Abdul-Masih

Nicole Buckely

Rashin Ghahreman

Gina Howard

Vishakha Kumari

Abigail Mensah

Zezhong (Egbert) Zhang

2022 Recipient: Abbey Bartosiak

Ohio State University Undergraduate Phi U Scholarships ($3,000 each):

Anna Czarnecki

Sarah Marston

Delaney Phillips

2023 Alumni Grant Recognition

Chantel Kelley who received the 2023 Phi U Community Impact Grant ($200) to establish a free library in her community.

Special Recognition

John Fuller who was awarded the Phi U/Kappa Omicron Nu Outstanding Undergraduate Research Paper ($1,000 Award) presented at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Meeting in June 2023.

Title of John’s paper:

"Racial differences in the associations between social network support and frequent mental distress among sexual and gender diverse cancer survivors: Findings from the 2020 OUT National Cancer Survey"

This award is sponsored annually by Phi Upsilon Omicron, Inc. in partnership with Kappa Omicron Nu

Additionally, a Travel Grant of $700 was also awarded to John by Phi U Gamma Alumni Association


Dr. Paulins presents to Chapter President Sarah Marston with Phi U Stole and Officer Service Cords to wear with her cap and gown in December. Aba Mensah, Chapter Treasurer will also graduate in December. She will continue in the PhD program at OSU

Gamma Collegiate Chapter President Sarah Marston and Dr. Ann Paulins

Collegiate Chapter enjoying the success of the day

I would like to introduce you to a few of these outstanding students, whom I came to know at this event:

Vishakha Kumari received the Jean Dearth Dickerscheid National Fellowship a National Phi Upsilon Omicron Award. Vishakha is currently in the critique stage of her dissertation and took time to visit with us. She is a Graduate Teaching Assistant who splits her time between campuses. Her area is Consumer Sciences/ Hospitality Management. When you meet her ask about the Student Hospitality trip to New York City. Students experienced the Hospitality Industry through the eyes of the luxury sector, her once in a lifetime trip on NetJets and a tour of NYC restaurants.

New members Ragul Senhil and Carolyn Ready enjoy a pizza dinner, Both Graduate Students in Fashion & Retail Studies

Ragul Senhil is a Graduate Teaching Associate whose focus is in Sustainability and Home Textiles he is a co-founder of Artisan Textiles. Carolyn began her studies as an audit student in OSU’s 60 Plus Program. She is now a Graduate student studying textiles and design. Her passion is to teach fellow students in her program to sew. Each Monday she coordinates a sewing workshop for students to learn how to translate their designs into a wearable article. Last year’s workshops concluded with a student style show.

Ana Garcia is a PHD Student in Hospitality and Retail Management. Came to OSU from New Mexico State University. At one point in her career worked as a Pastry Chef at Mozart’s. Currently she is a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Directly behind Ana is Chantel Kelley who is our Alumni Treasurer. Chantel has received an Alumni Grant from National Phi Upsilon Omicron Educational Foundation to develop a Giving Library on her farm for rural children.

Sophia Troutman with her family and Connie Cahill president elect Gamma Alumni. Sophia is a Junior focused on Hospitality Management. Her family took off the day from the family Winery in Wooster, Ohio to celebrate this special day with Sophia. Connie was impressed with her vision for a career in Hospitality management and front of the house service. Sophia has plans to travel to the regional vineyards of Spain. Traveling this summer to learn, taste and bring back new ideas. She hopes all her experiences will help her one day run her family’s business.

Maddy Ginsburg, Liaison to Alumni Chapter majoring in Hospitality Management. She enjoys planning events and is currently planning a cooperative event with Columbus State Culinary program. A Dinner for Autistic children and their family members

The future is bright for our Collegiate Chapter!

Alumni members spending time with our collegiate found them to be bright and focused on their studies and goals. Thanks to Michelle Eastlake and Connie Cahill for working with the student chapter! To establish this new way to celebrate our Fall Initiates and chapter member’s accomplishments in a new location. I hope you will consider enjoying a future event with us!

Dr. Erik Profeli, Department Chair discussing Phi U events with Norma Pitts

Our next event is the Holiday Brunch and Auction to be held Saturday, November 4, 2023 at Worthington Presbyterian Church 773 High Street Worthington. Monies raised support our collegiate members with scholarships, professional project and meeting support.

See you there!

Jan Bonner, President Gamma Alumni

In Memoriam


As we talk of new members and renewing fellowship with old friends, we sadly recall past friendships of wonderful spirited Phi U members who recently passed away

Alma Saddam Extension Specialist in Human Nutrition retired in 2002 passed away September 25, 2023 Schoedinger Northwest Obituary Website for further details Services October 3, 2023

Jeanne Rumburg, Family & Consumer Science Agent from Columbiana County passed away September 18,2023 service Sunday, October 29, 2023 Salem First United Methodist Church, 244 South Avenue Salem, Ohio further details, Brown Funeral Home Salem, Ohio

Your spirits brought inspiration to your work, love to your family and joy to our community .



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