Read about what’s happening in PBKACA! Our top news is below. Also check out:
Scott Samuelson presents “Kicking the Bucket List: Death and the Art of Shining” live on Sept 25
We are excited to share an opportunity with all of our associations courtesy of the Eastern Illinois Association. For its 28th Annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, the association will be streaming the program LIVE on YouTube tomorrow, September 25, at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.
(Full Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAppV7W2CyI)
About the Lecture
Scott Samuelson will present The 28th Annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture,”Kicking the Bucket List: Death and the Art of Shining.” Scott Samuelson is the author of The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone (University of Chicago Press 2014). Professor of Philosophy at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, Samuelson’s latest book, Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering: What Philosophy Can Tell Us about the Hardest Mystery of All (Chicago 2018), was in part inspired by his work teaching at Oakdale Prison in Coralville, Iowa.
Dr. Gary Slutkin is the recipient of our 2018 Distinguished Service Award
The Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Chicago Area is pleased to announce that the recipient of our 2018 Distinguished Service Award will be Gary Slutkin. Dr. Slutkin is Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health at at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. He is formerly of the World Health Organization, the Founder and CEO of Cure Violence, and an innovator in health, behavior change, and data based approaches to local and global problems.
Cure Violence is listed No. 12 among the top 500 NGOs in the World by The NGO Advisor. It is ranked 1st among all organizations in the world devoted to reducing violence. Cure Violence has been statistically demonstrated to reduce shootings and killings by 41% to 73% by extensive independent studies. Some communities are reducing their rates to zero. The Cure Violence method is working in over 60 communities in 25 cities in the U.S. and on five continents including programs in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Trinidad, Jamaica, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Israel/West Bank, and Syria.
Dr. Slutkin’s work has been featured as the NY Times Sunday Magazine Cover Story, “Blocking The Transmission of Violence”, the award winning documentary film, “The Interrupters”, and in over a dozen books. He has appeared on The PBS News Hour, CNN, 60 Minutes and in dozens of other television and radio stations, is quoted regularly in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Economist, and other leading publications. National and international awards include the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Public Safety, The Order of Lincoln Award, and the UNICEF Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Our Annual Dinner to honor Dr. Slutkin is Thursday, November 15, 2018 at Beane Hall, Loyola at 6:30 PM. Please put the date on your calendar – you can reserve your space in early September. Open to all, members and non-members alike.
Rockford University Fall Forum Series
The Rockford University Forum Series presents speakers in a variety of disciplines who have achieved success both nationally and locally, and performers of stature in the arts. The Forum Series’ central programming focus is geared toward students. Lectures and performances are concerned with intellectual, social, and cultural matters of general interest to deepen and broaden students’ education at Rockford University.
See this link for topics and dates: https://www.rockford.edu/artslectures/forum/
Announcing our 2018 Scholarship Winner – Catherine Oliva
This year’s winner is Catherine Oliva. She is the valedictorian at VonSteuben High School and will attend Northwestern University in the fall. She plans to major in chemistry and then go on to medical school.
I want to genuinely thank you for awarding me this scholarship. Growing up, my mother taught me that money doesn’t mean everything, and I agree. For example, I realized that the love and support of my loved ones was worth more than green paper. However, in some cases, money seems to be the only resort. With that being said, I’ve seen my mother work sixteen hour shifts to both pay the bills and give her family luxuries in life. She would either come home late at night from work or return the next day. I recall how much my heart ached from seeing her work that hard to provide.
Thus, I grew up seeing my mother as my role model. I knew I couldn’t work while going to school, so my repayment to her was working hard in school to achieve her dream for me: becoming valedictorian. Through the four years at Von Steuben, I was faced with late study nights, while balancing extracurricular activities, such as dancing, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. Despite having a full schedule, I knew that seeing my mother’s face as I was named valedictorian was worth all the restless nights. Unfortunately, I didn’t think being valedictorian would automatically guarantee me entrance into college, because of how many other qualified applicants there were.
Little did I know that the PBKACA scholarship would answer my prayers and help me pay for college. However, did more than that. Now I am able to attend Northwestern University (my dream college since I was a little girl) and alleviate the financial stress for my family. I am eternally thankful and will use this scholarship to further my education at Northwestern as chemistry major on the pre-med track.
I am actually writing this statement sitting in my dorm room at Northwestern, since I am part of Bio & Chem EXCEL summer program. Without PBKACA and guidance of my family, who knows how I would be spending my summer? However, because of both, I am able to get an early start and pave an even more permanent stance in dreams of becoming a doctor. Just like my mother, I hope to make my mark in the medical field and work to especially aid those in underprivileged areas.
Passing of Judge George N. Leighton – 1912-2018
Former Neal & Leroy partner, Judge George N. Leighton, a longtime state and federal judge who was the first African-American to set on the Illinois Appellate Court and the namesake of the Cook County criminal courthouse, died Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at the age of 105.
Remembering Judge Leighton, managing partner Langdon Neal said, “He will go down as one of this nation’s greatest civil rights lawyers. Not just in [the] advancement of racial equality, but [for his work] fighting for everyone to ensure the Constitution protect[s] all individuals.”
Judge Leighton grew up near New Bedford, Massachusetts. The son of Cape Verdean immigrants, he left school in the seventh grade after his mother found him a job on an oil tanker bound for the West Indies.
Though helping support his family meant he was unable to finish grade school or attend high school, Judge Leighton never lost his determination to become educated. He read voraciously and won an essay contest for a scholarship to Howard University in Washington, D.C. The college initially didn’t want to accept him—he hadn’t finished middle school, much less graduated from high school—he persuaded the university’s president to admit him as an “unclassified student.” In 1940, Judge Leighton graduated magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to enroll, on scholarship, at Harvard Law School.
Rockford University 2018 Phi Beta Kappa Inductees
This year, the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at Rockford University (Eta of Illinois) inducted 6 student and 2 faculty members. Pictured are the inductees and Phi Beta Kappa officers: Professor Jules Gleicher, Ph.D., PBK secretary/treasurer, Professor James Marshall, Ph.D., PBK chapter president, Amy Quintero ’18, Noah Nieber ’18, Jonathan Hernandez ’18, Lauren Johnson ’18, Jennylyn Caterina ’18, Elisha Beston ’18, Professor John Burns, Ph.D., Professor William Gahan, Ph.D, Professor Stephanie Quinn, Ph.D., PBK vice president.
Trenati Baker Update
I am going into my second semester of my sophomore year at Amherst College. I’ve officially declared both my Black Studies and Political Science majors. I’ve nearly completed the Black Studies major, and I’m working hard to plow through Political Science.
This school year, I took on more leadership roles on campus. In addition to being a part of the Dance and Step team and the African and Caribbean Dance troupe on campus, I am working as a Resident Counselor of the Black Culture House and a Diversity Intern with the admissions office. This semester I will also start working as a research assistant with Professor Drabinski in the Black Studies department, and I will serve as the Event Coordinator of the Black Students Union.
Although this past semester was tough socially as my friend groups changed and I experienced a higher volume of academic stress, I am doing well at Amherst and have matured and grown more than I think I ever have in the last year and a half. I’ve learned the importance of self-care and the importance confronting mental and emotional health.
This semester, I look forward to more learning, more good times, and larger social networks; however, I feel anxiety about the summer. I really want to be back home in Chicago this summer (I stayed on campus this past summer and worked as a tour guide). I am working on several summer job applications—hopefully I get a good one back home. On the flip side, I feel excited about junior year. I’ve been speaking with my advisor, and I really want to study abroad all next year! Right now, Trinidad, Brazil, Cuba, and South Africa all seem cool.
All in all, everything is going well, and I am super appreciative of this scholarship and the opportunities and growth it has helped give me access to at Amherst. Thank you!
Update from Zobia Chunara, 2012 Scholarship Recipient
My time as an undergraduate at Yale passed by quickly, with many highs and lows, self-discoveries, new friends, and late nights spent studying. After graduating, I worked in a clinical research lab through the Yale Program of Applied Translational Research where I learned about the intersection of heart failure and renal dysfunction. This internship afforded me the opportunity to work with patients at the hospital, and here I realized my interest in medicine. I proceeded to apply to medical school, and now I am a first year student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
I would like to thank the PBKACA for awarding me their scholarship so many years ago. Because of their belief in me, and their generous contribution to my education, I was able to attend Yale without having to worry about the financial burdens it would create for my family. I hope that in the future, I too can help students attend college and give back what PBKACA gave me.
Yale University ’16
University of Illinois College of Medicine ‘22
Congratulations to PBKACA President John Ashton!
This month, Pearl Poet Productions presented the world premiere of the new musical “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Musical,” at the East Stage in the Raven Theatre Complex.
Originally penned by the unknown author dubbed as the “Pearl Poet” and retold by native Chicagoan John C. Ashton, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Musical” spun the medieval legend of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, and the heroic challenge he accepts on behalf of his king.
Read the review on Picture this Post.
John Ashton, Ron Gorny, Noah Berman (the actor who played King Arthur, PBK key from Middlebury College), Roselind Lindau, David Hirschey and Karen Devlin.