Sanders joins PBK chapter at UW

Posted 5/4/21

University of Wyoming student Nicole Sanders of Powell has been selected to join America’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa (PBK).

Sanders, a senior who is …

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Sanders joins PBK chapter at UW

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University of Wyoming student Nicole Sanders of Powell has been selected to join America’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa (PBK).

Sanders, a senior who is studying psychology and international studies, was among 31 new members-in-course chosen for the University of Wyoming chapter. Another UW senior from the Big Horn Basin, English major Shayne Mazur of Greybull, also was chosen to join PBK.

The new members were chosen based on “their demonstrated excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.”

“To be elected, a student needs to show a balanced liberal arts education that accords with the national stipulations, and which we verify by examining every candidate’s transcript in detail,” said Eric Nye, emeritus professor in the UW Department of English and chapter secretary. “It is the one distinction prospective employers and graduate schools are swift to notice.”

Nye says members cannot apply or be nominated to PBK, but are selected by faculty members in the chapter. Membership is limited to those in the top 10% of the graduating class, but Nye says PBK members at UW are typically in the top 3-4%.

The UW chapter sponsors lectures, scholarships and other academic activities, and celebrated its 80th anniversary last fall. The chapter normally holds a traditional induction ceremony for the new members, their families, friends and faculty, but it has been canceled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PBK selects new members every year from each of its 290 chapters nationwide. Fewer than 1% of U.S. college graduates are chosen. Members have included 17 U.S. presidents and 42 Supreme Court justices. There are nearly 100 faculty and staff resident members in UW’s chapter, Alpha of Wyoming.

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