Log in

Asilomar 2005

Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association 19th Asilomar Conference,
Friday Feb 18 - Monday Feb 21, 2005

Sign Up For The Upcoming Asilomar

Go to Past Asilomars

Beach header




But… the weather did not dampen the spirits of the 91 Phi Betes and their guests who joined us for our Association’s nineteenth annual retreat at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove this February 18 – 21, 2005. The clouds and rain, mingled with occasional glints of sunshine, only added to the beauty of the venue. Although this year’s participants on their after-conference questionnaires enthusiastically praised the quality of the speakers, what our members valued most was the opportunity to meet and mingle with each other. We are truly an organization made up of outstanding, interesting, unique individuals.

In addition to the intellectual and social aspects of the conference, Asilomar is also important to our Association because it is a major fund-raiser for our scholarship program. Our profits this year were over $8000 – enough to fund two of our $4000 graduate scholarships. This money comes from our $100 per person registration fee; the part that isn’t used for expenses is totally tax-deductible. This year $90.31 of the $100 registration fee you paid in 2004 for Asilomar 2005 is fully tax deductible.

Plans for Asilomar 2006 (President’s Day Weekend – February 17 -20) are already starting to take shape. Next year’s conference will mark the twentieth year we have been gathering at Asilomar, and we are planning a special celebration. The sufficiently broad theme - The Best of the Monterey Bay Area - should allow for all kinds of stimulating presentations. Although several of you have already provided me with suggestions for next year’s programs and speakers, please contact me if you think of anything else. (My email address and telephone number appear with those of the other officers in this newsletter.) Our most successful presentations have been the direct result of your recommendations.

To assure the continued success of our Asilomar conference, please pass the word along to others who might want to participate in this unique experience. Our best advertisement is “word of mouth” and the best place to pass the word is at our many Association activities. When you attend these events, please tell others of your positive Asilomar experience and encourage them to join us. Each individual who comes directly supports our scholarship program.

I would like to encourage you, too, to attend our annual dinner in May when we award these scholarships and honor professors for their teaching excellence. To actually see and hear about how important these awards are to the very talented recipients is truly inspirational.

How much does Asilomar cost besides the $100 registration fee? The 2005 pricing is $324.38 per adult, double occupancy; single occupancy, $526.70; youth (ages 3-17), $189.62. This includes three nights' lodging, and all meals, beginning with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Monday. Asilomar handles all room reservations.

Friday, February 18, 2005
7:30 p.m.
"The Visual Jeffers: An Introduction to His Poetry and Its Locations"
Marijane Osborn

Although Jeffers’ subjects range from Ancient Greece to the end of the universe, he loved above all the Big Sur coast and highlands, with the hawks and stones and surf. This local material, illustrated with fine photographs, will be the focus of Marijane’s introduction to the poetry of Robinson Jeffers.

Born in Cornwall, New York, Marijane studied at UC Berkeley (where her mother got her degree), Stanford for the PhD, and Oxford, where Stanford sent her to study with the editor of Beowulf, her special subject. She married someone she met at Oxford and lived in the UK for many years, with teaching or fellowships at universities in Lancaster, Edinburgh and Belfast. Then she spiraled homewards via teaching in Alaska, Hawaii, and Iceland (on a Fulbright), to land at UC Davis, where she still teaches. She has produced two children, now in their fifties, several books and many articles, and now lives with two delightful smooth collies.

Saturday, February 19, 2005
9:30 a.m.
"There and Back Again"
Joanne and Don Sandstrom

"Anything to get out of Orange County," Joanne replied when Don came home disillusioned with his Ph.D. program and teaching at UC Irvine and said, "Let's build a boat and sail around the world." The Sandstroms had long talked about sailing away from it all – someday. That someday came abruptly when Don was diagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease. Determined to turn a dream into reality, the Sandstroms sold their house and car and, accompanied by two teenage sons and the family cat, began a five-year, 52,000 mile circumnavigation in their 40-foot, self-built trimaran Anduril.

Five years in a forty-foot box wasn't all roses for the Sandstroms. Testosterone levels were high - Don, Bigfoot (their seven-toed tomcat), and teenage sons (Donald and Erik, 13 and 11 when they left on their journey) - but they all survived, even thrived. The boys missed school but got educated. Donald - who'd never been to high school (except five months in Cyprus) - was accepted at Cal and graduated in civil engineering. He took time off to sail in the Caribbean and today is now cruising south with his wife of six months.

The Sandstroms did a second circumnavigation to celebrate Erik's graduation from CSULB in 1988 (since he didn't have a job yet, a circumnavigation seemed eminently sensible).

Joanne, a Phi Bete English major, and Don, an industrial psychology major, met at Cal. He received his master’s in industrial relations at the University of Minnesota; she received hers in English from the institution now known as Long Beach State. Don was working on his Ph.D. when they began their incredible journey.

Saturday, February 19, 2005
1:30 p.m.
"Physiology of Functional Fitness"
Sara Gilliland

Sara’s presentation will begin with an overview of the physiology of muscle metabolism and a brief glance at biomechanics. Then she'll look at how this information can be used to create fitness programs to enhance health, prevent heart disease and osteoporosis, avoid orthopedic injuries, and build a foundation for safe sports participation. Sara will include practical exercises that can be done with minimal equipment at home and take participant questions and requests to help participants select the exercises they need to support their goals and activities.

Sara Gilliland has been on the go since before she was born. Her childhood was spent climbing trees, performing stunts on her scooter, and jumping on her bed. She competed in gymnastics, diving, and rhythmic gymnastics during her middle school and high school years. Her love of human anatomy and physiology began during her 8th grade human biology class. Biomechanics grabbed Sara's attention when she realized that she could combine her passions for physics and anatomy. Sara continued her exploration of physiology and anatomy at Rice University while pursuing a BA in Human Performance and Health Science with an emphasis on sports medicine. During her years at Rice, she competed in cycling, triathlon, intramural swimming, and the traditional Rice Beer Bike. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1998, Sara taught high school math and coached triathlon at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. She currently works as a physical therapy aide and continues to do triathlon coaching, fitness consulting, and math tutoring. She is a USA Triathlon Certified Coach, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Sara has provided a list of the exercises that she discussed. Click here.

Sara will be starting her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Chapman University in August.

7:30 p.m.
"UN Inspections of Iraq Following the First Gulf War"
Calvin ("Cal") Wood

In his presentation, Cal will describe some of the efforts of the Government of Iraq (GOI) to hide its nuclear weapons program from UN inspectors, as well as how the program was uncovered and dismantled by the UN inspection team.

Cal, a U.C. Berkeley Phi Bete, also earned his Ph.D. at that institution. After teaching physics for several years at the University of Utah, he began his career at LLNL as a senior design physicist, involved in both computer design and experimental testing of nuclear weapons. Although he retired in 1993, he still is working to archive the records of design work at LLNL.

Sunday, February 20, 2005
9:30 a.m.
"Uzbekistan New and Old"
Betsy Gilliland

This morning Betsy will take us on a journey through Uzbekistan, showing slides and telling stories of her adventures as a Peace Corps Volunteer in this Central Asian country emerging from almost a century of Soviet domination. This presentation will include a brief overview of the history and geography of the region, then detailed descriptions of the everyday life of Uzbek people.

Betsy Gilliland grew up in Menlo Park and spent summers during high school studying Russian at a summer camp in Minnesota. She majored in Russian Studies at Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1995, then earned a Masters degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. She served in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan from 1998 to 2000, teaching English at Bukhara State University. Since returning home from Uzbekistan, Betsy has taught developmental writing and ESL at San Jose State University. She has been writing her Uzbekistan stories and hopes some day to publish a book to share her adventures with others.

1:15 p.m.
New for 2005: A Monterey Movie Tour

Offered to the first 32 people who sign up and costing approximately $50, this three-hour tour will travel to many of the famous movie sites located in Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, and Carmel. Participants will be able to watch the scenes that were filmed at their exact locations on overhead monitors on board a luxury motor coach while hearing behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the movies and famous movie stars. You might even be moved to sing along to some of your favorite show tunes! This tour is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, February 20. If you want more information about this trip, visit their website at Those of you who do not wish to participate will have a free afternoon to shop, hike, visit the Monarch butterfly sanctuary, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the National Steinbeck Center or whatever else captures your interest. (If you do wish to participate in the bus tour, please fill out the coupon on page 5 and return it to me as soon as possible.)

7:30 p.m.
"Cancer and the Environment."
Marek Bozdech, M.D.

There are many myths and misconceptions about the causes of cancer. Most cancer is due to genetic mutations that arise spontaneously. A few are due to hereditary mutations passed on from generation to generation. Some are due to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke, organic chemicals, radiation, and even sunlight. Electromagnetic fields and cellular telephone use have been rumored to cause leukemia and brain tumors -- do they? Marek will discuss these and other environmental factors linked to cancer in this evening’s presentation.

Marek was an undergraduate English and pre-med major at the University of Michigan. He received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and Hematology, he has 34 publications, 30 abstracts, and has given numerous lectures and presentations. He has been married since 1967 to Frances Craig (a Phi Bete from the University of Michigan), has three children, and enjoys reading, films, hiking, skiing, and traveling.

Monday, February 21, 2005
9:30 a.m.
"One Hundred-plus Years of Shipwrecks in the Monterey Bay Area"
Mel Bristow

Mel’s study of oceanography sparked an interest in area maritime mishaps. When he shared his growing passion with his students, he discovered that they had rich, personal material to contribute. Great grandfathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins and other relatives had left behind a fascinating treasure-trove of stories and photographs which Mel has incorporated into this morning’s program.

After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from the University of Oregon. Mel taught geology and oceanography for thirty-eight years at Monterey Peninsula College, retiring in 1999. He now lives in Salinas, flies his own small airplane, and promotes his wife’s Carmel antique store.

The Current President of the Association, and six Past-Presidents attended the conference

Front row: Ray Hendess - 1995-1998, Jacqueline Celenza - 2000-2002, Muriel Bell - Current President,
Mary Hanel - 2003-2005

Back row: Bob Baronian - 1988-2000, Bob Brandt - 1991-1993, Mary McGill Whinery - 1985-1986

Quick links

Follow our activities

© Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software