New Phi Beta Kappa members announced

November 27, 2012
Six Bachelor of Science in Public Health students at Gillings School of Global Public Health have been elected into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most honored college honorary society.
Among the 130 inductees at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were:

  • Gwen Yung-Hsin Hwarng, a junior majoring in nutrition, daughter of Brian Hsing-Liang Hwarng and Jan Hwarng Rey-Ju of Singapore;
  • Sarayu Kumar, a junior with chemistry and environmental health science majors and a creative writing minor, daughter of Rudra Kumar and Anupama Kumar of Holmdel, N.J.;
  • Hannah Gordon Leker, a senior with an environmental health science major, daughter of Robert Wayne Leker and Randee Laura Gordon of Raleigh;
  • Matthew Hamilton Meyers, a junior with a nutrition major, son of John Francis Meyers and Georgia Anne Meyers of Atlanta;
  • Malhar Piyush Patel, a junior with environmental health science and chemistry majors, son of Dr. Piyush Patel and Dr. Nivedita Patel of Snellville, Ga.; and
  • Nikita Yogesh Patel, a junior with a nutrition major, daughter of Yogesh Patel and Manisha Patel of Cary.

The recent induction ceremony featured remarks by U.S. Rep. Mel Watt. New members received certificates and Phi Beta Kappa keys, the organization’s symbol.

Phi Beta Kappa membership is open to undergraduates in the college and professional degree programs who meet stringent eligibility requirements.
A student who has completed 75 hours of course work with a GPA of 3.85 or better (on a 4-point scale) is eligible for membership. Also eligible is any student who has completed 105 hours of course work in the liberal arts and sciences with a 3.75 GPA. Grades earned at other universities are not considered. Less than 1 percent of all college students qualify.
Past and present Phi Beta Kappa members from across the country have included 17 American presidents and numerous artistic, intellectual and political leaders. Seven of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices are members.
Phi Beta Kappa has 280 chapters nationwide. UNC’s chapter, Alpha of North Carolina, was founded in 1904 and is the oldest of seven chapters in the state. Each year, Phi Beta Kappa chapters and alumni associations across the country raise and distribute more than $1 million in awards, scholarships and prizes benefiting high schools and college students.
Phi Beta Kappa officers at Carolina for 2012-2013 are students Travis Styres, president; Emmett Gilles, vice president; and Viet Nguyen, recording secretary. Robert Lowman, PhD, associate vice chancellor for research, is chapter secretary and faculty adviser.



UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications,
(919) 962-2600 or

Last updated November 27, 2012