2020 Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners
The Crest Award is given in honor of Ohio Alpha Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg, who served Pi Beta Phi as Grand President from 1985 to 1991. Carolyn was a visionary leader for Pi Beta Phi, and her efforts can still be felt today in the achievements of our members. This award recognizes other distinguished alumnae who have positively impacted their communities through their professional success and dedication to serving others.
Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award for Community Service
Eileen Conway Seitz, DDS, Illinois Zeta
In 2016, Eileen sold her dental practice in Nashville, Tennessee, to create Giving Smiles – a non-profit seeking to improve access to dental services for those with limited resources or other barriers to care. Giving Smiles began as a mobile clinic to serve patients who may have difficulty traveling to the dentist. In January 2020, Eileen opened a brick-and-mortar clinic serving five counties from Middle Tennessee to the Alabama border. Her dental clinic is the only clinic in the area providing free or reduced-cost services without public aid. Since launching Giving Smiles, Eileen has treated more than 800 patients, providing hundreds of hours of service and thousands of dollars in free dentistry.
Nancy McMillan Dedman, Texas Beta
Twenty-five years ago, Nancy established The Dedman Foundation to continue her family’s legacy of giving to higher education, public charities, civic organizations and medical institutions. Nancy and her family have made significant contributions to Southern Methodist University, Florida State University and the University of Texas (UT). At UT Southwestern Medical Center, Nancy established the Dedman Family Distinguished Chair in Neurologic Disease and the Dedman Family Endowed Program for Scholars in Clinical Care. Nancy has received several awards for her humanitarianism and has served on the Board of Directors at Baylor Healthcare System and the Dallas Museum of Art.
Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award for Professional Achievement
Leslie Paris, Oklahoma Beta
Leslie is the Senior Vice President and Director Community and Employee Engagement at Bank of Oklahoma Financial (BOKF). As a 35-year veteran of BOKF, Leslie directs the company’s community impact projects which have resulted in more than $30 million supporting United Way campaigns, 300,000 books for children in need, and thousands of volunteer hours for the company’s Learn for Life financial education program promoting basic financial skills to better prepare individuals to lead successful and productive lives. Leslie also serves as the Director of the BOKF Foundation, which has provided more than $90 million to hundreds of nonprofit organizations over the past 20 years.
Charlotte “Char” Halsema Ottinger, Indiana Delta
Char is a Registered Nurse (RN), American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter and Adjunct Instructor for the ASL/English Interpreter Program at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. After serving students in the Illinois School for the Deaf and the Indiana School for the Deaf, Char became a RN and eventually transitioned to a hospital interpreter. Her work extended beyond interpreting to educate doctors, nurses and medical personnel on laws regarding interpreters in healthcare and cultural norms in the deaf community. In addition to educating hospital staff, Char also counseled deaf patients to improve their health literacy and to increase their autonomy in healthcare settings.
Jessica Strauss, Florida Alpha
With 15 years of teaching experience, Jessica’s work as an educator goes far beyond the classroom. She regularly collaborates with educators across the United States to share space education lessons and presented at the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Space Exploration Educators Conference in partnership with NASA specialists and crew members at the Houston Space Center. Jessica is recognized by her peers as an outstanding educator through awards such as Teacher of the Year and the Ida S Baker Diversity Educator of the Year. She manages several extracurriculars for her school and created U Go Girl — a program which helps girls in third through fifth grade prepare for a 5K while learning about leadership skills, anti-bullying, body image and friendship.
Barbara Travis Osgood, Ph.D., New York Delta
Barbara left her professional mark on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the first sociologist hired by the Soil Conservation Service. From 1980-2002, Barbara held several positions within the USDA. She managed a $1 million nationwide study of public attitudes toward conservation, represented the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment at the Environmental Protection Agency, and worked with field office staff on strategies for working with farmers from minority and low-income backgrounds, understanding different ethnic groups, and marketing conservation practices to farmers, ranchers and land-users.