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Association Chartered June 14, 1946

December 2022

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All memberships (except Auto Renewals) expire on December 31.

If you haven’t yet joined, or renewed your membership,

it is time to contribute now.

If you have, we thank you!

Members for 2023 will be listed in the upcoming hardcopy directory.

Mail your check in the enclosed envelope

or pay online at

If you are eligible, consider a QCD from your IRA

From the President

Here we are again, in Autumn 2022. Who would have thought, when COVID-19 reared its ugly head, that we’d still need to be cautious three years later? In my case, I have only left San Mateo/Santa Clara Counties a handful of times. Thank goodness for ZOOM meetings! 

In February 2023, we’ll be holding our Asilomar gathering in person again, but precautions will be in place to keep every attendee safe. Please see the Asilomar section of this newsletter to sign up, or check the website. You can also contact Asilomar Chair Deirdre Frontczak ( with specific questions. 

Our Vice-President for Programs, O’Neil Dillon ( and his committee members (Judy Hardardt, Rev. James Richardson, Jean James, and Young Professionals Joy Wang and Whitney Roeder) are planning events for the upcoming months. Be sure to check the for information on these “learning experiences” and just plain social gatherings. If you have a particular program in mind that you’d like to present, please contact one of the committee members. You are welcome to volunteer for any of our committees! 

Teaching Excellence Chair Mel Stevens ( always can use suggestions for awardees (,) 

In the New Year, we’ll be looking for Audit Committee members; if numbers are your “thing,” contact Nominating Committee Chair Judy Hardardt ( or me ( for more information. It’s a one-morning in-person gathering, with data provided before the meeting.  

Wishing you a peaceful autumn and happy holidays, Mary Turner Gilliland President 2011-2023  

Twelve Scholars and Four Teachers Honored. May, 2022

Awardees have made Videos of their “Annual Meeting Talks”

The $10, 000 Scholarship Awards for 2022 were presented to:

Feyaad Allie, Stanford University, Political Science

Daniel Friedman, UC Berkeley, History

Linda Kinstler, UC Berkeley, Rhetoric (Hardardt Award)

 Alan Kong, UC San Francisco Medical Doctorate (studying glaucoma), (Hendess Award)

Rebecca Nelson, UC Davis, Ecology

Ryan Page, UC Santa Cruz, Film & Digital Media

Elizabeth Postema, UC Davis, Animal Behavior

Maria-Fatima Santos, UC Berkeley, Sociology (Gilliland Award)

Hope Schwartz, UC San Francisco. Medicine M.D., (Reed Award)

Vannessa Velez, Stanford University, History, (Norall)

Sarah Wilker, Stanford University, Classics

Madeline Wyse, UC Berkeley, Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures 

The Scholarship Committee: Jeff Fenton, Lynne Fovinci, Judith Hardardt, Jean James, Joanne Sandstrom (Chair)

The Teaching Excellence Awards for 2022, given to teachers nominated by their students, consisting of a Certificate and a $1000 honorarium, were presented to:

Michael Dylan Foster, Ph.D., Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Prof. and Chair, UC Davis

Laura D. Gutiérrez, Ph.D., Dept. of History, Assistant Professor, University of the Pacific 

Claire Waters, Ph.D., Dept. of English, Affiliated Faculty - Program in Classics, Dept. of French and Italian, Professor and Chair, UC Davis (Hasenkamp Award

Clancy Wilmott, Ph.D., Dept. of Geography and Berkeley Center for New Media, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley.

The Teaching Excellence Committee: Andrea Braga, Melisa Lasell, Melissa Stevens (Chair)

Submit Teaching Excellence Nominations

We are still accepting nominations for this prestigious award for 2023. Please nominate a professor you consider outstanding, someone you found inspiring and admirable, or who taught an especially memorable course. Making such a nomination is a meaningful way of expressing gratitude to that person.

Upcoming Events

Currently, the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association requires proof of full vaccination and boosters against COVID-19 for attendance at any and all events.  This may change as the Covid situation changes. Watch the website and your email. Full vaccination is defined as completion of the two-dose regimen of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including the new bi-valent booster, administered two weeks or more in advance of the event. A well-fitting N95, KF94 or KN95 mask for all indoor activities (except while eating) is also required. Cloth masks, bandanas, or neck gaiters are not acceptableFace masks must completely cover the nose and mouth.  A well-fitted mask has no gaps between the face and mask, such as above the nose or at the sides.

Note: The price of the events is for current NCA members; elapsed or non-members will pay a surcharge. Full event information, and means of credit card payment are available on our website  If you want to register for an event but don’t have Internet access, please contact O’Neil, cell 510-207-8761.

If you won’t be able to make an event, contact O’Neil Dillon at ASAP, or if it is the day of the event call him at 510-207-8761, as there may be others on the waiting list who will then be able to take your place.

No-shows do NOT receive a ref­­­und!

“A faithful study of liberal arts humanizes character, and allows it not to be cruel.”  -- Ovid

If you have questions on this year’s program, please contact For registration or logistics matters, please contact Barry Haskell at Registration is $125, which goes mainly to scholarships. Cost will be similar to last year, about $550 per person, double occupancy, and includes all nine meals and parking. All registered participants will receive forms to reserve their Asilomar accommodations, including meals; please check your email. (Remember, to be part of the PBKNCA package, do not reserve directly with the facility.)  Make reservations at PBKNCA.COM or via the form on page eight.

Please join us once again for the annual Asilomar Conference, where we gather to learn, engage in discussions, and to listen to one another in new ways.  A preview of the 2023 event. More info is at PBKNCA.COM:

Deirdre Frontczak, Asilomar Chair

A preview of the 2023 event: 

Friday night – Kalyn Simon, MBA candidate at Santa Clara University: “California’s Water Reality”

California’s landscape, like a majority of places in the world is shifting drastically. Climate change is forcing us to face a future that is projected to be much hotter and drier. California is home to some of the most beautiful and prosperous land which produces a majority of the fruit, nuts, and vegetables consumed in the United States. However, the harsh reality is that this produce as well as economic prosperity can only be sustained through access to water. 

Water supply in a future of the changing climate is concerning, but rather than focusing on climate change, we should be focusing on climate action. Rather than focusing on water scarcity, we should be focusing on building coalitions around water abundance through innovation. This presentation will highlight the intersection of climate, agriculture, water and innovation. We will take a deep dive into an often-controversial topic in California: desalination and the implications of tapping into the ocean as a new source of water to support the state and the world. 

Kalyn Simon is an MBA candidate at Santa Clara University with a concentration in Food and Agriculture Entrepreneurship. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Kalyn received her BA and MA in International Studies at the University of San Francisco while playing Division 1 basketball. She currently is the Director of Corporate Engagement at Natural Ocean Well Co. and the Board Chair at Garden to Table Silicon Valley, a nonprofit farm in San Jose, California. 

Saturday morning –
Kerry Driscoll, Ph.D., Associate Editor of the Mark Twain Papers and Project, U.C. Berkeley: “Mr. Clemens and the Saturday Morning Club of Hartford.” 

This presentation tells the little-known story of Mark Twain’s involvement with a group of young local women between the ages of 16 and 20 established in 1876 to “Promote Culture and Social Intercourse.” He assisted in the club’s founding and eventually became—as one member fondly recalled—its “patron saint.” He addressed the group on at least fifteen occasions (significantly, always in the role of “Mr. Clemens” rather than his nom de plume), and persuaded other literary friends to do the same. The writer’s devotion to the Club is most tangibly expressed in the exquisite pins he commissioned from Tiffany & Company in 1880 and presented as gifts to its members. I will discuss Clemens’s role as confidant and mentor to these young women and explore the innovative methods he devised for cultivating their self-expression—offering a fascinating glimpse of the more serious side of our nation’s most celebrated humorist.