Phi Beta Kappa Inductees Invited to Create and Innovate for the Future

Wesleyan congratulates the 79 new members of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. (Photos by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

When Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell ’76 arrived on campus in the summer of 1972, she was part of the second full class of women admitted to Wesleyan. “I chose to do my studies in a place that was changing,” she said. “A principle that guides my life is to accept change, it is inevitable.”

Barthwell, who gave the commencement speech at the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony in the spring of 2022, earned a degree in psychology and went on to found healthcare policy firm Encounter Medical Group and runs Two Dreams , a comprehensive alcohol and drug treatment system. She previously served under President George W. Bush’s undercabinet in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), where she was a senior policy advisor on reducing the demand for illicit drugs.

During the ceremony, Barthwell addressed a fully occupied memorial chapel filled with 79 inductees of the Class of 2022 PBK and their exuberant family and friends. Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, is limited to 12% of Wesleyan graduates each year. They join 15 other seniors elected during the fall 2021 session.

“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 name or describe at this point. Your preparation with a liberal arts education, your inquisitive mind, and your love of lifelong learning, coupled with your good and moral character, enable you to selflessly care for others.It will help you to create and innovate our future.

Dr. Andrea Grubb Barthwell '76, founder of Encounter Medical Group, gave the keynote address at 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 road to freedom in 1776, it is today. Without education, freedom has no meaning. Freedom will deteriorate if people do not have the ability to think and reason for themselves and if those who have these skills do not help shape freedom and education,” she said. Dr. Barthwell received a Distinguished Alumni Award at its 30th meeting.

To be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a student must demonstrate the breadth of their program by having met general education expectations; have been nominated by the department of their major; and achieved a cumulative grade point value of 93 or higher.

The Wesleyan Gamma Chapter of the 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 basically translate to “the love of wisdom is the guide of life”.

Barthwell expanded on the idea of ​​”wisdom” during his talk and noted that students’ capacity for wisdom has grown exponentially since they arrived on campus. “It parallels the maturation of the brain, peaking at age 25 and beginning its slow decline into senility. Wisdom gives us the ability to innovate, and judgment allows us to balance immediate needs with a long-term perspective.

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

“We are thrilled to see the induction of our varsity student-athletes into Phi Beta Kappa,” said Wesleyan Athletic Director Mike Whalen ’83. “We are 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 president of Wesleyan’s PBK chapter.

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

“I was so impressed with the variety of interests, scholarly research, creative practice and extracurricular activities exhibited by the students – and often that variety was found in each of the inductees,” Roth said.

Michael Roth
Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 delivered a welcoming address at the ceremony.

Wesleyan’s new 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, educational studies, English
Jamie Cheng, Education Studies, Psychology
Noah A. Cohen, economics, government
Ariel Faye Cohen, College of Social Studies
Violet Latman There, American Studies, English
Hannah Allison Docter-Loeb, biology, psychology
Amy Du, molecular biology and biochemistry

Oussama Elgabori
Oussama Elgabori ’22

Oussama 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, neurosciences 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, Neurosciences 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, IT, government, mathematics
Nomi Jahoda Kligler, anthropology, art studio
Andrew Tyler Kushnir, economics, government
Hannah Nikita Landel, economy, government
Anika Elizabeth Summer Legrand-Wittich, IT
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, IT
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, economy, science in society
Julia Meehan, economics
William Dederick Miner, psychology
Sarah Lynn Morgan, Neuroscience and Behavior
Matt Muldowney, IT, music
Maddie Rachel Nagler, film studies, psychology
Stevie O’Connor, neuroscience and behavior
Gabrielle Jolie Ouellette, English

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

Aashni Mallika Parikh, biology, earth and environmental sciences
Elisa Geneviève Pettinato, Art History, Art Studio
Tanya Phanich, computer science, psychology
Anjali Prabhu, Neurosciences 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, neurosciences and behavior
Shiyu (Simon) Zhu, IT, economics

“Election to membership is a great honor, but you are not just elected into a simple honor society where your name is recorded in a ledger and never seen again. Election stimulates energies in each of you to do something,” Barthwell concluded. “PBK does not rest on your laurels, you continue to act honorably and behave when tackling the issues of your time, never being pedantic, arrogant, full of vanity or self-satisfied.You aspire, with reverence and humility, because you have 1) academic depth and breadth, 2) independence of mind, 3) curiosity, and 4) good and moral character.”

New members of the Phi Beta Kappa Wesleyan Chapter review their welcome packets during the initiation ceremony May 21 at the Memorial Chapel.

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