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Honoring the best: COSAM outperforms the rest at Phi Kappa Phi awards ceremony

Published: 05/17/2017

By: Candis Birchfield

The Auburn University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi held the annual initiation and awards ceremony at the end of spring semester. Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society that recognizes and promotes academic excellence in all fields of higher education and engages the community of scholars in service to others. Of the 10 awards bestowed at the 2017 ceremony, COSAM students received five.

“As its core mission, Phi Kappa Phi promotes the love of learning and excellence in all elements of academic scholarship,” said Jack Feminella, associate dean for academic affairs. “The three Susan Stacy Entrenkin Yates awardees, the Most Outstanding Senior Scholar, and the Jewel Golden Eubanks Scholarship, all received by COSAM students, beautifully exemplify this description. Not only are the student honorees outstanding performers in the classroom, but they are also budding research scholars and unselfish service providers to others on and beyond campus. We are extremely proud of each of them."

COSAM students honored at The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi awards ceremony include the following:

Phi Kappa Phi Most Outstanding Senior Scholar

Presented annually to the most outstanding senior student at Auburn University, criteria include scholarship, activities, honors, character and a minimum 3.69 GPA. Graduates from summer and fall 2016 semesters, as well as spring 2017 semester, were eligible. COSAM’s Natasha Narayanan received the award. Narayanan graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. A member of the Honors College, Narayanan became involved in undergraduate research as a freshman and considers it an integral and transformative aspect of her college experience. She spent three years working in an organic synthesis lab under the direction of Bradley Merner, the James E. Land Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and, most recently, she worked in a pharmacology lab in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine under the direction of Assistant Professor Satya Pondugula. Last summer she worked in a cancer biology lab at Cambridge University on a project that involved imaging the genetic material in cancer cells. As a junior, Narayanan was a recipient of the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship. While at Auburn, Narayanan has worked as a Study Partners tutor, a supplemental instructor for chemistry courses, and an undergraduate teaching assistant for organic chemistry labs. In her free time, she enjoys riding horses, cycling, and hiking. She will continue her education at Cambridge University.

The Susan Stacy Entrenkin Yates Awards

Presented annually to outstanding junior students at Auburn University, the Susan Stacy Entrenkin Yates Awards are named in memory of the mother of S. Blake Yates, a long-time member of the Auburn University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Criteria for receiving the award include scholarship, activities, honors and character. Nominated students must have completed a minimum of 61 credit hours by the end of fall semester and have a minimum 3.69 GPA. Three Yates awards were bestowed at the 2017 ceremony, and all three recipients were COSAM students, including: Melanie Parrott, biomedical sciences/pre-med; Da Sol Jung, biochemistry; and Kristyn Suelflow, biomedical sciences/pre-physician assistant.

Jewel Golden Eubanks '33 Phi Kappa Phi Endowed Scholarships

Jewel Golden Eubanks '33 was born in Birmingham in 1910. She was a very intelligent and well-educated person. After earning two degrees from Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University), she became an educator who sought excellence in her life and work. Eubanks was an active member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and she endowed a scholarship to the Auburn University Chapter. The award is presented annually to current Auburn students who are active members of Phi Kappa Phi. Among this year’s recipients was COSAM’s Annie Sauer, a junior in applied discrete mathematics.

For more information on The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi award ceremony, including a complete list of honorees, visit the Auburn University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi website.

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