Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi each present an annual award for the best Senior Honors Thesis, with a cash prize of $250 each. Students are nominated by their academic departments and attend the annual awards luncheon co-sponsored by Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi where the presidents of each chapter present a Best Thesis Award for their respective chapters.

2021 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Lily Fisher (Sociology and Anthropology)
    Undocumented Lives: Exploring Previously Unknown Occupations Predating the Presbyterian Manse, Staunton, VA

  • Phi Kappa Phi: Lillie Jacob (English)
    Drawn Queer: Queer Graphic Narratives as a Literary Movement
2020 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Emily Barbaro (Political Science)
    Analyzing the Onset and Resolution of Nonstate Conflict in the Middle East & North Africa

  • Phi Kappa Phi: Paulina Bauer (Biotechnology)
    Examining big tau's role in DNA protection with CRISPR-Cas9 induced tau knockouts
2019 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Rachel Barborek (Biology)
    Detecting the Cold: Do Innexins Function in Cold

  • Phi Kappa Phi: Rhys Frazier (English)
    How to Live: Lessons from old English and Old Norse/Icelandic Wisdom Literature
2018 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Kelly Moss (Political Science)
    Nigerian Terror: The Rise of Boko Haram

  • Phi Kappa Phi: Hannah Facknitz (History)
    Performing Authentic Savegery: National Myth-Making and Indigenous Survival at American World's Fairs, 1893-1904
2017 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Madeline Johnson (Sociology)
    Queer University: An Ethnographic Case Study of the Trans Student Experience of College Campus Space

  • Phi Kappa Phi: Naomi Gilbert (Biotechnology)
    Survey of microbial urea degrader diversity in two freshwater ecosystems: Lake Shenandoah and the Shenandoah River
2016 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Kirstie Ann Thompson (Chemistry)
    The Effect of Hofmeister Series Counterions on the Colloidal and Antimicrobial Properties of Triple-Headed Cationic Amphiphiles
  • Phi Kappa Phi: Meagan Riley (English)
    American Gothic Families: Identity and Kinship in the American Gothic Tradition
2015 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Jacob Bosley (Political Science)
    Lexicons of Colonialism: A Grounded Theory Examination of Indian and Supreme Court Definitions of Sovereignty
  • Phi Kappa Phi: Rosemary Girard (Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication)
    The Professional Writer’s Many Personae: Creative Nonfiction, Popular Writing, Speechwriting, and Personal Narrative
2014 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Matthew Dent (Chemistry)
    Understanding metal-organic framework assembly in hydrotris (1,2,4-triazolyl) borate materials
  • Phi Kappa Phi: Andrea Morgan (Art History)
    After Rembrandt: Captain William Baillie and Print Culture in Eighteenth-Century London
2013 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Jessica Holland (Biology)
    The Interaction of the Lethal Fungal Pathogen Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis (Bd) and Combinations of Anti-Bd Bacterial Species
  • Phi Kappa Phi: Caitlyn Chalfant and Molly Picard (both Intelligence Analysis)
    Weapons of Mass Destruction and America: Assessing the Risk of a Possible Future Scenario and Its Implications
2012 Award Winners
  • Phi Beta Kappa: Matthew Wallace (Biology)
    Topographic and Patterned Axonal Projections in Control and Mutant Ephrin-B2 Mice Prior to the Onset of Hearing
  • Phi Kappa Phi: Sam Lasky (International Affairs)
    Causes of US Humanitarian Intervention in the Post-Cold War Era

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