Some students might stereotype athletes as enrollees who declare easy majors and do not work very hard throughout their college years. Senior golfer Melissa Loh proves that stereotype false.
Loh, a psychology and accounting double major, was recently invited to join the nation’s oldest academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.
According to the Phi Beta Kappa website, about one college senior in a hundred is invited to join the prestigious group nationwide.
Peyton Manning, Tom Brokaw, Condoleezza Rice, George H.W. Bush and Glenn Close are all Phi Beta Kappa members.
Students do not apply for membership into Phi Beta Kappa, but instead are nominated because of their outstanding academic achievements.
Loh said she was shocked to learn of her invitation, and admitted she said she had no idea what Phi Beta Kappa even was initially.
“I think it’s an amazing honor because only 44 students [at TCU] got invited [to join] this year,” Loh said.
While it is difficult to balance golf and school, Loh said her professors were helpful in making sure she stayed on top of her schoolwork.
When asked how she manages to stay on top of everything, Loh said she manages her time wisely.
“I don’t go out, It’s really depressing,” Loh joked.
Loh didn’t end up at TCU by accident as an international student. She grew up in Singapore and lived there until she moved to Texas to attend TCU her freshman year.
Golf coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin saw Loh play at a tournament in San Diego, Calif. when Loh was 16. Ravaioli-Larkin offered Loh a spot on the university’s golf team and Loh took her up on the offer.
Ravaioli-Larkin said she was very proud of Loh and that she was very deserving of the award.
“It’s great for the program as well as the player,” Ravaioli-Larkin said. “It really says a lot about her.”
Loh’s teammates are also singing her praises.
Junior Brooke Beeler said Loh brings a lot of support to the team and that she is constantly pushing her teammates on and off the course.
“If I ever have anything to ask someone, I ask Mel,” Beeler said. “She is my go-to girl for my classes.”
After graduation in May, Loh said she plans to stay in the United States and continue her golf career for at least a year or two. If golfing does not work out, she said she would most likely attend graduate school to become a certified public accountant.
For at least one academic benchmark, athletics will come first for Loh — she will not be able to attend her graduation ceremony on May 7 due to the NCAA Regional Championships. Instead, she and other student athletes will be honored at a later date in a private commencement ceremony.
Loh’s studies will also temporarily have to be placed on hold as the women’s golf team heads to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the Mountain West Conference Championships April 14-16.
With a Phi Beta Kappa honor under her belt, excuses won’t be necessary when Loh misses classes while is in Scottsdale, and her professors would probably agree.