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Forty-Eight Seniors in Class of 2018 Chosen for Phi Beta Kappa

University Hall.
University Hall. By Megan M. Ross
By Henry W. Burnes and Sofia W. Tong, Crimson Staff Writers

Seniors in the division of Social Sciences dominated the newest honorees of the College’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa with 42 percent of the selected group.

Members of the Class of 2018 who study in the divisions of Science, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Arts and Humanities represented less of the “Senior 48” compared to last year.

Alpha Iota, Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, selects 24 juniors each spring and 48 seniors each fall to join the national academic honors society. The chapter honors students who have “chosen the most challenging courses available, pursued independent research as part of an honors concentration, achieved excellence in coursework across all academic divisions, and attained outstanding grades in all courses,” according to the College’s Handbook for Students.

Brian W. Cornyn ’18 said he was surprised to learn he had been inducted into PBK.

“It was a quite humbling experience to even be considered, given how often I’m blown away when working with solid students,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn was one of four new seniors in PBK concentrating in Economics. The concentrations with the highest representation were Economics, Government, Mathematics, and Social Studies, with four concentrators each among the inductees.

Overall, the members of the “Senior 48” are pursuing 24 of the 49 undergraduate concentrations.

For Gabriella A. Germanos ’18, academic diversity was one of the centerpieces of her path through the Women, Gender, and Sexuality concentration.

“WGS is pretty difficult so I like to balance taking those intellectually rigorous courses with more lighthearted, fun classes,” Germanos said.

Germanos added, “For a lot of people, it’s challenging to take classes outside of your concentration because you are used to things in your concentration, but I’ve found it to be the opposite.”

Another PBK honoree, Hannah Byrne ’18, agreed that taking courses from different academic areas was important to her path. After first declaring a Mechanical Engineering concentration, Byrne switched to Earth and Planetary Sciences at the end of her sophomore year.

“There’s incredible support from this department, and I’ve met some of the nicest people I’ve met in college,” Byrne said. “It’s the strongest community of people that I’ve come across here, so I think that was mainly what drew me.”

The students will be formally inducted into the society in a ceremony on Nov. 29.

A complete list of the members of the Class of 2018 elected to the “Senior 48” is below:

Hannah Byrne, Earth and Planetary Sciences (Pforzheimer)

Brian W. Cornyn, Economics (Leverett)

Katherine M. Fraser, Physics (Adams)

Megan L. Gao, Psychology (Winthrop)

Gabriella A. Germanos, Women, Gender and Sexuality (Pforzheimer)

H. Xavier Gonzalez, Mathematics (Winthrop)

Cynthia Guo, Applied Mathematics (Cabot)*

Jonah C. Hahn, Social Studies (Dudley)

Waverley He, Neurobiology (Kirkland)

Olivia D. Herrington, History and Literature (Currier)

Leni M. G. Hirsch, History of Science (Pforzheimer)

Gabriel G. Hodgkin, Social Studies (Quincy)

N. Max Hopkins, Mathematics (Adams)

Sonya G. Jacobs, Government (Lowell)

Ravi Jagadeesan, Mathematics (Cabot)

Caie C. Kelley, Economics (Winthrop)

Ailie F. Kerr, Folklore and Mythology (Mather)

Elizabeth C. Keto, History of Art and Architecture (Quincy)*

Jeong Jun Kim, Chemical and Physical Biology (Pforzheimer)

Raya R. Koreh, History (Adams)

Electra B. Lang, English (Adams)

Angela M. Leocata, Anthropology (Kirkland)

Catherine Y. Li, Statistics (Lowell)

Harrison H. Li, Statistics (Kirkland)

Alyyah Malick, Chemical and Physical Biology (Adams)

Andrew F. Miner, Government (Leverett)

Tara Murty, Engineering Sciences (Eliot)

Akash Nandi, Applied Mathematics (Kirkland)

Daniel H. Nightingale, Economics (Quincy)

Farris M. Peale, Social Studies (Quincy)

Romana Pilepich, Government (Winthrop)

Paulena B. Prager, History and Literature (Eliot)

Mengting Qiu, Molecular and Cellular Biology (Pforzheimer)

Sarah Rahman, Sociology (Mather)

Kristen A. Rodrigues, Engineering Sciences (Winthrop)

Theo Serlin, History (Leverett)

Caleb O. Shelburne, History and Literature (Kirkland)

Ajay Singh, Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology (Adams)

Elena D. Sokoloski, Government (Kirkland)

Preetam Soundararajan, Economics (Adams)

Paul G. Stainier, Applied Mathematics (Currier)

Alexander C. Su, Chemistry and Physics (Pforzheimer)

Vikram Sundar, Mathematics (Leverett)

Gal Wachtel, Molecular and Cellular Biology (Currier)

Noah R. Wagner, Social Studies (Quincy)

Sebastian M. Wagner-Carena, Physics (Kirkland)

Alan Z. Yang, Molecular and Cellular Biology (Quincy)

Anna I. Zannetos, Sociology (Adams)

*Asterisks denote active Crimson editors.

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