Pi Gamma Mu, the International Honor Society in the Social Sciences, has announced that Dr. H. Lee Cheek, Jr., Dean of the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science and History at East Georgia State College, will receive the organization’s Outstanding Alumni Award at its 2017 Triennial International Convention in Kansas City, Missouri in November.
Pi Gamma Mu is the oldest and preeminent honor society in the social sciences with the mission is to encourage and recognize superior scholarship in social-science disciplines and to foster cooperation and social service among its members. Pi Gamma Mu serves the various social-science disciplines which seek to understand and explain human behavior and social relationships as well as their related problems and issues. Currently, there are 150 active chapters in the United States and overseas.
Pi Gamma Mu's constitution defines the social sciences to include the disciplines of history, political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology, international relations, criminal justice, social work, social philosophy, history of education, and cultural/human geography. Membership is also extended to interdisciplinary social-science areas that build on the core social-science disciplines, such as business and society, education, minority studies, public administration, international studies, public finance, leadership studies, consumer behavior, public policy and organizational behavior.
Dr. Cheek founded a chapter of Pi Gamma Mu at Western Carolina University during his days as an undergraduate. As a professor and academic administrator, he started chapters at Brewton-Parker College and Lee University. Over the years, Dr. Cheek has also published several important articles in the International Social Science Review, the prominent referred journal published by the honor society.
Dr. Cheek received his bachelor's degree from Western Carolina University, his M.Div. from Duke University, his M.P.A. from Western Carolina University, and his Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. He previously served as Dean of the School of Social Sciences at the University of North Georgia (Gainesville State College); as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Athens State University in Alabama; and Vice-President for College Advancement and Professor of Political Science at Brewton-Parker College in Mt. Vernon, Georgia. Dr. Cheek taught at Brewton-Parker College from 1997-2000 and from 2005-2009. In 2000, 2006, and 2007, the student body of Brewton-Parker College selected Cheek as Professor of the Year; and, in 2008, the Jordon Excellence in Teaching was bestowed upon him by the College's faculty and administration. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Cheek served as Associate Professor of Political Science at Lee University. In 2002, Dr. Cheek was given Lee University’s Excellence in Scholarship award; and in 2004, he received Lee University's Excellence in Advising award. In 2008, Western Carolina University presented Dr. Cheek with the University's Distinguished Alumni Award for Academic and Professional Achievement.
He has also been a congressional aide and a political consultant. Dr. Cheek's books include Political Philosophy and Cultural Renewal (Transaction/Rutgers, 2001, with Kathy B. Cheek); Calhoun and Popular Rule, published by the University of Missouri Press (2001; paper edition, 2004); Calhoun: Selected Speeches and Writings (Regnery, 2003); Order and Legitimacy (Transaction/Rutgers, 2004); an edition of Calhoun's A Disquisition on Government (St. Augustine's, 2007); a critical edition of W. H. Mallock's The Limits of Pure Democracy (Transaction/Rutgers, 2007); Confronting Modernity: Towards a Theology of Ministry in the Wesleyan Tradition (Wesley Studies Society, 2010; reprinted, 2012); an edition of the classic study, A Theory of Public Opinion (Transaction/Rutgers, 2013); Patrick Henry-Onslow: Liberty and Republicanism in American Political Thought (Lexington Books, 2013); and, a major new study of the origins of the American political system, The Founding of the American Republic (Manchester University Press, 2019). He has also published dozens of scholarly articles in academic publications, and is a regular commentator on American politics and religion.
Dr. Cheek’s current research includes completing an intellectual biography of Francis Graham Wilson (I.S.I. Books), and a book on Patrick Henry's constitutionalism and political theory. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Humanitas, The Political Science Reviewer, Anamnesis, and The University Bookman, as a Senior Fellow of the Alexander Hamilton Institute, and as a Fellow of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters (elected). Cheek has been a Fellow of the Wilbur Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the Center for Judicial Studies, and the Center for International Media Studies.
He is a senior minister in the United Methodist Church, and a former U.S Army chaplain. Dr. Cheek lives in Vidalia, Ga., with his wife, Kathy B. Cheek, a teacher of dance and yoga, and their cats, Gina and Mr. Macavity.