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Students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

Natalie Chase ’23 (Richfield, Ohio) did not have any intentions of graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Marietta College — but she’s proud of the accomplishment.

“When I got the email from Dr. (Ann) Bragg informing me, it felt the same as when your parents see your report card as a kid, and you get a bit of praise or an ice cream trip,” said Chase, who will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science during the 2023 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6th.

Chase was one of five students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa on Monday, May 1st, during a special ceremony in the McDonough Center’s Betty Cleland Room. The other inductees were Allison Barnes ’22 (Lancaster, Ohio), Lily Daneshmand ’22 (Chardon, Ohio), Garrett Dierkes ’23 (Woodsfield, Ohio), and Madeline Kuhl ’23 (Marietta, Ohio). 

Marietta’s chapter is the 16th oldest in the nation, and on Monday, May 1st, the College conducted the 163rd induction ceremony.

“I did not know about Phi Beta Kappa until my senior year when someone reached out to me about joining,” said Dierkes, who is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and will earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. “I am surprised I was unaware of this since it is a big honor, but when I got the chance to join, I knew I had to take it.”

Starting in August, Dierkes will attend Ohio University to begin work on a master’s degree in Physical Therapy.

“It feels amazing to be a part of this community because I get to be around like-minded individuals, and it shows all my hard work and involvement in my time at Marietta College has finally been recognized,” he said. “It feels like everything has come to fruition, and I am capping off my senior year with a great accomplishment.”

Chase, a member of the Chi Omega sorority, is not going far away after graduation. She is attending Marietta’s Physician Assistant Graduate Program, which starts in June.

“Phi Beta Kappa was not always an outright goal in my mind, but doing well in school has always been a priority to me,” she said. “I especially value certain aspects of my liberal arts education such as critical thinking skills, a well-developed array of knowledge, and being required to take classes outside my discipline — mainly because I want an excuse to take unique classes that I otherwise probably would not.”

Kuhl grew up around the College as her father, Dr. Dennis Kuhl, is the Rickey Professor of Physics at Marietta. She was aware of the significance of Phi Beta Kappa, and it was a goal.

“I decided to shoot for joining Phi Beta Kappa when I was a freshman, and Dr. (Katy) McDaniel spoke to one of my classes about the society,” said Kuhl, who will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. “At the time, I decided I wanted to make the most out of my college experience and academics, and making Phi Beta Kappa upon graduation was one way to do it.”

Kuhl, a member of the Chi Omega sorority, is starting a School Psychology three-year degree program at Cleveland State University in August. She will earn two degrees — a Master of Arts in School Psychology and a Psychology Specialist Degree.

“Having joined Phi Beta Kappa gives me not only professional connections should I ever pursue academia as a career field (or anywhere I should meet another member), but it also gives me something to feel exceedingly proud of,” she said.

A Rickey Scholar, Daneshmand graduated in December and will begin work on her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Iowa this fall.

“I first looked into Phi Beta Kappa after seeing the inscription on the clock on (The Christy Mall), which is one of my favorite parts of campus,” said Daneshmand, who was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority. “After learning what the organization stood for, I hoped to be able to achieve that level of scholarship at Marietta College.”

During her junior year, Daneshmand’s advisor Dr. Bragg informed her that she was close to meeting the requirements, so they made a plan of extra classes to take to achieve the goal.

“I feel very proud of myself to receive this honor as well as grateful to Marietta College for the opportunity to achieve this,” Daneshmand said. “Phi Beta Kappa requires a wide breadth of study, and the liberal arts structure of Marietta College made it possible for me to take many classes outside my major that allowed me to fulfill those requirements. I have loved learning so much about the world around me through the classes I have taken, and I am excited to continue on this journey by joining Phi Beta Kappa.”

Barnes received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Entrepreneurship in December.