Log in




Association Chartered June 14, 1946

June 2023

Printable desktop copy


All 2022 memberships (except Auto Renewals) expired on December 31.

If you haven’t yet joined, or renewed your membership,

it is time to contribute now.

If you have, we thank you!

Not sure if you rejoined? Check here

Only Paid Members for 2023 will be listed in the upcoming hardcopy directory.

Pay online at

If you are eligible, consider a QCD from your IRA

From the President

Since 2011 it has been my privilege to serve our Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association as President. At twelve years in the position, it appears that I hold the record for longest term of Presidential service in the history of the organization. It’s now definitely time for me to step down and to pass the gavel (and boxes of historical documents) to another member. I am delighted to announce that Melissa X. Stevens, our current Teaching Excellence Chair, has agreed to accept the Presidency, beginning in July 2023. (I shall sit back and keep my mouth shut unless asked to clarify actions taken during my tenure.)

Thanks to every member who made my term of office successful and a pleasure to serve our PBK-NCA Chapter. I look forward to seeing many of you at upcoming events and definitely at Asilomar 2024 this coming February.

With much gratitude,

Mary Turner Gilliland

President, PBKNCA 2111-2023

Eight Scholars Honored April, 2023

In lieu of the Annual Meeting, we have asked awardees to make videos of their “Annual Meeting Talk”. The videos are available on our website: Go to, then use the menu bar at the top, click on Scholarship.

The Scholarship Awards for 2023

In fulfillment of its mission to encourage scholarship and research, the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association is honoring the following outstanding Phi Beta Kappa graduate students with $10,000 scholarship awards to assist them in completing their educational objectives:




Jennifer Guidera

(UC San Francisco)


Katherine Magoulick

 (UC Berkeley)

Integrative Biology

Thaïs Miller

 (UC Santa Cruz)

Literature (Gilliland Award)

Remy Nguyen

 (UC Santa Cruz)

Biomoleculer Engineering & Bioinformatics (Hendess Award)




Cody Pham

 (UC Davis) Ecology (Norall Award)

Reagan Reed

 (UC Davis)

Plant Biology

Nicholas Stevers

 (UC San Francisco) Biomedical Sciences (Reed Award)

Qiyi Zhao

 (Stanford) Economics (Hardardt Award)

The Scholarship Committee: Jeff Fenton, Lynne Fovinci, Rona Giffard, Judith Hardardt, Jean James, Joanne Sandstrom (Chair)

Membership Listing

Since our new website provides a directory list of all paid members, we are no longer listing members in the newsletter. To see the whole list, or find a certain person, or update your own information, sign into using your email address, and click on “The Association”, then “Directory” (note, the Directory will not be available if you are not signed in as a member).

If you are a paid member, you will receive the hardcopy Directory of Members which will be published when we decide all who are going to join, have done so.

And a good time was had by all…

If you missed the Mt. Burdell walk, the weather was perfect, the wildflowers were spectacular, and the company was congenial.  What else could one wish for on a spring nature walk?  A passing hiker documented our lunch break (see picture) when we enjoyed a view of the East Bay hills and San Pablo Bay.

Next up for a Marin adventure is a visit to Guide Dogs for the Blind, Wednesday, September 20.  Save the date. Details are below.

Jean James, Program Committee

Upcoming Events

Currently, the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association suggests masking for indoor activities.

Note: The price of the events is for current NCA members; elapsed- or non-members will pay a surcharge. Full event information, and means of credit card payment, are available on our website  If you want to register for an event but don’t have Internet access, please contact O’Neil, cell 510-207-8761.

If you won’t be able to make an event, contact O’Neil Dillon at ASAP, or if it is the day of the event call him at 510-207-8761, as there may be others on the waiting list who will then be able to take your place.

No-shows do NOT receive a ref­­­und!

African American Museum and Library at Oakland. Sat. June 17th

The Museum is dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation, and sharing of historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West for present and future generations. The reference library supports the archives and museum.  

 AAMLO (African American Museum and Library of Oakland) houses more than 160 collections. Its archives contain works from Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, and the Black Panthers, and others. Two art galleries feature changing exhibits. The building, which was the original Oakland Library, is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

We will have a private docent led tour.   There are numerous restaurants in the area should people want to have lunch after the tour. 

Date:    Saturday June 17, 2023

Time:    12 Noon.

Place:    659 14th St

            Oakland, CA  94612

PBKNCA rep:   Joanne Sandstrom

Fee:  $20 ($5 donation to the museum and $15 for our scholarships)

Sign up at

Far Leaves Tea class August 19 and 26, 2023 

Do not let this modest, graffitied, storefront Tea House, located in a slightly gritty section of San Pablo Ave in Berkeley put you off.  You will enter a serene tea house atmosphere and be immersed in the fascinating world of tea.  The contrast itself is a reminder the world of tea, at it’s best, can be a powerful inner experience contributing to mindful living.  Graffiti no longer matters.

This 90-minute class with Tea Master Brad Lebowitz is limited to 8 people at a time to create an intimate setting and experience. You will learn about the different ways tea is processed in different parts of the world, and how that results in a wide range of tea varieties.

You will learn how to properly make different types of tea, at what temperatures, how long to steep, and how the understanding and participation in the rituals of making and drinking tea can help with mindfulness. You will learn the differences between white, green, oolong, black and puer teas. You will be well caffeinated by the end of the class. There are multiple options for lunch afterward in the more upscale areas of Berkeley, and 4th Street is not far away.

The cost is not inconsiderable, but is well worth what you will get out of this class. After this, tea will never be the same!

We will initially schedule two classes but will schedule more if there is sufficient interest. So even if the event is noted as “filled” sign up for the waiting list. Both events are the same, so sign up for only one.

Dates: August 19 and 26, 2023

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Address: 2626 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Parking: Street meter parking

Cost: $50 ($15 for our scholarships)

Limit: 8 for each date

Website: Far Leaves Tea:

Sign up at

Guide Dogs for the Blind. Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Who isn’t enchanted by cute puppy eyes? And what if those eyes mature to transform the lives of the severely vision impaired? Please plan to join us for a tour of the California Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael on Wednesday, September 20, at 10 AM.

The tour will begin and end at the Visitors’ Center - first building on the left as you come in the main entrance.  (Look for the red and white “Tours” signs).  After a short video, we will be escorted on a walk through the residential grounds, visit the Learning Lab to see puppies being socialized and at play, and view the Training Courtyard where puppies encounter and learn to overcome everyday obstacles.

Photographs of clients or other people working with dogs are prohibited, but photographs of the grounds, the Learning Lab, and designated photo stops are encouraged.

Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Time: 10 AM.  (The tour takes approximately an hour and a quarter)
Address: 350 Los Ranchitos Rd., San Rafael, CA
Parking:  There is a parking lot, but it fills up quickly.  Free parking is available on surrounding streets.  Allow extra time for parking.
Cost: $30 ($20 to our scholarships and $10 to Guide dogs for the Blind)
Limit: 24

Sign up at

37th Annual Asilomar Conference – February 16 – 19, 2024

You can register anytime; but information for reserving full room+meals will be sent to registrants in October.  Please wait for this since we are committed to 45 such full reservations.

“A faithful study of liberal arts humanizes character, and allows it not to be cruel.”  -- Ovid

Registration $150 members, $180 non-members. Plus Asilomar fees.

If the news of the day is getting you down, take heart – it’s once again time to reserve your weekend of learning, inspiration and fellowship on the magnificent Monterey coast!

Right now, Deirdre is working on the final details of this year's event. But she already has some ideas for next year!

 Deirdre Frontczak, Asilomar Chair

Sign up at

PBKNCA Book Club

There is an ongoing virtual book club open to interested members.

Contact Program VP O'Neil Dillon at

 ΦBK Board, July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024
 Melissa X. Stevens, President
  Rocklin, (530) 933-1550,

O’Neil Dillon, First Vice President – Programs

     Berkeley, cell (510) 207-8761,
 Joanne Sandstrom, Second Vice President – Scholarships
    Oakland, (510) 339-1352,
 Patricia Kenber, Third Vice President – Membership
    Danville, (925) 838-2296,
 Duncan Missimer, Treasurer
    Mountain View, (408) 368-0835,
 Susan Jenkins, Corresponding and Recording Secretary
     San Jose, (408) 532-6550,
 Deirdre Frontczak, Asilomar Chair
    Santa Rosa, (707) 546-4238,
 Amanda Sanyal, Chapter Liaison
    Campbell, (650) 520-5419,
 Ray Hendess, Communications Director
    Petaluma, (707) 364-7615,
 Melisa M. Lasell​, Teaching Excellence Chair
   Seattle, WA (530) 570-0982,

The editor thanks Dr. Larry Lerner for proofing this newsletter

Quick links

Follow our activities

© Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software