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Phi Kappa Phi

Laurie M. Johnson

Chapter Scholar Award,  presented April 2012


Phi Kappa Phi is honored to present its
2012 Scholar Award to
Dr. Laurie M. Johnson, Professor of Political Science. 
The following information is taken from the nomination package for this award.

Professor Johnson is a prolific, well-established and highly regarded scholar of political thought.   Her work Thucydides, Hobbes and the Interpretation of Realism is regarded as a classic in her field.  Her two books on Hobbes, Hobbes' Leviathan and Thomas Hobbes: Turning Point for Honor are equally well regarded and have been reviewed very positively.  Finally, her recent work soon to be out on Locke, Rousseau, and the Enlightenment's answer to Honor, is a continuation of her earlier work and will undoubtedly make an important contribution to both political thought and history.

Her work raises important questions about the role of honor, self-interest, the contractual nature of society, government and relations among individuals and the shift away from civic/ public life to private life.  She has achieved an international reputation in her field as a scholar of political thought.  She has received numerous honor and awards including grants from the Earhart Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

As well as Professor Johnson's remarkably prolific scholarly work, she also has engaged in tireless work in designing, securing funding for, and driving through to actual realization the Primary Texts Certificate Program at K-State.  Her initiatives in this program have made possible a rich experience of engagement with the great minds and great books of the past in their enduring relevance to issues of values and policy.  While many of us grouse about a watered-down educational experience and dream about ideal curricula, Laurie, instead of merely lamenting decline, has gone out and done the leg-work to actually make some of those dreams come true in a number of courses involving departments across the College of Arts and Sciences, and some of our most outstanding teachers.

Her ability to secure funding for this initiative has been truly remarkable.  Laurie Johnson has been a pragmatist and intellectual innovator in fostering this Certificate and finding the funding to make it go, just like those realist thinkers of the past who have been the subjects of so much of her scholarly research and writing.  She has made a unique contribution to the intellectual life of this campus, and is to my mind highly deserving of the recognition the Phi Kappa Phi Scholar Award would confer.

The Scholar Award criteria:

  1. Quality of accomplishments in
    the nominee's field of study.
  2. Achievements of regional,
    national and/or international
    scope (publications, research,
    invited lectures, etc.).
  3. Honors and other forms of
    recognition for excellence in
    scholarly work.