Key Connections - "Effective Networking for Career Success"
On September 28, 2022, as part of the PBK Society's national "Key Connections" September initiative to reach out to recent PBK inductees, five PBK Delaware Valley members with established successful careers connected with recent PBK inductees from our region and discussed how to develop and optimize networking skills. After opening remarks by Doug Bobrow of JP Morgan Private Bank, small group breakout rooms were led by Doug, Heidi Gray-Devita of The 200% Company, Diane Roggen Sirull, Esq. of MUFG Bank, Margaret Bacheler of Angel Capital Association, and Brigid Connolly of Language Service Associates.
Mt. Cuba Center Gardens Walking Tour
On September 10, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a 1-hour guided tour of acclaimed Mt. Cuba Center, which focuses on native plants in both the formal & trial gardens and the forest area. It is located on the former estate of the DuPont-related Copeland family in Hockessin, DE. During the tour of the beautiful and colorful naturalistic gardens, the group learned the value of cultivating native plants in a natural way, in order to support the co-evolved birds, insects, animals and soil life in the region. After the tour the group enjoyed an outdoor group lunch and good conversation in the picnic grove,
Movie Club - "Leave No Trace"
On Sept. 8, 2022, Jeff Jones led a thoughtful virtual discussion of the film, "Leave No Trace Story", by writer-director Debra Granik. Loosely related to a true story, a vet with PTSD from middle east war and teen daughter living off the land in a national park in Oregon get pulled into society by the law and well-meaning social workers, then flee. The daughter grows through seeing what opportunities exist in the wider world and decides that she needs to make a life separate from her father's limitations. Rotten Tomatoes score 100%. NY Times Critics Pick & 25 other critics' Top 10 lists for 2018.
Book Club - "Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America"
On August 11, 2022, Jeff Jones led an insightful virtual discussion "Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America", Crying at H Mart", the 2021 Pulitzer Prize winning book by Marcia Chatelain which followed the struggle for racial justice through the lens of the complicated and multi-faceted relationships of fast food franchises with communities from Southern California in the 1940's, to Ferguson, MO, in 2014, allowing wealth-building and youth employment, but other impacts as well. "Franchise" also won the 2020 Hooks National Book Award, the 2021 Hagley Prize, the 2021 Lawrence Levine Award, Smithsonian Scholars Top Books of 2020, and was a 2020 NY Times Best Book.
Mini TED-like Talks - What I Care About
On July 21, 2022, Shea Sandifer hosted and moderated this event, where three PBK members shared insights about topics they are engaged with. Gary Heidt spoke on "Curiouser and Curiouser: An Inquiry Driven Classroom", Rebecca Lowenstein-Harting spoke on "The Invisible Literacy Crisis: Addressing the Need for Adult Basic Education in Pennsylvania", and Jill Dennin spoke on "Running for Office - What it Takes". Each speaker took questions after their talk from the engaged and appreciative audience.
Grounds for Sculpture Walking Tour
As suggested by PBK DV Young Professional Jack Faulhaber, on July 16, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a 1.5 hr. guided walking tour of the outdoor sculptures and beautiful gardens at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, NJ., which has almost 300 outdoor sculptures of all sorts, including representational and abstract creations, both static and wind-moving, as well as surprising life-size or larger, 3-D renderings of well-known paintings. After the tour, a number of the participants enjoyed an outdoor group lunch and good conversation at the Van Gogh Cafe.
Movie Club - "Marriage Story"
On July 14, 2022, Jeff Jones led a thoughtful virtual discussion of the film, "Marriage Story", directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Noah Baumbach. The film mixes drama and comedy, as a couple played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson experiences the process of unraveling their marriage, with a young son caught in the middle, and lawyers on each side contributing to the complexity. American Film Institute, National Board of Review, and Time Magazine's "10 Best Films of the Year", and various nominations for Academy Awards, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild.
Antique Ice Tools Museum
On June 25, 2022, PBK's and guests enjoyed a private guided tour of the Antique Ice Tool Museum just outside of West Chester PA, housed in a beautifully renovated 1834 stone barn. The PBK DV group learned the fascinating history and saw the physical artifacts (implements & tools, vehicles, home items, etc.) of the bygone era when the "natural ice" industry was key to an expanded year-round diet for Americans and when natural ice harvested from ponds and lakes was the 2nd largest US export in the 19th century. After the tour, many of the group drove a short way to enjoy connecting with each other over lunch and good conversations at "The Couch Tomato" restaurant in the center of West Chester.
Dinner with PBK Friends
On June 15, 2022, PBK's and guests gathered at the White Dog Cafe in Haverford, PA, to connect and enjoy being in the company with other PBK's, some of whom had only "met" each other previously at virtual events. After several hours of a leisurely good meal and great conversation, all agreed that the evening was a success and it would be very worthwhile to schedule another such event.
Book Club - "Crying at H Mart"
On June 9, 2022, Jeff Jones and Brigid Connolly led an insightful virtual discussion "Crying at H Mart", by Bryn Mawr grad and past Philadelphia resident Michelle Zauner, front for the Indie rock band Japanese Breakfast, born to an American father and a Korean mother, who wrote an "exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance", finding her place between the American world of her father and the Korean world of her mother. NY Times Best Seller and Best Books of 2021. and finalist for the 2018 National Book Awards and the Kirkus Prize.
Barnes Foundation Museum of Art
On May 14, 2022, PBK's and family members enjoyed a private guided tour of the permanent collection of the Barnes Foundation Museum of Art, along with insights on Dr. Albert Barnes collecting and display philosophies. After a private lunch, time was spent viewing the special exhibit of Southwest Native art, "Water, Wind, Breath", which included pieces Dr. Barnes collected in the 1930's as well as historical pieces from the Penn Museum, and pieces by contemporary Southwest indigenous artists.
Movie Club - "The White Tiger"
On May 12, 2022, Jeff Jones led a thoughtful virtual discussion of the film, "The White Tiger", from the NY Times best selling and 2008 Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name by Indian author, Aravind Adiga, directed by Ramin Bahrani, and produced by Priyanka Chopra, who also acts in the film. The film portrays the rise of a young man from a village in India to financial comfort, and the moral choices he makes in light of the social constraints stacked in his way. Vivid portrayal of modern India. Various nominations for 2021 Academy Awards, BAFTA, Independent Spirit Awards, Writers Guild of America.
Mini TED-like Talks - What I Care About
On May 5, 2022, Alan Mason hosted and moderated this event, where three PBK members shared insights about topics they are engaged with. Jack Faulhaber spoke on "The Decline of Pyramid Complexity in Ancient Egypt: What Happened After the Big 3?", Sara Ramasastry spoke on "The Importance of Diversity in Clinical Trial Recruitment", and Tali Segal spoke on "CISV International: An International Youth Peace Program". Each speaker took questions after their talk from the engaged and appreciative audience.
Fairmount Park Spring Walk
On April 30, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a 2 hr. guided walk in beautiful Fairmount Park in Philadelphia with spring in full play, led by Young Professional Advisory Cmmt. member, Shea Sandifer. The group gathered initially at the John Welsh Memorial Fountain in West Fairmount Park, for introductions. Under a crystal clear blue sky a great walk and good conversations were had by all, with a bring-your-own group lunch at the end, behind the Please Touch Museum.
Book Club - "Heartland"
On April 14, 2022, Jeff Jones and Brigid Connolly led an insightful virtual discussion of the book, "Heartland", written by Sarah Smarsh, detailing her personal experience growing up among the white rural poor and working class in Kansas, the lasting effects of intergenerational poverty, and the implications of class and identity. NY Times Bestseller and finalist for the 2018 National Book Awards and the Kirkus Prize.
Brandywine River Museum of Art
On March 26, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a private guided tour of the permanent collection of the Brandywine River Museum of Art, including many paintings by the Wyeth family, along with time to view the extensive special retrospective exhibit of the life work of Wayne Thiebaud, curated by the Crocker Museum of Art, Sacaramento CA. A number of the group also enjoyed lunch together in the museum cafe.
Young Professionals Happy Hour & Game Night
On March 17, 2022, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Alan Mason and Caroline Amodeo, enjoyed good conversation followed by a several rounds of the game Skribbl.io, led by Brigid Connolly. The Happy Hour was followed by a program planning session where events were discussed for May - July
Movie Club - "The Meyerowitz Stories"
On March 10, 2022, Jeff Jones led a thoughtful virtual discussion of the film, "The Meyerowitz Stories", directed by prolific Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Noah Baumbach. With New York City as a character, this comedy-drama depicts cross-generational family dynamics with differing ideas of success, showing their individual and collective fallibilities. Dustin Hoffman is the patriarch, along wtih thoughtful roles by Adam Sandler (called "a revelation" by the NY Times), Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, a cameos by Candice Bergen and others. NY Times "Critics Pick" and a Palme d'Or selection at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Ice Skating at U. Delaware Fred Rust Arena
On February 26, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed fellowship and a good time while ice skating at a group rate at the beautiful Fred Rust Arena on the University of Delaware campus, along with a group table to meet during breaks. Following skating, the group enjoyed conversing over home made ice cream at the nearby U.D. Creamery, which is supplied by the UD agricultural program dairy.
Young Professionals Happy Hour & Game Night
On February 24, 2022, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Caroline Amodeo and Alan Mason, enjoyed good conversation followed by a several rounds of the game Scattergories, led by Alan. The Happy Hour was followed by a short program planning session where events were discussed for April - June.
Book Club - "The Undocumented Americans"
On February 10, 2022, Jeff Jones led an engaged virtual discussion of "The Undocumented Americans", written by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, believed to be the first undocumented immigrant to graduate from Harvard, who then went on to graduate studies at Yale. She powerfully recounts interviews of undocumented people across the U.S., the challenges they face, and how they try to support each other, interwoven with vignettes from her own life, in this 2020 National Book Awards Finalist, and NY Times Review of Books & NPR Best Books of 2020.
African American Museum in Philadelphia
On February 5, 2022, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a private guided tour of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, including the Philadelphia history galleries and the special retrospective solo exhibit of the art of Richard J. Watson: "Portals & Revelations: Beyond Realities". Notable interesting cultural activities for Black History Month were taking place in the museum for which PBK's could stay after the tour to participate.
Mini TED-like Talks - What I Care About
On February 3, 2022, Brigid Connolly hosted and moderated this event, where three PBK members shared insights about topics they are engaged with. Doug Bobrow spoke on "Key Ways to Build Wealth in Financial Markets", Aidan Crowley spoke on "Digital Health Coaching for Low-Income Individuals with Diabetes", and Brigid spoke on "The Importance of Interpreters and Translators in Equitable Multi-Lingual Encounters: Why English-Only Attitudes Have Life-Altering Legal, Educational, and Medical Consequences". Each speaker took questions after their talk from the engaged and appreciative audience.
Young Professionals Happy Hour & Game Night
On January 20, 2022, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Alan Mason, enjoyed good conversation followed by a lively game of Gartic Phone, led by Jack Faulhaber. The Happy Hour was followed by a 30 min. program planning session where events were discussed for March - May.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
On January 15, 2022, PBK's and family/friends gathered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to enjoy a private guided tour of the "Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror" exhibition, with an optional lunch at the museum's "Stir" restaurant, followed by an optional self-guided tour of the "Emma Amos: Color Odyssey" exhibit which was named a NY Times "Best Art Exhibition of 2021".
Movie Club - "Passing"
On January 13, 2022, Jeff Jones led a thoughtful virtual discussion of the film, "Passing", produced and directed by Rebecca Hall, based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, both of whose families have mixed race heritage. Filmed in luminous black & white, "Passing" debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and is a NY Times Critics "Best 10 films of 2021"., It portrays two biracial high school friends who meet unexpectedly in prosperous middle-class adulthood in 1920's New York City, after one has been presenting/"passing" as white. They become increasingly intertwined, upending both of their carefully constructed worlds.
Book Club - "The Yellow House"
On December 9, 2021, Jeff Jones led an engaged virtual discussion of the memoir, "The Yellow House", written by by Sarah M. Broom, which won the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction, and was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2019 by both the NY Times Book Review and the Washington Post. The book tracks her family's history back 100 years, her growing up in New Orleans East, the demise of her beloved home after Hurricaine Katrina, how Katrina altered her neighborhood and New Orleans, along with New Orleans as a reflection of issues facing America.
Mini TED-like Talks - What I Care About
On December 8, 2021, Matt Stetz hosted and moderated this event, where three members shared insights about topics they are engaged with. Matt talked about "How to Make Music with Magnets, eg: NMR resonance", Caroline Amodeo talked about "Speaking of Speaking - Cooperative Principles in Conversation", while Gina DeRosa spoke about "Americorps VISTA - A Year of Service". Each speaker took questions after their talk from the engaged and appreciative audience.
Distinguished Speaker Series - Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
On November 29, 2021, the Brandywine LaunchBox powered by Penn State Brandywine co-sponsored the November 29th Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia Defining Innovation virtual event. Our member, Margaret Bacheler, connected PBK Delaware Valley members to this event, which featured the former chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi. Ms. Nooyi, the first woman of color and immigrant to lead a Fortune 50 company, discussed the key points in her career and how to face and deal with challenges.
Young Professionals Happy Hour & Game Night
On November 18, 2021, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Caroline Amodeo & Alan Mason, enjoyed good conversation followed by several lively rounds of Codenames, led by Shea Sandifer. The Happy Hour was followed by a 30 min. program planning session where events were planned for January and February.
Movie Club - "The Florida Project"
On November 11, 2021, Jeff Jones led a thoughtful virutal discussion of the film "The Florida Project", named by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute as one of the best 10 films of 2017. It explores the lives of parents and grandparents raising children in a low-end motel in the shadow of Disney World, with insight for the marginal and at risk lives the parents live yet the spunk and joy of the children, under the watchful eye of a caring but levelheaded motel manager played by Willem Dafoe, who was nominated for an Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA awards for this role.
On November 6, 2021, PBK's and family/friends enjoyed a guided tour and catered lunch at the Michener Museum of Art, followed by crossing Pine St. for a staff talk and self-guided tour of the Mercer Museum. Special exhibits at the Michener included unique wood furniture creator, Wharton Escherick, and one on living painter Robert Beck, who was at the museum discussing his works on exhibit. Galleries on PA Impressionists and regional contemporary paintings, along displaying wood furniture by George Nakashima were also enjoyed. The Smithsonian affiliate Mercer Museum concrete castle astounded with its huge and fascinating 50,000+ collection of pre-industrial American implements for home, farm, trades, commerce, transportation, fishing, schooling, and more.
Young Professionals Happy Hour & Game Night
On October 21, 2021, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Caroline Amodeo & Alan Mason, enjoyed 30 min. of good conversation in rotating breakout rooms, followed by 3 lively rounds of Skribbl.io. The Happy Hour was followed by a 30 min. program planning session where events were planned for November through February.
Wissahickon Valley Park Walk
On October 16, 2021, PBK's and friends enjoyed a guided walk in the beautiful, early-fall, Wissahickon Valley Park, led by Shea Sandifer. After meeting at the Valley Park Road parking lot for introductions, the group walked SE along Forbidden Drive to the bridge, crossed Wissahickon creek, and then hiked back NW along the more challenging Orange Trail, stopping for lunch along the creek where the Orange trail rises to meet Valley Park Road once again. The group enjoyed the many social opportunities along the trail and during the lunch break.
Book Club - "Where the Crawdads Sing"
On October 14, 2021, Jeff Jones led an engaged virtual discussion of the novel, "Where the Crawdads Sing". Written by wildlife scientist Delia Owens and 129 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, it is being made into a movie, with the film to be released in summer 2022. The novel involves many themes, in a plot that intertwines the story of a young woman growing up isolated in the marshes of North Carolina, along with the murder investigation of a young man in the nearby coastal North Carolina town.
PBK Delaware Valley Young Professionals Welcomed New PBK's for Annual Regional "Key Connections" Event
On September 23, 2021, PBK DV Young Professionals welcomed new inductees of Phi Beta Kappa living in our region, for a 75 min. virtual event, of a Happy Hour-style meet & greet in rotating break-out rooms, followed by several rounds of "New Beginnings" trivia via Kahoot. Prizes were given for Trivia round winners and random drawing of 2 winners from among all attendees. Members of PBK DV's Young Professionals group moderated the event and breakout rooms and shared their experiences post-graduation and connecting through PBK DV events.
Longwood Gardens Guided Walk
On September 11, 2021, PBK's, family, and friends enjoyed a guided walk around the incomparable Longwood Gardens, including the Open Air Theatre Fountains, Flower Walk, Italian Gardens, Meadow, Conservatory, Idea Garden, and the Main Fountain Gardens, including the Grotto. Those who liked could enjoy a snack or meal at the Cafe and stay for the illuminated fountain show in the evening..
Movie Club - "Roma"
On September 9, 2021, Jeff Jones led a thoughtful virutal discussion of the film "Roma", 2019 Academy Award winner for Best International Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. The film was written and directed by acclaimed director Alfonso Cuaron, as a semi-autobiographical take on his upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, from the point of view of an indigenous live-in housekeeper with a middle -class family, exploring the nuances of class divisions, the impact of a divorce on children, and the nature of altruistic love, featuring acresses Yalitza Aparicio as the housekeeper and Marina de Tavira as the wife.
Mural Arts Center City Walking Tour + Casual Dinner
On August 14, 2021, PBK members & guests enjoyed a very informative Mural Arts Center City walking tour, strolling for 90 min. with an experienced guide to see some of the iconic murals in Center City Philadelphia, followed by a casual dinner at Barra Rossa Ristorante, located near the end of the tour. Mural Arts supports the creation of 50-100 outdoor murals a year in our region, and uses the income from its tours to help support projects in restorative justice (training recently incarcerated people to be job-ready), environmental justice, community healing, and community arts education.
Book Club - "Interior Chinatown"
On August 12, 2021, Jeff Jones led a lively virtual discussion of the novel in the form of a screenplay, "Interior Chinatown", winner of the 2020 national Book Award for Fiction, and both a 2020 Book Club pick by the NY Times and a 2021 Book Club pick by PBS. Authored by Charles Yu, corporate attorney and then full-time script writer and author, the book addresses the cliches and marginalization of Asians in the film industry, with "brilliant characterizations", satire, and humor, to address themes of pop culture and assimilation.
Mini Golf and Orchard "Pick-Your-Own-Fruit" Outing
On July 24, 2021, on a sunny day, PBK's enjoyed good company while playing a round at Boulder Hills Mini Golf in Downingtown, PA, and then proceeded to nearby Highland Farm & Orchard for a group pay-your-own outdoor lunch with good conversatino in the Beer Garden grove, followed by heading to the orchard for "pick-your-own-fruit" in season. Finally participants headed back to the farm market to purchase additional fresh farm products to take home.
Movie Club - "There Will Be Blood"
On July 8, 2021, Jeff Jones led a virtual discussion of the film, "There Will Be Blood", starring the iconic Daniel Day Lewis, who won and Academy Award and 5 other acting awards for this performance. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this 2007 film was listed on 37 critics' "Best 10 Films of the Year", and #1 by 20 of them. Described as a "riveting epic of greed, capitalism, religion, and family", related to early unregulated oil exploration.
Phillies Triple-A vs. Blue Jays Triple-A Baseball Game
On July 2, 2021, PBK's enjoyed connecting at the Trenton Thunder Ballpark, along the Delaware River in Trenton, NJ, at a double-header for triple-A baseball games between the Lehigh Valley "Iron Pigs" (Phillies) vs. the Buffalo "Bisons" (Toronto Blue Jays), with family and friends.
Young Professionals Happy Hour followed by Summer Trivia
On June 24, 2021, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Jamey Harman & Matt Stetz, enjoyed 30 min. of good conversation in rotating breakout rooms, followed by 3 lively rounds of Summer Trivia. The Happy Hour was preceded by a 30 min. program planning session where in-person events were planned for August & September.
Virtual Mini TED-like Talks - "What I Care About"
On June 17, 2021, Shea Sandifer hosted and moderated this event, where three members shared insights about topics they are engaged with. Shea Sandifer spoke about "Quantum Computing", Tasha Hutnick spoke about "Theatrical Superstitions", and John Faulhaber spooke on "Star Formation & Virtual Particles". Each speaker took questions after their talk from the engaged and appreciative audience.
Book Club - "The Sympathizer"
On June 10, 2021, Jeff Jones and Jamey Harman led a very engaged group in a virtual discussion of the best seller and 2016 Pulitzer Prize and Andrew Carengie Medal winner, "The Sympathizer", by noted California author, Phi Beta Kappa member, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Viet Thanh Nguyen. The narrator is an undercover communist spy acting as a captain in the South Vietnamese army, and reveals his actions during the end of the war, the fall fo Vietnam, and later in the US, spying among the immigrant community. Part historical fiction, part spy narrative, part satire of US involvement overseas.
Young Professionals Happy Hour followed by Scattergories Game Night
On May 27, 2021, led by Tasha Hutnick, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware enjoyed two brief breakout rooms to chat and connect, follwed by 3 lively rounds o fScarttergories. The Happy Hour was preceded by a 30 min. program planning session where outdoor, in-person events were planned for June and July.
Distinguished Speaker Series - Craig Santoro - WHYY
On May 20, 2021, Craig Santoro, WHYY Director of Educational Programs, gave an inspiring presentation about the WHYY Media Labs project where WHYY staff work in 45 diverse schools in the Delawrae Valley region to teach middle and high school students media skills as life-building experiences, and provide teachers with professional development as well. Mr. Santoro explained that the students learn to research, create, and prepare media presentations and to tell sotries that are important to them, while the program reinforces/supports other classrooom learning, STEM skills, etc., to make a difrerence in students' lives.
Day Hike - Ridley Creek State Park - "Southern Trails Loop"
On May 15, 2021, Young Professional PBK's Caroline Amodeo and R. Alan Mason, led a very enjoyable 2 hr. moderate hike (half flat, half small hills) with other PBK's at Ridley Creek State Park on a beautiful sunny day. The Group stopped for a "bring your own" outdoor lunch towards the end of the hike and had a great time socializing together, including family, friends, and one pet dog on a leash.
Movie Club - "Philomena"
On May 13, 2021, Jamey Harman led a virtual discussin o fthe film "Philomena", directed by Stephen Frears, based on a true story, starring Judi Dench as Philomena Lee, an Irishwoman who, as a teenager, was sent away for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, now searching for her son who had been adopted away to an American couple with out her consent. In her search she is greatly helped by an out-fo-work reporter (Steve Coogan). Nominated for 4 Academy Awards, and 4 BAFTA's.
Young Professionals Happy Hour followed by Environmental Trivia
On April 22, 2021, PBK Youg Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by YP leaders Jamey Hamran, Alan Mason, Gina DeRosa, Matt Stetz, Caroline Amodeo, Shea Sandifer, John Faulhaber,and Tasha Hutnick, enjoyed tow brief breakout rooms to chat and connet, followed by 3 lively rounds of Environmental Trivia using Kahoot, for Earth Day, with questions created by Jamey Harman.
Book Club - "A Promised Land"
On April 8, 2021, Jeff Jones and Jamey Harman led a very engaged group in a virtual discussion of "A Promised Land", the first volume of Barack Obama's memoir, covering up to May 2011. In a very introspective book and with the benefit of hindsight, the 44th President opens up about his thinking behind decisions large and small. A best seller and NY Times "Notable Book of 2020".
Virtual Mini TED-like talks - What I Care About - Environmental Impact Issues
On April 1, 2021, R. Alan Mason hosted and moderated this event, where three members shared insights about their professional work that has an impact on the environment in various ways. Anthony Vecchio, PE, spoke on "Stustainability/longevity of Wter Infrastructure", Julia Madey spoke on "Sustainable Development Economics Relating to Green Roofs", and R. Alan Mason spoke on "Ocean Plastics Near and Far". Each speaker took questions after their talk from the very engaged and appreciative audience.
Young Professionals Happy Hour followed by Codenames Game Night
On March 25, 2021, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, Co. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Jamey Harman, Alan Mason, Gina DeRosa, Matt Stetz, Caroline Amodeo, Julia Wright, and Shea Sandifer, enjoyed an interactive virtual Happy Hour with rotating peer-moderated breakout groups to converse, share and connect with other early career PBK's. The Happy Hour was followed by several rounds of Codenames.
Movie Club - "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
On March 11, 2021, Jeff Jones and Jamey Harman led a virtual discussion of the impactful film, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom", (the Black Bottom was a music/dance craze), from the play of the same name, by acclaimed playwright Agust Wilson, based on the life of the talented vocalist and entertainer, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, known as the "Mother of the Blues" (Blues Foundation Hall of Fame 1983, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1990). True to its theatrical roots, the film depicts a recording session in the late 1920's, in which Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), has conflicts with an ambitious horn player in her band (Chadwick Boseman - said to perhaps be his best film before his untimely death), as well as with the management who wanted to control her work.
Distinguished Speaker Series - Rachel Valletta, PhD - Environmental Scientist, Franklin Institute
On March 2, 2021, Rachel Valletta, PhD, Environmental Scientist, Franklin Institute and director of the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP), gave a wonderful virtual presentation on "COVID, Climate Change, and Communication: How Can We Learn from One Crisis to Address Another?" Dr. Valletta discussed how both of these crises have consequences for public health, the global economy, and our cultural traditions. She applied insights from the global COVID-19 response to describe how we can become more resilient in the face of climate change. In additiona to her planned presentaiton, participants enjoyed a lively and detailed Q&A with Dr. Valleta.
Young Profesionals Happy Hour followed by "Among Us" Game Night
On February 25, 2021, PBK DV Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Jamey Harman, Jeff Jones, Tasha Hutnick, Alan Mason, Gina DeRosa, Matt Stetz, John Faulhaber, Karla Feeley, Melinda Rossi, and Shea Sandifer, enjoyed an interactive virtual casual Happy Hour with rotating peer-moderated breakout groups to converse share and connect with other early career PBK's, followed by several rounds of Among Us.
Book Club - "Archeology From Space"
On February 11, 2021, Jeff Jones led a lively virtual discussion of "Archaeology From Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past", written by National Geographic Explorer and TED prize winner, Sarah Parcak, about the intriguing story of the evolution of modern archaeology, interwoven with how high-resolution images from space have changed our conception of many past events and past civilizations. The book won the 2020 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award for Science, and was named a Top Ten Book of 2019 by the esteemed journal Nature.
Young Professionals Happy Hour Followed by Skribbl.io Game Night
On January 28, 2021, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Jamey Harman, Tasha Hutnick, Alan Mason, Gina DeRosa, Matt Stetz, Caroline Amodeo, Jahn Faulhaber, Karla Feeley, and Shea Sandifer, enjoyed an interactive virtual casual Happy Hour with rotating peer-moderated breakout groups to converse, network, and connect with other early careeer PBK's, follwed by several lively rounds of Skribbl.io .
Distinguished Speaker Series - "Frank Furness and George Hewitt - Architects of the Moment"
On January 26, 2021, Monica Zimmerman, Vice President for Public Education and Engagement at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), came back after her great talk in Nov., to discuss what was going on in post-Civil War Philadelphia in terms of the social and industrial revolution elements contributing to the creation and execution of PAFA's iconic Landmark Building on North Broad St., a towering fortress filled with radical design elements that awed citizens at the time and still engages and intrigues visitors to this day. Ms. Zimmerman explored other contemporaneous major buildings arising in the city, as well as the civic forces involved in commissioning the building and sourcing its materials, and the intertwining design motifs of the American landscape and the American industrial revolution that wind through its galleries.
Movie Club - "I Am Mother"
On January 14, 2021, Jeff Jones and Jamey Harman led an interactive virtual discussion of the Australian futuristic Sci-Fi film, "I Am Mother", starring Hilary Swank as a female survivor in the future, confronting an AI robot who is raising humans after a planetary catastrophe, with conflict and interesting moral dimensions. Selected for the Sundance Film Festival.
Young Professionals Winter Holiday Party & Trivia Game
On December 18, 2020, Jamey Harman led an interactive virtual gathering to meet, network, and connect among PBK Young Professionals for winter holiday cheer followed by trivia covering three themes of January Facts, Winter, and New Year Around the World. Three teams competed for fun, using Kahoot to display the trivia questions and tally the answers.
Book Club - "The Dutch House"
On December 3, 2020, Jeff Jones and Jamey Harman led an interactive virtual discussion of the novel, "The Dutch House", written by Ann Patchett. The novel explores a 5-decade family saga of a brother & sister who cannot overcome their past, related to a mansion in the Philadelphia area, as told by the brother. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, NY Times bestseller, NY Times Notable Book, and named one of the best Books of the Year by NPR and the Washington Post.
Young Professionals Happy Hour with "Among Us" Game Night
On November 19, 2020, PBK Young Profesionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Jeff Jones, Tasha Hutnick, Alan Mason, Gina DeRosa, Matt Stetz, Stephen Cupschalk, Caroline Amodeo, and Alexandra Guffey, enjoyed an interactive virtual Happy Hour with rotating peer-moderated breakout groups to connect with other early career PBK's, followed by several lively games of Among Us.
Distinguished Speaker Series - "Philly Firsts - History of Philadelphia through Art at PAFA"
On November 17, 2020, this fascinating presentation was given by Monica Zimmerman Vice President of Public Education and Engagement at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), relating to art works in PAFA's outstanding collection which portray iconic moments and individuals key to the history of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley region, in politics, civic accomplishments, science, medicine, and culture. Ms. Zimmerman has a most engaging presentation style and shared little known background "gossip" as she put it, as part of her lively discriptions of the artists and art works, as well as providing the context of the hsitorical moments protrayed in PAFA's collection.
Movie Club - "The Farewell"
On November 12, 2020, Jamey Harman and Jeff Jones led an interactive virtual discussion of the film, "The Farewell", by filmmaker Lulu Wang, who was named by Variety Magazine as a "Top 10 Director to Watch". The film sensitively portrays the nuances of how Chinese and American cultures handle complex and heartfelt family issues, with humor and empathty, without taking sides on which culture is "correct". The film was lauded at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and, won an American Film Institute award, an Independent Spriit Best Feature Film Award, and a golded Globe Best Female Actor award for the lead, Akwafina, who plays against type in a serious role.
Young Professionals Happy Hour Followed by Quiplash Game Night.
On October 29, 2020, PBK Young Professionals from SE PA, So. Jersey, and No. Delaware, led by Jamey Harman, Jeff Jones, Gina DeRosa, Alan Mason, Tasha Hutnick, and Matt Stetz, enjoyed an interactive virtual Happy Hour with rotating peer-moderated breakout groups to network and connect with other early career PBK's, followed by several lively games of Quiplash.
Book Club - "Soul of America"
On October 22, 2020, Jamey Harman, Jeff Jones, and Bill Howard led an interactive virtual discussion of the 2019 book, "Soul of America", written by Jon Meacham. Through portraits of presidents and citizen activists, the book explores turning points in American history, and how hope overcame division and fear, in a timely manner vis a vis our then upcoming elections. A NY Times bestseller, named one of the "Best Books of the Year" by NPR and the Christian Science Monitor.
Movie Club - "John Lewis - Good Trouble"
On October 8, 2020, Jeff Jones led an interactive virtual discussion of the documentary film, "John Lewis - Good Trouble" by filmmaker and Swarthmore alum, Dawn Porter, which traces the arc of civil rights giant, Congressman, John Lewis' life and career, along with how his struggle for civil and voting rights continued up to the time of his passing, and is still unfinished for the nation today.
"Key Connections" Happy Hour & Networking Event
On September 24, 2020, PBK DV Young Professionals welcomed recent inductees to Phi Beta Kappa living in our region, with a virtual Happy Hour-style meet & greet in rotating break-out rooms. Members of PBK DV's Young Professionals group moderated the event and the breakout rooms, and shared their experiences post-graduation and connecting through PBK DV events.
Movie Club - "Clemency"
On September 10, 2020, Jeff Jones and Jamey Harman led an interactive virtual discussion of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize-winning film, "Clemency". Written & directed by Temple University Film School alum, Chinoye Chukwu, the film exploreshow a female prison warden in a male prison, played by Alfre Woodard, tries to come to terms with the demands of her position.
Book Club - "Empire of the Summer Moon"
On August 13, 2020, Jeff Jones & Jamey Harman led an interctive virtual discussion of the book, "Empire of the Summer Mooon", written by SC Gwynne, The stunning story of the 40 year battle between the Comanches and the settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah Parker, son of a Comanche chief and his wife who had been abducted from a settlement as a young girl. Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, NY Times bestseller, NY Times "Notable Book", named one of the "Best Books of the Year" by both NPR and the Washington Post.
Movie Club - "American Factory"
On July 16, 2020, Jeff Jones & Jamey Harman led an interactive virtual discussion of the Academy Award winning film for Best Documentary Movie, "American Factory", which piercingly explores the cultural interplay and conflicts between American workers whose idled GM factory in Dayton, OH, has been revived by new Chinese management. This was the first film released by the Obamas' production company.
Book Club - "Americanah"
On June 11, 2020, Jeff Jones & Jamey Harman led an interactive virtual discussion of the best selling novel, "Americanah", written by Chimamanda Ngozi Amichie, which tells two intertwined tales of immigrant experience in the United States and Britain, and the pull of home in contemporary Nigeria. The novel was named by the NY Times as one of the "Ten Best Books of 2013".
Distinguished Speaker Series - "Current Political Winds for the Fall General Election"
On May 12, 2020, Terry Madonna, PhD, Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs, Professor of Public Affairs, and Director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, engaged in a virtual talk & discussion with PBK DV members. Dr. Madonna's specialties are the American Presidency, along with Amercian Political Parties and Political Behavior. He founded the Keystone Poll in 1992, whch was renamed the Franklin & Marshall College Poll in 2008. Members greatly appreciated hearing his encylopedic knowledge of the present and past political landscape, along with his insightful analysis of current poiltical developments and their portents for the then upcoming elections.
Duinner and Lecture by Howard Neukrug, PE, BCEE
On March 10, 2020, Howard Neukrug, PE, BCEE, Professsor of Practice in Water Leadership & Innovation in the U. Penn Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and former CEO and Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Dept., discussed "Is the water safe to drink? An overview of Flint, Philadelphia, and America's water infrastructure." Members gained important insights into the progress as well as the challenges facing the country in maintaining healthy and safe drinking water systems for all of us.
Dinner and Lecture by Roderick G. Eckenhoff, MD
On January 21, 2020, Roderick G. Eckenhoff, MD, Professor and Vice Chair of the U. Penn Perelman School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, and leader of a national multi-specialty Brain Health Initiative, discussed "Is your brain health influenced by anesthesia and surgery?" Dr. Eckenhoff, an expert in this field, addressed questions such as: How common are mental chages after surgery? What causes this and is it reversible? What questions should familiy members and patients ask their surgeons and anesthesiolgists?
National Constitution Center Tour & Lunch Lecture
On December 7, 2019, PBK members toured the National Constitution Center in Center City Philadelphia. The group saw the live presentation, "Freedom Rising", had a private tour of the main exhibit floor, enjoyed lunch with the NCC historian presenting a talk on leadership stratgies of influential Americans, followed by a private tour and discussion in Signers' Hall of the impact of various of the Constitution's signers. PBK members could then take a self-guided tour of the special exhibit, "Civitl War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality".
Dinner and Lecture by Dr. Stevens Hecksher
On October 1, 2019, PBK members came together for dinner and a lecture presented by Dr. Stevens Hecksher, who received his PhD in Mathematics from Harvard University. using the internet to access and control telescopes from around the world, Dr. Hecksher compiled and showed breathtaking images of deep sky objects.
Dinner and Lecture by Susan Talbott
On May 14, 2019, PBK members welcomed Susan Talbott, Executive Director of the internationally acclaimed Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, for dinner and a lecture. Members heard the history and mission of the Fabric Workshop as well as the impact of the then current exhibit on a flag constructed of daily work fabric, reflecting the struggles of those who perform this work.
Museum of the American Revolution Tour & Lunch lecture
On a March 2019 Saturday, PBK members enjoyed a guided tour of the Museum of the American Revolution's galleries, as well as admission to the then special "Hamilton Was Here" exhibit. Lunch was accompanied by a special "Hamilton Was Here" lecture provided by the muesum's staff.