Barbara Clark Diekman has received Pi Beta Phi® Fraternity for Women’s prestigious Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award in honor of her professional achievements.

The Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award is presented annually to distinguished alumnae of Pi Beta Phi who exhibits excellence and outstanding leadership in their career or volunteer service to their communities.

Diekman, who studied child development at The University of New Mexico, has served women and families for 56 years as a licensed marriage and family therapist. Many of her clients have included military personnel, veterans and their families.

“I am most proud of my work in keeping families intact, particularly the many military families I’ve worked with,” Diekman said. “Their capacity to learn skills that improved family life will continue to benefit generations to come.”

After graduation, Diekman taught parent education in the community and instructed new teachers. Soon thereafter, Diekman moved to Oregon where she saw a need to help women returning to college and the workforce after raising families. She began teaching classes to assist in this transition. She also conducted similar trainings in the business community that included guest speakers and management seminars.

Diekman, who earned her graduate degree at the University of Oregon with an emphasis on gerontology, took her skills into the community and provided psychotherapy at local senior facilities and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Simultaneously, she worked as a career counselor at National University, assisting students in pursuing the right career and finding a job. She taught seminars in resume writing, job searching and interviewing skills.

Diekman later moved to North County San Diego and operated a private practice in marriage and family therapy. Because she lived near Camp Pendleton, she often worked with active-duty military members and veterans who had been deployed in war zones and had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her goal was to improve communication so families remained intact and together.

She also volunteered her counseling services at various community organizations. She counseled special needs students at Oceanside High School, adults in local retirement facilities and individuals through Palomar Family Counseling Service, a comprehensive not-for-profit counseling agency for people struggling with a range of emotional, behavioral and social issues.

She also served on the Board for the San Diego North County Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

The award is named for past Pi Beta Phi President Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg, who was instrumental in forming Pi Beta Phi Foundation during her term from 1985 to 1991. Essential Fraternity initiatives, like leadership development programs and literacy, are supported through the stewardship of the Foundation.

Founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois, Pi Beta Phi has installed 204 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae clubs worldwide. Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential and enriches the lives of members and their communities.

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