Five from Gillings School inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

April 6, 2015

Five students from the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health have been inducted as new members of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most honored college honorary society.

Phi Beta Kappa membership is open to undergraduates in college and professional degree programs who meet stringent eligibility requirements. Less than one percent of all college students qualify.

The 2015 inductees from the Gillings School are featured below.

Helena Archer

Helena Irene Archer

Helena Irene Archer, a senior with a health policy and management major and creative writing and French minors.

“The Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM) has done a lot to help me develop as a student, critical thinker and professional,” Archer said. “I have appreciated the opportunities to engage in projects that have prepared me for professional teamwork and engagement with clients from outside my area of study.”

“In terms of post-graduation plans, I am still in the process of interviewing for fellowships,” she added. “I’m also actively looking for public health or global health jobs in the U.S. I look forward to commencement in May!”


Spencer Coleman Budd

Spencer Coleman Budd, a senior with a health policy and management major and mathematical decision sciences and business administration minors.

“Conventional wisdom says that at UNC you learn just as much from your peers as you do from your professors, and that could not be any more true of my experience in HPM,” shared Budd. “While the students here are united by a passion for health, no two individuals have the same interests, goals or experiences. The breadth of their interests is nearly as impressive as the depth of their experiences.”

“After graduation, I’ll start in August with PricewaterhouseCoopers, working in health IT strategy,” Budd said. “I am particularly excited by the potential for technology to transform health care, and the chance to explore the intersection of health IT and policy.”

Larry Han

Larry Han

Larry Han, a junior with biostatistics and mathematics majors and a chemistry minor.

“Biostatistics represents the intersection of my interests in global public health, teamwork and quantitative theory and application,” said Han. “I chose the department for its reputed professors, students and groundbreaking work, and am incredibly pleased with this choice.”

Han added, “I am currently working on an honors thesis in sieve analysis, and plan to pursue a PhD in biostatistics.”

Debanjali Upasana Kundu

Debanjali Upasana Kundu

Debanjali Upasana Kundu, a junior with a health policy and management major and business administration and chemistry minors.

“At Gillings and within the HPM program, I’ve really had the opportunity to experience a sense of community and teamwork,” Kundu shared. “We all work together, keeping the same visions and goals in mind and producing high-quality projects.”

“This summer, I’m looking forward to working with Duke University and the Organization of Tropical Studies in South Africa,” she said. “I’ll be learning about local access to health care and primary care systems.”

Jennifer Wajahn

Jennifer Taylor Wajahn

Jennifer Taylor Wajahn, a spring 2014 graduate with a nutrition major and a chemistry minor.

“The nutrition program at UNC Gillings truly helped me develop as a student,” said Wajahn. “It challenged me to think critically and work harder, and it prepared me well for the demanding nature of medical school.”

“I’m currently in my first year at the Ohio State University College of Medicine,” explained the recent alumna. “I’m not sure what I want to specialize in, but I have a strong inclination towards OB/GYN due to my interest in women’s health.”

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 sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices are members.

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