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Academic Pillar Scholarship

Academics are the foundation of our profession. As we serve in our respective positions we are surrounded by institutions of higher education. Chi Sigma Alpha recognizes that its members are graduate students who are pursuing their master’s or doctoral degrees and that these pursuits have associated costs. The Academic Pillar Scholarship was designed to assist Chi Sigma Alpha members that are currently enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program for Higher Education and Student Affairs or related fields.


The recipient of this scholarship can use the funds awarded towards tuition or post-secondary certification programs. The recipient may also use the funds awarded for purchasing textbooks and other supplies, such as access codes, fees, and materials.

2022 Recipient

Dianne Valdivia
Alpha Mu Chapter
Barry University

Dianne Valdivia currently works for the Student Services Division at Miami Dade College as she pursues her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership at Barry University. Academics have always been a priority.


After she completed her undergraduate degree, she intended to stay in the business field and begin an MBA program. The advisor to a student organization that she was part of called her and asked her to apply for his job since he was moving to another institution. She had never considered a career in Student Affairs, yet she applied and fell in love with higher education from there. She changed her graduate degree plans and focused on student development instead.


Fourteen years later, she is working towards a new goal – becoming a dean at a community college. She feels honored to have been selected to present at a few conferences as a graduate student and maintain a 4.0 GPA as she works full-time and raise my little ones. She is the only Hispanic student in her cohort and looks forward to starting her research later this year. Her dissertation will focus on talent management practices in colleges and universities.


She looks forward to helping other student affairs professionals develop their skills so that we can better serve Gen Z and adult learners. Our students need us now more than ever, and we must prepare for the wave of Baby Boomers who will be retiring within education over the next decade.

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