2020 Spring KR DRAFT

Spring 2020

From the Secretary: ΦBK’s Nonpartisan Advocacy

My winter column about Phi Beta Kappa’s nonpartisan advocacy prompted many conversations during my travels these past months. Many of you asked for additional instances of our work in this area, and I would like to share a timely example of urgent importance: preventing efforts to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In February, the administration released its budget equest for FY 2021. As has been the case in previous years, the budget request proposes the orderly shutdown of the NEH and NEA, along with deep cuts to science research. As in past years, we do not anticipate that the budget request will have a significant influence on the appropriations process. That said, it is crucial that The Phi Beta Kappa Society, along with our partners in the arts, humanities, and science advocacy community, continue to advocate strongly and effectively in support of critical funding in the nation’s interest. Continue reading →

Member Spotlght

Congressman Elijah Cummings

The Honorable Elijah Cummings was a fervent civil rights advocate and American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives for Maryland’s 7th congressional district from 1996 until his death in 2019. Cummings passed away due to complications from ongoing health problems on Thursday, October 17, 2019, in his home city of Baltimore, Maryland. Born the son of a sharecropper in 1951, Cummings will be remembered for his iconic rise as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and as chairman of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform. His life’s work, both inside and outside of Congress, was dedicated to improving the lives of the most marginalized individuals in society. Elijah Cummings is survived by his widow Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings and his three children. Even in death, his courage continues to inspire a new generation to fight for what is just and fair. Continue reading →


Key into Public Service Scholars

The Society launched our newest program—Key into Public Service—to provide strong examples of how the liberal arts and sciences can open doors to meaningful, productive, and engaged lives for today’s students. This spring, we will announce the inaugural recipients of our $5,000 scholarships, a cohort of up to 20 exceptional liberal arts and sciences majors who demonstrate interest in pursuing public sector work and who attend a ΦBK chapter institution. Making good use of our national headquarters in Washington, D.C., at a summer convening from June 25 to June 28, the Society will provide the Service Scholars with face-to-face training and mentoring opportunities on pathways from liberal arts and sciences education into active citizenship in the tradition of ΦBK’s founders. The event also represents an opportunity for the Society to celebrate many of our members in the area who currently work in local, state, and federal public service. Continue reading →

At the Helm: ΦBK Member Makes Star Trek History

Women directors in the entertainment industry made 2019 a landmark year. Major studios saw monetary and critical success for projects under the command of Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Olivia Wilde (Booksmart), and many others. In the world of television, a Phi Beta Kappa alum made history. Hanelle Culpepper (ΦBK, Lake Forest) was chosen to direct the first three episodes of the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard (2020). She is the first woman to launch a new Star Trek series in the franchise’s 53-year history. Her groundbreaking achievement with Star Trek may have thrust her into the spotlight, but this ΦBK has been making waves as a director for years. Continue reading →

2020-2021 Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Announced

Since 1956, the Society’s Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. Continue reading →

Phi Beta Kappa Writing Internships

Intern with a nationally recognized organization in Washington, D.C., while working remotely! Continue reading →

Book Reviews

The Lost Books of Jane Austen

Janine Barchas. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019. 284 pages. $35.00. Continue reading →

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

Thor Hanson. Basic Books, 2019. 305 pages. $27.00. Continue reading →

The Book of Collateral Damage

Sinan Antoon. Translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright. Yale University Press, 2019. 312 pages. $24.00. Continue reading →

Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

Nina MacLaughlin. FSG Originals, 2019. 352 pages. $16.00. Continue reading →

ΦBK Authors