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Slate of Officers 2024-2025

PRESIDENT Melissa Xanthe Stevens - ΦBKNCA: Teaching Excellence Chair 2020–2023. BA Gender and Women’s Studies (summa cum laude) UC Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa, 2019. MA English Literature, Loyola Marymount University, 2024. Content editor and/or copyeditor, Punctum Books, Marymount Institute Press, and freelance. Producer of Emmy Award-winning television program Cheap Eats, Los Angeles, 2015–2019. Owner/operator of event décor company Balloonacy in Sacramento, CA, 2001–2015. Opera singer (lyric soprano) and singing teacher in Australia and Europe, 1992–2000. Studied under Dame Joan Hammond DBE CMG at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne. Editor, researcher, singer/songwriter who loves cats, trees, coffee, and poetry. Passionate about environmental humanities, medieval studies, animal rights, disability inclusion, Indigenous rights, gender equality, and social justice.

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, PROGRAMS O'Neil Dillon - O’Neil grew up in Berkeley and attended UC Berkeley (1962) and UCSF School of Medicine (1965). After internship at Mt Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he joined the US Public Health service and provided medical care to Peace Corps volunteers in Malaysia. On return to the US, he finished a psychiatric residency at Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCSF finishing in 1971. He practiced psychiatry in Berkeley, including providing psychiatric care of UC Berkeley students at Cowell Hospital student health services. Along with many years of private practice in Berkeley, he has also provided psychiatric crisis intervention services at San Quentin State Prison high security and death row inmates. He has been Past President of the Medical Staff at Alta Bates Hospital, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley, as well as Past President of the Northern California Psychiatric Society.

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT, SCHOLARSHIP Joanne Sandstrom - ΦBKNCA: Second Vice President, Scholarship, 2006 – present. A.A., Glendale Junior College (as it was then), 1957; B.A. in English and teaching credential, UC Berkeley, 1959 and 1960, respectively; M.A. in English, Cal State Long Beach, 1968. Taught English at Costa Mesa High School, Saddleback College and Long Beach City College, 1969-1975. Sailed around the world, 1975-1980. In charge of the publications program (editor, typesetter, proofreader, marketer, publicist, etc.) for the Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley, September 1980-2009 (on leave sailing around the world again in 1988). Retired and doing freelance editing.

THIRD VICE-PRESIDENT - MEMBERSHIP Patricia Kenber - ΦBKNCA: Third Vice President - Membership, 2013 - present. B.Sc. (Honors) Mathematics, University of Exeter, UK, 1966; B.A. English (summa cum laude), San Francisco State University, Phi Beta Kappa, 2000; M.A. English San Francisco State, 2003. Systems engineer IBM UK until moving to USA in 1972. American Association of University Women (1979-1992): Branch leadership roles in Georgia and California, and California AAUW Communications Chair, (1991-92). Board member of Role Players Ensemble Theatre, Danville (2004-2009), serving in various roles – publicist, database manager and President. Currently employed as a tax preparer for a CPA firm. Enthusiastic, reader, traveler and theatergoer.

CORRESPONDING/RECORDING SECRETARY Susan Jenkins - ΦBKNCA: Corresponding secretary 2015 – present. A.A., Liberal Arts, University Studies (honors), Gavilan College, 1995; B.A., History (honors) Santa Clara University (magna cum laude), 1998; Phi Beta Kappa 1998. Alpha Sigma Nu, national Jesuit honor society, lifetime member. Community volunteer, most recently Board member Santa Clara Chorale (2008 – 2013), serving as fundraising chair, grant writer, and annual campaign manager. Over 10 years experience working in Silicon Valley for various high-tech companies focused in the areas of finance, legal, and HR. Avid reader, gardener, wantabe chef, theatergoer, and traveler.

TREASURER Audrey Utchen - A San Francisco Bay Area native, Audrey (she/her) earned a B.A. in Business Management with a concentration in Accounting and Finance and a minor in Economics at Washington College (Magna Cum Laude and ΦBK Theta of Maryland). After a stint in executive recruiting, Audrey attended the University of Exeter in England and earned an M.Sc. in Behavioral Economics and Finance (Distinction), and the Philip Norman Memorial Prize for economic excellence.  Audrey’s professional career is centered around pricing and deal strategy in the technology sector.  Account Executives come to her for deal structuring guidance and negotiation tactics, and she works on cross-functional projects to introduce new products and build the go-to-market motion for up-and-coming sales verticals. In her free time, she is a staunch diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) champion and volunteers within corporate employee resource groups (ERGs), serves as a Poll Worker in San Francisco elections, helps college students in their job search, is a guest speaker at her alma mater, and hosts the career advice podcast "Women Just Like You" 

Committee Chairs appointed by the Board

ASILOMAR CHAIR Deirdre Frontczak - ΦBKNCA: Various 1983-85, Asilomar 2014 - present. Chair. B.A. Philosophy, New York University; Ph.D. Philosophy, Boston College; M.Th. Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley.  Lecturer in Ethics and Sustainability, Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.  Principal, The Sheen Group, consulting in leadership, ethics and strategic communications.  Affiliations include Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (Executive Council); American Philosophical Association.; Society for Business Ethics; Internal Society of Sustainability Professionals. 

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Ray Hendess - ΦBKNCA: Communications Officer, 2007 - present; Webmaster 1997 - present; President, 1995-1998; Program Chair, 1991-1995; Scholarship Committee, 1991-1994; ΦBK Western District Secretary/Newsletter-Editor/Webmaster, various dates. B.S., Chemistry (magna cum laude), Bates College, 1960; Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Princeton, 1964. Research scientist, Eastman Kodak, 1964-1981; real estate owner/manager, 1976-2000; computer system administrator 1998-2002; web design 1997-present. Hiker, gardener and theatergoer (formerly also skier and sailor).

TEACHING EXCELLENCE CHAIR Melisa Lasell - ΦBKNCA: Teaching Excellence Committee, 2021–2023; Teaching Excellence Chair 2023-present; BA Sociology (Distinction in Scholarship) UC Berkeley, 2018; ΦBK, 2019; Master of Public Policy (MPP) Mills College, 2021; ΦBK Puget Sound Membership Chair, 2023–present; American Association of University Women (AAUW) Communications Committee, 2023–present; Excellence in Leadership Gold Medallion and Outstanding Women Leadership Awards (Sacramento City College, 2016); Listed for ten years in “Prima Comunicazione I Top 5,000” (European top influencers); board member at Innovate Northstate, 2010–2013; board member at California Dream Week, 2010–2021; AmeriCorps VISTA member fulfilling a year of volunteer service at Seattle Housing Authority, 2022–present. Embarking on a new career as an analyst/researcher of social justice issues, including housing, health care, and education. Avid hiker, bicyclist, and streaming enthusiast with a sunny disposition and go-get-’em attitude... always the optimist, with a dash of skepticism for good measure

Nominating Committee appointed by Board -  If you are interested. See the Job Description.  Please contact President, Melissa Stevens, to volunteer.

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