SigEp brother Dr. Jim Barber, Grand Valley State ’95, was recently named the editor of Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA). He is currently an associate professor of higher education in the department of Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership at the College of William & Mary.
Oracle publishes biannual issues containing peer-reviewed articles featuring empirical research on topics including hazing behaviors, alcohol and other substance abuse, measuring characteristics of brotherhood and sisterhood, and historical trends that continue to inform present-day work in the field of student affairs.
Barber was a doctoral student in higher education at the University of Michigan, where he was a resident scholar with SigEp’s Michigan Alpha Chapter from 2004 to 2009. He also served as the balanced man steward for the chapter. Since 2010, he has served as faculty fellow for the Virginia Delta Chapter at William & Mary.
According to William & Mary, Barber worked with a team of colleagues from the AFA to launch the journal in 2005 during his time at Michigan. He was pleasantly surprised to receive support from faculty and staff around the country to form the original peer review board for the publication. “We saw a need in the field for a clearinghouse for research about the fraternity and sorority experience,” Barber said when asked where the inspiration to create Oracle came from. Barber went on to serve as associate editor of Oracle from 2014 to 2017 before accepting this two-year appointment as editor.
SigEp has a strong legacy with the Oracle. In 2015, the AFA honored Dr. Charles G. “Doc” Eberly, Bowling Green State ’63, Order of the Golden Heart, with the naming of the Dr. Charles Eberly Oracle Award. Eberly is a renowned scholar on the study of fraternities and sororities and a lifelong SigEp volunteer. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to Oracle. Eberly helped create the publication and currently serves on its peer review board. Each award recipient will now receive a scholarship to further their research on fraternities and sororities, endowed by the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation and the AFA Foundation.
Visit Oracle’s website to read past issues of the publication and learn more about the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Foundation (AFA).