Lydia Schwerin recently received a $4,000 scholarship from Tau Sigma National Honor Society, whose mission is to recognize and promote the academic excellence and involvement of transfer students.
The senior social work major currently serves as vice president of Oakland University’s Tau Sigma chapter and is one of only four students in the country to receive a $4,000 award from the national chapter this year.

“I’m very humbled to be a part of Tau Sigma and to receive this scholarship,” Schwerin said. “It will help me go to graduate school for my master’s degree in social work.”

Tau Sigma scholarships range from $500 to $5,000 and are awarded based on academics and community involvement. Schwerin excels in both areas, earning stellar grades and balancing a full slate of extracurricular activities.

Along with her role in Tau Sigma, she serves as president of OU’s chapter of Phi Alpha, an honor society for social work students, and is also a member of OU’s Golden Key International Honor Society chapter. She supports her community by volunteering at church camps for those with special needs, tutoring individuals at a literacy center and providing meals at Grace Centers of Hope, among other efforts.

“I find that volunteering and service to my community brings me joy, which is something I always strive for,” she said.

In addition to growing her leadership skills, Schwerin said that being involved in Tau Sigma has helped her make strong connections with peers and professionals across campus – which isn’t always easy for transfer students.

“A lot of our transfer students are also commuters, so it can be harder for them to network with other students,” said Julie Dermidoff, OU chapter adviser to Tau Sigma. “The chapter sponsors several events throughout the year, which not only gives the students a chance to bond, it also helps us learn more about the challenges transfer students face and connect them to appropriate resources they may not be aware of on campus.

To qualify for membership in Tau Sigma, students must meet several criteria, including earning a minimum 3.5 GPA during their first semester at OU. To learn more about OU’s chapter, contact Julie Dermidoff at or (248) 370-4891.