Mehak Advani '20

Alumni Spotlight

Mehak Advani

Besides the delightful bonds of friendship I have forged at Soka, the university motivated me to cultivate higher levels of confidence in both personal and professional spheres.

Mehak Advani ’20 thrived at Soka University. Taking advantage of all the university has to offer, from participating in Scholar’s Peak and Bridges to Business to holding various club leadership positions and on-campus jobs, she graduated summa cum laude with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Now she’s ready for her next challenge: pursuing a Master of Science in Human Resource Management at the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, the top ranked HR program in the United States.

Outside of the classroom, Mehak enjoys craftwork, soccer, cooking, binge-watching Netflix, and researching  organizational psychology. In the classroom, she’s drawn to collaborative learning. During her time at Soka, she completed many courses in psychology, which introduced her to how social psychological principles are applied in human resources and other organizational departments. While in Salamanca, Spain, for her study abroad, she had the opportunity to study business and human resources in Spanish.

“Besides the delightful bonds of friendship I have forged at Soka,” she said, “the university motivated me to cultivate higher levels of confidence in both personal and professional spheres.”

Soka University’s $10,000 Makiguchi Scholarship–awarded to top SUA seniors attending graduate school–will help her as she pursues her master’s degree at Purdue.

She was also recently awarded the $2,000 Carroll Parrish scholarship, one of the three highest scholarships awarded by international social science honor society Pi Gamma Mu. Founded in 1924, it is the preeminent and oldest interdisciplinary social science honor society. It has more than 150 active chapters in the United States and around the world, and awards up to 10 scholarships each year, intended for the first- or second-year graduate students in the following areas of study: sociology, anthropology, political science, history, economics, international relations, public administration, criminal justice, law, social work, cultural geography, and psychology.

Gail Thomas, professor emerita of sociology, championed the chartering of a Pi Gamma Mu chapter at Soka before she retired. Professor Thomas saw it as a way to provide enhanced academic and pre-graduate school support and professional opportunities for Social and Behavioral Sciences students. The chapter also offers a way to recognize the efforts and achievements of Soka students within the social sciences.

Since the initiation of Soka’s chapter in 2018, two other students have received Pi Gamma Mu scholarships toward graduate studies. In 2019, Takako Muramoto ‘19 and Ting Chang ‘19 were honored, two of 10 students selected nationally. Muramoto, Chang, and Advani have all been granted a lifetime membership in Pi Gamma Mu.

“I hope that having an institutional way to get together, socialize, and understand each other within a very small liberal arts institution,” said Esther Chang, co-faculty director of the Soka Pi Gamma Mu chapter and psychology professor, “will provide an additional incentive for our students to strive for academic excellence.”

—by Nagisa Smalheiser ’21