Each fall, the Harvard chapter of Phi Beta Kappa,(ΦΒΚ), the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States, elects 48 seniors as new members. This year’s “Senior 48” includes seven students from concentrations administered by the MCB Department.
The Class of ‘19 inductees include Neuroscience (Neuro) concentrators Pauline Gabrieli, Karen Malacon, Billy Schmitt, and Eily Sullivan; Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) concentrators Soumyaa Mazumder and Raylin Xu; and Chemical and Physical Biology (CPB) concentrator Willa Li.
Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is one of the highest honors available to undergraduate students.
The organization began with five students at the College of William & Mary who founded Phi Beta Kappa in order to foster freedom of inquiry and discussion. Over time, Phi Beta Kappa spread to other universities. The Harvard chapter—known as Alpha Iota of Massachusetts at Harvard—has operated since 1781.
At Harvard, Phi Beta Kappa members elect each class of inductees based on a combination of GPA, course work, and faculty recommendations. The organization rewards students who seek out academic challenges, and its mission page states, “Election to Alpha Iota of Massachusetts signifies that an undergraduate’s course of study is distinguished by excellence, reach, originality, and rigor.”
Congratulations to all seven of these newly-minted members of Phi Beta Kappa!