Dunster House grabbed top academic honors as three of the 12 junior women chosen for the Phi Beta Kappa society's Radcliffe chapter came from that house, the chapter announced yesterday.
The Dunster squad included Mary Y. Lanzerotti, a Physics concentrator, and a pair of roommates, Sarah L. Marx, a Literature major, and Elen M. Roklina, a History/Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations concentrator.
Lowell, Quincy and North Houses each had two representatives in the group of 12, which was selected in March from among 24 junior women with the highest grade point averages in their class, said Karen Sorensen, an administrative assistant in the Radcliffe Dean's office.
The Lowell residents were English concentrator Elizabeth V. Bedell and Karen A. Leal of the Classics Department. The North House representatives included Yuri Suzuki, a Physics concentrator, and Literature concentrator Lisa A. Estreich. English concentrator Allison L. Jernow and Evelyn S. Vincow, in Psychology. were the Quincy honorees.
The other women elected to the society were Maureen McLane, a History and Literature concentrator in Currier House, Laura H. Heijn, a dual concentrator in English and Visual andEnvironmental Studies (VES) of Adams, and EastAsian Languages and Civilizations concentratorCarolyn L. Evans of Cabot.
The 24 students eligible for the societysubmitted letters of recommendation from facultyin their departments to the Phi Beta Kappaselection committee, Sorensen said, adding, "acommittee of students, faculty, and alumnae, whoare all Phi Beta Kappa, select the finalists."
The committee requested standard academicrecommendations from faculty members in anapplicant's department, according to Marx. "Theyasked something like, `what can you tell us abouttheir intellectual passions and pursuits?'" she said.
Most of the finalists expressed surprise atbeing selected, but Bedell said that the smallpool of nominees prepared her. "I was very pleasedand surprised, but after the surprise and theshock of being nominated, you know you're at acertain level and getting it becomes moot."
The society is largely honorary. Radcliffe'sIota chapter hosts a banquet in early May to honorthe initiates, but few other activities areplanned, Bedell said. "Once in a while they get usspeakers," Heijn said.
Heijn said she was especially surprised at herselection. She almost neglected to ask forrecommendations, because she was skeptical of herchances. "When I got the invitation to apply Ididn't take it very seriously, until a friend toldme it should be a great honor."
"It is unusual for the committee to consider aVES student," Heijn said. "When I asked if I couldsubmit a recommendation from a VES Professor, theysaid it would be more appropriate to have anEnglish [Department] person.