University News

Seniors selected for Phi Beta Kappa

University News Editor
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One hundred and two seniors were elected April 17 to the Rhode Island Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Chapter Administrator Mary Jo Foley wrote in an email to The Herald.

Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest academic honor society in the United States, and gaining membership constitutes one of the most prestigious undergraduate awards.

The Brown chapter was founded in 1830 and is the seventh-oldest of the 270 existing chapters. Seniors who are inducted must have completed at least 28 courses — with at least 23 grades of A or S with distinction — in their first seven semesters at the University, with at least two-fifths of courses in the arts, humanities, “pure mathematics” or social sciences, according to the Brown chapter’s website. The following members of the class of 2013 were inducted last week:


Stephen Donald Albright

Heidi Beth Alpert

John Connor Barnhart

Jonathan Daniel Bateman, a former Herald sports photo editor

Adam Simon Bear

Rachel Adler Bishop

Robert Matthew Black

Thomas Marshall Bloom

Nicole Alexandra Boucher, a former Herald managing editor

Jane Helen Brendlinger

Alexandra Lynne Brown

Ian David Brownstein

Anthony Hoa Bui

Katherine Leigh Butera, a former Herald contributing writer

Allison Skakel Chernov

Aaron Michael Clayton-Dunn

Kelsey Marie Collins

Michael Chase Culler

Katherine Rachel DeAngelis, a former Herald sports staff writer

Caroline Elizabeth Dell

Eleanor Lyn DiBiasio

Emma Katherine Dixon

Megan Elizabeth Dosch

Devin Patrick Finzer

Sarah Lynn Forman, a former Herald staff writer

Benjamin Robert Freeman

Miriam B. Furst, a former Herald staff writer

Daniel Steven Gitelman

Emmet Gabriel Golden-Marx

David Louis Granberg

Zachary Lawson Greenberg

Sarah McCarthy Grimm

Jenny Gu

Kaan Tolga Gunay

Rebecca Ann Haumann

Drew Thomas Heckman

Lucas Francisco Husted, a Herald opinions editor

In-Jee Jeong

Abigail Glicksman Kerson, a former Herald staff writer

Isabel Khoo

Emily Rowan Kirkland, a former Herald contributing writer

Kristina Marie Klara, a Herald contributing writer

Allen Phillips Kramer

Natasha Raj Kumar

Philip Hoi Wa Lai

Deborah Lai

Molly Kim Lao

Benjamin Patrick Lee

Benjamin Theodore LeVeque

Anna Charlotte Lillkung, a former Herald staff writer

Dorothy Marie Lutz, a Herald opinions columnist

Markus Maier

Benjamin Pietro Marcus, a former Herald opinions columnist

Sean A. Maroongroge

Eliza Suzanne Marshall

Patrick Nash Meehan

Jonathan Philip Millstein

Katherine Elizabeth Monks, a former Herald senior staff writer

Adam Mitchell Morgenlander

Tanya Minh Thu Nguyen, a former Herald opinions columnist

Kathy Mai Khanh Nguyen

Kurt David Ostrow

Grace McGill Palmer

Anuj Dilip Patel

Rakesh Patel, a Herald data science contributor

Ana-Irma I. Patete

Nicholas Edward Petersdorf

Stephen James Rickli

Natalie Yanzi Ring

Ramon Antonio Rodriguez

Amitte Gail Rosenfeld

Elizabeth Sally Rothman

Zachary Rothstein-Dowden

Madeline Diane Sall

Samantha Fara Sanders

Tina V. Sankhla

Rachel Ann Schwartz

Sidney Scott

Katherine Johannet Siegel

Aaron Russell Slan

Paige Alexandra Smith

Sophie Brooke Spiegel

Amelia M. Stanton

Francis Abel Suh

Eric Pung Sun

Guy Mandelstam Tabachnick

Micah Solomon Thanhauser

Tanayott Thaweethai

Alyssa Raven Thomas

Anna Constance Tifft

Benson Howard Tucker

Elizabeth Mary Vasily, a former Herald video editor

Natalie Anne Villacorta, a former Herald senior editor

Jeremy Royale Wagner

Andrew James White

Daniel Lee Wilkofsky

Christopher Todd Williams, a former Herald sports staff writer

Adam Daniel Wyron

Yilong Yang

Zuhal Zeynep Yildirim

Inni Youh, a former Herald staff writer

Eric William Young


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  1. PBK is such an incongruity at Brown. It’s scandalous to feed students the fantasy that grades should be downplayed and academic risks taken, and then pass out these laurels as if they betrayed some dirty secret about the New Curriculum. No Deans’ List, no transparency, no +/-. But PBK, no problem. Sad.

    • Hater much? says:

      Don’t be a hater. Brown’s admissions process is 10 times less transparent than PBK’s. You need 23 As and then PBK sorts out people, who didn’t take academic risks. Surely Brown students are best at evaluating the later (much better than grad schools that have no clue which Brown courses are a joke). Thus you need excellence plus breadth to get in. IMO, PBK is the epitome of the open curriculum- where is your problem with that?

      I think it is a blatant lie that grades don’t matter in real life, but everybody knows that and Brown just tries to convince student that grades are not the end of everything. Honestly, your comment is as stupid as people sueing McDonals because they got fat and nobody ever told them…

      • Defensive, much? If PBK were the “epitome” of our curriculum, why not post / publish the requirements you describe in course catalogs and have all academic advisors explain them to each incoming student? If my comments are indeed “stupid,” then at least justify your defense of PBK beyond analogy to McDonald’s lawsuits and comparison with the admissions process.

        • Don't Hate says:

          At the bottom of the post, you find PBK election procedures. They are
          featured prominently on the Brown website (right next to the latin
          honors) and they are a LOT more elaborate and transparent than anything
          you have in grad or college admissions. Sure, the ultimate election is
          “secret”, but if you want full transparency then you HAVE to go by GPA,
          which is ridiculous at Brown, because courses and whole departments vary
          so much in rigor. Besides, Brown’s Magna Cum Laude already makes use of
          GPA only, so I think it’s nice that PBK digs a little bit deeper

          do believe Brown’s advising sucks, but I don’t see your point. Nobody
          in PBK studied for 4 years just to get in. They showed academic
          excellence and breadth in their studies and got this reward at the end. I think it is a lame excuse
          saying that you didn’t get in (I assume) just because nobody ever told
          you of PBK’s admissions procedures (which you could have looked up
          online). In my opinion, Brown advisers should be obligated to tell
          students that grades matter and that many firms don’t invite students
          to job interviews with a GPA below 3.7 or 3.8. Advisers should also tell
          students about the employment opportunities for different
          concentrations etc. However, at one point a student has to take
          responsibility for his own actions. This is Brown, where students are
          supposedly independent, driven and like to challenge themselves. PBK
          admits showed all of those characteristics and are probably not the kind
          of people, who complain about not getting X because nobody ever told
          them explicitly (and multiple times) to do Y. May I ask you who is holding your hand for grad school and job applications?

          • I’m not a student, so no one holds my hand for these things. The incongruity comes from the lack of open promotion and failure of advising to compensate for it. In the end, the way PBK exists at Brown depends disproportionately on students’ cultural capital and family of origin influences.

            The new curriculum nowhere demands breadth. A child of engineers, for example, may be taking academic risks by diving headlong into a narrow but deep study of French language and literature. After 32 credits, she would have taken full advantage of the new curriculum, yet be off course as far as the PBK radar is concerned.

            The award needs to be better publicized. Otherwise, it’s just a secret little holdover from the era before the new curriculum.

          • Don't Hate says:

            Ok, now you are being ridiculous again. PBK is purely merit driven and in the election procedure the names of the applicants are hidden. Only the transcript counts. The ivy league is crony, but you cannot buy your way into PBK and that’s another reason why I like PBK. 

I believe PBK’s focus on a broad, liberal arts education is fully in-line with the open curriculum. This is from Brown’s website in the open curriculum section: “Brown has traditionally encouraged its undergraduates to study broadly and deeply, to become self-reflective, and to develop a moral core.” It is simply not true, that natural sciences and engineering are overlooked by PBK as the letter you find at the bottom of this post shows. I am not saying that liberal arts is the only way the open curriculum is and should be used. But it is an academic ideal that dates back hundreds of years, just like PBK’s chapter history. PBK still upholds academic rigor and if you believe that the new ideal of the open curriculum is chilling and writing “explorative essays” then yes, PBK is from an era before the 21st century- another reason to be proud about a nomination!

            I highly doubt that PBK would have one different member if professors were to tell student about the organization at the beginning of Brown, just like I highly doubt that Harvard Law School would accept any more Brown students if they knew the requirements from the beginning (normal Brown students are bright enough to look them up). In any case, Brown could improve its advising and it is certainly not PBK’s fault if the advisors don’t mention the organization to students just like it is not HLS fault when a Brown student is unaware of the entrance criteria.


          • You’re not reading my posts carefully, your responses don’t really address the issues, you ramble defensively, and your ad hominem reflex is just plain weird. You come off as kind of douchey.

            Why not just say: “Yeah, it would be better if this info were publicized just like course offerings, concentration requirements, academic standing regulations, and graduation requirements.”

            According to you, the same students would be PBK in any case.

          • Don't Hate says:

            OMG, that’s the point. It IS published on the Dean of the College website under “the Brown Degree”, where you can also find information about Brown degrees, academic standing etc. Since you are not a student and I am, I can tell you what this university is about. Our students are smart enough to find out how to get into PBK or get Magna Cum Laude if they want to. Again (so that it sinks in), the requirements for both items are published on the Brown website. Brown is also about learning for the sake of learning and not to get into some honors society. Frankly, it is you, who doesn’t react to any argument I make, but keeps on citing the alleged “secrecy” of the PBK’s requirements.

            If you want to see making a “Ad hominem” argument: What on earth are you doing on this website? You are not a student, you didn’t get into PBK- WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Are you frustrated you didn’t get into PBK when you were in college and now you are hating and spoiling it for others?

          • Nice. If you can will yourself to believe that, ”informed use of the Brown University curriculum,” and “evidence of superior academic performance” are anything but opaque performance standards in the context of the New Curriculum and its advising structure, you deserve a gold star.

            (By criticizing transparency, I don’t mean the peer selection process is flawed or secretive.)

            Magna and PBK are incongruous holdovers from the pre New Curriculum era. No one is trying to ‘spoil’ anything. The traditions exist. There’s no doubt that the recognized students are capable.

          • Don't Hate says:

            Fine, you got me. We live in a post-modern world in which grades don’t matter, people are not responsible for their own actions (unless an advisor told them) and the sheer end of the open curriculum is that no academic achievement is alike and hence totally incomparable. Hmm, ok. I would say we end this discussion here because you live ok Pluto and I live on Mars

  2. The election criteria posted here are not quite right. I’m one of the elected seniors, and in my five semesters at Brown I completed 22 classes and earned 21 As. It’s unclear how credits from outside of Brown play into this (I have a year of credit earned elsewhere), but it seems to be slightly more complicated (at least for those who haven’t been enrolled for 7 semesters) than 23 As->PBK.

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