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Chapter Activities

The Theta of Texas Chapter seeks to recognize and celebrate scholarship in the liberal arts through its activities.  Examples include sponsoring scholarly lectures and co-sponsoring student initiatives.

Visiting Scholar Program

Each year the Theta of Texas Chapter seeks to sponsor a Visiting Scholar, one of 12 or 13 distinguished scholars selected annually by the national Phi Beta Kappa Society office. These men and women visit over 100 colleges and universities, spending two days at each one, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and giving a public lecture open to the entire academic community. 

The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.  Priority is given to those institutions not located in major metropolitan centers or that do not have extensive resources on which to draw for similar programs.

The Theta of Texas Chapter has hosted the following Visiting Scholars:

2013-2014

Lee Epstein, Provost Professor of Law and Political Science and the Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law
University of Southern California

2012-2013

John A. Agnew, Distinguished Professor of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles

2010-2011

Jack Goldstone, Virginia E. and John T. Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

2008-2009

Linda Gordon, Professor of History, New York University

2006-2007

Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona

2005-2006

Steven Shapin, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

2003-2004

Virginia Sapiro, Breckinridge professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison

2002-2003

Phillip Gossett, Reneker Distinguished Service Professor of Music, University of Chicago

2000-2001

Giles Gunn, Professor of English and Global & International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

1999-2000

Susan McClary, Professor of Musicology, University of California, Los Angeles

1998-1999

Manthia Diawara, Professor of Comparative Literature and Film, New York University

1997-1998

James Boyd White, Hart Wright Professor of Law/Professor of English, University of Michigan

1996-1997

Douglass C. North, Luce Professor of Law and Liberty, Washington University

Special Events

In addition to hosting periodic Visiting Scholar guests, the chapter also invites other speakers who embody and support the aims of the Society to foster liberal learning.  For example, in Fall 2011, the Theta of Texas Chapter co-sponsored a panel presentation entitled, “Careers in Research: The Ivory Tower and Beyond.”  The event featured alumni and other professions who gave advice to students about pursuing research, analysis and writing careers in academia, government, the non-profit sector and private industry.  Panelists included:

  • Piper Purcell ’89, MA in Sociology, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, World Relief
  • Sara Daly ’95, MA in International Affairs, formerly International Policy Analyst at The RAND Corporation and lecturer at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, policy analyst for federal agency
  • Rebecca Frost Davis, Ph.D., Program Officer for the Humanities, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)
  • Gavin Van Horn, PhD, Director of Midwest Cultures of Conservation, Center for Humans and Nature
  • Will Inboden, PhD, Distinguished Scholar at Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law/Assistant Professor, UT LBJ School of Public Affairs
  • Casey Willard, MA in Economics, Director, Hall and Partners (market research firm)
  • Audrey Allen O’Neill ’03, Senior Auditor, Texas State Auditor’s Office 

 

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For more information about the Phi Beta Kappa’s Theta Chapter:

Grace Josey Pyka ’05

President

Alexandra Anderson

Secretary/Treasurer