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St. Kate's Phi Beta Kappa chapter inducts 16 new members

Sixteen students were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa on April 29. Five of the inductees are not pictured.
Sixteen students were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa on April 29. Five of the inductees are not pictured.
Photo by Ashley de los Reyes '15

The Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at St. Catherine University inducted 16 new members on Tuesday evening.

“As I reviewed their extensive lists of creative writing and liberal arts research, leadership experiences and community involvement, I was truly overcome by all that these women have contributed to the liberal arts disciplines and their communities both on and off campus,” said Jill Welter, associate professor of biology and Phi Beta Kappa chapter president.

Surrounded by faculty, family and friends, the 2014 inductees each took a turn signing the 77-year-old membership roster of the Phi Beta Kappa, Gamma Chapter — the first chapter at a Catholic institution in the United States.

New members of Phi Beta Kappa, Gamma Chapter include:

Seniors:

Emily Cardinal ’14 — biology

Samantha DeAngelo ’14 (Antonian Scholar) — psychology and biology

Anne Floyd ’14 (Antonian Scholar) — English and psychology

Anna Hayes ’14 (Antonian Scholar) — Spanish and food and nutrition science

Kristal Jameson ’14 — mathematics

Kathryn Kensy ’14 — biology

Heather Kolnick ’14 (Antonian Scholar) — art history and French

Janet Muzulu ’14 — chemistry

Madison Pertler ’14 — Spanish and interpreting

Kristina Poss ’14 (Antonian Scholar) — chemistry

Jennifer Rowe ’14 — chemistry

Hilary Stein ’14  — studio art and French

Kelsey Will ’14 (Antonian Scholar) — psychology

Angela Zarich ’14 — mathematics

Maryna Zubtsova ’14 (Antonian Scholar) — international business and economics

Junior:

Nichole Bailey ’15 — history

Julia Nikrad ’14, an Antonian Scholar and biology major who was previously inducted as a junior, shared an historical account of Phi Beta Kappa at the event.

The honorary speaker for the evening was Karen Guth, assistant professor of theology. Guth shared her journey as a young liberal arts graduate and Phi Beta Kappa member.

“There are definite perks to being a liberal arts graduate that translate very well into utilitarian or market terms. Will studying the liberal arts give you a well-rounded education? Check. Will it make you critical thinkers and good writers? Check. Will it enable you to excel at a wide-range of jobs and career paths? Check,” said Guth.

Regardless of the market value of a liberal arts education, Guth stressed that the life-long pursuit of learning carries its own internal reward.

“One that possesses the ability — even in our darkest hours — to be a source of sustenance, of salvation, of sheer joy,” she said.

Nearly half the inductees are also in the Antonian Scholars Honors Program, a rigorous baccaulaureate level program for students of exceptional academic performance in liberal arts. Antonian scholars must complete four interdisciplinary honors seminars and an independently researched senior honors project.

About Phi Beta Kappa

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization recognizing achievement in the liberal arts. In 1937, St. Catherine University (formerly the College of St. Catherine) was the first Catholic college or university to be awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Currently, only 283 chapters exist at higher education institutions throughout the United States.

Phi Beta Kappa embraces the principles of freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought and expression. Its chapters induct the most outstanding arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities. About 10 percent of higher education institutions have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and only about 10 percent of arts and sciences graduates from these institutions are selected for membership.

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May 2, 2014 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Arts, Education, Leadership, Liberal Arts, Students