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Young Harris College Inducts Inaugural Class into Golden Key International Honor Society

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga.— Young Harris College recently inducted its first cohort of students into the Golden Key International Honor Society. A special ceremony was held in the Susan B. Harris Chapel on the YHC campus on Nov. 13.

Golden Key is the world’s largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15 percent of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors based solely on their academic achievements. The organization strives to empower its members through the advancement of their academics, leadership skills and service to their community.

The organization’s leadership at YHC includes junior history major Joseph DeFrank, of Canton, Ga., president, junior biology major Parker Moon, of Commerce, Ga., vice president, senior Spanish major Monica Ramirez-Leon, of Gainesville, Ga., secretary, sophomore business and public policy major Samuel Gaston, of Lilburn Ga., treasurer, and sophomore biology major Hannah Walker, of Cumming, Ga., recruitment chair. Associate Professor of History Dr. Natalia Starostina serves as the faculty advisor for the Society.

“I am excited to have this outlet to step up and step out through Golden Key’s leadership and service opportunities,” said Gaston. “Having Golden Key on campus at Young Harris will continue to allow current and future students to make a difference in this world.”

Among other founding members inducted during the ceremony include junior chemistry major Thomas Roginsky, of Powder Springs, Ga., junior business and public policy major John Ganter, of Norcross, Ga., senior communication studies major Christie Blaurock, of Dacula, Ga., senior creative writing major Katherine Eitel, of Cumming, Ga., junior business and public policy major Garrett Blake, of Roswell, Ga., sophomore psychology major Ashley Marchman, of Clayton, Ga., sophomore undeclared major Shauna Widding, of Clarkesville, Ga., sophomore communication studies major Wendy Jordan, of Danielsville, Ga., sophomore biology major Robert Moser, of Hiram, Ga., and sophomore theatre major Alyssa Olvera, of Fayetteville, Ga.

The organization also inducted five honorary members including President Dr. Drew Van Horn, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Music Dr. Keith DeFoor, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Development Tonya Nix, Assistant Professor of English and Coordinator of the Scholarship Consortium and Academic Fellowship Dr. Matthew Bruen, and Assistant Professor of Education and Honors Program Director Dr. Ashley Carr.

During the ceremony, inducted members heard special remarks of encouragement and congratulations from Dr. Van Horn and from the Senior Associate Director of U.S. Expansion and Member Engagement of Golden Key International Honor Society Mr. Theodore Ross.

With a mission to provide numerous service opportunities for YHC students while recognizing academic excellence, the Golden Key chapter at Young Harris College is now part of a network of more than 400 colleges and universities from across eight countries.

“The Golden Key Honor Society allows students at Young Harris to connect with other scholars across the globe, which is an incredibly unique experience,” said general member Ashley Marchman. “This opportunity makes me feel like I’m a part of something much bigger, making my time here at YHC even more special.”

To learn more about the Golden Key Honor Society, visit

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., has completed major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth. Recent LEED-certified campus improvements include the 121,000-square-foot Rollins Campus Center, new residence facilities, and a 57,000-square-foot recreation and fitness center. The College is an active member of NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2017-2018 list of Colleges of Distinction and is listed as a “Best National Liberal Arts College” by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit