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Forty-Eight Seniors Chosen for 2019 PBK Class

University Hall.
University Hall. By Michael Gritzbach
By Kevin R. Chen and Anissa R. Medina, Contributing Writers

Forty-eight seniors began their Monday with some exciting news: they had been elected to the College’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a national academic honor society. They join 24 juniors elected last spring.

“I woke up to the news this morning and was over the moon excited — receiving a nomination was an honor in itself,” Anant T. Pai ’19 wrote in an email. “I never imagined I would actually be elected.”

Harvard’s Alpha Iota chapter typically selects 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.

About 44 percent of the class of 2019’s newest inductees concentrate in the division of Science, a change from last year, when Social Sciences made up the largest portion with 42 percent of the class.

Those studying within the Social Sciences constitute roughly 35 percent of the 48 seniors this year, while the Arts and Humanities and the School of Engineering and Applied Science represent 13 and 8 percent, respectively.

The concentration with the highest representation among inductees was Economics, with six students receiving the honor. A total of 22 different concentrations made up the “Senior 48.”

Many students were excited and thankful upon hearing of their induction.

Rana C. Bansal ’19 wrote in an email that felt humbled when he received the email informing him of his selection.

“I've picked my classes though my interests in economics, government, and statistics and try to balance quantitative and qualitative coursework each semester in order to make the most of what Harvard has to offer,” Bansal wrote.

Many of the honorees said they explored interests beyond their concentrations during college, enrolling in classes in many academic departments.

Sarah Horne ’19 wrote in an email that she took courses in seven different academic disciplines her freshman year.

“Interdisciplinary learning is incredibly enriching, and I have found that I learn the most when I am studying the same issues from many different academic perspectives,” she wrote.

Daniela Muhleisen ’19, a Government concentrator, wrote in an email that she also appreciated the opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary education.

“I love learning about Latin American history and violence prevention and public health policy, but I also love writing poetry and fiction,” Muhleisen wrote. “I have been able to pursue all these passions here. It’s really just a blessing.”

Yanet C. Gomez ’19, a Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology concentrator, wrote in an email that she coupled her biology studies with social anthropology classes to prepare her for a career as a physician, and that she was “extremely grateful” for the recognition.

“As a first generation student and immigrant, my time at Harvard has not been easy; I see this as a huge honor,” Gomez wrote.

Three additional students were also added to the 24 students who received Phi Beta Kappa honors as juniors last year — Evan MacKay ’19, Vaibhav Mohanty ’19, and David Stoner ’19, bringing the total number to 27. The three were not included in last semester’s announcement due to an error at the Registrar’s Office, according to Alpha Iota Secretary Logan McCarty, a lecturer in Physics.

The 48 fall electees will be officially inducted into the society during a ceremony on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in Leverett House’s Library Theater.

A complete list of the members of the Class of 2019 elected to the “Senior 48” is below:

Jonathan G. Adler, History and Literature

Rana C. Bansal, Economics

Chloe A. Brooks, English

Robert D. Capodilupo, Government

Peter Chang, Physics

Jacqueline L. Chen, Economics

Salvatore R. Defrancesco, Social Studies

Landy Erlick, Theater, Dance, and Media

Pauline B. Gabrieli, Neuroscience

Katherine P. Gehling, Sociology

David A. Gevarter, Romance Languages and Literatures

Noah Z. Golowich, Mathematics

Yanet D. Gomez, Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology

Elbert Y. Gong, Applied Mathematics

Patrick Guo, Mathematics

Matthew Hoisch, Environmental Science and Public Policy *

Sarah Horne, Psychology

Meredith A. Jones, Classics

Manav J. Khandelwal, Statistics

Davis Lazowski, Mathematics

Charlie Lee, Integrative Biology

Matthew J. Leifer, Applied Mathematics

Willa Li, Chemical and Physical Biology

Karen E. Malacon, Neurobiology

Soumyaa Mazumder, Molecular and Cellular Biology *

Amil Merchant, Applied Mathematics

Ayush D. Midha, Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology

Amelia Miller, Social Studies

Daniela Muhleisen, Government

Shyam S. Narayanan, Mathematics

Garam Noh, Social Studies

Sierra C. Nota, History

Richard L. Ouyang, Economics

Anant T. Pai, Applied Mathematics

Benjamin Porter, Economics

Mara D. Roth, Social Studies

Bella T. Roussanov, History and Literature

William A. Schmitt, Neurobiology

Arthur S. Lopes, History

Alison W. Steinbach, Social Studies *

Eileen F. Sullivan, Neurobiology

Ashim Vaish, Economics

Akash Wasil, Psychology

Anna S. Westbrook, Integrative Biology

Alan Wong, Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology

Derek G. Xiao, Government *

Raylin Xu, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Darwin Yang, Economics

*denote Crimson editors

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