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Welcoming Message

PBK Initiates,

Welcome!  Through its long and distinguished history, dating back to the founding of the United States of America, PBK has stood for excellence in the arts, humanities, and sciences.  At UC Irvine, we endeavor to carry on this rich tradition by bringing scholars together and celebrating their work through our Fall Social, Visiting Scholar lectures, scholarships, and the new PBK Book Awards.  We look forward to your joining us at many of our events this coming year.

2021-22 PBK Board President - Jonathan Feng, Distinguished Professor - Physics and Astronomy

Welcoming Message

To be selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa is an extraordinary accomplishment and on behalf of the entire UCI community let me just say that we extend to you our most heartfelt congratulations.

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman


Though you may have been asked to join other honor societies, discover why Phi Beta Kappa is the most prestigious.



Discover the rich history of the oldest, best-known, and most prestigious of all undergraduate academic honor societies.



The UCI PBK Office is located on the fifth floor of the Science Library in the Student Excellence Center. Click here for more contact information.



PBK Member Spotlight

November Highlight: Vanessa Le

Vanessa Le is a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Recipient currently pursuing a Master's Degree at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies. She graduated magna cum laude in March 2021 with a major in Education Sciences, minor in Korean Literature and Culture, and specialization in English Language Learning. Vanessa hopes to one day work in higher education to inspire students through the intersections of international education and Korean culture and language.

To learn more about Vanessa, click here!

October Highlight: Irene Morales

Irene Morales graduated cum laude as a double major in Criminology, Law, and Society and Education Sciences in June 2021. With a confident attitude during her undergraduate career, she studied abroad in Rome, lobbied to increase state funding for higher education at the California Capitol, participated in a week-long service project at the U.S./Mexico border, taught high school freshmen on globalization and international relations, mentored first generation college freshmen, and advised peers on studying abroad. Most notably, along with Phi Beta Kappa membership, Irene received the UCI Alumni Association Chancellor’s Award of Distinction and the Distinguished Anteater Award.

To learn more about Irene, click here!

September Highlight: Mando Eijansantos

Mando Eijansantos is a graduate of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology who spent their time as a UCI undergraduate conducting research on radioactive bone cement for treatment of spinal metathesis under the guidance of Dr. Joyce Keyak. After returning from Fulbright studies at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Fall 2022, Mando plans to continue working on the radioactive bone cement project while pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at UCI. Mando intends to start their own research to study the effects of radiation dose on cellular mechanisms, and how these effects can be used to improve nuclear medical treatments.

To learn more about Mando, click here!

August Highlight: Adrianna Burton

Adrianna Burton is a University of California, Irvine Ph.D. student in Informatics. Her research interests focus on the intersection of representation, identity-making, and analog games. Adrianna’s hobbies include bingeing Netflix, reading Y.A. fiction, writing poetry, and dabbling in ballet. In undergrad, her time working as a Writing Center Peer Tutor developed her love for teaching, which she carries into her responsibilities as a TA. Adrianna is a Phi Beta Kappa member and graduate of UC Irvine.

To learn more about Adrianna's journey, click here!

July Highlight: Misha Ponnuraju

Misha Ponnuraju is a Fulbright Alternate. She is a 2020 graduate in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a Minor in Art History, a Phi Beta Kappa member, and a Humanities Honors Program participant. She also served as a tutor in the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication and led the literary journal New Forum and the comedy sketch group Soulstice League.  As a poet, educator, and social media strategist, she hopes to continue her cultivation of supportive, creative communities and continue writing memoir, poetry, and screenplays.

To learn more about Misha's journey, click here!

June Highlight: Karishma Muthukumar

Karishma Muthukumar studies cognitive science and biology as a third-year student at the University of California, Irvine, where she founded The Patient Project and launched a journal of student reflections. She is a Barnes and Noble College Scholar, a recipient of the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship for Public Service, and a recipient of the Key into Public Service Scholar Award. Karishma aspires to combine her interests in health and public service towards a meaningful career in healthcare.

To learn more about Karishma's journey, click here!

May Highlight: Katia Necoechea Madriz

A junior inductee to Phi Beta Kappa in 2020, Katia Necoechea Madriz is a fourth-year undergraduate double majoring in Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, graduating in June 2021. Most notably, Katia received the Emerging Leaders & Emerging Researcher scholarship that reflects her campus leadership involvement and research experience through the Summer Academic Enrichment Program and the Learning, Language, and Literacy Lab.

To learn more about Katia's journey, click here!

April Highlight: Kimberly Zhang

Kimberly Zhang, junior inductee to Phi Beta Kappa, is graduating in spring 2021. She is part of Campuswide Honors Collegium and is a fourth-year mathematics and chemistry double major specializing in applied mathematics and chemical biology at the University of California, Irvine. She has multiple attractive offers for graduate schools but is leaning towards pursuing her Ph.D.  degree in chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology starting fall, 2021.

To learn more about Kimberly's journey, click here!

March Highlight: Aparna Shakkarwar

Aparna Shakkarwar is a fourth-year, junior inductee to Phi Beta Kappa, graduating in spring of 2021. She is currently pursuing a double-major in Economics and Education Sciences, as well as a minor in Political Science. She was admitted to UCI as a UC Regents’ Scholar, received the Malcom Stacey Memorial Scholarship for two years, and is a current Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Fellow.

To learn more about Aparna's journey, click here!

February Highlight: Ravi Sandhu

A junior inductee to Phi Beta Kappa, Ravi graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and received the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction, Honors in Public Health, Special Recognition in Public Health, along with distinction in the Biological Sciences for Research Excellence, and membership in the Delta Omega public health honor society.

In January 2021, Ravi became the first UCI undergraduate Semi-Finalist for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistantship to Moldova. He is currently awaiting results from the Moldova review panel, which will choose recipients by the end of Spring Quarter 2021.

To learn more about Ravi's journey, click here!

January Highlight: Malak Kudaimi

Congratulations to Malak Kudaimi for being selected as one of the 2020 Marshall scholars! She is the third UC Irvine student to receive the award, following Felipe Hernandez in 2015 and Kelly Maglia in 1996. In addition, Kudaimin, who is a full-time staff member at the Fresh Basic Needs Hub, is also the first UCI staff member to receive the Marshall Scholarship.

To learn more about Malak's journey, click here!


2021 PBK Graduate Study Scholarship Award Winner

Congratulations to Adrianna Burton for being our 2021 Phi Beta Kappa Graduate Study Scholarship Award winner! Alpha Alumni Association with additional funding support from the MU Chapter for our initiates, distributes funds and administers a scholarship program called the Graduate Study Award, for all Southern California PBK chapters. Under this program, Adrianna has received a $2500 cash award for use in her first year of graduate school.

To learn more about this award and Adrianna, click here!


2021 PBK Induction Ceremony Recording Available!

Keynote Speaker: Michael Dennin (Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Dean of Undergraduate Education, Professor of Physics)

Celebrate the induction of UCI's 2021 juniors and seniors to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest, most prestigious honor society, founded in 1776. Congratulations to all inductees!

Click here to view the recording.

PBK Visiting Scholar, Recording Available!

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2021 PBK Visiting Scholar Event by Roger Guenveur Smith: Performing History! As a courtesy to those who were unable to attend this marvelous performance, please click here to enjoy the experience.

2021-22 Events Sneak Peek

PBK Book Award Ceremony & Fall Welcome Social

Come celebrate and socialize with our 2021 book awardees, newly initiated members, and campus faculty and staff members.

Click here to RSVP!

Visiting Scholar: Donald S. Lopez Jr.

Professor Lopez is the author, translator, and editor of numerous works in the field of Buddhist Studies, on topics ranging from Buddhist philosophy to Buddhism and Science. He has also written extensively on the European encounter with Buddhism. Among anthologies, he is the editor of the Buddhism volume of the Norton Anthology of World Religions and Buddhist Scriptures for Penguin Classics. His recent books include Dispelling the Darkness: A Jesuit’s Quest for the Soul of Tibet (with Thupten Jinpa) and Gendun Chopel: Tibet’s Modern Visionary. In 2008, he was the first scholar of Buddhism to deliver the Terry Lectures at Yale. In 2014, The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (edited with Robert Buswell) was awarded the Dartmouth Medal for best reference work of the year. In 2000, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Click here for more information!                                  To RSVP, click here!

Annual PBK Induction Ceremony

The 2022 Annual PBK Induction Ceremony will be held June 9, 2022 at 2:00PM. More information is pending, please check back later!

Why Phi Beta Kappa?

Notable PBK Members of UCI

Meet our award winning and widely recognized Phi Beta Kappa members who work right here at UCI.

Mu Chapter Executive Board

Meet the Phi Beta Kappa Mu Chapter's executive board members