Phi Beta Kappa Chapter News

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Spring 2018 Writing Internships with The Key Reporter. Deadline: Friday, November 10, 2017. Undergraduate Phi Beta Kappa members do not need to leave Iowa City for this paid internship! Please send a resume with references, a cover letter addressing the qualifications for the internship, and three writing samples to, see for more information.

Keys to Action Week Meet and Greet, Monday, December 4, 2017, from 11 am – 1 pm in 302 Schaeffer Hall. Stop by for some light refreshments to meet University of Iowa faculty, staff and students who are members of Phi Beta Kappa and celebrate Phi Beta Kappa’s 241st anniversary and the 122nd anniversary of the Alpha of Iowa chapter. Share this event using #PBKKeystoAction, #PBK241 and @PhiBetaKappa, see

Love of Learning Poetry Prize. Deadline: Friday, December 8, 2017. Embrace your inner geek and write about why you love college and the world of ideas. You have complete creative freedom to craft a poem that speaks to your love of learning. Submit your poem via email to Phi Beta Kappa Officers will read the poems and select one to receive the $100 prize.

Stevens Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship. Deadline Monday, February 12, 2018. The Stevens Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship is awarded each year to a junior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences majoring in natural science with at least two semesters of work remaining (minimum 75 semester hours earned by the close of the spring 2018 semester). More information may be found at

Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony, Sunday April 15, 2018, at 1:30 pm., Concert Hall, Voxman Music Building. Family, friends, and mentors are invited to help celebrate the induction of new members into our distinguished society. Our guest speaker will be Professor Roland Racevskis of the University of Iowa Department of French and Italian. Reception immediately following in the Pearl West Lobby.

Spring 2017 Induction Ceremony
Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 1:30 pm, Recital Hall, 2301 Voxman Music Building

Alpha of Iowa chapter of Phi Beta Kappa inducted 147 students who accepted membership fall 2016 and spring 2017. Professor Christopher Cheatum, Department of Chemistry, gave the keynote address:  "Your Final Assignment: Change the World." 

A reception followed the ceremony in the Pearl West Lobby.

2017 Love of Learning Poetry Prize

Alpha of Iowa chapter awards its Love of Learning Poetry Prize to the poem that best reflects upon Phi Beta Kappa's motto, "The Love of Learning is the Guide of Life."  We are pleased to award this year's prize to Heather Ryan for her poem "Coffee Philosophy," reproduced below. The Alpha of Iowa chapter thanks past president Julie Claus for donation of the $100 prize.

Coffee Philosophy by Heather Ryan

Affinity: Platonic ‘like attracts like’ a philosophy of pseudoscience
Banter at Brass Ring Coffee, Iowa City, IA

Concomitance at Caffe Crema: Hume on nexus, tense, simultaneity, un-
Determining a connection of

Existential priority & effects. Espressos and croissants.
Fantasy on Fake Street not future’s film, that Flew with fatalism.

Guilt-free green tea latte.
Hume or endlessly entertaining

Impossibilities intriguing intellect like Iced latte macchiato.
Java at Java House.

Kennedy on change and the clock
Like ‘conceptualizing married bachelors’ Smart oxy-

Moron, not thinking
Nowness is contradictory,

Our immediate awareness illusory. Empty cup.
Plato, speak on ‘preempted potential,’ on probability of two causes.

‘Quasi-causal,’ Dummett, down to unexplainable.
Relatively speaking,

‘Spooky action at a distance.’ So how about siphoned coffee?
Tangled universal possibilities & impossibilities

Under the term ‘plausibilities.’
Vintage coffee: aged, deliberate embodiment,

World’s finest coffee, like wine, rich and
‘Xtra acidic, like coffee of the

Yemen Mountains, is causally ineffectual like zero.
Z does not affect y, x, w, and v,

(and A not B.) Refil?

PBK Home | Membership | Chapter News | Stevens PBK Scholarship | Officers