Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society, Beta of Nebraska, held its second annual New Member Initiation Ceremony on April 25, 2014. Robert Heaney, BS'47, MD'51, the John A. Creighton Professor and professor of medicine and Alejandro Portes, BA'65, Ph.D., were inducted as alumni.Thirty-eight students were inducted as well.
Heaney has worked more than 60 years in the study of osteoporosis, vitamin D and calcium physiology. He has also written three books and hundreds of scientific educational journals and books on quantitative physiology.
He has engaged in nutritional policy issues, helped redefine the context for estimating nutrient requirements, focused attention on the inadequacy of drug-based research designs for the evaluation of nutrient efficiency, developed a widely acclaimed set of standards for the evaluation of nutrient effects and received numerous national and international awards.
Portes, who was born in Havana, Cuba, came to the United States in 1960. He was educated at the University of Havana, the Catholic University of Argentina and Creighton University. He received his master of arts and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
His recent research focuses on immigration and the American health system, the role of institutions on national development and the adaption process of the immigrant second generation in comparative perspective. He has published 36 books and special issues and is the author of 220 articles and chapters on national development, international migration, Latin American and Caribbean urbanization and economic sociology.
Portes is the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and Distinguished research professor at the University of Miami. He is the founding director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton. Portes formerly taught at Duke University, the University of Texas Austin and Johns Hopkins University, where he held the John Dewey Chair in Arts and Sciences. In 1997, he was elected president of the American Sociological Association, a position he held until 1999.
He is also a former fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences and of the Russell Sage Foundation. He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career.
The Beta of Nebraska Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was installed at Creighton in November 2012. Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society for the liberal arts and sciences. Only 10 percent of colleges and universities have earned the privilege of hosting a chapter on their campuses. Among its distinguished alumni are 17 United States Presidents, 38 Supreme Court Justices and 36 Nobel Laureates.