University of South Florida
Tampa | St. Petersburg | Sarasota-Manatee
Granting 20 Awards this Year, the Program Connects Arts and Sciences Students with
Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship and Public Sector Opportunities
Tampa, FL. — June 3, 2021 — Two Judy Genshaft Honors College students — Sarah Glaser, a rising senior pursuing
dual degrees in Political Science and Public Health, and Samuel Rechek, a rising junior
majoring in Political Science and Philosophy with minors in Economics and History
— are two of just 20 students nationwide selected as Key into Public Service Scholars
by The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society.
The award recognizes students who have demonstrated interest in working in the public
sector and possess a strong academic record in the arts, humanities, mathematics,
natural sciences, and social sciences.
Chosen from over 800 applicants attending chapter institutions across the nation,
each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a virtual
convening in late June to receive training, mentoring, and reflection on pathways
into active citizenship. Inspired by many Phi Beta Kappa members who have shaped the
course of our nation through local, state, and federal service, the award highlights
specific pathways for liberal arts and graduates seeking public sector careers.
“The Society selected these exemplary students for their intellectual curiosity; breadth
and depth across liberal arts and sciences coursework; positive contributions on and
off campus through academic research, internships, and community work; and demonstrated
commitment to serve the common good,” Phi Beta Kappa Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence
said. “As the country tackles concurrent health, economic, and social crises, the
Society applauds the 2021 Service Scholars for their pursuit of arts and sciences
excellence in service of the greater good.”
A Sarasota, Florida, native, Glaser has a passion for public service and served as
a legislative intern for Florida State Representative Fentrice Driskell. She founded
and chaired Florida Students for Biden, currently interns in the Washington, D.C.
office of U.S. Representative Charlie Crist, and is a member of President Biden’s
National Youth Advisory Committee. “It is an honor to receive this scholarship,” says
Glaser. “I am excited about the mentorship opportunities it will provide, and the
monetary award will allow me to intern in London this Fall, hopefully in Parliament.”
After graduation, Glaser plan to pursue a Master’s degree abroad and study democracy
in elections, particularly related to election monitoring.
“I recently completed an Honors thesis under Dr. M. Scott Solomon from USF's School
of Interdisciplinary Global Studies,” says Glaser. “We studied Chinese interference
in developing democracies in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically focusing on telecommunications
used in election interference. I would like to work with the United Nations to protect
against this type of interference in the future.”
Rechek, a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is passionate about the First Amendment's
value for democratic law and society. He is the president and founder of a student
organization dedicated to engaging students with their First Amendment protections
on campus, and he recently co-authored a manuscript exploring social media users'
tendency to avoid diverse political opinions. He credits the Key into Public Service
application with helping him further define his career trajectory.
“One of the essay prompts was to tell about the PBK member you admire most,” says
Rechek. “I chose Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who served on the U.S. Supreme
Court in the early twentieth century. I admire him because he was open to new ideas
and reevaluation of the law during his career, moving from supporting censorship to
advocating for broad freedom of speech under the First Amendment. After graduation,
I plan to pursue a JD/PhD and enter the law profession with a long-term goal of becoming
a judge who, like Holmes, is open to new ideas in the spirit of the First Amendment.”
Both USF recipients worked with the university’s Office of National Scholars to apply
for the award.
“We are so proud of Sarah and Samuel and their commitment to public service,” says
Judy Genshaft Endowed Honors Dean and President of USF’s PBK Chapter, Charles Adams.
“Their impressive achievements and ambitious goals embody the mission of Phi Beta
Kappa to champion learning in the liberal arts and sciences and freedom of thought.
I look forward to seeing the remarkable things they’ll do next.”
The complete list of 2021 Scholars includes:
John Boland, University of Notre Dame Malina Brannen, Georgetown University Max Chayet, Williams College Gabrielle Crooks, Stanford University Jacob Feuerstein, Bucknell University Sarah Glaser, University of South Florida Sydney Gray, Yale University Joseph Hartung, University of Kansas Jaeger Held, Gettysburg College Michael Hernandez, University of Connecticut Raziya Hillery, Butler University Wren King, West Virginia University Kassandra Le-Huynh, University of Tulsa Isabel Lopez, Rhodes College Karishma Muthukumar, University of California-Irvine Nazm Rahat, Millsaps College Sujay Ratna, Rutgers University- New Brunswick Samuel Rechek, University of South Florida Khaylah Scott, Millsaps College Isha Yardi, University of Maryland-College Park
For more information about the scholarship and links to individual biographies of
the recipients, please visit pbk.org/KeyintoPublicService.
Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation's most prestigious
academic honor society. It has chapters at 290 colleges and universities in the United
States, nearly 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide.
Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 41 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and
more than 140 Nobel Laureates. The mission of The Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion
education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize
academic excellence. For more information, visit www.pbk.org.