Twelve students, accompanied by Wesleyan President Michael Roth, attended the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony Dec. 4.
Phi Beta Kappa, Wesleyan’s honor society, welcomed 12 new members during an initiation ceremony Dec. 4 in the Office of Admission. These students have been elected to early decision PBK membership, and hold a GPA of 94.89 and above.
“These new members’ accomplishments during their years at Wesleyan should be a source of pride to themselves and to their families,” said Anna Shusterman, vice president of the Connecticut Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and assistant professor of psychology.
At left, Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Wesleyan President Michael Roth, congratulated the Phi Beta Kappa inductees.
To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of his or her major. He or she also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations, and must have achieved a grade-point average of 93 and above.
“For students elected in the fall, it is an especially exacting selection process because admittance is based on a student’s performance at Wesleyan only through their junior year,” Shusterman said.
Also for this election, students must have completed all of their undergraduate work at Wesleyan.
The students, all from the Class of 2014, are: Amy Blum, Benjamin Jacobs, Sinéad Keogh, Carolyn Lipp , Ayala Mansky, Rebecca McClellan, Elliot Meyerson, Setareh O’Brien, Rachel Olfson, Patrick Sarver, Ema Tanovic and Ga Eun Yoo.
Class of 2017 Dean Louise Brown, secretary and marshal for Phi Beta Kappa, and Professor of Philosophy Steven Horst, Phi Beta Kappa treasurer, presented and welcomed the new initiates. Wesleyan President Michael Roth also congratulated the new members.
Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest surviving Greek letter society in America, founded in December 1776 by five students who attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The emblem contains the three Greek letters “Phi-Beta-Kappa,” which are the initials of the Greek motto, Philosophia Bio Kubernetes. This essentially means “the love of wisdom is the guide of life.”
Photos of the ceremony are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)
New Phi Beta Kappa member Setareh O’Brien is double majoring in psychology and neuroscience and behavior. Currently, she is organizing an intervention program for students struggling with binge eating. O’Brien balances her coursework with dance, assistant teaching, and involvement in several mental health-related student groups.
New Phi Beta Kappa member Patrick Sarver is majoring in chemistry. At Wesleyan, Patrick has worked as an organic chemistry teaching assistant, volunteered with Wesleyan Science Outreach, and played guitar in several ensembles.
PBK member Ga Eun Yoo is majoring in government and environmental studies with specific interest in business solutions for environmental sustainability. Outside of class, she has been actively participating in the Freeman Asian Scholars’ Association and working closely with the Office of Student Affairs by serving on the Student Judicial Board.
Chemistry and Italian studies double major Rebecca McClellan is writing a senior thesis in chemistry based on her research on the catalytic, asymmetric Interrupted Feist-Bénary reaction. Aside from academics, she works as a teaching assistant for a chemistry laboratory course and serves as a co-coordinator for WesReads/WesMath/WesWrites, a tutoring partnership that brings Wesleyan students to two local elementary schools to provide reading, math, and writing support.
Sinéad Keogh is completing her double major in biology and environmental studies. She has volunteered her time in multiple teaching programs including WesReads/WesMath, the individual tutoring program, and Science Outreach.
Elliot Meyerson is double majoring in computer science and mathematics. He is broadly interested in artificial intelligence and theoretical computer science, with a particular focus on multi-agent systems. He was co-president of the Wesleyan chess club, Chessleyan, for two years.
Ema Tanovic is a psychology major who hails from Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is interested in using psychophysiological methods to study psychopathology, including anxiety and depression, and she hopes to continue with this type of research after Wesleyan. Tanovic also worked with incarcerated students through Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education, which has deepened her commitment to furthering social justice and has affirmed her passion for teaching.