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Alumnae, upperclassmen elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Janet Zengel Messer *70, left, and Janice Zengel *70, right, with McDaniel President Roger N. Casey.
April 09, 2013

Alumnae Janet Zengel Messer ‘70 and her twin sister Janice Zengel ’70 were inducted with 26 seniors and four juniors into the McDaniel College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at an April 7 ceremony held on campus.  Both Zengel sisters graduated with high honors in Biology and as members of Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society and as members of the Argonauts, the College’s original honor society found in 1935 and superseded by the formation of a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 1980.

The Greek initials for the Society’s motto is, “Love of learning is the guide of life,” and an invitation to membership is a reflection of outstanding achievement.

Janice earned a Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Madison (Wisconsin) in 1976 and did post-doctoral research at Stanford University and the Baylor College of Medicine. For six years she served as research associate in the department of Biology at the University of Rochester, spending a year as visiting professor in the department of Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen.

In 1985 she was named Senior Research Associate at Rochester. In 1994, she returned to Maryland to become Senior Research Scientist in the department of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she has served with distinction for almost 20 years. Janice recently moved to Pittsburgh but continues to commute to Baltimore for occasional lectures and advising.

She received grants from the National Science Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, which have resulted in 45 peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals, and she has advised 19 doctoral students and 13 master’s candidates through their research and theses. Her mentoring of a number of minority students enrolled in the Meyerhoff program at UMBC earned her accolades and recognition as Mentor of the Year in 2004.

Her sister, Janet, earned a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Miami in 1973 and immediately became a Research Associate Professor at the University of Miami of Medicine for five years, which was followed by a two-year appointment as Associate Research Scientist at Emory University School of Medicine.

In 1980, Janet headed back south to Gainesville, Fla., to joint positions as Research Biologist with the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Adjunct Associate Professor in the departments of Neuroscience and Neurosurgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. In all these research positions, she also taught courses, tutored medical students, and helped develop medical school curriculum. She also published numerous papers in significant scientific journals including the Journal of General Physiology, Science and the Journal of Neurophysiology.

In 1998, Janet and her husband, Joe Messer, formed Global Power Resources, Inc, providing engineering and mechanical service to the industrial and power generation sectors for clients throughout the world, including Canada, Germany, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Sweden, and the Netherlands, as well as the United States. They currently live in St. Augustine, Fla.

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. It has chapters at 280 colleges and universities, and over 600,000 members.

Alumnae, upperclassmen elected to Phi Beta Kappa
Back row left to right: Casey Dunn, Rachel Hoffman, Christie Debelius, Clara Burgess, Sarah Bankard, Emily Schaefer, Caitlin Roetheli, Michael Orevba, Kerri Morrison, Anne Mathews, Alexandra Zimbicki, Rula Zaru, Jake Zamostny, Jonathan Wixen.
Front row left to right: Andrew Keogh, Alan Lyons, Meghan Schatz, Jason Stein, Sarah Holbrook, Katherine Jones, Veronica Lathroum, Hien Le, Mara Seibert, Rebecca Shuford, Morgan Thomas, Blair Undem, Luke Schmidt, Kira Young.

Students inducted into the Delta of Maryland Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa are:

  • Charles William Arnett, Jr. of Damascus, Md.
  • Sarah Elizabeth Bankard of Lutherville, Md.
  • Clara Wyche Burgess of Chevy Chase, Md.
  • Christie Brooke Debelius of Hampstead, Md.
  • Casey Joseph Dunn of Eldersburg, Md.
  • Rachel Ariana Hoffman of Mount Airy, Md.
  • Sarah Elizabeth Holbrook of Winchester, Va.
  • Katherine Helen Jones of Hampstead, Md.
  • Andrew Michael Keogh* of Baltimore, Md.
  • Veronica Ann Lathroum of Linthicum Heights, Md.
  • Hien Thi Phuong Le of Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Alan Montgomery Lyons* of Westminster, Md.
  • Hanna Elizabeth Martin of New Windsor, Md.
  • Anne Michelle Mathews of Frostburg, Md.
  • Kerri Elizabeth Morrison of Glen Burnie, Md.
  • Michael Adedoyin Orevba of Chevy Chase, Md.
  • Caitlin Leigh Roetheli of San Antonio, Texas
  • Emily Jan Schaefer of Hampstead, Md.
  • Meghan Gordon Schatz* of Parkton, Md.
  • Luke Robert Schmidt of Red Lion, Pa.
  • Mara Kathleen Seibert of Laurel, Md.
  • Rebecca Anne Shuford of Monrovia, Md.
  • Jason Reuben Stein* of Rockville, Md.
  • Morgan Elizabeth Thomas of Hughesville, Md.
  • Blair Elizabeth Undem of Bel Air, Md.
  • Jonathan Benjamin Wixen of Calabasas, Calif.
  • Kira Ann Young of Glen Rock, Pa.
  • Jake Alexander Zamostny of Mount Airy, Md.
  • Rula Saleem Zaru of Mount Airy, Md.
  • Alexandra Zimbicki of Pittsburgh, Pa.


*Inducted as juniors, Class of 2014