Association Officers
President
Bryan Whitfield
First Vice President
Lori Johnson
Second Vice President
Jenny Zimmerman
Secretary/Treasurer
Mary Raschko
 
Membership
The alumni association fosters intellectual discourse and fellowship, and membership is open to all Phi Beta Kappa alumni in Middle Georgia. Contact Bryan Whitfield for information.

Lisa Pratt to Address Spring Meeting

The Middle Georgia Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association will host Dr. Lisa Pratt, Provost's Professor of Geological Sciences at Indiana University, at the spring meeting 6:30 pm, Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at the Woodruff House, 988 Bond Street.Lisa Pratt

Lisa M. Pratt is an expert on the biogeochemical cycle of sulfur with particular emphasis on sulfur-based ecosystems in the deep subsurface of Earth. Her collaborative research with Tullis Onstott (Princeton University) on a single-species microbial ecosystem using radiolysis of water as a source of energy appeared in Science magazine and was highlighted worldwide by television, radio, and newspaper interviews. She has collected groundwater samples from gold mines at depths up to 4 kilometers below the surface in the Witwatersrand basin in South Africa. Her recent research on microbes in sub-permafrost brines from Canada and Greenland is aimed at understanding microbial adaptations to cold environments on Earth and preparing to search for life on Mars.

Professor Pratt received a B.A. (Botany) in 1972 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a M.S. (Botany) in 1974 from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and a M.S. (Geology) in 1978 again at Chapel Hill. She received a Ph.D. (Geology) in 1982 from Princeton University and went on to be a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1987, she was the first woman to join the Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University. She received the 2003 Distinguished Faculty Award from the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association. She was Director of a NASA Astrobiology Institute Team that studied biosustaining energy and nutrient cycles in the deep subsurface of Earth and Mars. She serves on the NASA Planetary Science Subcommittee (2008-2010) and is Co-Chair of a NASA Science Analysis Group to develop mission concepts for a 2018 Mars rover. Pratt’s interest in the ethics of searching for life beyond Earth is the topic of her lectures as a Visiting Scholar for Phi Beta Kappa in 2009-2010.

Secretary John Churchill Addresses Fall Meeting

The Middle Georgia Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association hosted Dr. John Churchill,Churchill Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at the fall meeting 6:30 pm, November 13, 2012 at the Woodruff House, 988 Bond Street. Churchill is the Society’s chief executive officer and the head of its national office.

Churchill was born in Hector, Arkansas, and was reared in Little Rock.  He was educated at Rhodes College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, at the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and at Yale University, where he was awarded the Ph.D. in 1978.

Churchill was formerly vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Hendrix College, where he also served as professor of philosophy and twice as interim president. In the 1970s, he served as assistant American secretary to the Rhodes Scholarship Trust, and has been active since that time in the selection of Rhodes Scholars. 

Delegates Attend Triennial Council

Mary Alice Morgan and David A. Davis attended the 43rd triennial council held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, August 2-4. Morgan was chair of the credentials committee for the council.

At the council, delegates elected a new slate of national officers for the next triennium. Katherine Soule of Dartmouth was elected president and Catherine Berheide of Skidmore was elected vice president. Delegates also elected eleven senators, including Michael Lubin of Emory who will represent associations in the South Atlantic district.

Delegates granted charters for new chapters at Creighton University, Oklahoma State University, and George Mason University.

The council specifically addressed challenges to the liberal arts in contemporary political discourse. Politicians, university trustees, and market forces have threatened liberal arts programs at many universities. The society approved a resolution empowering the executive council to support and advocate for liberal arts publically, and it also approved a resolution specifically addressing Florida Governor Rick Scott's council on higher education to encourage continuing support for and investment in liberal arts programs.