March 21, 2019

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious college honorary society, has inducted 205 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students as new members. Eighteen of them are students in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s four Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) programs.

The public health students are Emily Ann Barron, Kathryn Marie Boyer, Ellen Marie Davis, Rhea Jain, Daniel Shilot Malawsky, Wenwen Mei and Yunhan Wu (biostatistics); Kirsi Sophia Oldenburg (environmental sciences and engineering); Emma Grace Caponigro, Gayathri Shivanarayan Das, Keely Ann Kriho, Garrett Allen Moseley, Shreya Ashish Shah, Rebecca Darci Sullenger and Sarah Lucille Thames (health policy and management); and Doris Ji, Willow Liu and Lindsey Molina (nutrition).

The recent induction ceremony featured remarks by Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and a keynote address by Betsy Towns, PhD, associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. 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 in the liberal arts and sciences with a GPA of 3.85 or better (on a 4-point scale) is eligible for membership. 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, 41 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, more than 140 Nobel Laureates, and numerous artistic, intellectual and political leaders.

Phi Beta Kappa has 286 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 2018-2019 are students Katherine Gora Combs, president; Pooja Joshi, vice president; and Christiana Cornea, recording secretary. Combs is a senior biostatistics major and co-president of the Gillings School’s student government.

James L. Leloudis, PhD, professor of history, Peter T. Grauer associate dean for Honors Carolina and director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, is chapter executive secretary and faculty adviser.


Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at

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