Muhlenburg University

Newsletter Issue #152, September, 2017

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

AL-EPSILON(0105) [University of Alabama at Huntsville; advisor, Nicholaos Jones] President: Anna Barden, Vice- president: Brianna Ellington.

AR-BETA(0402) [University of Arkansas at Little Rock; advisor, Michael Norton] President: Solomon R. Davis, Vice- president: Audrey Driskill, Secretary: Reagan Martin, Treasurer: Michelle Burton.

CA-IOTA(0509) [Westmont College; advisor, Jim Taylor] President: Luke Donner, Vice-president: Shane Reid, Secretary: Hien Bui, Public Relations: Lucas Vieira.

CT-DELTA(0704) [Quinnipiac University; advisor, Thornton Lockwood] President: Filomena Stabile, Vice-president: Hannah Snow, Secretary: Dinesin Hart.

DC-BETA(0902) [The Catholic University; advisor, Jonathan Buttaci] NEW ADVISOR.

FL-ETA(1007) [Florida International University; advisor, Elizabeth Scarbrough] NEW ADVISOR.

GA-ALPHA(1101) [University of Georgia; advisor, Sarah Wright] NEW ADVISOR. Richard Dien Winfield had served for 35 years as the faculty advisor of the University of Georgia chapter. That may be the longest term as advisor for any Phi Sigma Tau advisor. Thanks very much, Richard. Dr. Winfield is going on unpaid leave from the University beginning in the Spring 2018 semester to run for a seat in Congress from Georgia’s 10th Congressional District. Our special thanks to Dr. Winfield for his long service to Phi Sigma Tau and best wishes for success in his campaign.

GA-ETA(1107) [Georgia Southern University; advisor, William Eaton] President: Matthew Howard, Secretary: Kelly Dyal. The Georgia Southern Chapter has planned weekly meetings, though hurricane Irma caused the cancellation of one meeting. The first meeting of the term was held on August 24, and members discussed topics for future meetings. The advisor, Dr. Eaton, discussed philosophy as represented in the University library and suggested a service project of providing a philosophy journal to the library. Another possibility was a potential to engage homeless youth in the Savannah area and perhaps connecting with other PST chapters that are in areas of greater homelessness. Chapter members also discussed what they wanted out of club discussions and also gave ‘‘shameless plugs’’ for other student organizations.

Our second meeting was called ‘‘Forty Minutes to Cannibalism.’’ Noah Prince presented opportunities for involvement in a religious studies research project. And President Noah Howard presented a philosophical introduction to space colonization. Our next meeting (after Irma) was called ‘‘Just Lost the Game.’’ Our treasurer, Sandra, presented an idea for a philosophy-based trivia game, and our members discussed ways to make it possible and fun for everybody. We also watched and discussed a Crash Course video on philosophy. Our final September meeting was called ‘‘To Boldly Go.’’ Our group signed a card for the Philosophy Academic Advisor who was moving to another position. We discussed social media platforms and CBS’s Star Trek: Discovery. Drew presented his personal theory on the process of thought, self-interest, morality, and reality. Finally, Jarvis presented an exegetical paper on ‘‘The Apology’’ for group review.

GA-IOTA(1109) [University of West Georgia; advisor, Rosemary Kellison] President: Kinyatah Haynes, Vice-president: Brittany Groff, Secretary/Treasurer: Amara McNeish.

GA-KAPPA(1110) [Morehouse College; advisor, Kipton E. Jensen] Last year, we the Morehouse chapter held a planning meeting in February. Topics of discussion were Fund Raising, Panel Discussion, and Dues, and we decided we could raise some money through food and SGA donations. At our April meeting, we also addressed fund raising.

IL-TAU(1419) [DePaul University; advisor, Frédéric Seyler] Secretary: Jennifer Burke. Our first meeting was held on September 19, and we discussed an induction in the spring for new members.

KY-ALPHA(1801) [Bellarmine University; advisor, David Mosley] NEW ADVISOR.

KY-EPSILON(1805) [University of Louisville; advisor, Avery Kolers] President: Jeremy Jackson.

LA-GAMMA(1903) [Xavier University of New Orleans; advisor, Thora Bayer] On September 15,
the Beta Chapter of Louisiana inducted two new members, gave each a packet of information about Phi Sigma Tau, and discussed the new members’ current schedule and reading.

MD-ZETA(2106) [Salisbury University; advisor, Joerg Tuske] Officers: Bridget Berdit, Alaina Gostomski, and Rebecca Lederman.

MA-GAMMA(2203) [College of the Holy Cross; advisor, Joseph Lawrence] NEW ADVISOR.

MN-BETA(2402) [St. Olaf College; advisor, Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson] President: Elise Steichen, Vice-president: Alexander Cavender, Secretary and Historian: Dempsey Olsen, Treasurer: Elijah Viola. At our first meeting, Dr. Muñoz- Hutchinson was to get information about potential members from the Registrar’s office, and we discussed best practices for approaching those students. October 5 was set for the Fall Induction ceremony when our advisor and all officers will be present. We also discussed future colloquia speakers. The Vice-president agreed to present his summer research. Other possible events include a possible joint event between St. Olaf’s PST and the Carleton College philosophy department, button sales for World Philosophy Day, possibly hosting lunch with Belgium lecturer Professor Charles Mills, an end-of-term writing workshop which could be co-hosted with the St. Olaf history honor society.

The induction script for our ceremony has been forwarded to officers, and other preparations for the ceremony were completed. The secretary will speak with Professor Langerak about a possible colloquium or speaking engagement for the chapter. November 9 is the day for the first student colloquium by our Vice-president, perhaps with one of our new members commenting. A second student colloquium is still in the planning stage, and President Steichen expressed interest in presenting in December. Plans for World Philosophy Day are still underway; the Treasurer will contact the St. Olaf Library about a book display, and the President will contact the Carleton philosophy department about a joint party or showing of a film.

MO-ALPHA(2601) [Lindenwood University; advisor, Joseph Steineger] The Philosophy department is in jeopardy at Lindenwood, but the advisor is working to obtain more Phi Sigma Tau members as the department increases its marketing outreach to new majors.

MO-IOTA(2609) [Conception Seminary College; advisor, Zita Toth] President: Ben Snyder, Vice-president: Cole Johnson, Secretary: John Paul Hartnedy. At our first meeting, our advisor, Dr. Toth, suggested we move outside to take advantage of a beautiful day; all agreed. After a general introduction, we enjoyed snacks made by our advisor. Dylan gave an outline of what PST has done in the past--a movie night, a speaker, and a camping trip. Dr. Toth suggested that we meet monthly, and all were in favor of that. Several suggestions were made to keep our Philosophy Board up-to-date. We suggested a philosopher of the month, working in pairs monthly on the Board, a philosophy comics website (philosophy really ought to be fun), and some low-level philosophy so more people could understand. Dr. Toth noted that five people qualified for PST but are not members; current members are asked to encourage the candidates to join. We considered several ideas for speakers: in-house professors (Dr. McGrath vetoed the idea of a faculty debate for reasons of charity), a presentation of the work of a PST member, and a PST seminar on a selected reading. We agreed to send suggestions for articles and movies to Dr. Toth, and we settled on an order of events. We will have a movie, then a faculty presentation, and finally a discussion of an article.

NJ-DELTA(3104) [Rider University; advisor, Joel Feldman] President: Brendan Wetzel, Vice-president: Emmanuel Rivera, Secretary: Ryan Dajczak.

NJ-THETA(3108) [Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; advisor, Mercedes Diaz] President: Frank Wu, Vice- president: Cristina Sanchez, Secretary: Elise Zhou. We sent out a sign-up sheet for the Philosophy Undergraduate Conference. Possible speakers are Ruth Chang (Decision Theory), Ernest Sosa (Epistemology), Ted Sider (Metaphysics), and Liz Camp (Philosophy of Mind, Language). The conference is scheduled for April 14 and 15. At our September meeting, we approved the PST national officers and the Southern Utah University petition. Then we reviewed the conference preparations. One keynote speaker has confirmed from Rutgers, and one from Columbia; we are waiting for two more responses. We need to get some graduate students to review papers, and we will put a call for papers on the website. Also, we will update our appeal letter to the Honors Council--more money needed. Then, the bed race--October 19! We want a philosophical theme for our bed decoration--the trolley problem? With pushers dressed as levers and Frank on the bed as the person getting hit by the trolley? (Should be fun--ed.) We will donate unisex socks in youth sizes.

NY-GAMMA(3303) [SUNY at Oneonta; advisor, Michael Koch] Secretary: Thibaud Sorci. This year we have many exciting events planned for the PST. We have four Filmosophy events planned; these are events where we watch a movie which has a philosophical theme and then discuss the movie with a faculty member. On October 21, we had a writing retreat; members of the faculty along with the philosophy honor society hosted a seminar on improving the skills needed for writing a philosophical paper.

NY-ETA(3307) [LeMoyne College; advisor, William Day, Kathryn Hennigan] NEW ADVISOR.

NY-THETA(3308) [Nazareth College; advisor, Adrian Arellano] President: Brandon Leggiero, Vice-president: Walter Shrader, Secretary: Emily Delventhal, Treasurer: Meagan Mahen.

NY-KAPPA(3310) [Siena College; advisor, John Burkey] NEW ADVISOR.

NY-MU(3312) [Manhattanville College; advisors, Paul Kucharski] President: Heather Krannich, Vice-president: Dylan Hayes, Secretary/Treasurer: TBD.

NY-PHI(3321) [St. Francis College; advisor, Rachel Falkenstern] NEW ADVISOR.

OH-ZETA(3606) [Wittenberg University; advisor, Steven B. Schoonover] NEW ADVISOR.

OH-KAPPA(3610) [Ohio Wesleyan University; advisor, Shari Stone-Mediatore] NEW ADVISOR.

OR-ALPHA(3801) [Linfield College; advisor, Kaarina Beam] NEW ADVISOR.

PA-MU(3912) [Villanova University; advisor, Sally Scholz] NEW ADVISOR.

PA-NU(3913) [St. Joseph’s University; advisor, Paul St. Amour] NEW ADVISOR.

PA-OMICRON(3915) [Susquehanna University; advisor, Lissa Skitolsky] NEW ADVISOR.

RI-ALPHA(4001) [Providence College; advisor, Colin King] NEW ADVISOR.

RI-DELTA(4004) [University of Rhode Island; advisor, Douglass Reed] President: Francesca Soluri, Vice-president: Mike Grenier, Secretary: Charlie Santos.

TX-DELTA(4404) [Texas State University at San Marcos; Advisors, Amelie Benedikt and Rebekah Ross] President: Sean Daniel Johnson. At our Fall induction, Craig Hanks made the opening remarks, initiates read Platonic excerpts, and Dr. Benedikt made brief remarks on the oracle at Delphi.

TX-LAMBDA(4411) [St. Mary’s University; advisor, Eric Chelstrom] President: Gisela Reyes, Vice-president: Ashleigh Morales, Secretary: Kayla Treviño, Treasurer: Valentine Rodriguez.

TX-NU(4413) [University of Houston—Downtown; advisor, Joseph Westfall] President: Julio Enriquez, Vice-president: Jasmine Huynh, Secretary/Treasurer: Baltazar Pacheco.

TX-OMICRON(4415) [University of Dallas; advisor, Cynthia Nielsen] NEW ADVISOR. President: Margaret Schuhriemen, Vice-president: Steven Griego, Secretary (Fall): Joe Stokes, Secretary (Spring): Andrew Collart, Treasurer: Sam Beattie. The University of Dallas Philosophy Department along with the Phi Sigma Tau chapter will sponsor a panel, ‘‘After Virtue and Beyond: Reflections on MacIntyre’s Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity.’’ Panel participants are Dr. Peter Wicks (Elm Institute), Dr. J. J. Sanford, and Dr. Lance Simmons.

UT-DELTA(4504) [Southern Utah University; advisors, Kirk Fitzpatrick and Kristopher Phillips] NEW CHAPTER. The Southern Utah University chapter was approved in October, and one of the advisors, Dr. Phillips, has already worked with the Lyceum Project since 2013 at SUU and the University of Iowa. He has had experience in setting up and running these camps; he facilitated a camp at Western Michigan last summer. He is a member of the APA’s CPIP, so he has access to a number P4K people and can offer insights. Dr. Phillips believes the partnership between Lyceum and PST is tremendous, and he would love to offer a hand to any interested parties.

VA-ALPHA(4701) [Christopher Newport University; advisor, Dawn Hutchinson] Christopher Newport’s Department of Philosophy and Religion is the recipient of a Society of Christian Philosophers Reading Group award. The group will be led by Dr. Eric Silverman, associate professor in the Department. Plantinga is the winner of the 2017 Templeton Prize, a $1.4 million award that honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension. According to Silverman, the reading group will explore fundamental questions such as: What is the distinction between foundational and nonfoundational beliefs? How are foundational beliefs warranted? What is the proper relationship between faith and knowledge? Is the existence of evil compatible with the existence of God? Do any of the traditional arguments for the existence of God succeed? The group of 15-20 students will meet monthly and culminate in a Skype meeting with Plantinga in the spring. CNU’s award is one of only 25 given for the 2017-2018 academic year. (Article from the CNU Newsroom)

VA-GAMMA(4703) [James Madison University; advisor, Anne M. Wiles] Co-Presidents: Augustus Snyder and Tyler Palombo, Co-Vice-presidents: Behan Alavi and Rebecca Meadows, Co-Secretaries: Amanda Misak and Olivia DePasquale, Co-Treasurers: Austin Figueroa and Joseph Kauffman, Director of Social Media: Elizabeth Elia, Nocturnal Counselor: Scott Ingram. At our first meeting we discussed the September 29 program where Dr. Jude Dougherty, Dean Emeritus of the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, presented ‘‘Morality With and Without God.’’ His paper was distributed ahead of time for students and faculty to read and prepare questions. Our chapter also decided to offer some services to students in undergraduate philosophy courses; Rebecca Meadows will coordinate the tutorial services. All members were enthusiastic about the tutoring and offered time to help. We also discussed having Behan Alavi coordinate an instructional program in ProQuest RefWorks for those writing philosophical papers. We also considered other program possibilities and will meet again to plan and finalize dates.

WI-ZETA(5006) [University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point; advisor, Jason Zinser] NEW ADVISOR.

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From Our Archives

For several issues of our Newsletter,  I have been  printing or copying letters from our archives that deal with the forma-tion of our society.    Several of those have been  correspondence about the symbols  that are on our key.   I  have one more letter from that correspondence, a letter about a symbol for the Hebrew stream of thought.   Since Professor Rob-ert H. Pfeiffer replied by making notes at the bottom of the letter, I have just copied the letter.  I suppose Dr. Diefenbach chose the Star of David as the symbol for our seal, though he may well have consulted with others.


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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.