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Phi Beta Kappa elects 40 members of junior class

Election process overseen by past electees to Brown chapter of Phi Beta Kappa

On Feb. 12, 2020, 40 members of the class of 2021 were elected to the University’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, as stated in a letter from the Secretary of the Rhode Island Alpha of Phi Beta Kappa and Professor Emeritus of French Studies Henry Majewski. Phi Beta Kappa distinction represents “outstanding academic accomplishment in the course of a broad liberal education,” according to the University’s website. Elections are held every February to elect and invite new junior members.

To be considered for election to the chapter, a junior must have completed 20 courses over five semesters, with a minimum of 18 courses where they received an A or an S with distinction. Two-fifths of the courses must be within the arts, humanities, social sciences and/or pure mathematics departments, according to the University website.

Not all students who meet these requirements are automatically elected, according to the election guidelines. Students do not apply for this academic distinction nor are they nominated, and no more than one-third of qualified candidates can be elected in their junior year, according to the guidelines.

“Students are elected based solely on their academic records,” wrote President of Brown’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter and Chair of English Richard Rambuss in an email to The Herald. “The election is conducted anonymously by fellow students who were themselves elected to Phi Beta Kappa as juniors. Brown’s chapter has followed this student-driven process for decades.”

Election to Phi Beta Kappa was not an established goal for some of the electees, who expressed surprise to The Herald about their acceptance into the society.

Marianna Scott ’21, a newly elected junior, knew of the society but did not know how students were elected. “I knew that (Phi Beta Kappa) existed, but because there isn’t any sort of application process and the requirements for acceptance are somewhat vague, it wasn’t exactly something that I was working towards,” Scott wrote in an email to The Herald. “But I was very excited when I found out!”

Dhruv Gaur ’21 was unaware of the honor society when he was notified of his election. “Phi Beta Kappa wasn’t something that was initially on my radar, so when I got the invite, I had to do a little bit more research. . . . That being said, I’m very honored to be selected,” Gaur wrote in an email to The Herald.

But for other students, Phi Beta Kappa was something they had been working toward during their time at Brown. “I just focused on taking a diverse range of classes in subjects that interested me,” Paul Abrams ’21 wrote in an email to The Herald. “I was excited by the news and felt that it had validated some of my past academic decisions, given that I am still unsure about what career I want to pursue (and) how I should spend the rest of my time at Brown.”

Those elected are as following:

Paul Benjamin Abrams ’21

William J. K. Adriance ’21

Luke J. Angelillo ’21

Robin Marie Attey ’21

Edward Charles Beaudoin ’21

Aidan James Brice ’21

Sarah West Calame ’21

Deven Parikh Carmichael ’21

Justin Fu Chiang ’21

Finch Collins ’21

Yunxin Deng ’21

Mary Peiran Dong ’21

Dhruv Shankar Gaur ’21

Daniel Jiaran Hu ’21

Catelyn Y. Huang ’21

Viknesh S. Kasthuri ’21

Jordan Avram Kei-Rahn ’21

Sarah Alice Bloch Koppelman ’21

Daniella Viviana Nunziatina Longhi ’21

Matthew Robert Marciello ’21

Cotter Johnson McCarthy ’21

Zoe Elisabeth Mermelstein ’21

Amanda Brynn Mickelson ’21 (Herald Copy Editor and Editorial Page Board Member)

Isa V. Milefchik ’21

Isabel Holly Mirfakhraie ’21

Maximo Luciano Moyer ’21

Malini P. Naidu ’21

Harlan Samuel Oaks-Leaf ’21

Minako M. Ogita ’21 (Herald Copy Editor)

Luana Pessanha de Mattos ’21

Alexandra Reice ’21 (former Metro Editor)

Temma Leeba Schaechter ’21

Marianna Grace Scott ’21 (Herald Staff Writer)

Nicholas Anthony Scott ’21

Eric Michael Solomon ’21

Henry Williams Talbott ’21

Trisha Neel Thacker ’21 (former Herald Reporter)

Emma R. Weiss ’21

Meiqi Wu ’21

Luoxiao Xu ’21

Clarification: A previous version of this article did not specify that Amanda Brynn Mickelson ’21, Minako M. Ogita ’21, Alexandra Reice ’21, Marianna Grace Scott ’21 and Trisha Neel Thacker ’21 work or have worked for The Herald.

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