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Phi Beta Kappa Names New Members to UW Chapter

April 17, 2018
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Donal Skinner

The nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa (PBK), has selected 42 new members for the University of Wyoming chapter. Students were selected based upon their demonstrated excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

“To be elected, a student needs to show a balanced liberal arts education that accords with the national stipulations, and which we verify by examining every candidate’s transcript in detail,” says Eric Nye, professor in the Department of English and chapter secretary. “It is the one distinction prospective employers and graduate schools are swift to notice.”

Nye says members cannot apply or be nominated to PBK, but are selected by faculty members in the chapter. Membership is limited to those in the top 10 percent of the graduating class, but Nye says PBK members at UW are typically in the top 3-4 percent.

In all, less than 1 percent of U.S. college graduates are chosen. UW’s chapter, Alpha of Wyoming, has more than 100 faculty and staff members.

Most new members are seniors, but a handful of outstanding students are elected as juniors, Nye says. Each junior class member will receive a $1,000 Louise A. Lee Johnson Memorial Scholarship. This year’s recipients are Brady LaChance and Caitlyn Skavdahl, both from Casper, and Taurey Carr, of Lander. 

The new members will be inducted at a public ceremony Friday, April 27, at 3 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Family Room. Donal Skinner, dean of the Honors College and Department of Zoology and Physiology professor, will be the guest speaker. Family members, friends and faculty of the inductees are invited to attend.

Phi Beta Kappa selects new members annually from each of its 286 chapters nationwide. The UW chapter sponsors lectures, scholarships and other academic activities. The chapter will celebrate the 78th anniversary of earning its charter next November.

New PBK members at UW, listed by hometowns and majors, are:

Afton -- Tyson Woodford, Spanish.

Arvada, Colo. -- Ariana Strasheim, anthropology.

Aurora, Colo. -- Joseph Rutkowski, international studies and history.

Barcelona, Spain -- Clara Tapia Palacio, molecular biology and chemistry.

Big Horn -- Andrew Schuster, history.

Canon City, Colo. -- Alex Skerjanec, history.

Casper -- Brady LaChance, French; Natasha Radosevich, microbiology; and Caitlyn Skavdahl, international studies.

Cheyenne -- Brian Huynh, mathematics, psychology and statistics; Shelby Lewis, mathematics; Emily Miller, international studies; and Mike Uribe, Spanish.

Clearmont -- Sara Ellingrod, international studies.

Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Tara Brunner, psychology; and Karissa Resnik, chemistry.

Connersville, Ind. -- Samuel Gragg, environmental geology and geohydrology, and mathematics.

Diamondville -- Codi Cardenas, psychology.

Fort Collins, Colo. -- Marissa Moret, physiology.

Greybull -- Sabrina Heuschkel, English.

Harrisonburg, Va. -- Martha Wenger, microbiology and Spanish.

Jackson -- Kelly Flickinger, English.

Lander -- Taurey Carr, Spanish and economics; and Emily Schimelpfenig, political science.

Laramie -- Hailey Hamilton, Spanish and social work; Maggie Huss, international studies; Gabriel Selting, international studies; and Tyler Yocom-Blum, Russian and Spanish.

Lovell -- Peter Moncur, English.

Lyman -- Kasha Christopherson, psychology.

Mountain View -- Hazen Dickerson, economics and finance.

Palisade, Colo. -- Celia Egghart, English.

Pinedale -- Daniel Mrak, anthropology.

Powell -- Sarah Wurzel, biology and Spanish.

Rapid City, S.D. -- Lauryn Soulek, English.

Riverton -- Kasandra Kister, physiology.

Rock Springs -- Haley Powell, zoology, and environment and natural resources.

Santa Monica, Calif. -- Joshua Franke, English.

Sheridan -- Brittney Buckler, Spanish and elementary education; Tyler Julian, international studies and Spanish; and Meredith Weber, psychology and sociology.

Snohomish, Wash. -- Josiah Hogan, psychology.


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