Rensselaer Inducts New Members Into Phalanx Honor Society

April 3, 2007

Troy, N.Y. – Twenty-five students have been inducted into the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Phalanx honor society. Phalanx honors student leadership and celebrates those who have “worked to better the standing of Rensselaer both on and off campus.” New members are selected — or “tapped” — by the student members of Phalanx.

Matthew Weed, president of Phalanx, and Hannah Kim, vice president, presided over the April 1 tapping ceremony, which was attended by Phalanx members, family and friends of the inductees, and others from the Rensselaer community. Robert Parsons, associate professor of biology and acting chair of the biology department, gave the Darrin Address. Parsons was the winner of the 2006 Darrin Counseling Award, which is presented annually by Phalanx during Commencement.

In remarks to the 2007 Phalanx inductees, President Shirley Ann Jackson applauded their contributions that “have had a demonstrated positive impact upon the university community,” similar to the achievements of Phalanx alumni Joanne (Jody) Coonradt ’05 and Max Yates, ’06. 

“Jody and Max embodied the ideals and commitment to Rensselaer that all of you, as Phalanx members, now demonstrate,” Jackson said. “Some of you might be more like Jody, in that you show your dedication by taking the lead in upholding beloved and time-honored campus traditions. Others among you might be more like Max, in that you are a trailblazer, creating daring new campus initiatives. And, still others among you may be forging your own road.”

“Whichever route, or routes — upholding tradition or instituting new initiatives — by which you choose to display your leadership, service, and devotion to Rensselaer, we are proud to have you join these select few who are making this university a much, much better place,” Jackson added. 

The 2007 inductees are from the following states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, and the country of Canada. The student inductees include: Rian Bahran, Nicholas Casale, Andrew Clark, Gino D’Addario, Sarah Daniel, Abigail Eldridge, Robert Fornasiero, Jakob Georgek, Katherine Gifford, Brandon Graver, Joseph Hamburg, Shawn Herrmann, Daniel Horvath, Charlotte Kaplan, Elizabeth Kelley, Tamer Khattab, Julia Leusner, Ezequiel Melo, Ikenna Okoli, Lesli Rotondo, Karol Schrebele, Erica Sherman, Trevor Sherwood, Paul Sotherland, and Benjamin Sylvestre.

In addition, 11 students were inducted into the White Key Society, Rensselaer’s junior honor society, for the promise they have shown as leaders as freshmen and sophomores. The inductees include:  Tim Acker, Ella Braco, Kristen Clark, James Cossavella, Elizabeth Frank, Frederick Gallo, Lisa Muscanell, Jimmy Robertson, Ted Tablate, Jason Taylor, and Michael Weissman.

Peter Pedone, associate advancement officer, was inducted into Phalanx as an honorary member.

Since 1912, the year that Phalanx was established, 1,335 members have been named to the organization. 

Jackson also noted that new Phalanx and White Key members for 2007 comprise only one half of one percent (0.5%) of Rensselaer’s total resident undergraduate and graduate students.

Contact: Jessica Otitigbe
Phone: (518) 276-6050

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