UPDATED: April 12, 2013, at 12:46 a.m.
A single suite in Adams House represents one eighth of this year's Phi Beta Kappa “Junior 24.”
Roommates Diana Li ’14, Caitlin M. Ballotta ’14, and Emma Lucken ’14 all had dinner together after they found that they were among the 24 members of the Class of 2014 who were inducted into the Harvard chapter of PBK, the nation’s oldest honor society. The chapter announced the selections Thursday afternoon.
“The Junior 24 are among a highly select group of students recognized for extraordinary academic achievement,” wrote Jeffrey M. Berg, an assistant director at Harvard’s Postgraduate and National Fellowships Office, in an email announcing the selection on behalf of the chapter on Thursday. Students who were selected for the honor were privately notified of their election on Wednesday.
“It’s a great honor and I am very humbled to be joining this organization,” said Roland Yang ’14, a government concentrator who was elected to PBK.
The “Junior 24,” the first members of the current junior class to be elected to the prestigious academic society, are selected based on a number of factors, including GPA, breadth and difficulty of coursework, and two letters of recommendation.
Neurobiology concentrator Justin Mathew ’14 was studying for a math exam in Widener Library when he received the unexpected but welcome email notifying him of his induction.
“I took a couple of minutes to pause,” said Mathew. “I am excited to be part of this group, but I recognize PBK merely reflects the cumulative years of support from teachers, mentors, and friends. There are many people who I know would have deserved this award at least as much as I do, if not more.”
Li, a social studies concentrator, defined her academic career at Harvard as “really challenging, but also really exciting,” and said that she discovered issues that she cares deeply about throughout her time at the College.
“I did not come here knowing what I would want to work on, but...I [then] discovered I have a passion for prisoners’ rights,” said Li, who is writing her senior thesis on prisoner integration.
Naomi R. Genuth ’14 saw the notifying email as she was walking out of class. The subject line of the email was truncated to “Phi Beta Kappa” by her phone.
“I was nervous, and then I saw [the word] congratulations”, said Genuth, who is studying molecular and cellular biology.
“It’s amazing to be one of 24 students selected. It really just blew me away,” Genuth said, crediting the receipt of her award to a strong work ethic and a passion for her studies.
“I think the people who get this [award] are really academically motivated in the sense that we’re all taking classes that we love and that we’re willing to put effort into,” said Genuth. “It’s a pleasant form of recognition for the hard work that we’ve put in, and I think this award will motivate us to continue to put hard work into our courses and enjoy the amazing academic experience we’re getting at Harvard.”
A complete list of the members of the 2014 “Junior 24” is below.
Caitlin M. Ballotta ’14, an English concentrator in Adams House
Amy Z. Chen ’14, a physics concentrator in Adams House
William M. Clerx ’14, a molecular and cellular biology concentrator in Cabot House
Rainer A. Crosett ’14, a philosophy concentrator in Pforzheimer House
Irving F. Dai ’14, a mathematics concentrator in Currier House
Lauren M. DiNicola ’14, a psychology concentrator in Lowell House
Daniel J. Frim ’14, a folklore and mythology concentrator in Adams House
Naomi R. Genuth ’14, a molecular and cellular biology concentrator in Eliot House
John W. Heilbron ’14, a social studies concentrator in Kirkland House
Kaiyang Huang ’14, a social studies concentrator in Eliot House
Lutai Ju ’14, a mathematics concentrator in Adams House
Christopher R. Kilgore ’14, an applied mathematics concentrator in Kirkland House
Andrew S. Lea ’14, a history and science concentrator in Lowell House
Diana Li ’14, a social studies concentrator in Adams House
Devi K. Lockwood ’14, a folklore and mythology concentrator in Dudley House
Jenny Lu ’14, a chemical and physical biology concentrator in Mather House
Emma Lucken ’14, an environmental science and public policy concentrator in Adams House
Yueran Ma ’14, an applied mathematics concentrator in Adams House
Justin Mathew ’14, a neurobiology concentrator in Adams House
Younghoon Moon ’14, a social studies concentrator in Eliot House
Daniel H. Ranard ’14, a physics concentrator in Kirkland House
William L. Whitham ’14, a social studies concentrator in Dudley House
Jennifer S. Wu ’14, an economics concentrator in Leverett House
Roland Yang ’14, a government concentrator in Kirkland House
—Staff writer Antonio Coppola can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @AntonioCoppolaC.
—Staff writer Melody Y. Guan can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MelodyGuan.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: April 12, 2013
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the name of the history and science concentration.
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