Muhlenburg University

Newsletter Issue #154  August, 2018

Newsletter Email version of the current newsletter (includes contact emails for chapter advisors.)


Chapter Activities


We did not receive as many reports of activities as we usually do, so this section of the Newsletter is a bit shorter than usual; advisors, be sure to have the chapter secretary report activities of the chapter so that we can include those activities in our next Newsletters. And our thanks to those of you who have reported on activities!  At the National Office, we do not have a way to know about the activities unless we receive reports.  So, please  let us know what your chapter is doing, whether it is sponsoring a conference (we are happy to distribute information about conferences that are supported partially or completely by Phi Sigma Tau  chapters), engaging   in some campus activity,  doing tutoring for students, engaging in philanthropic tasks, or other things.  Also,  please try to return promptly the Preliminary Report with a list of your chapter officers; we try to list those  officers in the November Newsletter, but we can only do this if we receive the reports. Though we do send a preliminary report form, feel free to reply by email or an email attachment.  Minutes forms are available on-line   at the Phi Sigma Tau  website (, but an email is fine; be sure to identify your chapter clearly.  Your reports not only let other chapters know what you are doing; they may also suggest activities for other chapters. A few chapters that are near each other already engage in joint inductions, and you may wish to invite nearby chapters to attend lectures, symposia, even dinner. Also, since many Phi Sigma Tau  chapters are small,  you may enjoy working with other honor groups on your campus to hold an honors dinner with an invited lecture by a guest; induction ceremonies could be held prior to the dinner or as a part of after-dinner activities.

CA-THETA(0508) [University of San Diego; advisor, Corey Barnes] NEW ADVISOR.

FL-IOTA(1009) [Jacksonville University; advisor, Matthew Groe] President: Samuel McIntyre, Vice-president/Secretary: Patrick Farrell.

GA-ALPHA(1101) [University of Georgia; advisor, Sarah Wright] The University of Georgia chapter held   two meetings in March. In one meeting, chapter members focused their discussion on Deleuze and Spinoza, and  in the other meeting members screened a film about Hannah Arendt.

GA-GAMMA(1103) [Agnes Scott College; advisor, Jared Millson] NEW ADVISOR.

GA-DELTA(1104) [Mercer University; advisor, Rosalind Simson] Our Mercer chapter hosted three events during the 2017-18 academic year. In the fall, two junior philosophy majors made presentations on their ongoing research projects. In the first part of the spring semester, honor society students led a discussion with the title, ‘‘Ethics and Evidence: Why is it easier to be found responsible for sexual assault on campus than downtown?’’  The Mercer Title IX coordinator, a Mercer police officer, and a federal district court judge were in attendance as resources. Near the end of the term, honor society students hosted a philosophically themed jeopardy game. All three events were well-attended. More than fifty students showed up for the discussion of standards of proof for sexual assault.

GA-ZETA(1106) [Georgia State University; advisor, Andrew I. Cohen] President: Hunter Cantrell, Vice-president: Chase Halsne, Secretary: Andrew Gilley, Treasurer: Sam Munroe.  We  are proud to say that the  Georgia State chapter had a busy year involving the organization in many successful student activities. This year the Phi Sigma Tau Zeta Georgia chapter held its annual Philosophy Student Symposium. Both graduate and undergraduate  students’  papers  were  presented  at  the  event  on interesting  and  assorted  topics.   During  the symposium, we elected officers and inducted four new members. The keynote presentation for the symposium was given by Professor Bryce Huebner from Georgetown University on ‘‘Situated Attention and the Shape of Experience.’’ We also held our annual travel stipend competition and had several winners picked from a competitive pool of applicants. The winners were picked on the quality of their paper and quality of the conference in which their papers were accepted; students were provided travel support upon acceptance to conferences. Our chapter has also cosponsored a film event (in conjunction with the Center for Ethics Student Forum) that was held in early April. The theme of the event was focused on sexual assault and violence and had a panel and discussion of these important themes led by our graduate students. Our chapter is in the midst of collaborating and working to end the year by inviting a guest speaker to give a lecture on the themes of race, gender theory, and critical issues surrounding those topics.

ID-ALPHA(1301) [University of Idaho; advisor, Graham Hubbs] During the first year of our chapter’s existence, we held an induction ceremony, heard a lecture on the philosophy of biology (the lecture focused on   the classification of species), and had a presentation centered on the three pillars of Eastern thought. Professor Hubbs discussed our journal and the timeframe required to put together a professional project; we voted to move the publication of the journal to the fall term of 2018. We also have a newsletter in the works with a solid outline already completed.  (Congratulation on a great start for a new chapter! --ed.)

IL-TAU(1419) [DePaul University; advisor, Maria Acosta Lopez] NEW ADVISOR.

IA-GAMMA(1603) [Iowa State University; advisor, Ranpal Dosanjh] President: Emily Dietzenbach, Secretary: Graham Bacon. In our April 6th meeting, we concentrated on how we might increase membership in the chapter. One suggestion was to recruit from those who are the most active members of the Iowa State Philosophy Club, and we also considered rolling the Philosophy Club leadership into the Phi Sigma Tau leadership; implementing this latter suggestion depends upon the result of the upcoming Philosophy Club elections.

ME-BETA(2002) [University of Maine; advisor, Donald Beith] NEW ADVISOR.

NM-ALPHA(3201) [University of New Mexico; advisor, Pierre-Julien Harter]  NEW ADVISOR.

NY-GAMMA(3303) [SUNY at Oneonta; advisor, Michael Koch] President: Thanh Nguyen, Vice- president/Secretary: Sarah Horne, Treasurer: TBD. Our chapter held a meeting on March 28. At the meeting we planned an induction for April 19, noted that the next two movies in the semester’s Filmosophy series will be on March 29 and April 26, and discussed what was needed for the school’s annual Philosophy Conference (April 13-14); we are looking for volunteers and discussants for the Conference. Phi Sigma Tau will be sponsoring an award for this event; last year the award was $50.00.

The Philosophy Department, the Philosophy Club, and Phi Sigma Tau honored and gave out awards to seniors who graduated in December 2017, May 2018, or will graduate in August. The ceremony was held on April 22. The Filmosophy series is sponsored by PST in conjunction with a philosophy class; last semester, that class was Philosophy of Alienation. Currently we are trying to fill the E-board positions of Vice-president, Treasurer, and Secretary; we need to fill these positions so that there will be continuity in the next school year.

NY-ETA(3307) [LeMoyne College; advisor, C. Tabor Fisher] NEW ADVISOR.

NY-ALPHA ALPHA(3325) [Iona College; advisor, Galen Barry] NEW ADVISOR.

OH-RHO(3617) [John Carroll University; advisor, Simon Fitzpatrick] NEW ADVISOR.

OR-DELTA(3804) [Western Oregon University; advisor, Ryan Hickerson] NEW CHAPTER. President: Erik Morgan, Jr., Vice-president: Nathan Soltz, Treasurer: Joelle Jacobsen, Creative Arts Liaison\Secretary: Jon  Naylor. At the inaugural meeting of the Western Oregon University chapter, members reviewed society materials, clarified instructions, and organized duties. Members planned to reconvene to organize long and short-term activities.

PA-DELTA(3904) [Duquesne University; advisor, Patrick Miller] NEW ADVISOR.

PA-MU(3912) [Villanova University; advisor, Sally Scholz] President: Elizabeth (Libby) O’Brien, Vice- president: James Benecke, Secretary: Allison Garippa, Treasurer: John D’Augelli; Archivist: Jon Mack.  After   the induction and election of officers, chapter members unanimously approved the Western Oregon University petition.

PA-XI(3914)  [Bucknell  University;   advisor,  Maria    Balcells]    The  Bucknell  chapter  of  Phi  Sigma  Tau  in  conjunctionwith the  Philosophy Club  holds a series of events called  Food for Thought.   This is a series of philosophical  conversations for students and is facilitated by students. The events are held over the lunch hour  and food is provided. Events are four times each semester; usually a student (chosen by PST officers and their advisor) will give a  20-30 minute talk on a topic from one of their classes or  on a topic for a thesis  or of interest   to the student. 20-30  minutes of discussion with the audience follows the talks. The chapter  has also  held  informal ‘‘Dialogues between Thinkers’’  where  two  students who  hold differing views on a topic hold a discussion which is also followed by an audience discussion.    Dates, Presenters, and topics were Sept, 14, Kyle Steinke, ‘‘Oppositional Thought in Plato’s Sophist and the Greek Tradition,’’   Sept. 28, Gabi Hitel, ‘‘The Puzzle    of Change,’’ Oct. 26, Shishir Budha, ‘‘Why  Do We Stare at Death?’’  Nov.  9,   Max Fathauer,  ‘‘Authenticity  and  the Other,’’  Feb. 1,  Gabi Hitel and Kyle Steinke, A Dialogue between Thinkers, Feb. 15, Nicole  Vacas on the role of technology in human life, Mar. 1,   Sarah Wochele on the  possibility of an  ‘‘extinction instinct,’’ and Apr. 19,  John Rockwell, ‘‘Finding a Place in the World for Human-kind in the Age of Environmental  Destruction.’’

RI-ALPHA(4001) [Providence College; advisor, Colin King] Our inductees from last year have busily promoted philosophy throughout the College. We have held major/minor career days, grad school information session, and several intercollegiate talks with guest speakers. We have also instituted the ‘‘Anthony Lisska Essay Prize’’ and have permanent financial support for that award. The Alpha Chapter of Rhode Island is a vibrant and growing community.

VA-ZETA(4706) [Liberty University; advisor, Michael S. Jones] NEW ADVISOR.

VA-XI(4714) [Southern Virginia University; advisor, Shantia Rahimian] NEW  ADVISOR.


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2017-2018 Financial Report




Initiation fees








Dialogue subscriptions






NAC dues






Charter fees












Retained Earnings


(not included)




Other income





















Printing costs












Dialogue printing






ACHS dues/expenses












Other expenses












Retained Earnings

$ 203,142.87












had another successful year with Dialogue, publishing a number of student-written articles. Since we switched to a perfect binding, we have been able to print more student work, but in order to continue to do this, we need the support of students willing to submit work for consideration. Students, a paper you have written that was well-received by your professor may be the basis for some revisions which will improve the paper and prepare it for submission to our editor, Dr. Steve Barbone, for consideration.  We have no specific length limit for papers, so a senior project may be a good candidate  for publication. You may submit your work to Dr. Barbone by email attachment to [email protected]. Information about submissions may be obtained from the Phi Sigma Tau website ( or at the back of a previous issue of Dialogue. Please be aware that Dr. Barbone has a list of books for students to review; a first attempt at publication might be  in the form of a book review. Books are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Review books become your books, but we do ask that you write and submit the review in a timely fashion; if you request and receive a book, you should take it as an obligation to write and submit the review. Reviews will provide an opportunity for others to catch a glimpse of a book and decide whether they should read the book. None of us can read all the good books that are available, so reviews can help us  to be selective in our reading.


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New National Officers

Many honor societies have a regular turnover of National Officers. Unfortunately, Phi Sigma Tau is not one of those societies. New officers for Phi Sigma Tau may be nominated by chapters to replace serving officers, but we have had no such nominations as long as I have been the Executive Secretary, though we have not solicited nominations; when there are no nominations for new officers, we do ask that currently serving officers be reconfirmed every three years No officer has ever been asked to step down, so far as I know, and the currently serving officers have all served multiple terms. Lee Rice, currently President of PST, was Executive Secretary for more than 30 years and then became an Area Representative; when Eva Cadwallader retired as President, Dr. Rice agreed to serve as President. I became Executive Secretary in 2005 after serving a short time as an Area Representative.  Both Dr. Rice and I have been retired from teaching for about ten years, and  it is past time that we introduce some new blood into the organization. To that end, the Executive Council is soliciting nominations for new Council Members. We are asking that advisors who are interested in the work of Phi Sigma Tau, contact the Executive Secretary to express their interest in serving on the Executive Council or as an Adjunct Council Member. As Phi Sigma Tau becomes larger (we now have 253 chapters), there is more work to be done, and we are looking for Council Members and Adjunct Council members who are able and willing to devote some time to our organization. We have always been an all volunteer organization, but to continue with that we need more volunteers who are able and willing to help with various tasks. Several people willing to do fairly small tasks will lighten the load of the Executive Secretary and allow us to continue as an all volunteer honor society.

Specifically, we are looking for people who will replace the President and the Executive Secretary. Dr. Rice, with his long commitment to Phi Sigma Tau, has been the heart of the organization for many years. His computer expertise will be difficult to replace. I have been Executive Secretary for 13 years. During the past twenty or so years, the job of the Executive Secretary has become more time-consuming, and Dr. Rice and I have been looking for ways to make the job manageable for  a faculty member. Both Dr. Rice and I are willing to continue to assist with PST work, but we do need younger people in important positions who can insure that the society will continue to function and exist. To that end, I am working to describe the activities of the society in some detail. Dr. Rice and I are also considering some kind of partnership with Theta Alpha Kappa, the Religious Studies and Theology society; TAK is also a small society with limited funds and all-volunteer help. Pepperdine University did grant me some course reduction when I began as Executive Secretary, and any such help from another school would be very useful to us.


David E. Gibson,

Executive Secretary

[email protected]


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Graduation Regalia

During the school year, I am often asked about graduation regalia, and during the very busy graduation season, it is difficult to find time to answer individual questions. If you or your students are interested in regalia, the following information will be helpful; advisors, please be sure that students are aware of this information. This information will now be included in membership packets; please keep the information available if you want honor society stoles, cords, or other items.

The National Office of Phi Sigma Tau does not stock or sell any graduation regalia. However, we do have arrangements with two firms that will provide regalia and some other items for Phi Sigma Tau members. Please note that Phi Sigma Tau does not profit from any transactions between members and the companies; the transactions are simply between the companies and the members or advisors.  In each case, however, pooling any orders will save on shipping and handling.

ERFFMEYER & SON CO., INC (same as ESCO). This company has served our students for years. You can go to our special site at ESCO by going to

where you can see images of items and order.

Oak Hall Industries will provide honor cords for Phi Sigma Tau. If you call them, be sure to let them know you are ordering for Phi Sigma Tau and that the colors are purple and white. You  will need to call.  The number is 800-456-7623.  Oak Hall’s cords have been cheaper than Erffmeyer’s, but I have no way to compare quality.



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 International Honor Society in Philosophy

 Dr. David E. Gibson, Humanities Division

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy

 Malibu, CA 90263-4225

[email protected]




Newsletter A listing of email addresses for chapter advisors is available in the email version of the current newsletter.