Meet Key Reporter’s Writers for Fall 2023

Writing Interns stock photo

Phi Beta Kappa and The Key Reporter are pleased to introduce our staff of ΦBK Writing Interns for fall 2023.

The Society’s Writing Internship Program serves new ΦBK members who are looking for an opportunity to gain professional experience and support ΦBK’s mission to advance excellence in the liberal arts and sciences in higher education.

The program is open to members in their first year and recent graduates. Each intern receives a $1,000 stipend for their articles published on our website,

KYRA ARENA (ΦBK, University of Connecticut)
A current graduate student at the University of Connecticut, Kyra Arena recently earned both a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in English Education from the same institution, an accomplishment that led to her induction into Phi Beta Kappa’s Epsilon chapter of Connecticut. In her free time, she finds solace in reading, the serenity of forest walks, and crafting poetry. This November, she is eagerly preparing to present at the National Council for Teachers of English, where she will delve into literacy curricula she designed centering on the relationship between resistance literature and social justice. It encourages students to engage with the world around them and to think critically about issues of power and inequality, thereby fostering a more informed and empowered generation. In the future she is looking forward to becoming a secondary teacher, continuing her education and love for English literature, and publishing her own book.

Alexander Junxiang Chen is a senior at Harvard University who is pursuing a double concentration in neuroscience and chemistry. He was inducted into the Alpha Iota of Massachusetts chapter of Phi Beta Kappa there in April 2023. In addition to his studies, Chen serves as a student researcher in the Evolutionary Neuroscience Lab headed by Dr. Erin Hecht, as a health policy researcher for Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and is the co-founder of HarvestHaul, which focuses on making farm-fresh produce accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. His opinion column for The Harvard Crimson is called “Artifactual”.

RACHEL HESS (ΦBK, Arizona State University)
Rachel Hess is a recent graduate of Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Spanish and four certificates in Human Rights; International Studies; Peace, Religion, and Conflict; and Political Entrepreneurship. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at ASU in April 2022. She is TEFL/TESOL certified and has worked with the Refuge Integration, Stability, and Education organization as a mentor and academic tutor for refugee children. She has been recognized by ASU for her outstanding academic achievement and dedication to service with a Barrett Global Citizenship Award, Moeur Award, Ansari Travel Scholarship in Religion and International Affairs, and as a Pat Tillman “Leadership Through Action” Scholar.

BLAIR KINSEY (ΦBK, Rhodes College)
Currently a senior math major and English minor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Blair Kinsey enjoys being consistently surprised by how these two seemingly disparate disciplines inform and challenge each other. She is currently working on a research project in pure mathematics, as well as writing a literary nonfiction piece exploring mathematics’ role in her understanding of life. Over the past few years, she has worked for the Daily Memphian, the US Department of State at the US Embassy Kampala, the Rhodes College Writing Institute, and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Rhodes College in the spring of 2023. 

WILLIAM ZIMMERMAN (ΦBK, Wake Forest University)
Will Zimmerman graduated from Wake Forest University in May 2023 with an Interdisciplinary Degree in Journalism, Film, and Creative Writing. He was inducted into the Delta of North Carolina chapter there several weeks before his graduation. He has published two magazine-length stories in The Assembly, a magazine committed to deep reporting on place, people, and power in North Carolina. He has also produced several narrative films and documentaries, including A Story About Food (and everything but), which screened at the RiverRun International Film Festival in 2022, and El Sazon, which won the Alumni Choice Award at the Trinity Film Festival in 2023. Will is currently seeking employment opportunities in journalism or film in the greater-NYC area.

About Our Program
Phi Beta Kappa’s writing interns help publicize the work of the Society and write stories about our alumni members. Applicants must be new members of Phi Beta Kappa within their first or second year to be considered for this position. Interns make a five-month commitment to the program and prepare a minimum of five short articles about Phi Beta Kappa alumni, news, or events for The Key Reporter website. Interns write and conduct research remotely. A staff presence in the national office in Washington, DC, is not required.

The deadline to apply for a spring 2024 writing internship is November 3, 2023. Interested in writing for Phi Beta Kappa? Read about our program and apply online!