Congratulations to three juniors from the Chemical and Physical Biology (CPB) program – Alan Gao, Eric Li, and Brittany Petros – who have been chosen to join the Phi Beta Kappa (ΦΒΚ) honor society. ΦΒΚ is one of the oldest societies of its kind in the U.S., and was founded in 1776 to promote academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
“Alan has outstanding potential as a research scientist,” said Rachelle Gaudet, one of the Head Tutors for CPB. “While many students come to office hours to ask questions about the problem sets or lecture notes, Alan also often came to discuss connections with materials to other courses or from his own research projects.”
Alan is currently working in Johannes Walter’s lab, and has previously participated in the BCMP Summer Scholars Program.
“He always came to class [MCB 81] having thoroughly absorbed the material for the day, and he consistently brought insightful contributions and questions,” said David Cox, MCB and computer science professor. “I could always count on Eric to not only drive the class discussion forward, but to push it in interesting directions that I had not anticipated.”
Eric is currently working in the Schier Lab, and Cox describes the research he’s done with Alex Schier as “nothing short of extraordinary.” Cox also describes Eric as being comfortable with collaboration, and always willing to help his classmates during group projects and discussions.
“He already operates at the level of a fairly advanced graduate student, and it is easy to forget he is only a Junior,” Cox said.
“Brittany is a standout for not only being interested in developing a detailed and nuanced understanding of what happens in science, but also why it happens,” said Martin Samuels, assistant director of CPB. “She has a rare, genuine intellectual tenacity.”
Brittany volunteers as a Peer Concentration Advisers for Pforzheimer House, works as a teaching assistant for Chem 17 and PS 1, and has earned the admiration of Grace Ferris, Course Instructor in Chemistry.
“She has proven time and time again that she has an exceptional ability to recognize patterns, synthesize topics from across the entire semester, and master the nuance of challenging material,” said Ferris. “The story her transcript does not tell is about her grit, her insatiable appetite for learning, and her desire to keep improving.”