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Biology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


This is the 12th cohort of students who have been inducted into the chapter, which now counts just under 800 members.

Jennifer Schaefer, associate professor of biology and the department chair at CSB/SJU who received Phi Beta Kappa recognition while attending St. Olaf College as an undergraduate student, speaks on “Astrocytes, Allostasis and the Liberal Arts” about the importance of the liberal arts for scientific advancement and in students’ lives as they leave CSB/SJU.

The group includes 42 seniors and 11 juniors, and they represent five countries and 11 states. Those selected are Phi Beta Kappa members for life, and received a certificate to honor their achievement.

In addition to the 53 students in the 2021 Phi Beta Kappa cohort, 10 students who were juniors in the 2020 cohort were recognized as well. The ceremony for the 2020 cohort was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students are chosen based on their grade-point average (3.85 for juniors, 3.65 for seniors) and must be a liberal arts and/or sciences major. The selection committee also looked at the breadth and depth of the student’s program and other achievements, such as a thesis or other research; interest in other cultures or languages; extracurricular activities; and academic performance.

Delegates from more than 200 chapters and associations of Phi Beta Kappa voted to establish the chapter at CSB and SJU Oct. 2, 2009, during their Triennial Council in Austin, Texas.

The CSB and SJU chapter was the eighth Phi Beta Kappa chapter established in Minnesota at the time and was named 'Theta' after the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet. In 2010, the Theta Chapter inducted 81 CSB and SJU students into its first cohort.