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Phi Beta Kappa Inducts Juniors

By Carol P. Choy, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Phi Beta Kappa announced yesterday the names of 24 juniors who will join the academic honor society as its first round of inductees from the Harvard Class of 2004.

The so-called “Junior 24” will be officially inducted at a dinner later this spring into Harvard’s chapter of the society, Alpha Iota of Massachusetts.

Students received notification of their acceptance via University Mail on Wednesday.

Inductee Andrew J. Kallem, an Economics concentrator in Eliot House, said that he was scared at first because the news came in a “really little unassuming envelope. It was like getting rejected from college.”

But after opening the envelope to find his new membership card, Kallen said he felt “honored and excited”—and called his parents immediately afterwards.

Kallem’s Eliot House roommate—Harold M. Birnbaum—was also inducted.

Birnbaum said he was nervous that one roommate would get in and the other would not.

“It was quite a trip to both be nominated in the first place,” Birnbaum said.

Although the pair has been “doing a lot of work this week,” they plan to celebrate over the weekend, Birnbaum said.

Saurabh H. Sanghvi first heard the news through an e-mail from a senior tutor.

“Frankly, I don’t know much about it,” said Sanghvi, but he also called it “definitely a great honor.”

The selection of new inductees begins with nominations of students who are listed by the registrar as having the highest grade point average. Twice as many inductees as are expected to be elected are nominated from three categories: Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.

Final selections were made by an election committee presided over by a senior faculty member of the appropriate area of study.

Transcripts and two faculty recommendations were considered in the process.

“We look for excellence in the way of scholarship as well as breadth of study,” Alpha Iota Chapter Secretary J.F. Coakley ’68 said of the selection.

He also said that the committee doesn’t usually consider extracurriculars but that they occasionally “find their way into discussion.”

The complete list of inductees are:

John L. Beshears, Harold M. Birnbaum, Stephanie E. Brewer, Michael R. Callahan, Ruth A. Craig, Rebecca Nichole E. Dizon-Ross, Rebecca E. Doran, Winnie Fung, Andrew Goldstone, Jennifer Y. Hsiao, Andrew J. Kallem, Judd B. Kessler, Andrew C. Lin, Nilah Monnier, Paul F. Niehaus, Matthew N. Ocheltree, Bryan J. Parno, Richard M. Re, Saurabh H. Sanghvi, Ganesh N. Sitaraman, Jordan W. Thomas, Daniel A. Tinkoff, Evan C. Tschirhart and Rachael A. Wagner.

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