Social work major earns Tau Sigma transfer student scholarship


Courtesy of Oakland University

Senior Lydia Schwerin received a $4,000 scholarship from the Tau Sigma National Honor Society.

The Tau Sigma National Honor Society provides opportunities to transfer students who want to expand their involvement on campus. For senior Lydia Schwerin, being part of this honor society has awarded her a $4,000 scholarship.

With the goal of putting the scholarship money toward her master’s degree in social work, she plans to move to Japan next year to spend a year helping teach English. This scholarship money will help her transfer home afterward to finish her degree.

“I feel very humbled and honored,” Schwerin said. “I have never received something like this, and I feel like I have worked my entire college career to win something like this.”

This scholarship only accepts one nominee from each school and only had 67 total recipients. The amount received could vary from $500-$5,000. Schwerin was one of the four recipients across the U.S. to receive the $4,000 award — and one of the few OU students to ever receive the scholarship.

“I have been the adviser for Tau Sigma now for three years. In my time, I’ve had one student win $1,000 and I’ve had another student win $500,” Julie Dermidoff, OU’s Tau Sigma chapter adviser, said. “So, this is the largest amount that we, at OU, have received.” 

To apply for the scholarship, Tau Sigma looks for proof of involvement and service in the chapter, university and community, along with academic achievements. 

Tau Sigma focuses on offering recognition to students who excel in academics and has a goal of providing motivation to incoming transfer students. The chapter also can provide a common bond among members and boost the reputation of transfer students.

“I think one of the things I like about Tau Sigma for students, transfer students specifically, are that students have a harder time as transfer students possibly to connect with other students,” Dermidoff said. “A lot of them are commuting, they’re coming back and forth to campus for class, but they’re not actually getting the opportunity to network. So, I think it gives them the opportunity to get involved and network.”

This is Schwerin’s second year in the club. Last year, she was the secretary, and this year she is the vice president. After attending Siena Heights University, Schwerin decided to transfer to OU to be closer to her family.

“When you transfer colleges, it’s a lot, it’s more difficult to make friends I would say,” Schwerin said. “Basically, I wanted to gain fellowship and be with people who also care about their community and the school and their grades.”

With family being an important aspect in Schwerin’s life, OU also plays a big part at home. Her mother is an OU alumna, and both of her siblings and her brother-in-law go to OU.

“We all love the Oakland community and the school itself,” Schwerin said. “That’s something that really important to me.”

To be part of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society, students have to be invited after meeting the criteria, such as earning a minimum 3.5 GPA during their first semester at OU. To learn more about OU’s chapter, visit or contact Dermidoff at [email protected].