April 7, 2009

Five Student-Athletes Inducted Into Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Five Saint Michael's College student-athletes who have excelled in the classroom were among those inducted into the Gamma Chapter of Vermont of Phi Beta Kappa on Friday.

The five scholar-athletes are: seniors Matthew Alexander (Richmond, Vt./Mount Mansfield Union), Sara Biondello (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury), Anna Florent (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider) and Jonathan Kaptcianos (Peabody, Mass./Bishop Fenwick), and junior Katelyn Billings (Saint Albans, Vt./Bellows Free Academy-Saint Albans).

As the nation's oldest academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, is dedicated to promoting excellence in the liberal arts. Less than one percent of college graduates nationwide are admitted, and Saint Michael's is one of just three institutions in Vermont to have Phi Beta Kappa chapters on their campuses. Saint Michael's annual ceremony took place on Friday at 4 p.m. at the College's McCarthy Arts Center recital hall.

Alexander, a two-sport athlete (cross country and Nordic skiing), has earned honors on the NCAA Skiing All-Academic Team, the Northeast-10 Conference All-Academic First Team, and the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll. A biology and classics double major, he was awarded a $4,000 grant last summer from the National Institute of Health, and presented his findings at the 39th annual Environmental Mutagen Society conference in Puerto Rico October 18-22.

Biondello, a four-year member of the women's lacrosse team, currently sports a 3.878 cumulative Grade Point Average while majoring in psychology. She was named to the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association (IWLCA) Division II Academic Honor Roll last summer, and has also been named to the NE-10 All-Academic Team and the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll on multiple occasions. She has made the Dean's List all seven semesters.

Billings, a softball player the past three seasons, is one of just four Saint Michael's juniors inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this spring. A double major in chemistry and mathematics, Billings was awarded a $3,500 NASA grant in the summer of 2007, and won the 2007 Saint Michael's Freshman Chemistry Award. With a 3.929 cumulative GPA, she earned NE-10 All-Academic First Team honors last spring, and is a repeat NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll Gold Scholar.

Florent, a four-year member of the women's basketball team, completed a successful career in February, and is ninth in program history with 57 career blocked shots. A religious studies major, Florent has earned All-Academic and Commissioner's Honor Roll accolades from the NE-10, and is a multiple Dean's List member. She is also a member of the College's chapter of the Theta Alpha Kappa Religious Studies Honors Society.

Kaptcianos, a goaltender on the men's soccer team as a senior, is the Student Association's Secretary of Finance. He is also a subcommittee member of the College's 2010 New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Self-Study. A mathematics major and seven-time Dean's List member with a 3.815 cumulative GPA, Kaptcianos was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Sigma Honors Society last year.