Menu Phi Beta Kappa PBK Northern California Association Honor Society
PBK Key logo

Graduate Students Appreciate Awards

Rebecca Ora

My deepest apologies for the delay in my response to this email; I am currently in a fairly remote area of Spain retracing the route of a 1932 Luis Buñuel film.

Thank you so much for all your work and for your wonderful introduction at the dinner. I was truly touched by your words and by the warm reception with which we were all met.

My primary website is rebeccaora.net
I also have a departmental profile page, a page for my award, and some additional work on other sites I host, but this is the most comprehensive site, and links to some of the others.

Thank you so much again,

r.ora

Laura Bogar (Hendess Award) 2017

Lura BogarDear Ray,

It was a real pleasure to have dinner with you, Rory, and the rest of the PBKNCA on Sunday. Thank you so much for the dinner, the wonderful conversation, and, of course, the generous scholarship! Your support has allowed my husband and I to breathe a little easier, financially, and has made it possible for me to sign up for the International Conference on Mycorrhizas in Prague this summer. (It's a pretty specialized meeting, but I am excited to go talk with all the people whose papers I've been citing for years!) 

I am not sure how to best express my gratitude for your support, but concrete examples seem like a reasonable start. In addition to making conference travel possible, you have allowed me to make a number of small but important purchases that I had been putting off. From vehicle repairs to new running shoes, the improvement that this scholarship has made to my quality of life has been enormous. I will think of you each time I tie my new shoes for a jog around campus!

Meeting you and the other PBK folks was inspirational and humbling. Keep doing the great work that you do, and thank you very much for the support!

Best
Laura

Kerry Persen 2016

Kerry Persen Thank You note

 

Elizabeth Grennan Browning 2015

Dear Joanne,

I want to send my sincere thanks to you and the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association Graduate Scholarship Committee. I am grateful for the generous support that I received as a scholarship recipient this past spring--it has proven invaluable as I research and write my dissertation in U.S. urban environmental history. Many thanks again for your generosity.

Sincerely,
Lizzie Grennan Browning
PhD Candidate
Department of History
University of California, Davis
Received October 2015

William Anderegg 2010

Dear Ms. Sandstrom,

I wish to express my deep gratitude for the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association graduate scholarship that I was awarded in the spring of 2010. This scholarship allowed me to study how drought and climate change will affect the forests of the western United States.

Bill Anderegg

Waves of large-scale forest mortality have crossed the West in the last decade, heralded by hotter temperatures and severe drought. My research focuses on a recent forest die-off, Sudden Aspen Decline, which affects nearly a fifth of aspen trees in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. While drought and climate change are thought to play the primary role in inducing this dieback, we currently do not know how drought kills forests, nor the underlying physiological mechanisms which are critical to predicting mortality and managing forests to prevent mortality.

by William R. L. Anderegg
Dead aspen stand near Fairplay, Colorado and Highway 285.



This scholarship was critical for the success of the research. The generous support of the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association allowed me to monitor aspen trees during drought stress in summer 2010 to test the dominant hypotheses about drought-induced mortality.

While the mystery of what’s happening to the emblematic tree of the West is still unraveling, the research supported by the scholarship will greatly advance our understanding of how trees respond to drought.

Aspens
Aspen under study

I published an article this spring in the High Country News, found here, that highlights this research, as well as my perspective as a native Colorado resident returning to the forests I grew up in and finding them dying.

Ongoing updates about my research may be found here.
Thank you again for your generous support.

Sincerely,
Bill Anderegg
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Biology, Stanford University

Received October 2010

Dear Ms. Sandstrom,

In 2007, I was the recipient of the Elizabeth B. Reed Memorial Scholarship from PBKNCA. I wanted to take a moment to thank you and the rest of the Association for this award, which came at a critical time in my graduate career and was a major factor in enabling me to achieve my goals. I completed my PhD at Stanford in June of this year. In September will begin a three-year term as a Junior Fellow at Harvard University.

Rob PringleMy research over the past several years has focused on ecological questions in Australia and rural Kenya. In Australia, I worked the ecology and conservation biology of that continent's most endangered snake. My colleagues and I attempted to understand both why this species is threatened and what might be done to conserve it. In Africa, I worked on a variety of issues, ranging from how termites provide a template for the patterning of African savannas to the impacts of large mammalian herbivore species on savanna communities (and the corresponding question: what might happen if these large- mammal species go extinct?)

The support I received from PBKNCA was invaluable in enabling me to see these projects through, and I am profoundly grateful. Your scholarship program is truly a service.

Sincerely,
Rob Pringle

Links to coverage of Rob's work can be found at
The Pringle Lab at Princeton

Received September 2009

 

Robert Pringle was one of our Scholarship Recipients in 2007, receiving a grant of $5,000 to further his research. He graduated from University of Pennsylvania, received two MSc degrees with distinction from Oxford University, and is a graduate student in ecology at Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology.

At present he's working in Kenya with Professor Todd Palmer of the University of Florida, studying "mutualism." The ΦBKNCA grant helps support him in this research.

Acacia trees - Todd PalmerThe thorny acacia trees of East Africa live in close harmony with ant colonies, and each depends on the other for health and survival - but disrupting that relationship can lead to death and danger, scientists have discovered.

And that, they say, could threaten the habitats of Africa's largest animals in many regions of the continent.

Normally, the huge swollen thorns on the branches of the scrubby trees provide housing for the ants, and they feed on rich nectar from the base of the acacia leaves. In exchange, the tiny biting insects guard and protect the trees by swarming out to repel big browsers like elephants and giraffes that would otherwise feed destructively on the acacia leaves.

The entire article was in the "San Francisco Chronicle", January 11, 2008, main section, "Tiny changes can trigger big evolutionary shifts," by David Perlman (Chronicle Science Editor), p. 6 (in dead-trees version), or online.

Received January 2008

Dear Ms. Sandstrom,

I write to express my gratitude to Phi Beta Kappa and its scholarship program, on the occasion of some good news I've recently received.

Here's the situation: in the summer of 1997 I received a Phi Beta Kappa scholarship which allowed me to finish my dissertation, in Russian history at Berkeley. I was thrilled and honored and grateful, and finished the dissertation, but I'm not sure I ever communicated how important that support was, or what its fruits were.

Last year, my revised dissertation became a book, *The House in the Garden: The Bakunin Family and the Romance of Russian Idealism*. It was published by Cornell University Press. I'm gratified to say that it has just won one major award and received honorable mention for another, both given by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies:

Winner, 2008 W. Bruce Lincoln Book Prize (for best first monograph in history);
Honorable Mention, 2008 Wayne S. Vucinich Prize (for most important contribution to the field)

In a few days, the AAASS will be sending notification of this fact to you at Phi Beta Kappa. But I wanted to write ahead of this fact, both to remind you of the connection and to thank you in your capacity as vice president for scholarships for the wonderful and important work you do. Sometimes it takes a while for this to come to fruition, but these scholarships mean a lot to the people who receive them!

I don't know if you have a library of works produced with PBK money, but if you do, I would be very happy to send you a copy of this book. Or if you just want one for yourself, do let me know!

In the meantime, please accept again my gratitude.

Best wishes,
John Randolph
'97 scholarship recipient

Received October 2008