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Phi Beta Kappa Initiates New Members During 2022 Convocation     The Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Washington and Lee University welcomed 57 students into the prestigious honor society. 

PBK-600x400 Phi Beta Kappa Initiates New Members During 2022 Convocation    Vincent Kim ’14 and Janet Ikeda, associate professor of Japanese

The Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Washington and Lee University welcomed 57 members of the junior and senior classes into the prestigious honor society at the Phi Beta Kappa/Society of the Cincinnati Convocation on March 20. The honorees were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa based on their exceptional academic achievements. 

The convocation address, titled “Curiosity Got the Best of Me: Finding the Courage to Change Course,” was given by Vincent Kim ’14, who graduated with a degree in physics before attending the University of Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge scholarship. He is now a data science manager at Feedzai, a company that leverages machine learning to fight financial crime.  

The chapter inducted as an alumni member Dr. Jonathan Wortham ’04, medical epidemiologist in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wortham has served on the W&L Science Advisory Board and the advisory board of the Shepherd Poverty Program and currently sits on the university’s Board of Trustees. 

Barbra Buckner Higginbotham was inducted as an honorary member in recognition of the support she and her husband, Hal Higginbotham ’68, have provided to the Leyburn Library, the Senshin’an Tearoom and the W&L Office of Inclusion and Diversity. Higginbotham earned her doctorate in library science from Columbia University. She served as a librarian at both Columbia University and Brooklyn College, where she became the executive director of Academic Information Technologies before her retirement in 2008. 

This year’s student initiates are: 

Class of 2022 

  • Alexis Baumeyer 
  • Sophia Behdani
  • Anna Bitter 
  • Samuel Bluestone 
  • Natalie Burden
  • Tess Collard 
  • Amanda Deans 
  • Frances Doggett 
  • Eric Dragon 
  • Ana Estrada Hamm 
  • Natasha Gengler 
  • Lillian Gillespie 
  • Xinyu Gu  
  • Syed Rafay Hassan  
  • Elizabeth Herman 
  • Lauren Hoaglund 
  • Sarah Hollen 
  • Samantha Johnson 
  • Yuhan Liu  
  • Frances McDonough 
  • Kathleen McNeill 
  • Eugenia O’Connor
  •  Chloe Parsons 
  • Abigail Pinkerton 
  • Nicholas Spagnoletti 
  • Haochen Tu  
  • Justin Wong 

  Class of 2023 

  • Abdelrahman AboEitta 
  • Walter Barden 
  • Cian Bell 
  • Anna Blackburn 
  • James Blatchford 
  • Taylor Colaizzi 
  • Finn Connor 
  • Mark Fasciocco  
  • Eric Gazin 
  • Mary Graham 
  • Jason Gu  
  • Brianna Hatch 
  • Parker Hawk 
  • Joanne Ko 
  • Jiaqi Lu  
  • Owen Malcolm 
  • Jessica Markley 
  • Elisabeth Matthews 
  • Emily Moran 
  • Pham Nguyen 
  • Christian Null 
  • Tahrington Phillips 
  • Logan Robinson 
  • Mitchell Salvino 
  • Patrick Slattery 
  • Owen Stickney 
  • Peyton Tysinger 
  • Annalisa Waddick 
  • Gabriel Worthington 
  • Catherine Xia 

Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Its motto is “Love of learning is the guide of life.”


If you know a W&L student who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.