2018 Outstanding Juniors Announced

On April 15, 2018, The Texas A&M Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi will host its annual induction ceremony in Rudder Theatre, inducting a new cohort of members into our prestigious organization and growing the community of people committed to “letting the love of learning rule humanity.”

The induction ceremony is also our opportunity to recognize the superior accomplishments of a few of this already excellent group. Each year, our campus chapter invites deans to select the most outstanding junior in their respective colleges. The students selected are honored as the Outstanding Junior for their college and are invited to serve as student vice-presidents of our local chapter.

In alphabetical order by college, the 2018 Outstanding Juniors are:

Name                                     College

Karissa Yamaguchi                College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Nicholas Houser                     College of Architecture
Ryan Zepeda                          Mays Business School
Rachel Koerner                      College of Education and Human Development
William Newman                  College of Engineering
Jacob Escobedo                     College of Geosciences
Nathan Howard                    College of Liberal Arts
Tristan Pace                           College of Science
Menaka Tandon                    College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Karthik Ramaswamy             Texas A&M at Galveston
Syeda Akhter                         Texas A&M at Qatar

Please keep reading for short bio-sketches of each Outstanding Junior:

Karissa Yamaguchi – 2018 Outstanding Junior for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Karissa Yamaguchi is a genetics major with a minor in public health from Phoenix, AZ. She was recruited to Texas A&M to continue to pursue competitive Archery for the Texas A&M Archery Team. An Honors Student, Yamaguchi also enjoys mentoring students as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador, promoting research as a member of the Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas, serving her peers as a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Council Department Representative and serving underserved and impoverished areas through Global Medical Missions Alliance and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Maroon & White leadership Fellows has been instrumental in her development as a servant leader and initiator of new student organizations. Her interests are in Public/Global Health, cultural exchange, missions and justice. In school, she hopes to encourage and build up future leaders conscientious of their local and global communities and their role in using their privileges in advocacy on behalf of other groups. After Texas A&M she hopes to continue serving underserved communities through her role as a physician, going beyond typical healthcare management and addressing systemic needs in the communities she serves.

Nicholas Houser – 2018 Outstanding Junior for the College of Architecture

Nicholas Houser is an environmental design major with a minor in architectural fabrication and product design from Round Rock, TX. He has pursued broad interests throughout his life including  Boy Scouts (in which he attained the rank of Eagle Scout), Dance, Marching band, STEM,  as well as two- and three-dimensional media. Houser has been able to work for some of the top Contemporary Architects Including Kivi Sotamaa in Helsinki, Finland, and Mark Foster Gage, in New York City. He is the Design Lead for Freedom By Design, a community service program of the American Institute of Architecture Students. Houser Has plans earn his master’s in architecture at Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), or The Bartlett after graduation.

Ryan Zepeda – 2018 Outstanding Junior for Mays Business School

Ryan Zepeda is a Business Honors and finance double major with minors in economics and sociology from Cypress, TX. Throughout his time at A&M, Zepeda has been broadly involved, including being a member of Mays Business Fellows Group XXXV, working in the Business Honors department as the Academics Coordinator, teaching a course titled Middle Ground, representing A&M in a case competition in Norway, and writing grants worth $100,000 to local nonprofits in the Strategic Philanthropy initiative. He also spent the summer of 2017 studying abroad in South Africa, learning about entrepreneurship and consulting for small businesses in historically disadvantaged communities. This upcoming summer Zepeda will be interning for Bain & Company Consulting in Houston, Texas. In addition to his academic pursuits, he enjoys watching and playing sports, trying new foods, and reading. He is a second generation Aggie who bleeds maroon and deeply believes in the traditions and core values of Texas A&M.

Rachel Koerner – 2018 Outstanding Junior for the College of Education and Human Development

Rachel Koerner is majoring in kinesiology with a focus on dance science supplemented with a business minor. She is from Houston, TX, where she attended Clear Brook High School. In her time at Texas A&M Koerner has been involved in MSC Hospitality, MSC OPAS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, Delta Eta Pi Honor Society, and Dance Arts Society. Koerner is actively involved in the TAMU Dance Program, through which she has had opportunities to work closely with guest artists, participate in undergraduate research, and attend conferences across the nation. In fall 2017 she worked as an intern at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and in summer 2018 she will be interning with the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. She is very grateful for the support and education she has received from the faculty within the College of Education and Human Development, and gives special thanks to that faculty within the Dance Program.

Bill Newman – 2018 Outstanding Junior for the College of Engineering

Bill Newman is a computer engineering major with minors in mathematics and cybersecurity from Murphy, TX. He is also pursuing a certificate in engineering leadership. Newman is the incoming Treasurer for Century Men’s Society and is a member of the Zachry Leadership Program, expanding his views on leadership in a global society. He will be interning with Deloitte Consulting this summer and is excited to apply his engineering background to a business role. In his free time, Newman enjoys playing racquetball, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends.

Jacob Escobedo is a meteorology major from Austin, TX. He is a member of the Texas A&M Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, plays trumpet in the Hullaballoo Band, and serves as President of the Texas A&M Tennis Club. Escobedo has been involved with undergraduate research in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and received the Albert R. Ochoa Scholarship from the Austin Community Foundation and the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He is also certified in SKYWARN basic and advanced storm spotting for the National Weather Service. Escobedo volunteers as a youth tennis coach and practice partner for Texas A&M Women’s tennis, and hopes to become a high school teacher.

Nathan Howard – 2018 Outstanding Junior for the College of Liberal Arts

Nathan Howard is an economics major and philosophy and business double minor from Austin, TX. Coming from a small school (his graduating class had 22 students), he described coming to Texas A&M as something of a culture shock, but has been softened by his experience in the Liberal Arts Cornerstone Honors program. He is a volunteer team leader with Breakaway, and hosts English conversation practice for international students. In his spare time, Howard spends time with friends or reads historical non-fiction, historical fiction, or Christian theology. His career plans include pursuing a master’s degree in finance, “hoping one day to serve others and glorify God through helping others steward their resources well.”

Tristan Pace – 2018 Outstanding Junior for the College of Science

Tristan Pace is pursuing a combined bachelor’s and master’s program in mathematics through the FastTrack program, as well as a minor in Physics. A native of San Antonio, TX describes having loved Math for as long as he can remember. He is part of the Honors in Mathematics program, and in his free time volunteers with the Baptist Student Ministry’s Children’s Ministry called “Sowers” in Bryan, Texas.

Menaka Tandon – 2018 Outstanding Junior for the College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences

Menaka Tandon is a biomedical sciences major from San Ramon, CA. After extensive shadowing, she has decided to attend dental school to pursue a career as an oral maxillofacial surgeon. Eventually she hopes to join and become active in an organization like Dentists Without Borders to volunteer her time and skills to improve dental health internationally. She has previously conducted research in the Olgin Lab (part of the UCSF Division of Cardiology), investigating both the effect of a protein in mouse growth and the effect of alcohol on mouse atrium size. At Texas A&M, she joined the Wooley Research Group where she conducts research on the effectiveness of nanocarriers in treatment of lung metastases of osteosarcoma. She is also working on a project involving the use of a triblock brush polymer for imaging and therapy of metastatic colorectal cancer. Tandon is very passionate about integrating the principles of research into her future dental practice so that she can constantly improve herself and offer patients the best procedures and care possible. She loves to keep herself busy by regularly volunteering at her local senior center, taking part in a UCSF annual program providing yearly cardiac physicals to underprivileged high school athletes and staying physically active by running or dancing. She has even had the opportunity to compete and represent Texas A&M nationally in Garba & Raas Indian Dance as a part of Texas A&M’s Wreckin’ Raas.

Karthik Ramaswamy – 2018 Outstanding Junior for Texas AM at Galveston

Karthik Ramaswamy is a marine biology major with a double minor in chemistry and diving technology and methods from North Wales, PA. He has conducted research with Dr. Thomas Linton in the S.E.A.S. lab on the movements of Sargassum throughout the Gulf of Mexico using satellite images, under Dr. Yu Shin Kim in University of Texas Medical Branch on pain receptors in mice models, and is currently working with Dr. Randall Davis on leatherback sea turtle nesting ecology. He has presented multiple abstracts on these research projects and others on various topics resulting in the Sammy Ray Marine Science Award at the 120th Texas Academy of Science Research Symposium and first place presentation in the Chemistry section at the TAMU at Galveston Research Symposium. Ramaswamy is active on campus, volunteering extensively and serves as the president and founder of the “Orcastra,” the TAMUG orchestra club `and the TAMUG Symphony, the treasurer of the Pre-Allied Health Society, Junior President in the Lambda Kappa Alpha Honors society, Student Ambassador for TAMU at Galveston. Ramaswamy has been named to the Dean’s Honor Roll, speaks three languages, plays four instruments, and holds down three jobs.

Syeda Akhter – 2018 Outstanding Junior for Texas AM at Qatar

Syeda Manahil Akhter is a mechanical engineering student. She moved to Qatar over twelve years ago from Karachi, Pakistan. Syeda holds several leadership positions: she is the event coordinator in both the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers, she serves as an officer in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and as the Philanthropy chair in Student Engineering Council, in which role she was responsible for organizing an event for camp workers. Akhter has a passion for exploring new things, places, and cuisines. She plays several sports such as volleyball, rounders, and badminton, and lives by the motto, “The question isn’t who’s going to let me, it’s who’s gonna stop me.” After graduation, Akhter plans to pursue graduate study.

MORE ABOUT THE HONOR SOCIETY OF PHI KAPPA PHI
FOUNDED IN 1897 AND HEADQUARTERED IN BATON ROUGE, LA., THE HONOR SOCIETY OF PHI KAPPA PHI IS THE NATION’S OLDEST AND MOST SELECTIVE COLLEGIATE HONOR SOCIETY FOR ALL ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES AND ANNUALLY INDUCTS APPROXIMATELY 32,000 STUDENTS, FACULTY, PROFESSIONAL STAFF AND ALUMNI. THE SOCIETY HAS CHAPTERS ON MORE THAN 300 SELECT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN NORTH AMERICA AND THE PHILIPPINES. MEMBERSHIP IS BY INVITATION ONLY TO THE TOP 10 PERCENT OF SENIORS AND GRADUATE STUDENTS AND 7.5 PERCENT OF JUNIORS. FACULTY, PROFESSIONAL STAFF AND ALUMNI WHO HAVE ACHIEVED SCHOLARLY DISTINCTION ALSO QUALIFY.

SINCE ITS FOUNDING, MORE THAN 1 MILLION MEMBERS HAVE BEEN INITIATED. SOME OF THE ORGANIZATION’S MORE NOTABLE MEMBERS INCLUDE FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ROBERT M. GATES, NASA ASTRONAUT WENDY LAWRENCE, AUTHOR ERNEST GAINES AND BROADCAST JOURNALIST DEBORAH NORVILLE. NEARLY $1 MILLION IS AWARDED EACH BIENNIUM TO QUALIFYING STUDENTS AND MEMBERS THROUGH GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS, UNDERGRADUATE STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS, MEMBER AND CHAPTER AWARDS AND GRANTS FOR LOCAL AND NATIONAL LITERACY INITIATIVES. THE SOCIETY’S MISSION IS “TO RECOGNIZE AND PROMOTE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE IN ALL FIELDS OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TO ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY OF SCHOLARS IN SERVICE TO OTHERS.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE HONOR SOCIETY OF PHI KAPPA PHI, PLEASE CALL 800/804-9880 OR VISIT HTTP://WWW.PHIKAPPAPHI.ORG.

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Joshua Fuller Nominated for Graduate Fellowship

May 17, 2017

College Station, TX – Joshua Fuller ’17 of Flagstaff, Arizona, has been selected as the 2017 Texas A&M nominee for the national Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship competition. Each year, Phi Kappa Phi – the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines – awards fifty-one Fellowships of $5,000 each and six at $15,000 each to members entering the first year of graduate or professional study. Fuller received a $500 scholarship as the nominee from the local chapter. The finalists of the national fellowship recipients will be announced in early June.

PKP Graduate Fellowship Nominee, Joshua Fuller ’17

Fuller, an Honors Psychology and Spanish double major, graduated in May 2017 and will begin his studies in the fall towards a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Boston University. In conjunction with his graduate studies, Josh will conduct Alzheimer’s disease research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. Josh will be working on the Colombian Kindred Cohort study of autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease – a study of the rare form of familial Alzheimer’s disease that has been featured on “60 Minutes.” Josh is interested in neuropsychological assessment of Alzheimer’s disease and hopes to contribute to the better characterization of the subtlest cognitive changes that constitute the earliest detectable preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding these subtle cognitive changes is crucial research that tandems with pharmacological advancement; whenever a preclinical prevention medication is available for Alzheimer’s disease, identifying the earliest changes of the disease is critical to successful administration of the drug before significant neurodegeneration occurs.

During his time at Texas A&M University, Josh has conducted research with Dr. Steve Balsis and Dr. Annmarie MacNamara. In the Balsis lab, Josh has teamed up with graduate students and Dr. Balsis to use large national databases of Alzheimer’s disease patients and advanced statistical modeling to investigate unanswered questions about the basic science of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, he completed his undergraduate Honors thesis which presented an empirically-driven model of temporal lobe sub-region degeneration across the Alzheimer’s disease spectrum. He also investigated the relationship between neuropsychiatric symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, hallucinations, etc.) and the Alzheimer’s disease continuum, presenting this statistical model in 2016 at the National Academy of Neuropsychology 36th Annual Meeting where he was awarded a coveted student poster award. In the fall of 2016, Josh also joined the lab of Dr. MacNamara where he worked alongside other lab members to use electroencephalogram (EEG) to investigate emotions in psychiatric health and disease.

For Josh, Phi Kappa Phi’s motto – “Let the Love of Learning Rule Humanity” – means far more than learning inside of the classroom. Josh has been widely involved at Texas A&M University, serving as the President of the Honors Student Council and Chair of the Student Affairs Fee Advisory Board. Josh has also mentored students as a Fish Camp counselor and peer mentor in the Honors Housing Community. Drawing on these experiences, in 2016 he helped found and direct two new student organizations: Texas A&M Christian Healthcare Leaders and Texas Aggies Fighting Alzheimer’s. Josh also worked part time for the Alzheimer’s Association, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, as the Bryan/College Station area’s regional outreach intern. Through his work, Josh helped coordinate the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – a fundraising and awareness event attended by 650 walkers that raised $75,000 for Alzheimer’s research, support, and care. In recognition for his academic achievement, impact at A&M, and contributions to the community, Josh was awarded the Brown Foundation Ear Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Award at graduation in May of 2017.

When asked to offer advice to future fellowship applicants, Fuller said:

“I think an important concept that Texas A&M has taught me is that my education is not about me… it is about how I can best use my skills to better mankind. As an applicant for the Phi Kappa Phi fellowship, I think it is important to emphasize how your education will allow you to shape our world for the better. By participating in service activities and leadership positions, you can demonstrate to the committee that you are committed to using your education to improve the lives of others through the ‘love of learning.’”

2016 Outstanding Juniors Announced

Each year, the Texas A&M chapter of Phi Kappa Phi invites deans to select the most outstanding junior in their respective colleges. The students selected are honored as the Outstanding Junior for their college and are invited to serve as student vice-presidents of our local chapter.

In alphabetical order by college, the 2016 Outstanding Juniors are:

Name                                 College
Madelyn Walker              College of Architecture
Jonathan Ellison             College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Erin Jaroszewski             College of Education and Human Development
Adrianna Culbreth          College of Geosciences
Travis Askew                   College of Liberal Arts
Ali Jalal                             College of Science
Cassie Weyland               College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Hannah Silverberg          Dwight Look College of Engineering
Logan McDivitt                Mays Business School
Fabiola Casas                    Texas A&M at Galveston
Abdulla Al-Mohannadi    Texas A&M at Qatar

Each college Outstanding Junior is invited to interview with the TAMU Phi Kappa Phi Executive Committee and a University Outstanding Junior is selected based on academic merit, research and/or creative production, community engagement, and the student’s record of accomplishments & awards. The University Outstanding Junior is announced at the annual induction ceremony held each spring. Please keep reading for short bio-sketches of each Outstanding Junior:

2016 College of Architecture Outstanding Junior, Madelyn Walker

2016 College of Architecture Outstanding Junior, Madelyn Walker

Madelyn Walker is majoring in Environmental Design and plans to attend graduate school for a Masters of Architecture. She is involved in multiple organizations at Texas A&M, including the American Institute of Architecture Students, Preservation and Conservation Student Society, and Christian Architecture Leaders. Outside of Texas A&M, Madelyn works as an intern at a local architecture firm. Walker is a President’s Endowed Scholar and has been honored with the Gathright Scholar Award as well as the Kelly Vrooman Endowed Scholarship and Joseph Donaldson Award from the Department of Architecture.

2016 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Junior, Jonathan Ellison

2016 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Junior, Jonathan Ellison

Jonathan Ellison is an Agricultural Economics and Animal Science double major. He is involved both on and off campus in numerous student organizations related to his college and career interests. Ellison has served in several capacities on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council during his tenure as a student, and currently holds the position of President. While maintaining his responsibilities in the classroom and in student organizations, Ellison is also very active in volunteer work and is employed. Ellison’s hard work and dedication to academic success has him recognition on the Dean’s List as well as the Gathright Scholar Award.

2016 College of Education and Human Development Outstanding Junior, Erin Jaroszewski

2016 College of Education and Human Development Outstanding Junior, Erin Jaroszewski

Erin Jaroszewski is majoring in Human Resource Development with a minor in Business Administration.  She is a founding member of Aggie Students in Human Resource Development and on the United Campus Ministry leadership team.  Jaroszewski is a student worker for the math department and will be interning with Solvay this summer in the compensation and benefits department.  Post-graduation Jaroszewski would like to work in corporate talent acquisition.

2016 College of Geosciences Outstanding Junior, Adrianna Culbreth

2016 College of Geosciences Outstanding Junior, Adrianna Culbreth

Adrianna Culbreth is an environmental studies major with a minor in Geography. She has previously conducted undergraduate research on rip currents and soil respiration in Costa Rica through TAMU Study Abroad in summer 2015. Culbreth is currently researching stakeholder relationships in the resiliency of the Texas coast with Dr. Chris Houser, Associate Dean of the College of Geosciences, as well as black carbon content in the snowpack in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Culbreth is a member of Pre-law society and College Republicans.

2016 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Junior, Travis Askew

2016 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Junior, Travis Askew

Travis Askew is an international studies major with minors in Spanish and history. In the fall of 2016 he will start graduate courses at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service with a focus in International Affairs. Askew has participated in Study Abroad in Costa Rica and serves as the director of programming for the Memorial Student Center’s Student Conference on National Affairs.

2016 College of Science Outstanding Junior, Ali Jalal

2016 College of Science Outstanding Junior, Ali Jalal

Ali Jalal is a biology major with a minor in mathematics who plans to attend medical school after graduation. He is a member of Autism Speaks U at TAMU, Texas A&M pre-medical society, and the University Honors Program and is a recipient of the Gathright Scholar Award. Jalal has conducted undergraduate research in Dr. Robin Fuchs-young lab, working in effects of nutrition in tumorigenesis and also in Dr. Ben Zoghi’s lab, working on development of RFID technology. In the future, Jalal plans to take part in the Phi Kappa Phi honor society executive committee, and conduct research in neuroscience with Dr. Mary Meagher and ecosystem management with Dr.  Ayumi Hyodo’s lab.

2016 College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Outstanding Junior, Cassie Weyland

2016 College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Outstanding Junior, Cassie Weyland

Cassie Weyland is a biomedical sciences major from Houston, TX. She regularly volunteers with the Biomedical Sciences Association, which she has been a member of since her freshman year. In addition to her service in the BCS area she also volunteers at St. Vincent’s Clinic, a free clinic that serves the uninsured of the greater Galveston area. Through two internships at NASA, Weyland enjoyed gaining experience in the field of aerospace medicine. She spent the previous summer doing genetics cancer research at MD Anderson, followed by a trip to Nicaragua with Global Medical Brigades to assist in the running of a temporary clinic for some of their underserved communities. She hopes to use this experience as a stepping stone to working with organizations like Doctors Without Borders in the future. She is a two-time recipient of the Biomedical Sciences Association scholarship.

2016 Dwight Look College of Engineering Outstanding Junior, Hannah Silverberg

2016 Dwight Look College of Engineering Outstanding Junior, Hannah Silverberg

Hannah Silverberg is a biomedical engineering major. She is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society and previously participated in Engineering World Health. Silverberg is employed as a student worker and is also a volunteer research assistant evaluating cardiovascular devices for clinical trials. She plans to go to medical school to become a radiologist. Silverberg is particularly interested in developing new imaging techniques and ways to filter ultrasound images to help radiologists diagnose a patient. Silverberg will be exploring a novel technique of denoising ultrasound in her own research project this summer with Dr. Yakovlev.

2016 Mays Business School Outstanding Junior, Logan McDivitt

2016 Mays Business School Outstanding Junior, Logan McDivitt

Logan McDivitt is a junior at Texas A&M University in the Business Honors program, currently working to earn a BBA in business honors and finance. McDivitt has been heavily involved in the Freshmen Business Initiative Program, which focuses on equipping freshmen in Mays Business School with the skills necessary for a successful undergraduate career. He has also been a member of Business Student Council and has served as Director of Corporate Relations and Vice President for the Mays Business School Career Fair, one of the largest student-run career fairs in the country. McDivitt also has a passion for learning and understanding current events. He was a member of the Texas A&M team that placed second in the Wall Street Journal Challenge competition, a quiz-bowl like competition which students from business schools from around the country answer questions from recent editions of the Wall Street Journal. During the spring semester, McDivitt interned in the Office of the Deputy Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service within the International Trade Administration in Washington, D.C. as part of the Public Policy Internship Program.

2016 TAMU Galveston Outstanding Junior, Fabiola Casas

2016 TAMU Galveston Outstanding Junior, Fabiola Casas

Fabiola Casas is a maritime administration major with a minor in economics. Casas has been involved in maritime business research as an Undergraduate Research Scholar and as a student in the Texas A&M- Galveston Campus Honors Program, Lambda Kappa Alpha. Fabiola has served her university through membership and leadership positions in several student-run groups, as well as through her volunteering with organizations in the greater Galveston community. Fabiola hopes to advance her love of learning and plans to attend law school.

Abdulla Al-Mohannadi is a chemical engineering major with a minor in chemistry. He has conducted undergraduate research and presented a poster on his work, “Simulation of Emergency Relief from Vessels with Runaway Reactions.” Al-Mohannadi has been recognized on the Dean’s Honor roll at TAMU-Qatar and with the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award for English Second Language Distinction. Al-Mohannadi is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Omega Chi Epsilon, disciplinary honor societies for engineering and chemical engineering, respectively.

More About The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines and annually inducts approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.

 Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, author Ernest Gaines and broadcast journalist Deborah Norville. Nearly $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The Society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

 For more information on The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, please call 800/804-9880 or visit http://www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

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2015 Outstanding Juniors Announced

Each year, the Texas A&M chapter of Phi Kappa Phi invites deans to select the most outstanding junior in their respective colleges. The students selected are honored as the Outstanding Junior for their college and are invited to serve as student vice-presidents of our local chapter.

In alphabetical order by college, the 2015 Outstanding Juniors are:

Name                             College
Taylor Hermann          College of Architecture
Kallie Fuchs                  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Emma Epps                  College of Education and Human Development
Collin Kohlmeyer       College of Geosciences
Kaitlyn Kellermeyer  College of Liberal Arts
Eleni Mijalis                 College of Science
Andy Habib                   College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Austin Hahn                 Dwight Look College of Engineering
Julia Deleeuw               Mays Business School
Amanda Sterne           Texas A&M at Galveston
Salwan Abou Salem   Texas A&M at Qatar

Each college Outstanding Junior is invited to interview with the TAMU Phi Kappa Phi Executive Committee and a University Outstanding Junior is selected based on academic merit, research and/or creative production, community engagement, and the student’s record of accomplishments & awards. The University Outstanding Junior is announced at the annual induction ceremony held each spring. Please keep reading for short bio-sketches of each Outstanding Junior:

A smiling female student with dark hair and blonde highlights. Student has her arms folded in front of her and is leaning against a white pillar, with a row of pillars in the background.

Taylor Herrmann ’16, 2015 College of Architecture Outstanding Junior

Taylor Herrmann is majoring in landscape architecture with a minor in urban planning. She is previously a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In addition to the demanding coursework in architecture, Herrmann works in the summer. She is particularly proud of the skills learned for studio projects that enhance and allow her to express herself creatively. Among these are a laser printer and woodshop certification, model building and drafting. Herrmann has been honored with the Gathright Scholar Award.

Kallie Fuchs '16, A smiling female student with long brown hair, wearing a red blazer over a black shirt rests with her arms folded on a concrete hand-rail with an ornate building in the background.

Kallie Fuchs ’16, 2015 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Junior

 

Kallie Fuchs is majoring in nutritional sciences with a minor in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and plans to attend medical school. Fuchs is highly involved on-campus and off; her activities include employment, volunteering, and student organizations related to her college, career interests, and student leadership. Fuchs has served in several capacities on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council, where she currently holds the position of President. Her outstanding work in and out of the classroom has garnered numerous honors, among them the President’s Endowed Scholarship, Buck Weirus Spirit Award, and Gathright Scholar Award.

 

Emma Epps is majoring in Allied Health in preparation for a career in nursing. Epps is an active volunteer and is widely involved in campus activities such as Muster and Fish Camp. She serves on the Academics Committee for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and has been honored as a Gathright Scholar.

A smiling male student with very short brown hair, wearing a dark jacket over a grey and black plaid sweater against a white background.

Collin Kohlmeyer, 2015 College of Geosciences Outstanding Junior

Geography major Collin Kohlmeyer has been heavily involved in undergraduate research while at Texas A&M. He has worked with Dr. Cairns and Dr. Naito researching shrub patterns in Alaska, and with Dr. Guneralp studying land usage around the Refugio River in Texas. Kohlmeyer has also served as a Supplemental Instructor (SI) Leader for Planet Earth (GEOG 203)  and History of Texas (HIST 226).

 

Kaitlyn Kellermeyer, 2015 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Junior

Kaitlyn Kellermeyer, 2015 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Junior

Kaitlyn Kellermeyer is majoring in international studies with a focus on international politics and diplomacy. A member of the College of Liberal Arts Cornerstone Honors program, Kellermeyer serves as a student mentor and chair of the Award Nomination Committee for the Association of Cornerstone Students. Kellermeyer is completely blind, and is spearheading an initiative to improve the physical accessibility of college campuses in Texas. She serves as a council member on Student Advisory Board for Texas A&M Disability Services and on the Aggie Honor Council, and as the volunteer coordinator and publicity outreach coordinator for the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living’s “Dining in the Dark” program. Kellermeyer was recognized by the Texas Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired as the 2013 TXAER Outstanding Student.

 

Black and white photo of a smiling female student's head and shoulders, lying prone in the grass giving a thumbs-up. Student has shoulder-length dark hair, is wearing a light-colored sleeveless dress and a pearl necklace.

Eleni Mijalis ’16, 2015 College of Science Outstanding Junior

Eleni Mijalis is a biology major minoring in computer science. Mijalis, a member of the University Honors Program, is also co-founder and treasurer for TAMUHack, an organization that hosts and competes in hackathons, events that challenge participants to use technology in innovative ways to address problems. Mijalis has been involved in diabetes research with Dr. Kevil at the LSH Health Science Center in Shreveport, Louisiana since before she started at Texas A&M and has published research in Diabetologia. At Texas A&M, she has worked in the Brain Networks Laboratory under Dr. Choe. Mijalis’ has been honored with the President’s Endowed Scholarship and is on the Dean’s List.

A smiling make student with curly dark hair wearing a pink button-up shirt in front of a blurry outdoor background.

Andy Habib ’16, 2015 College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science Outstanding Junior

 

Andy Habib is a biomedical sciences major planning to go to medical school. Habib works in a local clinic and has volunteered abroad in Haiti as part of Live Beyond. He serves in the TAMU Student Senate as a senator for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, as well as Executive Officer for the National Aggie Scholar Ambassador student organization, and previously as a staff assistant for The Big Event, among his many involvements. This summer, he will be part of the DeBakey Summer Surgery Program at Baylor. A well-rounded scholar has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and speaks fluent Arabic. He has been honored as a President’s Endowed Scholar and is on the Dean’s List.

A smiling male student with light brown hair and facial hair stubble wearing a button-up shirt with vertical blue and white stripes, in front of a wooden wall showing signs from the Startup Aggieland business accelerator.

Austin Hahn ’16, 2015 Dwight Look College of Engineering Outstanding Junior

 

Petroleum engineering major Austin Hahn is also an entrepreneur. He developed a training tool, TackleTape, through the Startup Aggieland business accelerator, which helps reduce tackle-related injuries for youth football players. Hahn is active in the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Association of Drilling Engineers, and enjoys playing piano in his spare time. His favorite song to play is Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” reflecting his twelve years of classical training. He is on the Dean’s List, and is the recipient of the Chevron International Reach, Houston-American Petroleum Institute, and Statoil Merit scholarships.

Female student with blond hair in a sleeveless maroon dress gives a thumbs-up in front of a giant replica of the Aggie Ring with Kyle Field in the background

Julia Deleeuw ’16, 2015 Mays Business School Outstanding Junior

 

Julia Deleeuw is majoring in marketing and is a member of the University Honors Program. In addition to working, Deleeuw is active in several business career-related organizations and in volunteering with community organizations. Deleeuw will complete her undergraduate degree early this August and being a master’s program in marketing this fall. She has been honored with a President’s Endowed Scholarship, and was a finalist in the 2013 Ideas Challenge Competition.

Amanda Sterne, 2015 Texas A&M - Galveston Outstanding Junior

Amanda Sterne, 2015 Texas A&M – Galveston Outstanding Junior

 

Amanda Sterne is a marine sciences major minoring in chemistry. Sterne was born and raised in Canada, where she trained in her hometown of Kelowna, BC to become a certified PADI instructor. From Canada, she went to Nha Trang, Vietnam, the first step on a three year journey that stoked her deep love of the ocean and took her around the globe. This love of the ocean is what brought Sterne to Texas A&M Galveston, where she has done extensive research and completed an undergraduate thesis titled Controls of Carbon Preservation in Coastal Wetlands of Texas: Mangrove vs. Saltmarsh Ecosystems. Sterne has presented her work at the American Geological Union’s 2014 Fall Meeting. She serves as the Historian for the Lambda Kappa Alpha Honors Association. Among her many scholarships, Sterne has been selected for the Welch Foundation Scholarship, a Texas Institute of Oceanography summer fellowship, and the Texas Oilman’s Charity Scholarship.

A smiling female student with long dark hair twisted up into a bun and held in place with a stick, wearing a maroon Addidas-branded Texas A&M shirt with the long sleeves pushed up to her elbows. Other students are working in the background.

Salwan Abou Salem ’16, 2015 Texas A&M – Qatar Outstanding Junior

 

Salwan Abou Salem is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. She has conducted undergraduate research on thermal imaging software with Dr. Hassan and on gaseous radiation detection with Dr. Bouhali; she serves as a grader for the TAMUQ Science department. Abou Salem is active with Student Body Government on the Qatar campus, serving as Class Representative and Vice President. She is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Pi Tau Sigma International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. Abou Salem maintains an active extra-curricular schedule as well, playing both table tennis and basketball, serving as an orientation leader, Lebanese Red Cross volunteer, attending the COSGA and SCONA conferences in College Station, as well as participating in the Unite Lebanon Youth Project. Abou Salem has been honored with the Hamad Bin Khalifa Scholarship and is on the Dean’s List.

More About The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines and annually inducts approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.

 Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, author Ernest Gaines and broadcast journalist Deborah Norville. Nearly $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The Society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

 For more information on The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, please call 800/804-9880 or visit http://www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

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