Slide background

Millsaps College Inducts 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Members

by Web on May 17, 2017

The Alpha of Mississippi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Millsaps College inducted eight new members during the spring semester of 2017.

Millsaps College was the first college or university in the state of Mississippi to be granted a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter. The Alpha of Mississippi Chapter was installed at Millsaps on March 4, 1989, and since that time hundreds of Millsaps students have been initiated by the chapter.

Each spring semester faculty and staff who are members of the Alpha of Mississippi Chapter meet to elect new members. According to the constitution of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, “the qualifications for membership...are high scholarship in the arts and sciences and good character.”

The bylaws of the Alpha of Mississippi Chapter stipulate that, to be considered for election, a student must be a senior in good standing who will earn a B.A. or B.S. degree with a liberal arts major and be of good character. Through his or her academic record, a student must show evidence of proficiency in mathematics at the level of Survey of Calculus (MATH 1210) or above, evidence of proficiency in a foreign language at the intermediate level (2000) or above, and a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 or higher.

No more than 10 percent of graduating liberal arts majors may be elected to Phi Beta Kappa in any year.

Here are the recently inducted members:

Chris Ezelle of Shreveport, La., majored in math and earned a minor in music. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, Pi Mu Epsilon, Mu Phi Epsilon, and Phi Eta Sigma. He earned the Heritage Spring Project Award. He plans to attend graduate school in mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University.

Mariah Gibson of Clinton, N.Y., majored in mathematics and Literature in English with a minor in business administration. She received a grade of “excellent” on comprehensive exams. She completed the Honors project, “The Annihilation Papers.” She is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon and Sigma Tau Delta, and plans to earn an MBA at Millsaps.

Brittany Hardy of San Antonio, Texas, received the Founders’ Medal, which is presented to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average for their entire course of study and who received a grade of “excellent” on comprehensive exams. Hardy majored in classical studies and art history. A member of Omicron Delta Kappa, she earned the Excellence in Art History Award and the Swearingen Prize for Excellence in Classical Language and Literature. She spent a semester abroad in Greece and completed the Honors project, “Boticelli’s Birth of Venus, Primavera, and the Classical Tradition: a Study in the Reception of Venus in Quattrocento Florence.” She has been a visiting research fellow at the Athens Epigraphic Museum and a research assistant for the Ancient Graffiti Project at Herculaneum for three years. She will attend the University of Michigan and earn a doctorate in classical studies.

Emma McRaney of Kiln majored in history with a minor in American studies and earned a grade of “excellent” on comprehensive exams. She studied abroad in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Cuba. She was an education intern at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. As a Kellogg Research Fellow, she presented research entitled “Civil Rights: It's Happening Now” at Millsaps in November 2016, and presented her senior thesis entitled “Embracing Corruption: Prolonging the Consequences of Prohibition” at Mississippi State University in April 2017. She received the Ross H. Moore History Award and was also inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Phi Eta Sigma. She currently works at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as a programs and communications contract worker. In the fall, she will begin work as an associate teacher at ReImagine Prep in Jackson. 

Megan Murray of Madison majored in communication studies with an education minor. She was editor-in-chief of The Purple and White and a member of Lambda Pi Eta and Kappa Delta Pi. She plans to earn a graduate degree in journalism at Emerson College.

Bijal Patel of Hattiesburg majored in biochemistry major with a neuroscience minor and earned a grade of “excellent” on comprehensive exams. She studied abroad in Yucatan, was president of Alpha Epsilon Delta, and is the recipient of the Joseph B. Price General Chemistry Award and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Award. She will attend the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

Leah Travis of Hattiesburg majored in sociology-anthropology and Literature in English and earned a grade of “excellent” on comprehensive exams. She completed the Honors project, “The Gendered Nature of Prisons,” and participated in the Shepherd Consortium on Poverty as an intern at the public defender’s office in Washington D.C. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, Eta Sigma Phi, Lambda Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Lambda, and Sigma Tau Delta. She earned the W. Charles Sallis Leader of the Year award, the Don Fortenberry Award, and was named to the Millsaps Hall of Fame. She will attend the University of Colorado Law School.

Leah Whitcomb of West majored in communications studies with a digital arts minor and earned a grade of “excellent” on comprehensive exams. She completed the Honors project, “Open the Gates: a Rhetorical Analysis of the Block Party.” She served as the Stylus editor and president of the Millsaps International Buddy System. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Lambda, Mu Phi, Kappa Pi, and Lambda Pi Eta. She received the Darby Ray Souls Afire Honors.