Bennet Franz ‘22, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is one of 20 students nationwide selected as a Key into Public Service Scholar 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.
Franz is a junior and a member of the Roanoke College Honors Program. He is majoring in public health with a minor in biology. He also is a peer mentor in the Honors Program and a wellness peer educator with Student Health Services, where he helps organize public health outreach events for the campus community. Franz also works as an academic coach in the Center for Learning and Teaching.
“I am spending my summer volunteering with the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless in downtown Roanoke,” Franz said. “I think my Public Health background and passion for working with underserved populations has put me in a great spot to learn from the doctors and patients that the clinic works with each day.”
“Bennet is a student who fully understands the value of the liberal arts to his planned career in medicine,” said Dr. Chad Morris, director of the Honors Program. “His work in and out of the classroom brings multiple disciplinary perspectives together to alleviate human suffering and promote equity. His Honors Distinction project efforts to establish a campus food bank are especially laudable not only for the good they’ll do, but also for the careful, well researched approach he has undertaken.”
Selected from more than 600 applicants attending PBK chapter institutions across the nation, each Key into Public Service scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a virtual convening in late June that will provide them with training, mentoring and reflection on pathways into active citizenship in the tradition of Phi Beta Kappa’s founders.
“Bennet is a student who fully understands the value of the liberal arts to his planned career in medicine.”
Dr. Chad Morris, director of the Honors Program
“As Phi Beta Kappa president, I'm thrilled a Roanoke College student was selected for the inaugural class of Key into Public Service Scholars,” said Dr. Darcey Powell, associate professor of psychology at Roanoke and president of the Nu of Virginia chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Roanoke College. “Bennet Franz is absolutely deserving of this honor, as it applauds his distinguished accomplishments and career ambitions.”
Franz also received an Alpha Lambda Delta Jo Anne J. Trow scholarship recently. Sandy McGhee, director of student health services, supported his application for the Trow scholarship.
“Bennet developed a Jeopardy-style game focused on understanding viruses, hygiene and general wellness,” McGhee said. “This was well-received by a robust audience. He also provided leadership for a marketing campaign promoting the flu vaccine. This resulted in a dramatic increase in our student vaccination rate.”
“The academic achievement, breadth and depth in the liberal arts and sciences, and demonstrated interest in public service of these accomplished students truly stand out, even among the many impressive applicants we reviewed from our chapter campuses across the nation,” said Phi Beta Kappa Secretary and CEO Frederick M. Lawrence. “At this time in our country when the value of expertise, experience and service is very clear, the Society proudly applauds them for their pursuit of liberal arts and sciences excellence in the public interest.”