Two Nursing Students Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Kent State University College of Nursing juniors Melina Connell of Mansfield, OH, and Caleb Faust of Columbus, OH, were among 53 Kent State University students inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Society, America’s most prestigious academic honor society which recognizes a student’s exceptional achievements in the liberal arts and sciences, this past spring.

“Phi Beta Kappa is a very prestigious honor,” explained Marsha Kraus, special assistant for Kent State University Honors College. “Fewer than 1% of all college students graduating in any year in the United States receive this recognition. [Connell] and [Faust] both happen to be Honors College students here at Kent State, but that is not a requirement to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.”

Membership into Phi Beta Kappa is by invitation only, however. Every year, a Kent State faculty committee comprised of current Phi Beta Kappa members review transcripts for juniors and seniors. To be eligible for consideration as a member, students must have completed at least 75 credit hours on the Kent campus, meet a GPA requirement and have substantial math and foreign language course credits.  Once inducted, an individual has lifetime membership and access to the society.

Both Connell and Faust were first introduced to the society when they received their invitations to join. 

“Upon hearing I was selected, I was first very surprised,” shared Connell. “After reading about Phi Beta Kappa, I was overjoyed and humbled to learn I had been selected to become a member.”

Overwhelmed by the number of organizations reaching out to Faust about membership during the spring 2023 semester, he initially had no considerable feelings about the society.

“There are so many organizations sending emails, it was difficult to decipher which ones were real and which were spam,” explained Faust. “However, when I finally had a chance to read about Phi Beta Kappa, I became excited and felt proud of myself. It was a great feeling to be acknowledged for the hard work I have dedicated towards my education and future nursing career.” 

Phi Beta Kappa membership demonstrates that Connell and Faust have been recognized for their excellence in their undergraduate work and that they are at the top of their class.

 “The Phi Beta Kappa website states the society’s membership includes 17 United States presidents, 41 Supreme Court Justices and more than 140 Nobel Laureates, along with other prestigious people,” stated Kraus. “Having the society on a resume or CV can serve as a networking tool, too, that open doors to new opportunities. The networking capabilities are the most advantageous to students.”

Connell and Faust will graduate with their Bachelor of Nursing Science (BSN) in May 2024. Following graduation, Connell’s desire is to move to Florida where she can use her Spanish-speaking abilities more prevalently in her nursing career. A big move would also put her and her husband, who is also a nurse, closer to family. Faust also plans on moving back to Columbus where he will hopefully obtain a position on a critical care unit.

Connell and Faust join the following Kent State nursing alumni as members of Phi Beta Kappa: Nirali Patel (2021); Erica Robinson (2021); Mackenzie Freese (2020); Alyssa Yamokoski (Bodjanac) (2020); Kara Simon (2019); Nathanial Kindel (2018); Juliana Kivett (2017); Charles Campana, Kimberly Marko, and Katie Matthews (2016); and Kai Shin (Lim) King (2015).

POSTED: Thursday, July 13, 2023 12:48 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 13, 2023 12:57 PM
Mariah Gibbons