CAS News

Phi Beta Kappa inducts alumnus, 31 students

The Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Oklahoma State University initiated 31 new student members and alumnus Christopher Lehman during its seventh annual induction ceremony recently in the Student Union Ballroom. The honor society's Gamma of Oklahoma chapter was founded in 2013.

OSU chapter members vote on whether to offer membership to each student who fulfills the rigorous criteria for induction. That includes at least 90 hours of liberal arts courses with a minimum GPA of 3.7 while majoring in the liberal arts or sciences. Honorees must also have at least 15 hours in a foreign language and demonstrated proficiency in mathematics. A faculty committee also reviews potential inductees’ transcripts for both breadth and depth of study.

“Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society, founded in 1776,” said Perry Gethner, president of the chapter. “It is linked to the values of free speech and critical inquiry that are vital to our country’s mission. It is also the nation’s most exclusive honor society. Only about 10 percent of colleges and universities have a chapter, and getting one established is an enormously complicated and arduous process.”

Lehman’s speech to the student honorees covered why he believes a liberal arts education matters for today’s graduates. He is a professor of ethnic studies at Minnesota's St. Cloud State University who has been a visiting fellow at Harvard. He is also the author of five academic books. In 1995, he earned a history degree at OSU and became the first African-American graduate of the Honors College.

The new members of Phi Beta Kappa are listed below, along with their majors and hometowns.

Charles William Cirocco; psychology; Tulsa, Oklahoma

Kelsi Trentlyn Clawson; psychology; Muldrow, Oklahoma

Rebecca L. Dempewolf; architectural engineering/structures and Spanish; Ardmore, Oklahoma

Teresa A.  Denker; economics and mathematics; Garland, Texas

Victoria B. Denny; English; Chattanooga, Oklahoma

Mallory P. Dixon; biological science/pre-health care; Tulsa, Oklahoma

Kaylen A. Gurwell; physiology/pre-medical sciences and biology/pre-medical sciences; Lenexa, Kansas

pbk squareNikole Dawn Heon; mathematics; Oak Point, Texas

Samantha Helena Homann; English and German; Trophy Club, Texas

Griffin Kennedy Hughes; biological science/pre-health care and Spanish; Broken Arrow, Texas

Lauren A. Jones; animal science/animal biotechnology and microbiology/cell and molecular biology; Cleburne, Texas

Ferris Weam Kalidy; microbiology/cell and molecular biology; Edmond, Oklahoma

Chase D. LaSpisa; political science; Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Ashton L. Mason; physiology/pre-medical sciences; Edmond, Oklahoma

Maddie McClain; psychology; Corpus Christi, Texas

Caitlyn Bree McDowell; strategic communication and Spanish; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alejandra Medellin; biochemistry; Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Tanna C. Newberg; art/art history; Edmond, Oklahoma

Sarah M. Oliver; biochemistry; Ardmore, Oklahoma

Jacob Scott Osborne; biochemistry; Prosper, Texas

Emry K. Peterson; art/graphic design; Bixby, Oklahoma

Jacie Shaye Roberts; philosophy and French; Seminole, Oklahoma

Kiaralexis Rogers; political science; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Stephanie Rojo; economics/general and strategic communication; Edmond, Oklahoma

Joshua D. Ross; mathematics; Pryor, Oklahoma

Ashlyn N. Ruley; English; Tulsa, Oklahoma

Emma Catherine Schlebach; music education/instrumental vocal certification; Fort Worth, Texas

Sarah Gamal Ahmed Soliman; biology/pre-medical sciences and microbiology/cell and molecular biology; Newcastle, Oklahoma

Dyonna M. Starr Ramos; English; Stillwater, Oklahoma

Addison Gwen Van Zandbergen; global studies and Spanish; Durant, Oklahoma

Katherine R. Victor; political science and French; Tulsa, Oklahoma