With pride in their accomplishments and hopes for a bright future, fifteen students celebrated their initiation into the Connecticut Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at a ceremony held on December 7 in the McKelvey Room at the Office of Admission.
In order to be inducted into the nation’s oldest scholastic honor society, students must be nominated by the department of their major, have completed their general education expectations, and must have a grade point average of 93 or above. “For students elected in the fall, it is an especially exacting selection process because admittance is based on a student’s performance only through their junior year,” said Joseph Rouse, Hedding Professor of Moral Science and Phi Beta Kappa president.
For this group of Wesleyan students, passion–combined with hard work–was the recipe for success. “You have worked hard to get to this point, and it is our hope that as you move into your future you will continue to employ the work habits and ethics that have served you well to this point,” Rouse said.
President Michael S. Roth ’78, hopes the students will use their success at Wesleyan as the inspiration to continue to do important work after graduation. “Wesleyan isn’t used to celebrating a very small percentage of a very small university,” Roth said in his remarks. “We are committed to equality. But every once in a while, we gather together to celebrate extraordinary accomplishment … We can’t wait to see what you are going to do in the future.”
For Wesleyan’s newest group of Phi Beta Kappa inductees, the future looks bright–some plan to go to law or medical schools, while others aspire to doctoral studies, or to work in banking, health care, or investigating environmental issues.
Ruby Smith ’23, hasn’t quite decided what she will do after graduation, but plans to work in legal advocacy. She is writing a thesis about the role of remorse in the legal system. She’s also a tutor with the Center for Prison Education. “There is so much to do at Wesleyan, it feels like you can miss out,” Smith said. “I had a genuine interest in going between lots of different sections. I had a passion to do as much as I could.”
Chris-ann Walker ’23, came to Wesleyan with a plan. “It’s only four years, so you have to make the most of it,” Walker said.
She knew that she wanted to work in a health care related field, so she immediately decided to study psychology. A second major in neuroscience followed shortly thereafter. Walker also became the captain of the cheer team. She plans to return home to Boston after graduation and work as a Patient Experiences Representative at Boston Children’s Hospital before she goes back to get a master’s degree in health administration.
“People always ask me, ‘do you love what you are studying?’ and I can’t imagine studying anything else except psych and neuro. Dance was my minor because I love dancing … Finding the balance is doing the things that you love. I love what I study,” Walker said.
Wesleyan’s newest Phi Beta Kappa inductees and their majors
Ella Biehn, East Asian Studies
Anna Fehr, Astronomy, Physics, and Computer Science
Alexander Adams Giummo, Economics and Psychology
Danielle Greene, Psychology
Holly He, Science in Society
Edrea Jiang, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Aidan Spencer Jones, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and The College of Integrative Sciences
Ellie Kaplan, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Hispanic Literature and Cultures
Prakriti Mittal, Psychology
Anh Nguyen, Economics and Theater
Emma Singleton, Anthropology and Environmental Studies
Ruby Smith, Government
Tess Solot-Kehl, Studio Art and Sociology
Chris-ann Walker, Neuroscience & Behavior and Psychology
Yunxuan (Wendy) Wu, College of Social Studies and Economics