Honor society inducts 24 soon-to-be graduates

By Jaime Winston

Twenty-four students were presented with gold medallions and inducted into the Beehive Honor Society at a banquet March 31.

The society recognizes students who have contributed to the U and their communities. Among those inducted was Senior Class President Nicole Nguyen, who is graduating in behavioral science and health.

She recently organized a project for the Undergraduate Research Symposium that studied the differences between genders in how morphine is metabolized.

“Research is a huge part of my background. I think all of the inductees have been involved with research, so I think that shows the strength of their academics,” Nguyen said during the banquet in the Alumni House.

Nguyen’s achievements include her position in the student government and being accepted for a YouthLINC service trip to Kenya this summer to work with AIDS patients. She is also involved with the Utah AIDS Foundation and was a director of the Campus AIDS Project.

Nguyen’s achievements did not come without challenges. She is the youngest of four children raised in a low-income household and the first in both her extended and immediate family to graduate from college.

“I think I’ll be able to give back,” she said. “I want my family to have a better life.”

Danielle Kauerz, another inductee, wants to assist students who grew up with disadvantages.

Kauerz is graduating in elementary education and plans to work in a Title 1 school. Title 1 schools are located in low-income communities. She also plans to earn a master’s degree and become a school administrator. She volunteers with children at elementary schools, as well as with AmeriCorps and Primary Children’s Medical Center.

Since Kauerz was a child, her grandfather, Ray Sadel, inspired her to achieve her goals. Sadel graduated from the U 70 years ago and suggested Kaurez become an elementary teacher.

“He’s always encouraged me to stay in school and do my best and be enthusiastic about education,” she said.

For students inducted into the group, the award portrays how much they have achieved during their college careers.

“It puts into perspective the things you’ve accomplished,” said Eric Hu, a senior in biology and another recipient of the award. Hu was an executive director of the Union Programming Council, has volunteered with St. Mark’s Hospital and is planning on a career in public health. He said the initiation could be influential in helping him achieve his goals.

“It’s a cherry on top of graduating,” he said.

Since the society started recognizing graduating seniors in 1913, inductees have advanced to prominent careers and positions in their communities.

“There are lots and lots of famous people — people who’ve made a difference,” said Nanette Richard, director of alumni relations at the U. “We’ve got political leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Lila Eccles Brimhall was inducted in 1914 and became a professional stage actress. Hays Gorey of the 1942 class rose to senior correspondent at Time magazine, and John Garff from the class of 1992 founded the website vehix.com.

The Beehive Board is comprised of 10 distinguished inductees who decide which students join their ranks each year.

“It’s the oldest honorary society at the University of Utah,” said Deanne Evans, president of the society’s board.

Faculty members nominate students who have excelled in leadership, academics and service.

Evans, who graduated from the U in elementary education more than 40 years ago, said this year’s group of inductees fits the criteria perfectly.

“They are outstanding,” she said. “Really outstanding.”

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