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Chapter News and Events
October, 2009 -- Mark Hofmann attended the 42nd Triennial Council meeting in Austin, Texas
Prof. Mark Hofmann of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science attendd the 42nd Triennial Council of the PBK Society as the Skidmore Chapter's official delegate. Prof. Kate Berheide also attended the meeting as a member of the PBK Senate. The Triennial Council is the legislative body of the Society; one of its main functions is the election of new PBK chapters.
April, 2009 -- Mary Stange appointed to
the Ralph Waldo Emerson Book award committee
Mary Zeiss Stange, professor of women’s
studies and religion, has been named to a three-year term
on the seven-member panel that judges entries for Phi Beta
Kappa’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Book Award. The award is
presented annually for a scholarly study that contributes
significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural
condition of humanity.
SEPTEMBER 22-23, 2008, BETTY SMOCOVITIS
TO BE 2008 VISITING SCHOLAR
Betty Smocovitis, recipient of six teaching
awards during her twenty years at Florida, currently holds
joint appointments as professor in the departments of history
and zoology. Her research focuses on the history, philosophy,
and sociology of the 20th-century biological sciences, especially
evolutionary biology, systematics, ecology, and genetics;
and the history of American botany. She is the author of Unifying
Biology: The Evolutionary Synthesis and Evolutionary Biology
(Choice, Outstanding Academic Title, 1997); and of two works
in progress, One Hundred Years of the Botanical Society of
America and G. Ledyard Stebbins and the Evolutionary Synthesis.
A fellow of the AAAS and recent chair
of its history and philosophy of science section, she is the
recipient of a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities as well
as grants from the Botanical Society of America, the National
Science Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and
the NEH. She has been a visiting professor at the University
of Athens, Cornell, Emory, and Stanford, and a visiting research
associate at the National Museum and Art Gallery, Papua New
Dr. Smocovitis will deliver a Public Lecture
on the evening of Monday, 22 September, and meet with faculty
and students in classes and informal settings during her two-day
sojourn at Skidmore.
May 8, 2008, Regina Janes named to christian
Regina Janes, professor of English, has
been named to a three-year term on the selection committee
for the Christian Gauss Award. The committee chooses the winning
book for the award, given annually by Phi Beta Kappa.
The Christian Gauss award is offered for
books in the field of literary scholarship or criticism. The
prize was established by the Phi Beta Kappa Senate in 1950
to honor the late Christian Gauss, the distinguished Princeton
University scholar, teacher and dean who also served as President
of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
October 24-29, 2006, PBK Triennial Council meets in Atlanta
Mark Huibregtse, chapter secretary-treasurer,
attended the meeting as the official chapter delegate. Kate
Berheide attended in her role as PBK Senator and Chair of
the Committee on Qualifications, which exhaustively reviews
applications for new chapters of PBK, and presents the most
worthy applicants to the Council for final approval.
October 3-4, 2006: Gary Nash to be 2006-2007 PBK Visiting
Gary Nash, professor emeritus of history,
has been director of UCLA’s National Center for History
in the Schools since 1994. From 1992 to 1996, he co-chaired
the National History Standards Task Force, resulting in the
publication of a series on national standards for world and
United States history. At UCLA he received both the Distinguished
Teaching Award and the Distinguished Emeriti Award. He is
past president of the Organization of American Historians,
and an elected member of the American Philosophical Society,
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society of
American Historians, and the American Antiquarian Society.
He has authored, co-authored, and edited
more than twenty books, among them Red, White, and Black:
The Peoples of Early North America; The Urban Crucible; Forging
Freedom: The Formation of Philadelphia’s Black Community;
History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past;
Forbidden Love: The Secret History of Mixed-Race America;
First City: Philadelphia and the Forging of Historical Memory;
The Unknown American Revolution; and The Forgotten Fifth:
African Americans in the Age of Revolution.
February 15-17, 2005: Linda Greenhouse visits Skidmore
Linda Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning
U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times,
delivered her public lecture Court, Country, and Culture
on the evening of 16 February 2005. This event was co-sponsored
with the Department of Government as the 2005 Ronald
J. Fiscus Lecture. Ms. Greenhouse also visited classes
and met informally with students and faculty during her sojourn
at the College.
November 4, 2004: George Saliba return engagement
In connection with the Tang Exhibit A
Very Liquid Heaven, Dr. Saliba addressed the
interplay between Greek and Arabic interpretations of the
stars, with an emphasis on the tenth century Sufi Atlas. George
Saliba is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science in the Department
of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia
University. The title of his presentation: Reaching for
the Skies: Between Greek and Arabic Celestial Iconography.
Cosponsors of the event: The Department of Physics, the
Department of Philosophy & Religion, and the Office of
the Dean of the Faculty.
May 25, 2004: Linda Greenhouse to be the 2004-2005 PBK Visiting
The Skidmore Chapter will host Linda
Greenhouse, the Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. Supreme
Court correspondent for the New York Times, on 15-17
February 2005, under the auspices of the PBK Visiting Scholars
Program. Stay tuned for further details, including the date
and time of Ms. Greenhouse's public lecture.
April 1, 2004: The Skidmore Chapter sponsors a PBK Fellows'
lecture by Prof. George Saliba of Columbia University
Professor Saliba, of the Department of
Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University,
works in the general area of history of Arabic science, with
a special interest in the history of Arabic astronomy and
the development of planetary theories in medieval Islamic
times. The title of his lecture: How much of our science
comes from Arabic?
August 2003: Recently elected PBK member Rachel Allen
'03 profiled in Skidmore Scope
Rachel Allen, Skidmore Class of 2003 and
new member of the Skidmore Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, was
profiled in an essay titled Outward Bound: Skidmore grads
take their talents into the real world, in the Summer
2003 issue of Skidmore's magazine Skidmore Scope.
As a winner of the prestigious National Institute of Health
scholarship for her last two years at Skidmore, Rachel is
committed to work for NIH for at least two years after graduation.
Her extensive research experience in the laboratory of Skidmore
biologist Marc Tetel has prepared her well for a career in
the health sciences. For the full article, click
here and scroll down to the profile titled Brain Power,
or better yet, read the entire article.
August 2003: Kate Berheide and Mark Huibregtse attend the
40th Triennial Council of Phi Beta Kappa
The 40th Triennial Council of Phi Beta
Kappa, comprising delegates from chapters and associations,
members of the PBK Senate, PBK Fellows, national office staff,
etc., met in Seattle, Washington from 6 to 10 August 2003.
Mark Huibregtse headed the Skidmore delegation. Kate Berheide
attended the conference in her role as PBK Senator and member
of the Committee on Qualifications, which vets and nominates
institutions seeking to shelter a PBK chapter; she also served
as a Skidmore chapter delegate. Among the most important actions
of the Council was the granting of PBK charters to eight institutions:
Alfred University, Eckerd College, State University of New
York College at Geneseo, Roanoke College, Saint Michael's
College, University of San Diego, Texas A&M University
at College Station, and Valparaiso University.
May 2003: Skidmore Visit recalled by Richard Lanham in the
Richard Lanham visited Skidmore College
in the fall of 2001, one of several stops on his Visiting
Scholar tour. In his essay titled Memories of a Former
Visiting Scholar, he recalls that "at Skidmore one
of the librarians, Ruth Copans, is also a professional bookbinder,
and she was kind enough to show us around her bindery. I took
bookbinding lessons for three years but pro is pro, and it
was a thrill to admire her work. Also at Skidmore, we were
given a splendid tour of Saratoga Springs architecture by
James Kettlewell, a master of its local history." (For
the full article, click
here and view page 4 of the pdf file.)
May 2003: Skidmore Library mentioned in the American Scholar
In the Spring 2003 issue of The American
Scholar, there is an essay by Noel Perrin regarding literary
serendipity. He recalls one anecdote that occurred in the
Scribner library at Skidmore College [p. 110]:
"I think it important that the search not be systematic.
It should be capricious. I won't go mystical and claim that
if you're hunting in the right zen-ish frame of mind
you'll start receiving emanations from some of the once-loved
books. But I will say that it sometimes feels that way. It
did when a book in the Skidmore College library titled Yankee
Surveyors in the Shogun's Seas dropped to the floor as
I was pulling out a book next to it. Naturally I took a look
before putting it back on the shelf. In about one minute I
realized that it had a story to tell, and that story would
give me the long-sought lead for the best book I have ever
August 2002: Alex So '02
in The Key Reporter
Alex Steven So, initiated into the Skidmore
Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in May 2002, was one of eight new
PBK members featured in the Summer 2002 (Vol. 67, No. 4) issue
of The Key Reporter, the society's newsletter, in an
article titled New PBK Members Overcome Challenges In Their
Academic and Personal Lives. Alex's saga began "in
an impoverished Chinese village, where his parents grew rice.
When a flood destroyed their home and caused a food shortage,
they were almost forced to give away one of their five children
to ensure that the others had enough to eat..." So "dreamed
of becoming a research scientist... when his family immigrated
to the United States, this suddenly seemed possible. But the
transition was traumatic... In 1997 so submitted an essay
on black holes to NASA's Space Science Student Involvement
Program. Among 8,000 entries, his won second place. He enrolled
at Skidmore and received an award as the top freshman chemist...
This fall So will become a doctoral candidate in chemistry
and chemical biology at the University of California at San
Francisco. He wants his life to demonstrate to the people
in his Chinese village that some dreams can come true."
Congratulations, Alex! (For the full article, click
here and view page 5 of the pdf file.)
Creative Thought Matters.