On April 8, Rensselaer hosted the induction ceremony for the Phalanx Honor Society for 2017. 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 during a ceremony at the Heffner Alumni House.

“Today, we celebrate 25 new Phalanx inductees and 11 new White Keys,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson in her remarks. “These inductees embody the values that define this honor society, as demonstrated by their leadership and service. They have built water filtration systems for villages in Panama, worked at food pantries in Troy, championed STEM education at middle schools, and furthered many worthy causes at Rensselaer. They have undertaken these activities wearing many hats: as vice president for Graduate Student Studies, as a founding member of the Women’s Golf Club, as president of the Resident Student Association, and as a Relay for Life team captain. The beneficiaries of their service and devotion include, among many others, Habitat for Humanity, Hurricane Matthew Relief, Rensselaer students seeking external funding support for research, and numerous Rensselaer Greek life organizations. We are enormously proud of our inductees.”

While many students are nominated for membership, the 25 new Phalanx and 11 new White Key members represent only about one-half of 1 percent of the total number of Rensselaer students. Overall, Phalanx and White Key have tapped just 1,575 members.

This year’s Phalanx inductees are:

Gregory Bartell ’17

Rachel Blacker ’18

Samantha Bliss ’17

Kianna Brevig ’18

Daniel Bruce ’16

Brenna Buckley ’18

Diego Carrasquillo ’17

Christine Desplat ’17

Jennifer Freedberg ’18

Shannon Gillespie-McComb ’17

Jonathan Gottwald ’17

James Hanuman ’17

Tanner Hart ’17

Charles Kirchner ’17

Kenna Klass ’18

Donna Grace Moleta ’18

Conrad Mossl ’17

Hannah Murphy ’18

Candice Poon ’17

Priyanka Raju ’18

Spencer Scott ’13, ’17 Ph.D.

Kristen Shaughnessy ’17

Anna Thonis ’17

Mary Votto ’17

Haoxue Yan ’16

This year’s White Key inductees are:

Alice Connelli ’19

Jo-Ann Diaz ’19

Sidney Kochman ’19

Erin Lazar ’19

Jason Lee ’19

Jennifer Miller ’19

Ananya Murali ’20

David Raab ’19

Majken Rasmussen ’20

Madeline Steinmetz ’20

Kyle Waters ’19

This year’s Honorary Phalanx members are:

Christine Allard

Graham Knowles

Randi Mogul

Tara Schuster

Sharon Simmons

The announcement of the David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award winner is typically announced at the Phalanx induction ceremony. This award was established by David M. Darrin ’40 to recognize a faculty member who has made an unusual contribution in the counseling of undergraduate students. This year, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the award, 10 faculty members were selected to receive the award, designated as the David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award in Celebration of CLASS.

Individually, phalanx, our faculty, and CLASS add to student life at Rensselaer. Shoulder-to-shoulder, they create an uplifting experience for students at all levels—and a more caring community that benefits all of us.”

According to President Jackson, “The word ‘phalanx’ has its roots in ancient Greece, when it signified a body of heavily armed infantry in close deep ranks. A more modern meaning is a group of people united by a common cause, such as all of us gathered here today. This concept of a phalanx is particularly fitting for our ceremony this year, which acknowledges the close connections between the Phalanx Honor Society, the particularly wise and supportive faculty members the Society selects for the David M. Darrin ’40 Counseling Award—and our Clustered, Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students, or CLASS.

“Individually,” she continued, “Phalanx, our faculty, and CLASS add to student life at Rensselaer. Shoulder-to-shoulder, they create an uplifting experience for students at all levels—and a more caring community that benefits all of us.”

The following faculty members were selected:

School of Architecture:

Gustavo Crembil

Michael Oatman

School of Engineering:

Thomas C. Haley ’84, ’90G, ’92G, ’00 Ph.D.

John M. Reilly ’73, ’73G, ’83 Ph.D.

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences:

Kim Fortun

Audrey Bennett

Lally School of Management:

Dorit Nevo

Thomas Triscari ’76, ’77G, ’84 Ph.D.

School of Science:

Toh-Ming Lu

Richard Plotka ’87