Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, Inc.

September 2002 Newsletter

In this Issue...

President's letter - Mary Hanel

Upcoming Events - Steve Kaufhold

Asilomar - Jean James

Excellence in Teaching Award - Leon Fisher

Chapter Liaison - Call for Help - Julia Antoniades

Publisher's Column - Gerald Richards

From The President

Dear Fellow Phi Betes:

This is my first letter to the membership as President of the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association. I am honored to serve you and I have enjoyed meeting those of you who have participated in our various social events and fund-raising activities. We have so many bright, clever, curious, accomplished members who love to ask questions and learn something new. Year after year, one way or another, our members provide the funds that enable our Association to meet its goals of awarding scholarships to exceptional graduate students, and offering honorariums to recognize professors whose passion for teaching inspires a love of learning in their students.

This past year at our Annual Meeting in May we awarded scholarships in the amount of $3700 to nine Phi Beta Kappa students pursuing graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines. The awardees were Sarah Benor, Linguistics, Stanford; Elena Berg, Animal Behavior, UC Davis; Karen Carney, Biogeochemistry, Stanford; Amy Freund, Art History, UC Berkeley; Susanna Paltz, Psychology, UC Berkeley; Roopali Phadke, Asian and Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz; Max Viatori, Anthropology, UC Davis; Deborah Weiss, Anthropology, UC Davis; and Timothy Yu, English, Stanford.

The four distinguished professors who each received a Teaching Excellence certificate and $500 stipend were Michelle Fillion, Professor of Music, Mills College; H. Bradley Shaffer, Professor of Evolution and Ecology, UC Davis; Alan Taylor, Professor of History, UC Davis; and Steven Vogel, Associate Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley. (Did you attend college at Santa Clara University, Stanford, Mills College, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, or San Francisco State University? Do you still have fond memories of your favorite professor? If so, stop and take time this year to fill out the "Teaching Excellence Nomination Form".)

The new Board was elected at the May Annual Meeting. Although Bob Baronian is leaving the Board, having honorably served these last several years first as 2nd VP, Scholarships, then as President and then as Immediate Past President, he assures me that he is available whenever needed for advice and assistance. Retired Board members do sometimes get called back for active duty. Gordon Repp will be coming out of retirement to lead the effort to produce our triennial membership directory, which will be published this year. The new name and face on the Board this year is Steve Kaufhold, 1st VP, Programs. Steve is both outgoing and energetic and is developing a whole spreadsheet of ideas for great PBK NCA tours and events. Check out the events he has already booked. Jacqueline Celenza shifts chairs to Immediate Past President. I will look to her often for direction and counsel. The other dedicated members of the Board retain the same positions they held so ably and effectively last year: Muriel Bell, 2nd VP, Scholarships; Letitia Sanders, 3rd VP, Membership; Jean James, Corresponding Secretary; Maria Norall, Recording Secretary; Leon Fisher, Teaching Excellence Chair; Mary Turner Gilliland, Treasurer; Gerry Richards, Newsletter Editor; and Julia Antoniades, Chapter Liaison Chair. Jean James is doing double duty by also serving as Asilomor Coordinator. Please see the superb program she has put together for President’s weekend 2003. The prestige of our annual Asilomar Conference is of such note, that the national Phi Beta Kappa Society is using our conference as one of the venues for a nationwide series of forums they are conducting to address the question of the social value of liberal education in America. Maria Norall is being specially trained by the national PBK Society to serve as recorder for our forum.

The Board looks to you, our members, for your support and participation in what promises to be a year of challenging opportunities and exciting events.



Upcoming Events

Person making a reservation MUST BE a Phi Beta Kappa Member, but need not be a member of the Northern California Association.

Thank you to all the members who signed up for one or more of last year’s PBK NCA sponsored activities. I hope all those who participated found the events enjoyable and educational. Many thanks to Mary Hanel for the great job she did with activities for the past two years.

I hope you will find this year’s series of programs equally intriguing. The activities are being selected on one or more of these criteria: member suggestions; laudatory reviews in tour books or travel articles; repeat of oversubscribed, exceptionally popular events; and visits to museums or research facilities affiliated with the Northern California Universities with PBK Chapters. The graduate students at these universities are the very ones who benefit from our scholarship program.

Those of you who have participated in our outings are aware of our enrollment, refund and cancellation policies. However, I will summarize for "first-timers" and new members. Most events can accommodate you and any friends or family you would like to bring. Occasionally an event will have a limited enrollment, in which case we can only accommodate one member and one guest per enrollment. As for refunds, if you call in advance they are usually available unless PBK NCA will lose scholarship money,
i.e., if we are financially committed to an organization at which the event will be held, based on your enrollment, and we cannot find someone to fill your space. Anyone who is a "no-show" will not receive a refund and the PBK NCA Board is most grateful to those who prefer to donate the program fee to the scholarship program in lieu of a refund.

If you would like to attend any of the PBK NCA events, please contact me, . No confirmations or additional details will be sent; be sure to save your newsletter or reference to this web site.

First Vice President – Programs


Marine Mammal Center

Located in lovely Sausalito, the Marine Mammal Center (MMC) is nationally recognized as a leading rescue and rehabilitation center for marine mammals. The MMC's specially-trained crews rescue more marine mammals in distress -- including seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins and sea otters -- than any other organization in the world. This experience places MMC at the forefront of marine mammal rehabilitation, scientific inquiry and education. Please join your fellow Phi Betes (and guests) at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 2002 for an informative and educational hour-long lecture on the MMC's work and a tour of the MMC facility. Allow some extra time after the lecture to visit the MMC gift shop or to walk along the scenic Rodeo lagoon which is located across the road from the MMC.

October 19, 2002
October 12, 2002
11:00 a.m.
Price: $7.00 per person

Directions: Marine Mammal Center, Marin Headlands, 1065 Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito. From North of the Golden Gate Bridge: Take the last Sausalito exit off Highway 101, just before the Golden Gate Bridge. At the exit stop sign, turn left. Follow directions in next paragraph. From South of the Golden Gate Bridge: Just after you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, take the second exit off Highway 101 at Alexander Avenue (after the Vista Point). Stay to your left and follow the signs for Highway 101 South (this will bring you under the freeway to the other side). Follow directions below.

Just before the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, look for Conzelman Road on your right with signs for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Marin Headlands. Conzelman Road will be the only road going uphill within sight of the freeway. Turn right onto Conzelman Road. Follow this road until it forks at McCullough Road. Turn right at the fork onto McCullough Road, heading downhill. At the bottom of the hill, turn left onto Bunker Road. Follow Bunker Road for approximately 3 miles. Ignore various forks to the left; always bear to the right to make sure you stay on Bunker Road. Rodeo lagoon is your next landmark. About halfway alongside the lagoon, the road forks and you will see a sign on your right hand side for The Marine Mammal Center. Bear right, up the hill. Soon you'll see a small driveway heading uphill on your right with The Marine Mammal Center's sign displayed. You have arrived. Park where "visitor parking" is indicated.


Years in the making and located on the banks of the Napa river in downtown Napa, COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts opened to the public on November 18, 2001 and is already viewed as one of the world's leading cultural centers. COPIA was conceived of in 1988 by the legendary vintner Robert Mondavi and his wife Margrit Biever Mondavi together with other leaders in the wine-making community. Its trustees and honorary trustees include luminaries from the world of wine, food and art such as Julia Child, R.W. Apple, Jr., Eleanor Coppola, Hugh Johnson, Robert Parker, Jr., Martha Stewart, Alice Waters and Wayne Thiebaud. COPIA features demonstrations, exhibits and performances that integrate the arts with the pleasures of food and wines.

Please join us for a very special visit to COPIA on Saturday, November 2, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. The visit will begin with a one-hour, private, guided tour of COPIA which will include an overview of the facilities, the current exhibitions and the 16 different organic gardens that together comprise the 3.5 acres of gardens at COPIA. Our visit will include general admission to COPIA and, following the private tour, you will be free to explore the grounds and exhibits in more depth. Also open to the public is COPIA's special gift shop, Cornucopia, which offers autographed cookbooks, garden implements, and artwork. In addition to all of the dining options located in the surrounding Napa Valley, you also may choose to visit Julia's Kitchen or the American Market Cafe which are located on-site at COPIA.

Date: November 2, 2002

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Deadline: October 25, 2002

Price: $18.00 per person

COPIA, 500 First Street, Napa. From the Golden Gate Bridge: Take Hwy 101 North. Take Hwy 37 east toward Napa. Take Hwy 121-12 toward Sonoma. Veer right at stoplight to remain on 121-12. Take Hwy 29 north. Exit First Street and turn right. Veer right then turn left onto Second Street. Follow Second to the end and turn left onto Main Street. Turn right on First Street. Go 4 blocks to 500 First Street. From the Bay Bridge: Take I-80 east. Take Hwy 37 west toward Napa. Take Hwy 29 north. Exit right at Lake Berryessa/Downtown Napa (this becomes Soscol Avenue). Turn right on First Street and go 2 blocks to 500 First St. From Sacramento: Take I-80 west. Take Hwy 12 toward Napa/Sonoma. Turn right on Hwy 29. Exit right at Lake Berryessa/Downtown Napa (this becomes Soscol Avenue). Turn right on First Street - go 2 blocks to 500 First St.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
For a map of Napa, as well as driving directions and travel time from your home, click here

Chabot Space & Science Center

The Chabot Space & Science Center offers a wide variety of exhibits, shows and films exploring space and science at its state-of-the-art facility in the Oakland Hills. The Center offers a hands-on glimpse into the sights, sounds and sensations of space and science and its major attractions include the Center's Planetarium featuring laser technology and the MegaDome Theater which has the Bay Area's only 70 mm, 8-perf, projection system. Please join us on Saturday, December 7, 2002 at 1:00 p.m. for an afternoon of fun and learning at the Center. Our visit will begin with a brief welcome/orientation to the Center's exhibits and facilities and will include general admission to the Center. Also included in our visit will be admission to the Center's Planetarium and admission to a film at the MegaDome Theater. The Center has agreed to permit individual guests in our group to view the Center's exhibits, the Planetarium and MegaDome Theater in the sequence that they prefer and shows will be available throughout the afternoon. The Center's Celestial Cafe will be open and the Center also has a gift shop with fun and educational items.

Saturday, December 7, 2002

Time: 1 p.m.

Deadline: November 25, 2002

Price: $20.00 per person

Directions: Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd. in Joaquin Miller Park. From downtown Oakland, or San Francisco: Go east on I-580 to Highway 24 (towards Walnut Creek). From 24, go south on Highway 13 (Warren Freeway) towards Hayward. Take the Joaquin Miller/ Lincoln Avenue exit. Turn left and proceed up the hill on Joaquin Miller to the crest, then turn left at the signal onto the two-lane portion of Skyline Blvd. Chabot Space & Science Center is 1.3 miles up Skyline on the right. From eastern Berkeley, Orinda etc.: Go south on Highway 13 (Warren Freeway) towards Hayward. Take the Joaquin Miller/ Lincoln Avenue exit. Turn left and proceed up the hill on Joaquin Miller to the crest, then turn left at the signal onto the two-lane portion of Skyline Blvd. Chabot Space & Science Center is 1.3 miles up Skyline on the right. From Hayward, Castro Valley: Go west on I-580 and take the Highway 13 (Warren Freeway) turnoff. Take the Joaquin Miller/Lincoln Avenue exit. Turn right, and proceed up the hill on Joaquin Miller to the crest, then turn left at the signal onto the two lane portion of Skyline Blvd. Chabot Space & Science Center is 1.3 miles up Skyline on the right.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
For a map of Oakland, as well as driving directions and travel time from your home, click here


Asilomar 2003

Administration building at Asilomar

About the Asilomar Conference Center

Asilomar was designed by Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst Castle

Read more about Julia Morgan

Tax Information for 2002

Mark your calendars now and plan to spend Presidents' Day Weekend with Phi Beta Kappa at lovely Asilomar in Pacific Grove. It will be especially easy to remember the dates of our retreat this year, as we start on Valentine's Day, February 14, and end on Monday, February 17. If you've never heard of Asilomar, or have never been there before, Asilomar is a state conference center in Pacific Grove, a small enclave between Monterey and Carmel. This year's Presidents' Day weekend will be PBK NCA's seventeenth consecutive Asilomar experience. Our retreat / conference always begins with dinner Friday evening and ends with lunch on Monday. During the long weekend, we provide a mix of interesting, thought-provoking speakers and activities, as well as ample free time to enjoy the lovely seaside atmosphere. People who work sometimes come late and leave early. It is even possible to "skip" some programs, as no one takes attendance or gives exams. And because some of you wanted to know: Dress is very casual.

The main goal of our conference is for us to enjoy ourselves in a beautiful setting, but our secondary goal is to raise money for scholarships. The $100 per person registration fee is used to cover conference costs (speakers' expenses, AV equipment rental, wine with Sunday dinner, postage, duplicating, office supplies, etc.). This past year's profits enabled us to fund almost three graduate scholarships. (And for those of you who attended in 2002 and have been waiting for this information: $83.41 of your registration fee is fully tax deductible. If you participated in the bus trip, $8.13 of your fee can be deducted.)

Although there are still some refinements to be made for Asilomar 2003, we already have a remarkably strong program lined up.
Leonard Shlain, author of The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict between Word and Image, will speak to us about this very interesting topic. In addition, John Churchill, the National Secretary of Phi Beta Kappa, will lead us in a "Conversation on Relevance: The Social Value of Liberal Education," the results of which will be presented at the national Phi Beta Kappa's 2003 Triennial Council. Furthermore, Joe Wible from Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station will make a presentation. And as usual, we will draw on our very own talented membership. Harold Johnston will tell us about his upcoming book, A Bridge Not Attacked: A Mostly Untold Story of Secret Research in World War II. And Mollie Baier plans to talk about her book, The Fire Escape is Locked for Your Safety: On the Road in the Former Soviet Union.

For those of you who are veteran attendees, there will be a few changes in 2003. First, I have decided not to have a bus trip this year. Although these excursions were certainly enjoyable, I discovered that some first-time attendees who did not know about the bus trip and did not sign up, felt left out. Also, the Sunday bus trip left a two-session block of time unfilled for those not participating. Furthermore, those who did participate in the bus trip and attended all the programs, had no free time to do anything else. Sometimes, they even skipped sessions so that they could enjoy some of what the Monterey Peninsula has to offer. In order to overcome these problems, I have decided to eliminate the bus trip and leave Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning free. This will give participants time to explore the area on their own, shop, walk the beach, visit the Monarch butterfly sanctuary, attend church, or simply sit in a quiet place and read whatever they wish.

The second change involves the very popular Ranger Roxann Jacobus, who has traditionally given a Monday morning presentation on either the history or the natural environment of Asilomar. Unfortunately, this year she is taking a month-long vacation which coincides with our conference. We are working on a replacement, even though those of us who have experienced her presentations recognize that she is irreplaceable.

Now that you know about Asilomar in general and this year in particular, we hope that you will mark your calendars and join us for next year's conference, which will begin on Friday, February 14. (No excuses for forgetting that date!) If you attended Asilomar 2002 and enjoyed yourself, please let your fellow Phi Betes know and encourage them to join us in 2003. (Guests are also welcome.) Just fill out the coupon in the main body of the newsletter and send me your registration fee; I will then send you the Asilomar housing form, as soon as I receive it. (Asilomar handles all room reservations.) If you do not have a hard copy of the newsletter, contact me.

[For those of you who very generously gave me your deposit in February, you do not need to fill out the coupon. I have copies of your checks and will send you the housing forms, as soon as I receive them from Asilomar.]

, Asilomar Chair


[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Map of Asilomar Conference Area. Also directions and travel time from your home.
Additional directions To Asilomar from the California Parks

Excellence in Teaching Award

Call for Nominees - Click for the Nomination Form

Deadline: November 21, 2002
; Thank you for your help!

Scholarship and teaching go hand in hand. Nearly everyone who cares about the life of the mind can remember at least one teacher, and perhaps many more, who made a special contribution to his or her development. And experts are never quite sure of their expertise until they have tried teaching what they know to others. For these reasons, among others, PBK NCA vigorously encourages excellence in teaching. In pursuit of this principle PBK NCA has for many years made annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. Each award consists of a handsome certificate and a $500 honorarium. Any member of PBK may make nominations. Eligible nominees are faculty members of the seven universities and colleges in Northern California that harbor PBK Chapters.

Please make a nomination for the 2002-2003 academic year.

application form is available on this PBK Web page, and is printed on page 2 of your newsletter, or it may be obtained by contacting me (see address below). Applications are due late fall, but please make them now while memory is fresh. To nominate a teacher, fill out the form including an account of why you think a nominee deserves recognition as an outstanding teacher. The forms should be mailed to me.

Chairman, Teaching Excellence Committee


The winners for 2001-2002 were:

Michelle Fillion, Professor of Music, Mills College

H. Bradley Shaffer, Professor of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis

Alan Taylor, Professor of History, University of California, Davis

Steven Vogel, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Davis

Oliver Johns, Professor of Physics, San Francisco State University, a 2001 Awardee, made his remarks in 2002 because he missed last year’s event.

The awards were conferred at the Annual Dinner on May 4, 2002.


Chapter Liaison - Call for help

From April through June the Northern California Universities with PBK Chapters initiate new members. These chapters (Mills College, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State, Stanford, and Santa Clara) agree to include PBK NCA information and membership forms in their welcome packets for the initiates. A variety of PBK NCA members are needed to participate as our representatives at the initiations next spring. If you are interested in being our representative at a Chapter Initiation Ceremony, please contact me.

In corresponding with the Chapters, I can assure you that our scholarship program is very much appreciated. The Chapters also aid us by facilitating our recruitment of new young members.

2001-2002 Chapter Liaison


Publisher's Column

One of my other volunteer activities is with The American Legion’s California Boys’ State program. Most California high schools select delegates from the junior class for academic and leadership abilities. Local Legion Posts pay for their participation at Sacramento State University in early June. The program gives the boys practical experience in state and local government. This year some boys prepared a five to ten minute speech about how the events of 11 September 2001 changed their understanding of "patriotism." I was one of the judges selecting the five boys that made presentations to the entire 924 boys in general assembly. All the presentations moved me but there is one boy’s story in particular I wish to share. This boy told us he was born in China and his family immigrated to Mexico when he was quite young. After living in Mexico long enough to attend school a few years, the family immigrated to the US. This boy became confused about his identity. He looked Chinese but spoke better Spanish and English than any Chinese dialect. However, the day after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, he knew he was an American. For the first time in his life, he felt included. I know others have experienced exclusion because of the attack but some people have experienced inclusion. This boy was one of them and it made a big difference in his life.

Newsletter Chair