AU Press Releases

Phi Beta Kappa chapter inducts new members

Alfred University’s Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa initiated 17 students and two faculty members Friday (April 17, 2009).

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is considered to be among the most prestigious of honor societies, and is dedicated “to the ideal of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.” To be eligible to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Colleges of Liberal Arts & Sciences must meet the society’s rigorous academic standards and be approved by the membership.

There are fewer than 300 colleges ¬– roughly 15 percent – nationwide that have been granted a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Alfred University was awarded a chapter in 2003, and installed its first members in April 2004.

Dr. Allen Grove, professor of English and director of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ First-Year Experience program, and Dr. Emrys Westacott, professor of philosophy, were initiated as honorary membes of the Chapter.

New student members are:

Matthew Baker, a senior chemistry major. A graduate of Weedsport Jr.-Sr. High School, Baker is the son of James and Marcia Baker of Weedsport, NY.

Cortney Bryant, a first-year graduate student in the psychology program. Daughter of Timothy and Karen Bryant of Lynden, WA, Cortney is a graduate of Lynden High School.

MacKenzie Clemens, a senior majoring in biology and chemistry. She is a daughter of Douglas and Christine Clemens of Lowville, NY, and is a graduate of Lowville Academy and Central School.

Benjamin Esham, a senior majoring in mathematics and physics. A graduate of Geneseo (NY) Central School, he is son of Benjamin and Kathryn Esham of Geneseo.

Jaime George, a senior biomedical materials engineering science major in the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering. Jaime, whose parents are Michael and Patricia George of Hornell, NY, is a graduate of Hornell High School.

Leah Houk, a senior psychology major. She is the daughter of Michael and Marla Houk.

Krista Kalac, a senior materials science and engineering major in the Inamori School of Engineering. The daughter of Kenneth Kalac of Spencer, Ohio, she is a graduate of Cloverleaf Senior High School.

Katrina Klas, a senior physics major. The daughter of David and Janet Klas of Canandaigua, NY, Katrina is a graduate of Grayslake Central High School.

Megan McKee, a senior with a double major in psychology and environmental studies. A graduate of Rush-Henrietta High School, she is the daughter of Patricia McKee of Dansville, NY, and Jeffrey McKee of Rush, NY.

Olivia Meier, a senior biology major. A graduate of Odyssey Academy in Greece, NY, she is a daughter of Dale and Susan Meier of Rochester, NY.

Emily Merkert, a senior majoring in fine arts. Daughter of Fred and Molly Merkert of Whiting, VT., Emily is a graduate of Otter Valley Union High School.

Eric Miller, a senior chemistry major. A graduate of John C. Birdlebough High School, he is a son of Dane and Roseanne Miller of Phoenix, NY.

Shaina Muir, a senior majoring in global studies and political science. Daughter of John and Karen Muir of Powell, OH, she is a graduate of Dublin Scioto High School.

Kathryn Naron, a senior with majors in English and Spanish. She is the daughter of Stephen and Carol Naron of Oswego, NY, and is a graduate of Oswego High School.

April Nell, a senior French major. April is the daughter of Dwain and Susan Nell of Box Elder, SD, and is a graduate of Douglas High School.

Mikenna Pierotti, a senior English major. A graduate of Corning-Painted Post West High School, she is the daughter of Kim Pierotti of Painted Post, NY.

Lisa Zajac, a senior majoring in geology. A graduate of Whitesboro High School, she is the daughter of Irene Zajac of Whitesboro, NY.