June 28, 2021 at 8:35 am

99 inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, 7 receive Wolfe Awards

From Ohio University News

Ninety-nine highly accomplished juniors and seniors were inducted into Ohio University’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa this spring, and seven students shared the Thomas A. Wolfe Award, a cash prize for highest GPA among the 2021 inductees.

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most important academic honor society in the United States. Founded in 1776, the society recognizes undergraduates who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievement in the liberal arts and sciences. Only 10% of U.S. colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. These chapters select the top 10% of their arts and sciences graduates to join, making PBK membership one of the most prestigious honors a student can receive. The Lambda of Ohio Chapter was chartered in 1928.

Inductees were juniors and seniors from four OHIO colleges: College of Arts & Sciences, College of Fine Arts, College of Health Sciences and Professions, and Honors Tutorial College, as well as the Center for International Studies. They join the ranks of esteemed Phi Beta Kappa members, which include 17 U.S. presidents, 42 U.S Supreme Court justices, and over 150 Nobel laureates.

Dr. Paul Milazzo, associate professor of history and PBK Lambda of Ohio Chapter president, noted that this year’s 84% acceptance rate was the chapter’s all-time best.

“PBK is indebted to Jenny Klein, Assistant Dean for Success and Persistence, for her tireless and creative outreach efforts on the organization’s behalf,” Milazzo said. “I also want to recognize President Emeritus M. Duane Nellis, who set the standard for paying student PBK initiation fees out of funds from his office beginning in 2018. His generosity has helped to ensure that all those who merit Phi Beta Kappa membership can claim it without financial hardship and underscores Ohio University’s commitment to academic excellence.”

Thomas A. Wolfe Awardees

Iyana Davis, portrait

Iyana Davis

Iyana Davis ’21 is a first-generation student from Wickliffe, Ohio, and is double majoring in Linguistics and Spanish, with certificates in Italian Studies and Teaching English as a Foreign Language in the College of Arts & Sciences. She is the current president of the Cultural Italian American Organization and a member of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi. When she graduates, she plans to use her TEFL certificate to teach English abroad and to apply her multilingual skills in working in the field of translation.

an outdoor snapshot of Daniel Dunfee

Daniel Dunfee

Daniel Dunfee ’22 is an Eagle Scout from Racine, Ohio. He is majoring in Spanish in the College of Arts & Sciences and Geological Sciences in the Honors Tutorial College. He received the Damian Nance Distinguished Professor Scholarship and the Travis C. Middleman Scholarship from the Geological Sciences Department. He has been conducting research with Dr. Larry Witmer in the WitmerLab for two years on an honor thesis examining changes in growth in Jurassic dinosaurs.

Ellen Gill-Franks at Supreme Court

Ellen Gill-Franks

Ellen Gill-Franks ’22 is an undergraduate student studying English Pre-Law and Sociology-Criminology with a Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture in the College of Arts & Sciences. She is currently serving as a student trustee on Ohio University’s Board of Trustees and a Supreme Court of Ohio public information extern. Additionally, she serves as director of Students Defending Students, a pre-law associate at the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, an OHIO Learning Community leader, and a Cutler Scholar. She also dedicates her time as a Summer Law & Trial Institute program assistant and a research assistant for the Ohio Innocence Project and Southeastern Ohio Legal Services. She is preparing to attend law school following graduation.

Andrew Stone, portrait

Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone ’22 grew up in Bexley, Ohio. He is a Political Science major in the Honors Tutorial College and is also pursuing a Certificate in Law, Justice, and Culture. He is a founding member of the Ohio University chapter of BridgeUSA and currently serves as vice president. Next year, he will be completing a thesis on how online political subcultures impact American politics. Following graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in academic research.

Angel Vergona, portrait

Angel Vergona

Angel Vergona ’22, originally from Hamilton, Ohio, is majoring in Pre-Law Political Science. She has received two political science awards: the Adeline Zoller Memorial Scholarship in 2019 and the Dolores K. Hanna Women in Law Scholarship for 2021. She was also chosen by Dr. Susan Burgess to receive her distinguished professor scholarship in 2020. Vergona is the president and cofounder of the Political Science Major’s Association, the vice president of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and the deputy director of the ACLU-OU. She will be applying to law school in the fall and hopes to have a career in civil rights law and politics, with the goal of being elected to the U.S. Congress.

Noah McGeorge ’21 is a first-generation student from Dayton, Ohio, majoring in Linguistics with a focus in teaching English as a foreign language. His most rewarding college experiences have come from his work as a tutor for the Ohio Program of Intensive English, Academic Achievement Center, and Academic Global Communication Center. He will be pursuing a master’s in applied linguistics in 2022.

Daniela Grijalva, portrait

Daniela Grijalva

Daniela Grijalva ’21 is an Ecuadorian-American who completed her undergraduate career at Ohio University after having studied in Madrid, Spain, for two years. In the College of Arts & Sciences, she earned majors in Latin American Studies and Political Sciences, a Minor in Anthropology, and a Certificate in Global Leadership. In 2021, she was awarded the Latino Heritage Award by OHIO in recognition of her dedication to both her academic career and her community involvement. During her time at her various institutions, she has participated in and led several projects, programs, and organizations that advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in a variety of spaces. Next year, she will be entering the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture program at OHIO and will work as the graduate assistant at the university’s Global Leadership Center. She also will continue her involvement with the community as secretary of the Ohio University Chapter of the ACLU and as the vice president of ALLIES Student Organization. She hopes to use these experiences to prepare for a future career in law and society while using her leadership skills to increase accessibility and accountability on campus.

2021 Phi Beta Kappa Initiates

Leah Allan
Chloë Zehra Backderf
Korri Basinger
Connor Douglas Beeman
Elizabeth A. Bennett
Austin G. Bissell
Kaitlyn Booher
Andrew John Bovenzi
Justin Boyle
Anna Brant
Joseph Michael Brucker
Clay Eric Burger
Katy Campbell
Colton Ryan Campbell
Arielle Pennington Caradonna
Jacob Carlson
Madeleine Case
Kennedi Elizabeth Christie
Cassie Coleman
Townsend Colley
Robyn Combs
Grace Counts
Terra Davison Creahan
Ben Loring Dailey
Iyana Davis
Elizabeth Davis
Analee Ximena Davis Herrera
David Dennis
Arielle Dickerman
Sarah Elizabeth Dillinger
Sara Dowler
Daniel Ryan Dunfee
Alyssa Espinoza
Zoe Felber
Justin Andrew Fink
Tyler Lee Fyffe
Andrea Gapsch
Ellen M. Gill-Franks
Daniela Adriana Grijalva
Griffin M. Grosh
Madeleine Marie Hale
Ivy Hammond
Haley Hautzinger
Taylor Heddleson
Adam Hering
Natalie Anne Hosmer
Megan Anne Kennedy
Kamryn Kennison
Emilee M. Kerr
Adam Killmeyer
Grant Knepper
Ariana Farren Gertrude Kocab
Madelyn Rose Lail
Caroline Easterday Liles
Michaela Maloney
Asya Martin
Katherine Tate Martindale
Olivia Matulich
Meah McCallister
Madison Shay McFadden
Noah Michael McGeorge
Kaitlyn McKenzie
Katelyn Mitchem
Daniel P. Monks
Molly Alyssa Moore
Alexandra Moser
Will Mullen
Leah K. Myerholtz
Ashton Leigh Nichols
Rachael Nicole Pack
Kirsten Pack
Chloe Parsons
Zachary Perie
James Petko
Ellery Pollard
Emma Rice
Samantha Romeo
Ashley Elizabeth Safran
Devon Schneider
Kimberly Sirb
Kaylee Smith
Casey L. Starcher
Maria Rachael Steinberg
Andrew L. Stone
Elaina Tartal
Sophie E. Tate
Kaitlyn Lorraine Urbaniak
Angel Vergona
Grace Walters
Brittney Ward
Leah Warren
Sarah Weekman
John Jacob Wehrkamp
McKenzie Wynn Weller
Logan Weyland
Stephanie Wilhelm
Madelynn Wilson
Alexandra Worrallo
Emma Zgonc

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