Public health students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

April 02, 2013
Seven public health undergraduates at Gillings School of Global Public Health were inducted this spring into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most honored college honorary society.The inducted students are Savan Kothadia, Thomas C. Lowrey and Madhulika Vulimiri, in health policy and management; Kevin K. Chu and Samantha Tulenko, in environmental sciences and engineering; William Keith Funkhouser III, in biostatistics; and Kavon Mohammad Javaherian, in nutrition.

A recent ceremony honoring the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 144 inductees featured remarks by Kenan Distinguished Professor Barbara L. Frederickson. New members received certificates and Phi Beta Kappa keys, the organization’s symbol.

Membership in the organization is open to undergraduates in college and professional degree programs who meet stringent eligibility requirements. A student must complete 75 hours of coursework with a GPA of 3.85 or better (on a 4-point scale) to qualify. Also eligible are students who have completed 105 hours of coursework 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.




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