Induction of New Members

New members of Phi Beta Kappa are inducted into the chapter in March or April at a banquet and initiation ceremony. In 2016 this event occured Sunday, April 3rd in the Ballroom of the Festival Conference and Student Center at 6 pm.

Research and Scholarship Support Grants

Current JMU student members of our chapter may apply for grants of up to $1000 to support travel for scholarly activities or to present scholarly work at meetings, or for supplies needed to support their scholarly activities. Details about how to apply appear here. Awardees are listed below.

First Year Academic Excellence Pizza Party

Along with Phi Kappa Phi, in September our chapter invites students in their second year at JMU (both sophomores and transfer students) earning high GPAs the previous year to a pizza party. The goal is to recognize academic achievement and to alert students to the presence and purpose of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi at JMU. About 100 students usually attend.

Honors Luncheon

In April Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi co-sponsor a luncheon to honor best thesis nominees and finalists for prestigious national scholarships, and to thank thesis advisors and thesis competition judges. The winners of the best thesis competition are announced at this luncheon.

Visiting Scholars

Each year the National Society of Phi Bata Kappa sponsors visiting scholars who come to campus for a few days to meet with students and faculty and to present a public lecture. Occasionally the JMU Chapter invites a PBK Visiting Scholar to campus. In March, 2016, Dr. Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA, visited JMU. She spoke onOther Worlds: The View from the Pleistoceneon in the BioScience Building on Thursday, March 17th.

Best Thesis Award

In April, a panel of judges formed by the members of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi at JMU choose the two best honors theses from a pool nominated from each major. The winners are announced at the honors luncheon and recognized at graduation. The winners each receive a check for $500. Past winners are listed below.

Best Thesis Award Winners

2018

Kelly B. Moss (Political Science), Nigerian Terror: The Rise of Boko Haram.

2017

Madeline Johnson (Sociology and Anthropology), Queer University: An Ethnographic Case Study of the Transgender Student Experience of College Campus Space.

2016

Kirstie Ann Thompson (Chemistry), The Efect of Hofmeister Series Counterions on the Colloidal and Antimicrobial Properties of Triple-Headed Cationic Amphiphiles.

2015

Jacob Bosley (Political Science), Lexicons of Colonialism: A Grounded Theory Examination of Indian and Supreme Court Definitions of Sovereignty.

2014

Andrea C. Morgan (Art History), After Rembrandt: Captain William Baillie and Print Culture in Eighteenth Century England.

2013

Jessica Andrea Holland (Biology), The Interaction of the Lethal Fungal Pathogen Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis and Combinations of Anti-Bd bacterial Species.

2012

Matthew Wallace (Biology), Topographic and Patterned Axonal Projections in Control and Mutant Ephrin-B2 Mice Prior to the Onset of Hearing.

2011

Dallas Joder (Mathematics), Meta-Analysis of Salmonella eneterica stpA and hns Microarray Experiments.

Research and Scholarship Grant Winners

2017

Anna Nordseth (Biology) received a grant to support travel to Panama to conduct field work quantifying the effect of exotic grass removal on the rate and diversity of dry forest succession.

2017

Nikole Gregg (Graduate Psychology) received a grant to support attendance at the First Year Experience Conference in Atlanta where she will make a presentation about how JMU used assessment data to improve its first year experience program.

2016

Nikole Gregg (Psychology) received a grant to support attendance at the American Psychological Science Convention in Chicago where she will present results of research on an intercultural competency measure.

2016

Victor Hammarin (International Affairs) received a grant to support travel to the Southern Honors Regional Conference in Orlando, Florida, where he will present his thesis work on how healthcare in the European Union afeact HIV/AIDS patients.

2015

Audrey Cannon (WRTC) wrote Crossing Language Barriers: Using Translation to Bridge Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Gender-Based Gaps, which translates a previously untranslated Spanish novel into English. Ms. Cannon’s grant supported travel to Mexico City to meet and interview the novel’s author Elena Poniatowska.

2015

Emily Pelto (Biology), received a grant to travel to New Orleans to present her thesis research at the American Society of Microbiology’s national meeting.

2015

Victoria Price (WRTC), received travel funding for a trip to the Dominican Republic during spring break to do research for her thesis.

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