Phi Beta Kappa Inductees Advised to Create, Innovate the Future

Olivia DrakeJune 10, 202212min
eve_rc2022_05212022701 copy
Wesleyan congratulates the 79 newest members of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. (Photos by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

When Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell ’76 arrived on campus the summer of 1972, she was in the second full class of women admitted to Wesleyan. “I chose to become educated in a place that was undergoing change,” she said. “One principle that guides my life is, embrace change, it is inevitable.”

Barthwell, who delivered the keynote address during the Spring 2022 Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony, graduated with a degree in psychology and went on to founding the health care policy firm Encounter Medical Group and directs Two Dreams, a comprehensive alcoholism and addiction treatment system. She previously served under President George W. Bush’s sub-cabinet in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), where she was a principal advisor on policies aimed at reducing the demand for illicit drugs.

During the ceremony, Barthwell spoke to a fully-occupied Memorial Chapel filled with 79 Class of 2022 PBK inductees and their exuberant family and friends. Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest scholastic honor society in the nation, is limited to 12% of the graduating class at Wesleyan each year. They join 15 other seniors elected during the 2021 fall semester.

“You represent intellectual diversity and you are uniquely prepared to imagine a future for us,” Barthwell said. “You are uniquely qualified to solve a problem that we cannot at this point name or describe. Your preparation with a liberal arts education, your curious spirit, and your love of lifelong learning—coupled with your good and moral character—enables you to care for others in selfless ways. This will help you create and innovate our future.”

Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell '76, founder of Encounter Medical Group, delivered the keynote address during the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony on May 21.
Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell ’76, founder of Encounter Medical Group, delivered the keynote address. Barthwell noted that Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776, 200 years before she graduated from Wesleyan. “As much as education was the path to freedom in 1776, it is today. Without education, freedom is meaningless. Freedom will degrade if people lack the ability to think and reason for themselves and if those with these skills do not take a hand in shaping freedom and education,” she said. Dr. Barthwell received a Distinguished Alumni Award at her 30th reunion.

To be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a student must demonstrate curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations; have been nominated by the department of his or her major; and achieved a grade point value of 93 or above.

Wesleyan’s Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society was organized in 1845 and is the ninth oldest chapter in the country. The emblem contains the three Greek letters “Phi,” “Beta,” and “Kappa,” which essentially translate to “the love of wisdom is the guide of life.”

Barthwell elaborated on the idea of “wisdom” during her speech, and noted that the students capacity for wisdom has grown exponentially since arriving on campus. “It parallels brain maturation, peaks at age 25 and starts its slow decline to senility. Wisdom gives us the capacity for innovation and judgement allows us to balance immediate needs with a long-term perspective.”

Of the 79 new PBK initiates, 12 are also student-athletes.

“We’re thrilled to see the induction of our varsity student-athletes into Phi Beta Kappa,” said Wesleyan Director of Athletics Mike Whalen ’83. “We’re certainly proud of their work on the field but their excellence in the classroom is just another example of how our student-athletes excel in all phases of their Wesleyan experience.”

Assistant Professor of Letters Daniel Smyth is the Wesleyan’s PBK Chapter president.

In addition to a keynote address from Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell, the ceremony included remarks made by Assistant Professor of Letters and PBK Chapter President Daniel Smyth; Hedding Professor of Moral Science and PBK Vice President Joseph Rouse; Assistant Professor of Physics and PBK chapter treasurer and marshal Meng-Ju Renee Sher; and Wesleyan President Michael Roth. President Roth also wrote about the ceremony on his Roth on Wesleyan blog.

“I was so impressed by the variety of interests, academic research, creative practice and extra-curricular shown by the students — and often that variety was found in each of the inductees,” Roth said.

Michael Roth
Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 delivered welcome remarks at the ceremony.

Wesleyan’s newest Phi Beta Kappa inductees and their majors include:

Sarah Jessica Backer, Government
Alexandra Rose Banach, English
Zubaida Mofe Bello, African American Studies, History
Molly Bradach, Biology
Ernest Peter Braun, Hispanic Literatures and Cultures
Belle Brown, Environmental Studies, Government
Liam Schneider Caplan, English, Philosophy
Marissa Rose Chang, College of Social Studies
Catherine Noelle Arendt Cheng, Education Studies, English
Jamie Cheng, Education Studies, Psychology
Noah A. Cohen, Economics, Government
Ariel Faye Cohen, College of Social Studies
Violet Latman Daar, American Studies, English
Hannah Allison Docter-Loeb, Biology, Psychology
Amy Du, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Osama Elgabori
Osama Elgabori ’22

Osama Elgabori, Physics
Sam Olson Ephron, Computer Science, Mathematics, Science in Society
Kyla Margit Frieden, Film Studies
Betsy Bates Froiland, Government, History
Zelda Isabel Galdenzi, Biology, Neuroscience and Behavior, Psychology
Lilley Abigail Gallagher, Environmental Studies, Psychology
Simon Shay Gaughan, American Studies
Hannah Katherine Gearan, Environmental Studies, Film Studies
Joanna Gerber, English, Sociology
Isabella Anna Gibaldi, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Gabriel David Goldberg '22
Gabriel David Goldberg ’22

Gabriel David Goldberg, Economics, Psychology
Jackson Cole Goldman, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Gina Ravelo Gwiazda, Neuroscience and Behavior, Psychology
William Matthew Halm, Government
Skye C. Hawthorne, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Sophie Anne Henderson, University
Phie G. Jacobs, Biology, English
Paris Arnett Jensen, French Studies, University
Dylan Robert Judd, Chemistry, Environmental Studies
Huzaifa Khan, College of Social Studies, Government
Sofia Chiongbian Khu, College of Letters, German Studies
Mia Sunae Kim, Chemistry
Magda Kisielinska, Computer Science, Government, Mathematics
Nomi Jahoda Kligler, Anthropology, Art Studio
Andrew Tyler Kushnir, Economics, Government
Hannah Nikita Landel, Economics, Government
Anika Elizabeth Summer Legrand-Wittich, Computer Science
Zach J. Lieb, Economics
Noah Stark Lilienthal, Music, Psychology
Maggie Jane Lind, Anthropology
Courtney Elizabeth Litts, Neuroscience and Behavior, Psychology
Natalie Serene Lobach, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Philosophy
Morgan S. Long, Mathematics, Physics
Chunyue Ma, Computer Science
Aiden H. Malanaphy, Art History, Psychology
Griffin Maristany, Economics, Philosophy

Caoimhe C. McGurrin
Caoimhe C. McGurrin ’22

Caoimhe C. McGurrin, English
Audrey Elizabeth McMahon, Biology, Neuroscience and Behavior
Juan Andres Medina Florez, Economics, Science in Society
Julia Meehan, Economics
William Dederick Miner, Psychology
Sarah Lynn Morgan, Neuroscience and Behavior
Matt Muldowney, Computer Science, Music
Maddie Rachel Nagler, Film Studies, Psychology
Stevie O’Connor, Neuroscience and Behavior
Gabrielle Jolie Ouellette, English

Aashni Parikh ’22 shakes hands with PBK President Daniel Smyth during the initiation ceremony.

Aashni Mallika Parikh, Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Elisa Genevieve Pettinato, Art History, Art Studio
Tanya Phanich, Computer Science, Psychology
Anjali Prabhu, Neuroscience and Behavior
Benjamin Sofer Rubel, Astronomy, Physics
Emerson Calloway Sarni, Economics, Psychology
Cheng Shi, Mathematics, Physics
Scott Wilson Shield, Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics
Will Barish Slater, History, Religion
Cambria Lynne Weaver, Religion
Gillian Autumn Weeks, Psychology
Irene Catherine Clarke Westfall, History
Ari S. Westreich, Hispanic Literatures and Cultures, Psychology
Elizabeth Woolford, Government, Theater
Isobel Williams Wright, Neuroscience and Behavior
Nolan Young, Government
Yunliang Zhao, Biology, Neuroscience and Behavior
Shiyu (Simon) Zhu, Computer Science, Economics

“Election to membership is a great honor, but you are not just being elected into a mere honor society where your name is recorded in a great ledger and never looked at again. Election stimulates energies in each of you to do something,” Barthwell concluded. “PBKs do not rest on their laurels, you continue to act honorably and comport yourselves as you tackle the problems of your days- never being pedantic, arrogant, full of self-conceit, or satisfied. You aspire, with reverence and humility, because you have 1) academic depth and breadth, 2) independence of spirit, 3) curiosity, and 4) are of good and moral character.”

The newest members of Wesleyan’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter examine their welcome packets during the initiation ceremony on May 21 in Memorial Chapel.