Rensselaer Inducts New Members Into Phalanx, White Key Honor Societies
Twenty-three students have been inducted into the Phalanx Honor Society for 2013. Phalanx honors student leadership, service, and devotion to the university, and celebrates those who have “worked to better the standing of Rensselaer both on and off campus.” New members were selected—or tapped—by the student members of Phalanx at a ceremony on April 6.
In remarks to the 2013 inductees and Phalanx alumni and alumnae, President Shirley Ann Jackson noted that Phalanx is the Institute’s highest honor society.
“Members do not simply sign up. They must be nominated—and selected from those nominees—based on contributions that are distinctive and valued,” President Jackson said. “A ‘phalanx’ is a hallmark of ancient Greek warfare, in which troops would stand close together, in a tightly choreographed formation, creating a wall of shields and a hedge of spears. This produced a strong, cohesive unit nearly impenetrable by enemies. A more contemporary definition of the word ‘phalanx’ is ‘a number of individuals united for a common purpose.’
“Phalanx members are the people who create and shape the student experience at Rensselaer…they were tapped to join Phalanx not merely for being involved in the campus community, but also because their involvement has had real impact.” —President Jackson
In addition, 16 students were inducted into the White Key Society, the junior honor society, for the promise they have shown as leaders as freshmen and sophomores. For the first time this year, new inductees received a pin to commemorate the honor.
New Phalanx and White Key members comprise only 0.6 percent of the total undergraduate and graduate student body.
President Jackson noted that “Phalanx members are the people who create and shape the student experience at Rensselaer…they were tapped to join Phalanx not merely for being involved in the campus community, but also because their involvement has had real impact.”
Phalanx members and inductees have distinguished themselves in a wide range of campus activities, including Greek life, student government, residence life, ROTC, varsity athletics, Union clubs, and service organizations.
The 2013 student inductees are: Alexander Angilella ’13, Russell Brown ’14, Christina Caragine ’14, Charles Carletta, Jr. ’14, Simon Ellis ’16, Colin Foreman ’14, Nicole Gallant ’13, David Hey ’13, Shannon Holly ’14, Nicholas Huban ’13, Alexander Jenkins ’13, Jillian Johnson ’13, Matthew Kosman ’14, Lorne Nix ’14, Elisa Novelli ’13, Mark O’Donnell ’12, David Pazzani ’13, Elizabeth Plowman ’14, William Schmitt ’12, Michael Villardi ’12, Allison Welling ’14, Ying Xia ’13, and Ardavan Zandiatashbar ’12 Ph.D.
The White Key student inductees are: Erin Amarello ’15, Christina Gilliland ’15, Malea Grubb ’15, Grace Herrmann ’15, Kyle Keraga ’15, Alexander Lin ’15, Andrew Lynch ’15, Ray Parker ’16, Bhavna Patny ’15, Evan Perreault ’15, Matthew Peteritis ’15, Oskari Rautiainen ’15, Benjamin Richardson ’15, Shoshana Rubinstein ’16, Jacqueline Sanchez ’15, and Timothy Snyder ’15.
Inducted into Phalanx as honorary members were: Linda Kramarchyk, program manager in the Information Technology and Web Science Department; Janelle Fayette, dean of the First-Year Experience; Jacqueline Farmer, telecommunications analyst in information technologies infrastructure and a Pillar of Rensselaer; Claude Rounds, vice president of administration and lifelong Troy resident; and Jeffrey Schanz, assistant vice president for alumni relations.
JP Trasatti, president of Phalanx, and Allison Ahn, vice president, presided over the April 6 tapping ceremony. Burt Swersey, lecturer in the department of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, gave the annual Darrin Address. Swersey was the winner of the 2012 David M. Darrin Counseling Award, which is presented annually by Phalanx during Commencement.
“Phalanx is truly about banding together the top student leaders which Rensselaer has to offer and celebrating the accomplishments they have made in the areas of leadership, service, and devotion to our Alma mater,” said Trasatti. “By bringing together this group, it allows for new levels of programming, events, and thoughts to be achieved through the collaborative efforts of the members. It is important to note that being a part of Phalanx is not simply something which ends after your time here at RPI—Phalanx allows for the unification of generations of RPI students, thereby permitting the exchange of stories, history, and lessons learned between its alumni and students.”
For more information about the Phalanx Honor Society, visit phalanx.union.rpi.edu/