Spotlights

Senior Michelle Thompson named to Phi Beta Kappa

Photo of Michelle Thompson

Michelle Thompson

Michelle Thompson, an undergraduate student in the UNC-BEST (Biology) program, has been named to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society.

Thompson, a senior from Atlanta who is also minoring in cognitive science, was one of 144 students named to the nation’s oldest honorary society. Phi Beta Kappa membership is open to undergraduates in the college and professional degree programs who meet stringent eligibility requirements.

Thompson joined UNC-BEST in the fall of her sophomore year. The UNC Baccalaureate Education in Science and Technology program is a collaboration between the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. It’s designed to allow student majoring in several science programs to also complete coursework needed for teaching certification. 

Thompson is doing her student teaching this semester.

“The UNC-BEST program has given me a great foundation and I felt very comfortable entering the classroom,” Thompson said. “My background in the UNC-BEST program has taught me important lessons on how to relate to all children and will be extremely useful in my career in the future.”

Thompson plans to attend graduate school at the University of Georgia’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, with the goal of obtaining Child Life certification, which combines Thompson’s love of biology, education and psychology.

“I hope to one day work in a hospital as a Child Life Specialist, helping children understand what is happening to them while they are in the hospital,” Thompson said.

Phi Beta Kappa membership is open to undergraduates in the college and professional degree programs who meet stringent eligibility requirements.

Past and present Phi Beta Kappa members from across the country have included 17 American presidents and numerous artistic, intellectual and political leaders. Seven of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices are members.

Phi Beta Kappa has 280 chapters nationwide. UNC’s chapter, Alpha of North Carolina, was founded in 1904 and is the oldest of seven chapters in the state. Each year, Phi Beta Kappa chapters and alumni associations across the country raise and distribute more than $1 million in awards, scholarships and prizes benefiting high schools and college students.