Carnegie Mellon University

Phi Beta Kappa

May 21, 2019

MCS Students Honored at Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony

By Stefanie Johndrow

Jocelyn Duffy

Seventeen Mellon College of Science students were among the 56 Carnegie Mellon students inducted into the university’s Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapter at a ceremony on Friday, May 17. Only about 10 percent of college students across the United States are invited to join PBK.

Science and Humanities Scholar and dual mathematical sciences and physics major Eric Barrett delivered the keynote speech. Barrett is one of three inductees who have immediate family members who have also been inducted into PBK. Barrett, along with fellow inductees Alexandra Halberstadt and Rebecca Jesurum, interviewed their family members on the meaning of their election into PBK. Barrett’s keynote speech was comprised of their responses.

Among the common themes they shared were a sense of pride in being inducted into the society and the doors that can open up for members of PBK professionally. The final theme, Barrett said, was the most significant.

“The last, probably most important, common theme that came up in everyone’s initiation ceremony, was an emphasis not just on the past but looking toward the future,” Barrett said. “We’ve all been nominated for our hard work at Carnegie Mellon. This is certainly a recognition of all of our past accomplishments, but it’s also more than that. We’ve come here and learned lots of things and gotten good grades, but now it means nothing if we don’t use it.”

Earlier in the fall, six Mellon College of Science students were among 20 Carnegie Mellon students selected for early election into the university’s chapter.

Mellon College of Science students initiated into Phi Beta Kappa this year:

Eric Barrett, Mathematical Sciences; Physics

Alisa Chang, Mathematical Sciences *
Minor: Computer Science

Bryan Ding, Mathematical Sciences
Minors: Japanese Studies; Computational Finance

Mike Dong, Chemistry
Minors: Biomedical Engineering; Human-Computer Interaction

Alex Fernez, Physics
Minor: Mathematical Sciences

Brandon Foster, Biological Sciences; Music Performance

Alexandra Halberstadt, Biological Sciences; Psychology

Ian Holst, Physics

Jessica Jue, Biological Sciences*
Additional Major: Chinese studies

Prerana Katiyar, Neuroscience
Minor: Chemistry

Erin Kavanagh, Chemistry
Minor: Biomedical Engineering

Stephanie Kuang, Chemistry
Minor: Creative Writing

Esther Lee, Biological Sciences; Music Performance 

Cameron Montag, Mathematical Sciences
Additional Major: Computer Science

Nadia Razek, Mathematical Science
Additional Major: Human-Computer Interaction

Sarah Simon, Chemistry *

Victoria Van Benschoten, Chemistry*
Minor: Creative Writing

Echo Wu, Mathematical Sciences; Economics
Minor: Business Administration

Huiwen Zhang, Mathematical Sciences
Additional Major: Statistics
Minor: Computational Finance

Nan Zhang, Biological Sciences
Minors: Computer Science; Neural Computation

Sean Zhang, Mathematical Sciences
Additional Major: Computer Science
Minor: Computational Finance

Yixiu Zhao, Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science*
Minor: Physics

Emily Zhu, Mathematical Sciences*

*Students who were selected for early election

Photography by Michael Haritan.