Rodermel named Phi Beta Kappa honorary member


The Iowa State University (ISU) Zeta of Iowa chapter of Phi Beta Kappa recently named Dr. Steven Rodermel an honorary member. By doing so, the ISU chapter said it corrected an oversight made 46 years ago.

Rodermel, a Distinguished Professor in ISU’s Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Yale University in 1972. He was not nominated to Phi Beta Kappa at that time because Yale College had eliminated the traditional ranking of students.

The ISU chapter “is pleased to correct that oversight.”

In keeping with Phi Beta Kappa rules, the ISU chapter received permission to grant Rodermel membership on Feb. 5, 2018, from George Levesque, associate dean of Yale College and secretary of the Alpha of Connecticut chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Yale. In his letter, Levesque said, “Professor Rodermel’s distinguished career clearly demonstrates the highest ideals of our Society, and we are delighted that you have decided to bestow upon him this well-deserved honor. I only regret that we did not have the foresight to elect him while he was a student.”

Rodermel has a master of science in zoology and physiology from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in cellular and development biology from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and he served as program director in the Integrative Organismal Biology Division at the National Science Foundation.

Rodermel’s research has attracted over $6 million in external grants and contracts, which has supported 21 graduate students, 13 post-doctoral researchers and over 30 undergraduate research advisees. His uniformly high course evaluations and his work on the highly regarded study abroad program in Valencia, Spain, demonstrate his long commitment to undergraduate teaching excellence at Iowa State.