Students from the Georgia Region attended the 2014 Honors Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. They joined approximately 500 members, advisors and alumni for an intensive five-day exploration of the 2014-2015 Honors Study Topic, Frontiers and the Spirit of Exploration, with presentations by speakers from a variety of disciplines as well as small group discussions in seminar sessions, city as text by exploring the gateway to the west with a visit to the Gateway Arch, the historic Old Courthouse, and a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River.
This year’s event was held in St. Louis, Missouri and provided the attendees opportunities to hear world-renowned speakers such as character actor Patrick Lee as Captain William Clark, tissue engineer and Senior TED fellow Dr. Nina Tandon, distinguished Washington University professor and head of NASA’s Plantetary Data System Geosciences Node Dr. Ray Arvidson, executive vice-president of animal care and animal training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium Mr. Ken Ramirez and National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle. The week concluded with a performance by St. Louis native Pokey LaFarge and his band. LaFarge recently appeared on The Tonight Show with David Letterman and receives praise from NPR Music and Billboard Magazine because of his celebration of American music traditions.
Members attending were Winona Meddings from Alpha Tau Zeta (Athens Tech), Justin Jones from Alpha Psi Omicron (Georgia Highlands), Janet Walker from Beta Beta Tau (Atlanta Metropolitan State), Chelsea Burke and Michael D’Ambrosio from Alpha Rho Omega (South Georgia State). Advisors Michelle Geisart, Amy Hancock and Frank Malinowski also attended.
Since 1968, the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Institute has engaged members in intensive investigation of the Society’s Honors Study Topic, an academic theme selected for its timelessness, global significance and interdisciplinary applications. Created to celebrate Phi Theta Kappa’s 50th anniversary, the Honors Institute format is based on a program used at Oxford University. Attendance is limited to approximately 500 to create an engage scholarly community of faculty and students from across the nation and around the world.