LILIT POGHOSSIAN WINS AWARD OF
Lilit Poghossian, a Summa Cum Laude graduating senior majoring in International Studies, has been named winner of a $2000 Phi Kappa Phi Award of Excellence, one of 40 awarded by the national honor society in 2004 to help finance the first year of graduate study.
As a member of Lock Haven University's chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, which chooses members from academically high-ranking juniors and seniors, Poghossian was selected to represent the local chapter in the national competition. Daniel Roberts, Interim Dean of International Studies, wrote in his letter of recommendation that Poghossian " has developed into one of the truly outstanding students at Lock Haven University."
Her award marks the fourth time in the past seven years that a LHU student has won a grant from the national honor society.
While studying at LHU, she served as Off-Campus Senator on the Student Cooperative Council, designed and updated Web pages as part of her work for the university's Stevenson Library, and did research and drafted legislative proposals while an Intern in the office of Pennsylvania State Senator Sean Logan. She has also volunteered for several community organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pine Haven Retirement Home, Lock Haven Citizens Hose Fire Company 5, and Lock Haven Hospital.
Poghossian's Award of Excellence from Phi Kappa Phi caps a university career of numerous scholarships and awards, including the Outstanding Junior Student of Color Award, National Dean's List Award, Joan Gallagher Memorial Scholarship, Dr. Gary & Roberta Hopkins Scholarship, and Freedom Support Act/Future Leaders Exchange Scholarship. She also received recognition from The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (SSHE) for significant contributions to the advancement of the SSHE.
A native of post-Soviet Union Armenia, Poghossian moved to the United States when she was sixteen to finish high school. While concentrating on International Relations for her LHU major and minoring in Political Science, she participated in several global and U.N. simulations as well as actively campaigned during the 2002 Pennsylvania gubernatorial elections.
Her academic advisor, Jeffrey B. Burnham, Professor of Political Science, summed up Poghossian's varied achievements during her LHU career: "While consistently excelling in her formal academic studies, Lilit has also sought every opportunity to take advantage of extra-curricular opportunities and a prestigious Harrisburg internship to gain practical experience in the political process. Whether in the internship, playing a role in a simulation (such as model United Nations), or serving in an elected student government office, she has consistently demonstrated a self-discipline, enthusiasm and love of learning far beyond that of most students."
In her personal essay that was part of her application for the PKP Award, she wrote: "Living in conditions where I witnessed poverty, malnutrition, lack of education and government corruption first hand, has given me the perspective of looking at the developing world differently than most American students do. I understand that there is no easy road to universal development of the Third World. However, I also understand that through a different approach, much needed changes can be brought to societies suffering from underdevelopment, illiteracy and malnutrition....I am able to see that sometimes development needs more than just loans and monetary aid. In many societies of the underdeveloped world, the traditional values and customs are much more meaningful to the local people than the new western outlook that is being promoted by the developed world. Education about this new outlook combined with the financial help can do more for these people than just the monetary support."
After completing her formal education, Poghossian hopes to teach international relations at an undergraduate university while working with an international organization, such as the Peace Corps, "to create a better world for the less fortunate peoples of the underdeveloped and developing nations." She believes that "educating the young generations about the possibilities and opportunities available to them for making a difference should be one of the first steps taken by anyone wishing to help an underdeveloped nation find its path to prosperity." Thus, she plans eventually to return to the former Soviet Union republics where she will teach at different universities as a visiting professor.