Joel Calfee, Abby Peterson and Caitlyn Whitesell were recently elected to become members of Phi Beta Kappa. The Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest honor society, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Joel is majoring in English and Hispanic Studies. Abby is in the 5-year BA/MA degree program in Education with a concentration in Mathematics. Caitlyn is doing the 5-year BA/MA degree program in Education with a concentration in English as a Second Language.
When asked about receiving this award, Abby said: “I am extremely honored to have been inducted into such an established and prestigious institution. I am grateful for both the faculty and my peers in the Hispanic Studies department for pushing me to think critically and consider diverse perspectives in all my academic pursuits. These are foundational skills that I will bring with me both as a member of PBK and in my future as an educator.”
Caitlyn said: I feel honored to join Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and I plan to use my membership as an opportunity to continue asking difficult questions, something that PBK is famous for doing. Not only do I ask myself if I am a good representative of the groups I join, but also if these groups adequately represent me. My entrance into this new group undoubtedly reflects the level of privilege that I benefit from in the realm of academia as much as it reflects my hard work within this realm. I hope to further reflect on the role of privilege in my acceptance to this honorable group, and question the equity involved in the processes that got me to this point, from my experiences in public school to the PBK nomination process itself. Through my Hispanic Studies education at William & Mary, I have learned to think critically about society, and I will dedicate my career to creating greater equity in education through student-centered teaching and thoughtful reflection. This dedication is thanks to all the professors that supported me and believed I was capable, thank you.
Including six initiates in the Fall, Hispanic Studies PBK initiates this year total nine! We are so proud of our students!