Fifteen Wesleyan students
were inducted into the oldest national scholastic honor society, Phi Beta
Kappa, during an initiation ceremony Dec. 13.
Election is limited to 12 percent of the graduating class, and based on
general education expectations and by having a grade point average of 90 or
above. Students are nominated by their major departments.
individuals and as a group, you have contributed a great deal to Wesleyan
through your intellectual engagement in the academic work and residential
life of the institution,” said President Doug Bennet during the induction
ceremony. “Recognizing your accomplishments is certainly one of the
highlights of my job and while I won't claim that my delight exceeds your
own, it comes pretty close.”
Betta Kappa was founded in 1776, during the American Revolution. The
students join the ninth oldest Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the United
States—founded in 1845.
organization’s Greek initials signify the motto, "Love of learning is the
guide of life."
struck by the breadth and scope of academic interests, and the depth of
study reflected across this group,” Bennet said. “A number of you have
chosen double majors allowing you to combine those interests in your
professional goals. You have furthered your varied interests through summer
activities and internships and research.
students excel at Wesleyan, but those of you here today have taken on the
challenge of a liberal arts education by investing yourself in everything
you do. In a university where academic excellence is common, you stand out.
That's why membership in Phi Beta Kappa is such a singular honor. “
RANDALL ALBIN, a double major in the American Studies Program and in
neuroscience and behavior. Albin sings with the Wesleyan Spirits, one of the
oldest all-male a cappella groups in the country. He is also a member of the
Wesleyan sketch comedy group, Lunchbox, where he writes comedic skits and
acts in them. A senior interviewer for the admission office, Albin and has
been a teacher’s assistant for biology and chemistry classes. After
graduation he hopes to do a few months of clinical volunteer work somewhere
MARGARETTE “MAGGIE” ADELINA ARIAS, a psychology major, was inducted into
Psi Chi last spring, the Psychology Honor Society. As part of a research
team during her sophomore year, she worked closely with a local elementary
school to implement a peer mediation program to reduce playground violence.
Three of her four years here at Wesleyan, she has worked at the Edna C.
Stevens School in Cromwell in the after-school program, Kids Korner. Her
plans include grad school, and plans to go into counseling or clinical
HYUNG-JIN CHOI, an economics major, has sung with the a cappella group
“Outside-In” for three years and won the intramural basketball championship
his sophomore year. A Freeman Scholar, Choi has helped organize events for
the Korean Students Association. After graduation Hyung-Jin will return to
Korea to serve in the military for two years then plans to go to graduate
school and further pursue his studies in economics.
MICHAEL DiSCIACCA carries a double major in mathematics and physics.
During his junior year he was awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship to
fund research during the 2006-2007 school year. DiSciacca plans to attend
graduate school to study either pure or applied physics.
CHRISTINA ANN DURFEE is a double major in mathematics and psychology.
While at Wesleyan, Christina won the Robertson Prize and Rae Shortt Prize in
mathematics. Her plans for the future remain uncertain, but Durfee is
currently debating between going into the actuarial sciences and going to
graduate school for math.
JACOB STUART GOLDIN is majoring in economics and government. During his
sophomore year, Goldin organized a student group that worked with local
organizations to push for gay marriage legislation in Connecticut.
Eventually he plans to go to law school and/or graduate school in economics.
HANNAH GOODWIN-BROWN, a music major, won the Wesleyan Concerto
Competition her sophomore year and performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with
the Wesleyan orchestra. She went abroad to the Republic of Georgia,
something no one at Wesleyan has done before, and was captain of the women’s
ultimate Frisbee team. Goodwin-Brown hopes to work with plants in a
professional capacity, perhaps getting a degree in either landscape
architecture or horticulture.
MAXFIELD WESTGATE HEATH, a music major, is an active composer/pianist in
several groups of many genres including jazz, rock, and hip-hop. He has
recorded several albums and is in the process of recording a debut studio
album of his own songs. He plans on studying composition in grad school in
preparation for making a living through some combination of
writing/recording/performing and teaching.
CHEUK KEI HO, a math and economics major, is a member of the Wesleyan
Spirits and has performed extensively on and off campus for the last four
years. He is a Freeman Scholar and studied in Italy during his junior year
fall semester. He plans to work in the investment banking division of J.P.
Morgan Hong Kong after graduation.
CHEN-WEI “JACK” HUNG, a double major in economics and French studies, is
a native of Taiwan and is a Freeman Scholar. He has learned French as his
third language and studied in Grenoble for a semester. Hung was co-chair of
the Wesleyan Model United Nations Team representing Slovenia, Hungary, and
Malaysia in different MUN (Model United Nation) Conferences. He also served
as a resident advisor for a year, taking care of 35 students. After
graduation he will go to New York.
GRETCHEN MARLIESE KISHBAUCH carries a double major in psychology and
science in society. She served as project director on research co-sponsored
by Wesleyan’s Department of Psychology and the Middletown branch of the
State Department of Children and Families. During this time she directed a
research team of undergraduate and graduate students investigating child
maltreatment. She was awarded membership in Psi Chi, a national psychology
honor society. She is currently co-developing and co-leading a student form
on Global Health Issues in the Science in Society Department. Kishbauch
plans to pursue graduate study in public health.
MANG-JU SHER, a physics major, is a Freeman Scholar. While at Wesleyan
she started learning Japanese and violin. She loves cooking and plans to
pursue a Ph.D in physics.
LARMON STRALEY is an earth and environmental science major. The bulk of
Beck’s energy is currently focused on Venus. When not studying, Straley can
be found at a residential life staff meeting, giving tours on campus to
prospective students and their families, destroying the “gender binary,” or
ZHAOXUAN “CHARLES” YANG, an economics and mathematics major from
China is a Freeman Scholar. Yang was captain of the Ping Pong Club for two
years, co-chair of the Chinese Students Association, and a resident
assistant. After graduation, Yang will be working for J.P Morgan Securities
in their Hong Kong Office.
KEVIN ALAN YOUNG is a double major in history and Latin American
studies. During his time at Wesleyan, Kevin has taught 6th and 7th graders
at Summerbridge Cambridge in two six-week courses in literature and a
self-designed social studies class on the Vietnam War. He also served as a
faculty advisor and organized a camping excursion for 75 students and 20
teachers. He has been a Big Brother volunteer, mentoring a nine-year-old
boy. On campus, Kevin has been active in United Student Labor Action
Coalition, Students for Ending the War in Iraq, Nagarote-Wesleyan
Partnership, and English as a Second Language. Young studied abroad in
Nicaragua, and he received a Davenport Grant to spend nine weeks in Chiapas
and Oaxaca in southeastern Mexico conducting research on popular education
programs. Young’s future includes graduate school in Latin American history
and hopes to teach at the college and/or high school level.
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