Isabel López ’23, an economics and international studies major at Rhodes College, is one of 20 students across the country selected as a Key into Public Service Scholar by The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest collegiate honor society. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated interest in working in the public sector and possess a strong academic record in the liberal arts and sciences.
Chosen from more than 800 applicants attending Phi Beta Kappa chapter institutions, each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a virtual event providing training, mentoring, and pathways into public service.
“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,” according to Phi Beta Kappa Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence.
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Lopez is active on the Rhodes campus, serving as Amnesty International co-president; a Rhodes Student Government senator; and the Latinx Student Association representative for VOICES, a campus wide multicultural organization.
Lopez aspires to devote her career to strengthening underdeveloped communities by fighting the feminization of poverty in the U.S., Latin America, and beyond. Last year, she worked as an intern for Planned Parenthood’s Latinx programs, Raíz and Promotoras. In addition, she serves as an editor and translator for Memphis Cartonera, a student-led cooperative publishing house.
Lopez is preparing to spend her fall semester abroad in the United Arab Emirates through Rhodes College's Buckman Fellowship for Study Abroad. Her academic interests surround the intersection of economic development, art, and democratization.
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa invites for induction the most outstanding liberal arts students at America’s leading colleges and universities. Fewer than one percent of U.S. college graduates are eligible. The Gamma of Tennessee Chapter was established at Rhodes College in 1949, and it has been ranked among the best in the nation.