Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and largest academic honor society, is dedicated to promoting excellence in the liberal arts. Founded on December 5, 1776, by five students at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, Phi Beta Kappa was the first society to have a Greek letter name and to introduce the essential characteristics of such societies: an oath of secrecy (discarded in 1831), a badge, mottoes in Latin and Greek, a code of laws, and an elaborate initiation ritual. Fewer than ten percent of colleges and universities nationwide shelter chapters and together the chapters admit less than one percent of college graduates nationwide.

 

The national Phi Beta Kappa organization invited Saint Michael’s College to establish a chapter in 2003. To be considered for this honor, an institution must have a faculty with at least ten percent Phi Beta Kappa members. Other criteria include the quality of faculty and their research, the quality of students and extent of student research, the success of students in gaining fellowships and admission to graduate and professional programs, honors programs, and library quality. As the Gamma Chapter of Vermont, Saint Michael’s College is one of only three Vermont institutions to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the others being the University of Vermont (Alpha) and Middlebury College (Beta). Of the more than 200 Catholic colleges in the nation, no more than twenty-five shelter chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

Election to Phi Beta Kappa is a great academic honor. The number of undergraduates elected in a class cannot exceed ten percent of the number expected to receive a bachelor’s degree in that class. Of these, a maximum of one-fifth may be elected in their junior year.

For a list of current student members at Saint Michael's, see Inductees.


If you have any questions about the Vermont Gamma chapter, please contact:

Nathaniel Lew, President, nlew@smcvt.edu

William (Sandy) Karstens, Secretary, wkarstens@smcvt.edu

 

Induction Ceremony, April 10, 2015, The induction address was "A Walk Around 'The Waking'", given by William H. Marquess, Instructor of English.

On April 7, 2014, John Churchill, National Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, gave a talk entitled "What's At Stake: The Arts and Sciences in American Higher Education".


Monday, October 1, 2012

Lecture by Visiting Scholar Dr. Sarah Keller
How Playing with Unrealistically Simple Systems Gives Insight into Real Cell Membranes

Sarah Keller is a biophysicist who investigates self-assembling soft condensed matter systems. Recently, her research has focused on how simple lipid mixtures within bilayer membranes give rise to complex phase behavior. She joined the department of chemistry at the University of Washington in 2000 and is the recipient of the department's 2004 Outstanding Teaching Award, as well as the university's 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award. She is also currently the Associate Dean for Research Activities for the UW College of Arts and Sciences. Her research has been recognized by the Avanti Young Investigator Award (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); the Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award (Biophysical Society); a Cottrell Scholar Award (Research Corporation); and a CAREER Award (National Science Foundation). In 2011 she was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences and was named a fellow of the American Physical Society.


George DameronOn Friday, April 20, 2012 in McCarthy Arts Center, in addition to the induction of our Chapter's newest mambers, Dr. George Dameron, Saint Michael's College Professor of History and Department Chair, gave the talk entitled: "Becoming Invisible: Economic History and the Past, Present and Future of Medieval Studies."






Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lecture by Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, Michael McCormick

Michael McCormick

Michael McCormick, historian and archaeologist of the late Roman Empire and early medieval Europe, taught at Johns Hopkins University from 1979 to 1991, and was a research associate at Dumbarton Oaks (1979-87). He moved to Harvard in 1991, where he is Francis Goelet Professor of Medieval History. His books include Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce, A.D. 300-900 (Haskins Medal, Medieval Academy of America; Ranki Prize, Economic History Association) and Charlemagne’s Survey of the Holy Land: Wealth, Personnel and Buildings of a Mediterranean Church (forthcoming). He is currently working on natural scientific approaches to the past, including the history of human health and the environment, and applying computer science to the study of ancient texts.

He has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation, the ACLS, and the Max-Planck-Institut, and was honored by the Mellon Foundation with its Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002. He is a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, the American Philosophical Society, and the Society of Antiquaries (London); and a corresponding member of the Monumenta Germaniae historica (Munich) and the Académie royale de Belgique.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lecture by Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, Sandra Harding

"Sciences From Below: An Introduction to Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies"

Sandra Harding

Sandra Harding is professor of education and women’s studies, and from 1996 to 2000 was director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women. A philosopher of science, she taught at the University of Delaware, 1976-1996, prior to joining the faculty at UCLA. She co-edited the journal Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society from 2000 to 2005 and is the author or editor of fifteen books and special journal issues. Among them are Science and Social Inequality; Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms and Epistemologies; Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?; The Science Question in Feminism; and Sciences from Below: Gender, Imperialism, and Modernity (forthcoming, spring 2008).

She has been a consultant to several United Nations organizations, including the Pan American Health Organization, UNESCO, the U.N. Development Fund for Women, and the U.N. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. She was a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Costa Rica, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the Asian Institute of Technology.


March 6-7, 2006
Ronald Graham

Lecture by Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, Ronald L. Graham

"Mathematics in the 21st Century: Problems and Prospects"

During his two-day visit, Professor Graham delivered one public lecture and met with students in classes and seminars.

Ronald Graham spent thirty-seven years at Bell Labs as a researcher, leaving in 1999 as chief scientist. During that time he also held visiting positions at Princeton, Stanford, Caltech, and UCLA, and was a part-time University Professor at Rutgers. He currently holds the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair of Computer and Information Science at California, San Diego. His research within the field of discrete mathematics includes Ramsey theory, the development of the theory of quasirandomness, as well as contributions to the number theory, approximation algorithms, and computational geometry.

Ronald Graham Juggling

Professor Graham has received numerous awards, including the Pólya Prize in Combinatorics, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the Steele Prize for lifetime achievement, American Mathematical Society. Past president of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as of the AAAS.


The Visiting Scholar Program

Scholars Juggling

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available each year twelve or more distinguished scholars who visit 100 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. They spend two days on each campus, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and giving a public lecture open to the entire academic community. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. Now entering its 50th year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 518 Scholars on some 4,500 two-day visits since the 1956-57 academic year.

Participating Visiting Scholars for 2007-2008 were: Michael J. B. Allen, Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles; Roger S. Bagnall, Director, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University; Lori F. Damrosch, Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization, Columbia University; Morris P. Fiorina, Wendt Family Professor of Political Science, Stanford University; Alejandro García-Rivera, Professor of Systematic Theology, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley; Sandra Harding, Professor of Education and Women’s Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Daniel Huttenlocher, Neafsey Professor of Computing, Information Science and Business, Cornell University; Lawrence M. Krauss, Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Case Western Reserve University; Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Harvard University; Saskia Sassen, Member, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University; James J. Sheehan, Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University and 2007-2008 Phi Beta Kappa/Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar; Pamela S. Soltis, Curator, Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics, Florida Museum of Natural History; Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University.


April 15, 2005

Induction Lecture by Dean John Kenney

“American Catholics and the Intellectual Life”

Fifty years ago Monsignor John Tracy Ellis, a distinguished scholar of American history, published a celebrated and controversial essay by this title in the Catholic journal Thought. Fr. Ellis decried what he regarded as “the impoverishment of Catholic scholarship in this country.” And he insisted that Catholic colleges should “maintain a strong emphasis on the cultivation of intellectual excellence.”


February 3, 2005

Lecture by Gamma Chapter Vice President George Dameron 

"A Hallowed Sense of Place: Buildings, History and the Virtuous Dead"

Focusing on thirteenth and fourteenth century Florence as a case study, this presentation will explore a tradition of devotion to the dead that is rooted in a sense of place. More specifically, it will argue that attention to, veneration of, and concern for the souls of those Florentines who had died in the past helped shape and transform the city into one of the most prosperous and culturally creative centers of the world. Drawing on a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts ranging from mathematics and architecture to history and literature, this lecture will demonstrate how the commitment of Florentines to their ancestors and their saints helped them cope with dramatic change. In the devotion of twenty-first century Americans for the site of the former World Trade Center, we can see how this tradition of veneration for the virtuous dead continues to help the living cope with the difficult challenges of the present.


April 16, 2004

Chapter Installation and First Induction Ceremony for Students

The Chapter elects undergraduate student members on the basis of scholarly achievement, broad cultural interests, and good character.

 

The following five conditions are required in order for a candidate to qualify for election:

1.      The candidate must be fully registered at the College.

2.      The candidate must have completed at least three full academic semesters in residence at the College, including at least one term of the junior year.

3.      Candidates in the junior year must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) in the 98th percentile or higher of the class, and candidates in the senior must have a GPA in the 85th percentile or higher of the class. In calculating GPA for this purpose, grades earned in applied or pre-professional courses, as determined by the Chapter, shall not count.

4.      The candidate must have earned at least three quarters of his or her course credits in the liberal arts and sciences, defined as the traditional disciplines of the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities. Courses in other programs of study may be included only if they unambiguously embody the liberal arts and sciences. Professionally focused courses and courses devoted to the acquisition of practical skills do not count.

5.      The candidate must have taken either PH-355 or a course in the Mathematics Department numbered 110 or higher. Other courses that fulfill the College’s Quantitative Reasoning LSC requirement do not meet the standard for Phi Beta Kappa.

Fulfilling these conditions does not automatically guarantee election. In addition, the Chapter examines the eligible students’ records to assess the breadth and depth of the candidate’s study in liberal arts and sciences, giving weight to:

 

  1. The number, variety, and level of courses taken outside the requirements of the major,
  2. The proportion of the candidate's overall program those courses constitute, and,
  3. The number of elective courses taken above the introductory level.

 

Finally, in keeping with the interest of the society’s founders in fostering not only academic excellence but also friendship and morality, the Chapter extends invitations to Phi Beta Kappa only to persons of good moral character.

 

 

 

Faculty and Staff Members

Ms. Tara Arcury – President’s Office
Dr. George Ashline - Mathematics
Ms. Kitty Bartlett - Institutional Advancement
Dr. Carol Begley - Classics
Dr. Ronald Begley - Philosophy
Dr. Donna Bozzone - Biology
Dr. Maura D'Amore - English
Dr. George Dameron - History
Dr. Joel Dando - English
Ms. Krisan Geary - Quantitative Skills Coordinator and Mathematics Instructor
Dr. William Karstens - Physics
Dr. John Kenney - Religious Studies
Ms. Stacey Knight - Library Information Services
Dr. Allison Kuklok, Philosophy
Dr. Adrie Kusserow - Sociology and Anthropology
Dr. Diane M. Lander - Business Administration and Accounting
Dr. Nathaniel Lew - Fine Arts
Dr. Crystal L'Hôte - Philosophy
Dr. Malcolm Lippert - Biology
Dr. Dagan Loisel - Biology
Dr. William Marquess - English
Ms. Denise Martin - Biology
Dr. Molly Millwood - Psychology
Dr. John J. Neuhauser - President
Dr. Megan Ohler - Student Life
Ms. Joanne Scott - Business Administration and Accounting
Dr. Kerry Shea - English
Mr. Michael Stefanowicz - Office of Admission
Dr. Laura Stroup - Environmental Studies
Dr. Kimberly Sultze - Media Studies, Journalism, & Digital Arts
Dr. Jeffrey Trumbower - Religious Studies 
Dr. Peter Vantine - Modern Languages
Dr. Patrick Walsh  - Economics
Ms. Catherine Welch - Assistant Dean, Student Life

THE PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY

GAMMA CHAPTER OF VERMONT

SAINT MICHAEL’S COLLEGE

BYLAWS

As amended February 13, 2015

ARTICLE I                Officers and Organization

Section 1: The membership of the chapter shall consist of:

a)   Faculty/Staff Members: members of the faculty and staff of Saint Michael’s College who are members of other chapters and who are full-time employees or who hold academic appointments at the College; those Faculty/Staff Members who held their positions when the chapter charter was granted shall be called Charter Members;

b)   Student Members: students elected to membership during their course of study at Saint Michael’s College, and transfer students and graduate students at Saint Michael’s College who are already members of other chapters; Student Members remain in this category until graduation, at which point they become Continuing Members;

c)   Alumni/ae Members: graduates of Saint Michael’s College elected to membership after their graduation, in recognition of scholarly achievement;

d)   Honorary Members: non-graduates of Saint Michael’s College elected to membership in recognition of scholarly achievement; those Honorary Members elected at the granting of the chapter charter shall be called Foundation Members;

e)   Continuing Members: former Student Members who have graduated and former Faculty/Staff Members who no longer hold full-time positions or academic appointments at Saint Michael’s College;

f)   Other Members: part-time staff and part-time faculty without academic appointments who are members of other chapters.

 

Section 2:  All members of the chapter, as described above, shall have full membership privileges, except that the privileges of (1) voting on candidates for election to membership, (2) voting on expulsion of members, and (3) voting on amendments to these Bylaws, shall be reserved for Faculty/Staff Members only.

Section 3:  The officers of the chapter shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Historian. The term of office of all officers shall run from June 1st to May 30th.

Section 4:  The President and Vice President shall serve two-year terms. At the start of a new term of office, the Vice President from the previous year shall automatically become the President. This precludes any individual from serving successive terms as President or Vice President, but there shall be no other limitation on the number of terms an individual can serve in those offices.

Section 5:  The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve three-year terms. Ordinarily, no individual shall serve more than two successive terms in either one of these offices, but there shall be no other limitation on the number of terms an individual can serve in those offices.

Section 6:  The Historian shall serve a three-year term. There shall be no limitation on the number of terms an individual can serve in this office.

Section 7:  At the annual meeting, the chapter shall elect the Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian as necessary by a majority vote.

Section 8:  The Executive Committee shall consist of the immediate past President (if present on campus), the five elected officers, and one additional at-large member appointed for a one-year term by the President. The at-large member may be any type of member. The Executive Committee shall have authority to conduct the affairs of the chapter between meetings, subject to instruction from the chapter and save as otherwise specifically provided in these Bylaws (e.g., election of members).

Section 9:  The Membership Committee nominates candidates for Student, Alumni/ae, and Honorary Membership. The voting members of the Membership Committee shall consist of the Vice President (ex-officio voting member) and three other members. Of these four, at least three must be members of the teaching faculty of Saint Michael’s College. In addition the Secretary of the chapter shall serve as a non-voting ex officio member of the Membership Committee. Each year, the President shall appoint one member to the committee for a term of three years. Ordinarily, unless elected to the office of Vice President, no individual may serve more than two successive terms on the Membership Committee, but there shall be no other limitation on the number of terms an individual can serve on the committee. The Membership Committee elects its own chair.

Section 10:Each year, the President shall appoint an Auditing Committee of two members to review the accounts of the Treasurer and make a report at the annual meeting.

Section 11:The President or Executive Committee shall appoint additional ad hoc committees as necessary.

 

ARTICLE II               Meetings

Section 1   The Executive Committee shall make arrangements for the annual meeting and for other regular meetings.  At the annual meeting, the normal order of business shall be as follows:

    Call to order

  1.    Approval of the minutes of the preceding annual meeting or meetings
  2.    Report of the Executive Committee
  3.    Report of the Treasurer
  4.    Reports of the Auditing Committee and any ad hoc committees
  5.    Unfinished business
  6.    Consideration of communications from the Society
  7.    Report of the Membership Committee, including nomination of candidates for Student, Alumni/ae, and  Honorary Members
  8.    Election of Student, Alumni/ae, and Honorary Members

10. Other new business

11. Election of officers

12. Adjournment

Section 2   The Secretary shall send written notice of all meetings to all Faculty/Staff Members and Student Members at least one week in advance of the meeting.  The notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and the business to be considered.  Communication by electronic mail shall constitute written notice.

Section 3   A quorum at meetings shall consist of six Faculty/Staff and Student Members.

Section 4   Any vote shall be by secret ballot if requested by one or more of the members present.

Section 5   The chapter may invite members of other chapters who do not qualify for membership as defined in Article I, Section 1, of these Bylaws to any meeting, but they shall not participate in the transaction of business.

Section 6   Special meetings may be called by the President or Executive Committee, and shall be called upon written request by four members.  At the special meeting no business shall be transacted other than that stated in the notice of the meeting.

 

ARTICLE III                         Eligibility of Student Members

Section 1   The chapter shall elect undergraduate Student Members primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement, and good character, subject to the following conditions:

a)   The candidate shall be enrolled in the junior or senior year at Saint Michael’s College.

b)   The candidate shall have completed at least three full semesters of work in residence at Saint Michael’s College and be fully registered at the College.

c)   For election in the junior year, the candidate shall have completed at least one academic term of the junior year.  The caliber of his or her work shall be of exceptional distinction, including a Grade Point Average (GPA), as computed by the Registrar, placing him or her in the 98th percentile or higher of the class.

d)   For election in the senior year, the candidate shall have a GPA placing him or her in the 85th percentile or higher of the class.

e)   Grades earned in applied or professional work, as determined by the chapter, shall not count in the computation of the GPA for purposes of eligibility.

f)   The chapter shall give weight to the breadth of the candidate’s program of study as shown by the number and variety of courses taken outside of his or her major.  The chapter shall also give weight to the balance and proportion in the candidate’s degree program as a whole.

g)   Candidates shall have demonstrated knowledge of mathematics and of a foreign language at least minimally appropriate for a liberal education.

 Section 2   Subject to other provisions of the chapter Constitution and these Bylaws, the chapter may consider those students who complete their college course and become eligible at the end of the summer session along with the eligible group during the following academic year.

Section 3   The number of undergraduates elected from any class, including those elected in their junior year, shall not exceed ten percent of the number of undergraduates expected to receive a bachelor’s degree in that class.  A maximum of one-fifth of the members elected from any class may be elected in their junior year.

Section 4   Election to membership in this chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the members of this chapter, subject only to the limitations imposed by the Constitution and Bylaws of this chapter, and no right to election shall adhere to any student solely by reason of fulfillment of the minimum GPA for election to Student Membership.

Section 5   Since good character is a qualification for membership, the chapter may, by a four-fifths vote of the qualified members present at the annual meeting, expel from Phi Beta Kappa any member of the chapter found, after having been given due notice and an opportunity to be heard, to have lost this qualification.  The name of any member so expelled shall be reported to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, with a statement of the grounds for the action.  As provided in Article I, Section 2, of these Bylaws, only Faculty/Staff Members are eligible to vote on expulsion of members.

 

ARTICLE IV                         Election of Members

Section 1   Election of members may only take place at a chapter meeting.  The Executive Committee cannot elect members.  Voting on election of members of all types shall be by secret ballot, if requested by one or more of the members present.  As provided in Article I, Section 2, of these Bylaws, only Faculty/Staff Members are eligible to vote on election of members.

Section 2   Members shall refer their suggestions for candidates for Student, Alumni/ae, and Honorary Membership to the Membership Committee.  No candidates for Alumni/ae and Honorary Members shall be brought before the chapter without the nomination of the Membership Committee.  In considering candidates for Alumni/ae and Honorary Membership, the Membership Committee shall be guided by the criteria defined in Article III, Sections 5 and 6, of the chapter Constitution.

Section 3   The Membership Committee shall not nominate a graduate of another institution having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to Honorary Membership unless the parent chapter has been notified and has raised no objection within a two-month period.  A substantial explanation shall accompany any negative response from the parent chapter.  

Section 4   Election of candidates for Student Membership nominated by the Membership Committee shall require an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the qualified members present at the meeting when the election takes place.  Members may also nominate candidates for Student Membership from the floor during a meeting when election of Student Members takes place, but in such cases election shall require an affirmative vote of four-fifths of the qualified members present.  No candidate shall be nominated twice at the same meeting.  Elections shall continue until all candidates have been voted on or until the maximum number of members allowed by these Bylaws has been reached.

Section 5   The Membership Committee shall prepare a written statement of the qualifications of each candidate it nominates for Alumni/ae and Honorary Membership.  One negative vote by a qualified member shall serve to reject a candidate for Alumni/ae or Honorary Membership.  The chapter shall elect no more than two Alumni/ae Members and two Honorary Members in any two-year period.

Section 6   The Secretary shall send a statement of the qualifications of each candidate elected to Honorary Membership to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, as provided in Article III, Section 10, of the chapter Constitution.

Section 7   The chapter may make provisions for initiating members.  At its discretion, the chapter may waive the initiation of an Alumni/ae or Honorary Member.

                                                                                                          

ARTICLE V                           Fees

Section 1   The chapter shall determine the initiation fee for Student and Alumni/ae Members.  These fees shall cover, or, if other sources of funding are available, shall contribute to the expense of the initiation ceremony and the registration and Council Fund payments to the Society.  The chapter shall be responsible for these costs for Honorary Members, who shall pay no initiation fee.

Section 2   Payment of the initiation fee shall be regarded as formal acceptance of election and must be made before initiation.

Section 3   Newly elected Student Members and Alumni/ae Members shall be expected to purchase a key and shall be requested to take out an initial subscription to The American Scholar at the special introductory rate for new members.

Section 4   All members except Student Members and Honorary Members shall pay annual dues at a rate set by the chapter.

Section 5   By a majority vote of the members present at a meeting, the chapter may levy special assessments against members, provided that written notice of the intent to propose such an assessment is given in the announcement of the meeting.

Section 6   The Secretary shall forward registration and Council Fund payments to the Treasurer of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in accordance with Article IV of the Bylaws of the Society.

 

ARTICLE VI             Amendments

Section 1   As provided in Article I, Section 2, of these Bylaws, only Faculty/Staff Members are eligible to vote on changes to these Bylaws.  Adoption of amendments to these Bylaws, not inconsistent with the Constitution and other lawful regulations of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, shall require a two-thirds vote of the qualified members present at a meeting, either upon a motion presented and tabled at the preceding meeting, or upon condition that written notice of the proposed changes has been sent to all qualified members at least three weeks in advance of the meeting.  All amendments shall be subject to the approval of the Senate of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

 

 

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