A Community of Scholars
Lives worth leadingâ„˘
“We are professors because we profess what we believe. Our profession— of God’s teaching, commands, love and faithfulness— is embedded in who we are and what we teach.” —Professor Valerie Gin, Ed.D. (Boston University), recipient of 2013 Senior Distinguished Faculty Award
Active Scholars The Gordon College faculty are innovative, creative scholars who pursue diverse academic and professional interests.
Mentors and Collaborators Professors bring students alongside them in research and scholarshipâ€” not just over the summer months, but during the academic year as well. The results of these partnerships can be extraordinary.
17 Exploring the Edges A hallmark of Gordon: exploration of boundaries among cultures, among disciplines, and between the seen and the unseen.
23 Global Reach Global vision and involvement are in Gordonâ€™s DNA, and have been since its founding in 1889. Gordon faculty continue to pursue their scholarly passions all over the world.
28 Curriculum Vitae Writing, researching, speaking, creating, performing: peruse a sampling of the achievements and activities of Gordon faculty, selected from just one year.
Ann Ferguson, Ph.D. (Boston University), professor emerita of English; D. Michael Lindsay, Ph.D. (Princeton University), president; Janel Curry, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota), provost
Shaping the Future On any given day, I can walk across the Gordon College campus and see the future. It looks like David Lee exploring the boundaries of materials science. Like the theological reflection Sharon Ketcham is leading with her students—on Facebook. Like Ruth Melkonian-Hoover’s research on evangelicals’ changing views of immigration reform. This makes the campus a rich place for me, because geographers like exploring the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences as they come together to help explain a particular place. So as I watch our faculty members interact with the most current aspects of their scholarship and take the lead in their fields, I understand why Gordon is such a great place, and why their work is shaping the future. Gordon faculty regularly collaborate with colleagues across disciplines, academic networks and the globe. As researchers they bypass the safety of the status quo and opt instead for the exhilarating discomfort of “what if?”—and invite students to do the same. Many have studied at the world’s finest universities, bringing a level of academic excellence on par with the country’s top liberal arts colleges. They are always moving their work forward, challenging themselves as scholars and creators of intellectual capital. But any geographical analysis worth its salt will quickly spot the values and beliefs that distinguish a place. As impressive as they are in their fields, Gordon faculty share a commitment to something greater still, something I call visionary scholarship. It is scholarship anchored in the rich truths of the Christian faith, a faith that provides both freedom and a compass to frame the questions that deepen their scholarship. Visionary scholars, in other words, ask: How will our work contribute to the building of the Kingdom of God, bringing restoration and healing for the common good while reflecting God’s glory? How does our research contribute to the building of a society that promotes mercy and justice? How does scholarly activity reflect our calling, and how can we use this calling to bring about the best in our students and their futures? British novelist and lay theologian Dorothy L. Sayers wrote in 1942 that “the only Christian work is good work well done.” In these pages, you’ll “walk across campus” and meet some of the people who define the place we call Gordon College, the visionary scholars who exemplify truly “Christian work” because of its quality and mission. With each encounter, I am certain you, too, will get a glimpse of the future.
Janel Curry Provost, Gordon College
David Lee, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology), professor of physics
Active Scholars “Aristotle wrote that ‘all human beings desire to know.’ The historian Richard Weaver once entitled a book Ideas Have Consequences. At Gordon College we believe that both statements are true. As bearers of the image of God, we possess gifts of intellect and language. But human sinfulness too often contaminates reason with destructive consequences. It is all the more important, then, for Christian scholars to strive to be ‘salt and light’ in the world of ideas, enlisting the intellect against vice and for the good of the church and society at large. We are blessed at Gordon to have a community of topnotch scholars who rise every morning with precisely this desire.” —Thomas A. (Tal) Howard, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), professor of history
Ancient Manuscripts, and a Bridge to the Present Jennifer Hevelone-Harper’s book Disciples of the Desert: Monks, Laity and Spiritual Authority in Sixth-Century Gaza (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) is a fascinating exploration of lay and monastic Christians in late antiquity. A historian of late antiquity, early Islam and medieval Europe, Dr. Hevelone-Harper and colleague Ute Possekel are engaging students in a project likely to unfold over five years or more, the translation of the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, a ninth-century manuscript in the Syriac dialect of the Aramaic language that Jesus spoke. It is a translation of two treatises written in Greek in the sixth century by John Climacus, an abbot of St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai. Ninth-century monks used knives to scrape 300-year-old ink off 137 parchment folios a bit smaller than a piece of computer paper, leaving faint brown shadows of biblical material in Greek and Aramaic; the monks then wrote over that erased text in Syriac, using black pigment that 6
remains bold today. Scholars at Cambridge are employing spectroscopy to study the writing that was erased, but Dr. HeveloneHarper and Dr. Possekel are translating the more recent texts about spiritual disciplines to make the content available to a wider field of scholars of Christianity in the Middle East. Dr. Hevelone-Harper also reflects on what this long-ago act of recycling conveys: that ninth-century readers were still interested in what an abbot wrote centuries before; that linguistic usage was shifting; that monks had access to plenty of Bibles, enough that it seemed like a practical choice to erase some to reuse their pages. She equips her students with the skill set to move forward as scholars themselves— how to make presentations, how to answer questions—so that when they present their research in settings such as the national Conference on Faith and History her department hosted in 2012, their oral presentations are as fine as their written work.
She also encourages an expansive understanding of the biblical charge to love their neighbor—urging students to love not only those separated from them geographically, but also those set apart chronologically. “If you are trying to love someone,” she says, “the first thing you need to do is find out something about them. You have to understand the background of a people group or a culture or a place. It’s worth learning their language and their history. Of course, when you study history you come across human depravity and discouraging things. But Christianity says humanity is created in the image of God and is in the process of being redeemed, so you may also find great altruism and self-sacrifice. This dichotomy in human nature can be confusing. As a historian, a Christian worldview helps you make sense of that.” Jennifer Hevelone-Harper, Ph.D. (Princeton University), professor of history
“Any basis for political authority robust enough to do the work required of it is bound to be controversial, and cannot fail to privilege certain groups or perspectives over others. Ironically, such privilege is established and perpetuated by the language of tolerance.” —Paul Brink, Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame), professor of political science (from “Negotiating a Plural Politics”)
adventures in BIOTECH
Metal Morpher Materials physicist, successful business executive, dedicated educator—David Lee’s work extends beyond his lab’s walls. His 14 U.S. patents range from sports equipment to tools for combinatorial materials science and pharmaceutical research. During a leave of absence from Gordon he served as president and chief technical officer for Glassimetal Technology, a Caltech-based startup company in the field of bulk metallic glasses (at which he hired one of his recent physics graduates). He also teamed with another of his former Gordon students to found Massachusetts-based tech venture ADE3D. Dr. Lee also serves as one of the six technical panelists consulted yearly for Golf Digest magazine’s annual “Hot List” equipment guide.
Following postdoctoral work under Dr. Hidde L. Ploegh at MIT and Harvard Medical School, Craig Story has pursued research interests in immunology and molecular biology. During his most recent sabbatical, Dr. Story worked closely with Dr. J. Christopher Love at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, helping optimize a new system for analysis of secretions of individual cells within a diverse population. This system is known as microengraving, a soft lithographic method based on intaglio printing, and is a micro-scale method that greatly speeds up the process of antibody discovery; these antibodies can help fight disease among the world’s poor. Craig Story, Ph.D. (Brandeis University), associate professor of biology
David Lee, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology), professor of physics
e + 1 = 0
Because math is beautiful
“Many people find Euler’s Equation, named for the Swiss-German mathematician Leonhard Euler, a beautiful equation because of its simplicity and depth in expressing an amazing relationship between five of the most important symbols in mathematics. It’s amazing that these five should be related in any way at all, much less so simply and in a way that’s so easily expressed.” Richard Stout, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University), professor of mathematics
Exploring How We Perceive Abstractions Bert Hodges started teaching psychology at Gordon in 1972, and for the first 30 years, teaching was his only gig. He occasionally presented papers on faith-learning integration, but for the most part it was classroom instruction front and center. About 10 years ago that changed. Powerfully intrigued by questions he wanted to test himself, he cut back to a two-thirds teaching load in order to ramp up his research. Now, in addition to teaching cognitive, social, and theoretical psychology, as well as introductory and cross-cultural psychology, he publishes extensively in top-tier journals on several topics in social psychology, involves entire classes in his research, and engages 10 or more student research assistants each year in his on-campus experimental work on social interaction and perception. His focus is what he calls values realization—the outplaying of values. That’s unusual in his field. “The deal we made with the scientific revolution,” he says, “is ‘we aren’t going to talk about 8
good and evil any more—they don’t exist.’ I don’t think you can discuss cognition and perception without discussing values.” One of his ongoing projects explores whether we can visually perceive abstractions and qualities. Here’s the nutshell version: if someone is carrying a heavy box and someone else is carrying a light one, can an observer tell the difference? How about if they try to disguise the weight of what they are carrying? What if they carry things of different “moral weight”—like groceries, a bag of trash, or a baby? If a video of a person doing this is converted to a moving image of points of light, can an observer tell which object is being carried— and whether the person carrying it is attempting to deceive? One of Dr. Hodges’ lab classes devised an experiment to test some of those questions, and used imaging technology to carry it out in the aerobics room of Gordon’s Bennett Athletic Center, and in several classrooms. “The physics of the body
is objective,” he notes. “This research established that something changes, and people can tell. Ongoing research will look into what changes about those motions. What is carefulness? What does it look like?” Others find applications for the insights Dr. Hodges’ research produces—like a graduate student in Denmark whose doctoral research assesses how effectively emergency room workers communicate with one another as they coordinate care in life and death situations. Dr. Hodges’ focus is on a deeper understanding of how people perceive things such as weight, time and color, and how that influences their actions. “Knowing things is going to make a difference in what you’re going to do,” he says. “I tell students on the first day of every class, ‘I’m here to change your life. I’m not messing around. We want to be better when we leave here.’” Bert Hodges, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University), professor of psychology
“From my research and teaching, I have become convinced of the importance of the distinction between proprietary and open-source software. It’s a distinction that has deep connections with Christian thinking on stewardship, creativity and freedom.” —Karl-Dieter Crisman, Ph.D. (University of Chicago), associate professor of mathematics
“I learn best by ‘tinkering,’ and so do many of our students. The Little Fe cluster (a model of a modern supercomputer) fosters this sort of learning; its open frame, exposed cabling, and blinking lights invite students to be curious about it.” Jonathan Senning, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), professor of mathematics
Nine Decades of Scholarship Pick a number—say, 90. Envision 90 years of joint experience as professors at Gordon and Barrington, 90 years of upholding biblical authority, 90 years of teaching, encouraging, and inspiring generations of students, 90 years of substantive scholarship. Now picture Roger Green and Marvin Wilson. These senior members of the Gordon College Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries (which numbers nine full-time faculty) are the sages whose cumulative years of service (50 for Dr. Wilson, 40 for Dr. Green) have contributed nuance and depth since Gordon and Barrington united in 1985.
identity in community
“Conceiving of identities as interpretations shows how their main function is not to express the essence of an individual but to foster community creation.” Lauren Swayne Barthold, Ph.D. (New School for Social Research), associate professor of philosophy
“We don’t teach the Bible in a vacuum,” Dr. Wilson says. “Never have.” They book-end the curriculum; Dr. Wilson is an Old Testament specialist while Dr. Green focuses on the New. Dr. Wilson’s scholarly work builds bridges between Christians, Jews and Muslims. He was a translator and editor of the New International Version of the Bible, his book Our Father Abraham: The Roots of the Christian Faith is widely used as a textbook in a number of languages, and he recently contributed a major article to the ESV Study Bible. Dr. Green’s articles and three books illuminate the history and theology of the Salvation Army, and in 2012 the Army honored him with the rarely-bestowed Order of the Founder. Gordon scholar-in-residence Stan Gaede calls them “two of the wisest, most gracious folks I’ve ever met. How do you put together depth of expertise, wisdom in delivery, and humility from beginning to end? I’m not sure, but these two have done it.” Roger Green, Ph.D. (Boston College) and Marvin Wilson, Ph.D. (Brandeis University), professors of biblical studies
Jim Zingarelli, M.A. (Trinity College), professor of art
Mentors and Collaborators “Mentoring takes many forms. Most common is helping students with their vocational pursuits—figuring out what areas of the marketplace they’re most suited to and helping them develop the technical skills they need to succeed there. Mentoring also happens in helping students develop advanced research skills. It also happens when students and faculty connect on a personal level. This involves praying for and with students, encouraging them in their spiritual walks, listening to their relationship struggles and talking at deep levels about what it means to be a Christian in their chosen field of study and work.
Many of my highest highs and deepest learning come from exchanges with some amazing students.” —Kent Seibert, D.B.A. (Boston University), professor of economics and business
Mentors and Collaborators
Launching Researchers in Biology Trained as a plant geneticist, Ming Zheng increasingly intertwines his research on microspore embryogenesis and plant biotechnology with a concern for the ethical, legal, social and economic impacts of genetic engineering. As he researches new tools to accelerate crop improvement, he does so with a desire to foster agricultural methods that are sustainable long-term.
completely into mature embryoids. Dr. Zheng works with wheat plants and their immature pollen to try to find out why. Factors that may contribute to embryogenic termination include the initial isolation of microspores using an ultra-sharp microblender, the space and nutrients in which the embryogenic microspores develop, and the density of microspores in that culture medium.
A major project is to optimize an in vitro system to increase the survival rate of reprogrammed microspores (immature pollen) that biotech labs employ to create double haploid plants. Double haploids are homozygous (genetically fixed) plants that allow breeders to select favored gene combinations to produce desirable traits in one generation. By contrast, conventional cross-breeding produces seeds that require multiple generations to achieve the same level of homogeneity.
Because of his expertise in the field, Dr. Zheng often advises student researchers who want to work in cell and developmental biology. One of his students, Daniel Adam ’13, found evidence that the isolation protocol damages miscrospores; in 2013–2014 four more Gordon students launched independent research to investigate other factors.
A pitfall of the existing embryogenic system is that as the cells divide, anywhere from 60 to 85 percent fail to develop 12
As student researchers start out, Dr. Zheng assigns reading, assists with research design, and teaches them how to use microscopy to monitor and track cell division and development. Along the way, he asks questions: What don’t you
understand? What more do you want to learn? “Sometimes they have a grand research idea,” he says, “so I may need to say ‘No, stop, we’re not there yet. Let’s think what is the fundamental question, and a do-able project within a year or so— not a Ph.D. thesis!’ I help them narrow it down to a meaningful project with the type of advising you get in grad school.” Each fall when the College hosts the symposium of the New England Society of Miscroscopy, several Gordon students attend. In some years, one or more present their research alongside professionals—and before an audience that includes faculty from graduate programs to which they may apply. “Professors from Harvard and MIT witness the quality of our students,” Dr. Zheng says. “Every lab does specialized things at the Ph.D. level, but if a student has the intellectual capacity and ability to train quickly, the student can thrive.” Ming Zheng, Ph.D. (Washington State University), professor of biology
“We are tour guides who help students see the big picture. We are translators between the academic project and spiritual formation. And we are traveling companions who are present for conversations as they arise.” —Greg Carmer, Ph.D. (Boston College), dean of Christian life
Scholarly Apprenticeships Chelsea Revell ’13 wrote a remarkable paper on the Gospel of John. “One of the best papers I’ve had as a college professor, 16 years going,” Steve Hunt (biblical studies) says. So he asked her to collaborate with him to write a chapter for a book he was co-editing. Over several months they talked through the topic— the two men crucified with Jesus— and explored sources, and then took turns writing and editing through January and February until both were satisfied. And in spring 2013, Chelsea stood up with Dr. Hunt for a presentation to his Gordon College faculty colleagues: he spoke about another research project he’s engaged in, and she presented the chapter they wrote together, which was accepted for publication in Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John (Mohr Siebeck, 2013). Collaboration with students is a hallmark of Dr. Hunt’s work at Gordon. In 2011 Joel Nolette ’11 worked with him on an article for the same book, co-writing an essay on the brothers of Jesus who are mentioned in John 2 and 7. Joel also assisted with editing, researching and formatting one of Dr. Hunt’s earlier books, Rewriting the Feeding of Five Thousand: John 6.1–15 as a Test Case for Johannine Dependence on the Synoptic Gospels (Studies in Biblical Literature 125; New York: Peter Lang, 2011). His student co-authors end up well oriented to and actively engaged in the field of biblical scholarship. “Through the synthesis of our essay,” says Chelsea, “I realized more about myself—my perspectives and tendencies as a scholar—and simultaneously had the privilege of interacting with Steve’s viewpoints and ideas. The experience reinforced, in a very positive way, the fact that scholarship is much more of a group effort than a solo act.” Steven Hunt, Ph.D. (University of Sheffield), professor of biblical studies
Adam Vogel ’13 assisted Kaye Cook (psychology) with analysis of the narratives of Gordon College students, including their spirituality and “questing,” and the prevalence of “moralistic therapeutic deism” (MTD). The latter phrase was coined by sociologist Christian Smith (Gordon, ’84) to sum up beliefs common to many “emerging adults”—that God is primarily a source of morals and a problem-solver who is distant and uninvolved. “I have the transcriptions of 60 interviews with Gordon students,” says Cook, “which students are coding for views of God.” The results challenge Smith’s description. Gordon students do a lot of questing, as Cook notes that she hopes they continue to—thinking deeply about God, faith, and the Christian life in ways that strengthen rather than weaken their faith. Kaye Cook, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina), professor of psychology
Mentors and Collaborators
“My love for teaching stems from my insistence on students’ critical thinking regarding the literary text. From such ‘live’ dialogue, I have gleaned much of what has gone into my research and writing. Win-win.” Paul Borgman, Ph.D. (University of Chicago), professor of English
Mathematics Side by Side It’s easy to take for granted the manufacturing systems that provide us with everything from circuit boards to battleships. Mike Veatch and student researcher Olivia Gray ’14 have investigated how manufacturing systems and other networks can become “clogged”—with too many states of congestion to consider them all. Their goal? To develop an optimization model that finds the best schedule for randomly generated jobs. They are also seeking “robust” measures of congestion that get at the worst that is likely to happen. Down the hall on the second floor of the Ken Olsen Science Center, Juliann Booth ’15 has been engaged in math research of a slightly different sort. In physics, economics and other fields, there is often a need to generate random numbers that follow some pattern. Employing an ingenious method, Markov chain Monte Carlo, works even when you don’t have a complete formula for the pattern. Juliann hopes to develop a computer tool using this method that can solve global optimization problems. Her faculty mentor Jonathan Senning notes that in applied math like Juliann’s project, “there’s beauty to be seen; here it comes by way of trying to do something useful.” Michael Veatch, Ph.D. (MIT) and Jonathan Senning, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), professors of mathematics
“All the imagination in the world could not have prepared me for the deeply moving and richly satisfying experience of creatively collaborating with young artists I once badgered, criticized, prodded, cajoled, hassled, humored, reprimanded and—hopefully—nurtured when they were starting their professional journeys.” —Jeff Miller, M.A. (University of Minnesota), professor of theatre arts 14
THE PHYSICS OF EVERYTHING
“Some of the most interesting physics involves an interdisciplinary approach,” says Dale Pleticha. He and other versatile physics professors often collaborate with senior majors on yearlong research projects. A member of the Class of 2013 intrigued by the physics of sport teamed with Dr. Pleticha to develop a computer model of the exact flight path of a Frisbee. He advised another on an astrophysics project: calculation of how much dark matter must be present in our Milky Way galaxy, based on observed motion of objects in our galaxy. Dr. David Lee recently mentored a visual arts and physics double major who created a new phosphorescent material. “We’ve been considering how this phosphor might be used in the visual or decorative arts some day,” Dr. Pleticha reports. Dale Pleticha, Ph.D. (Cornell University), professor of physics
“Sociology leads those who approach it in faith on a transformative journey. As we grow more aware of how deeply our thoughts and perceptions conform to the ways of the world, the apostle’s call to be transformed by the renewing of our minds becomes all the more compelling. Accompanying our students down this path of transformation is an essential part of what we do as sociology faculty. It is also unavoidable, since we find ourselves walking that same path still.” —Daniel Johnson, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), professor of sociology
Filmmaking by Immersion We Are Astronauts, a film written, produced and directed by Toddy Burton, involved a dozen Gordon film students in an intense two-day shoot. Her many credits include the short film The Aviatrix, which played at over 30 international film festivals. “Being creative keeps me energized,” she says, “but it also reminds me of the process my students will go through and the problems they will encounter.” Toddy Burton, M.F.A. (University of Texas at Austin), assistant professor of communication arts
art and community
Greg Keller and Justin Topp study tick-borne diseases in small woodland mammals. Students have helped Keller and Topp compare four habitats, yielding data that will result in scholarly publications.
Brian Glenney and Peter Heath ’15 coauthored “Machinations Over Machines: Leibniz and Spinoza on Transhumanism and the Singularity.” Peter presented the paper at the History and Philosophy of Science meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences’ conference.
Immersed in iconographic and liturgical art both personally and professionally, Tanja Butler models for her students how art in community happens. The students enter into collaborative art projects with churches, schools, service organizations, and (pictured) Gordon IN Lynn.
Brian Glenney, Ph.D. (University of Southern California), associate professor of philosophy
Tanja Butler, M.A. (SUNY Albany), associate professor of art
Greg Keller, Ph.D. (Penn State) and Justin Topp, Ph.D. (University of Texas Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences), associate professors of biology
Dorothy Boorse, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsinâ€“Madison), professor of biology
Exploring the Edges “As a geographer I am drawn to edges of all kinds: between land and sea, urban and rural, one culture and another. More and more I am convinced that the richness of these transitional regions depends upon letting the boundaries be ‘fuzzy’—allowing the mixing of everything from ideas to nutrients, creating very rich ecosystems for plants, animals, and scholarship. Gordon has long been a place where we approach boundaries with boldness and humility.” —Janel Curry, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota), provost
Exploring the Edges
To Improve Science Education, Start with Reading In the rearview mirror, it’s clear that the nights Priscilla Nelson spent at Boston’s Museum of Science early in her career were even more valuable than she realized at the time. Back then she was a sixthgrade science teacher, there to teach scout troops on museum overnights about topics like flight or engineering. The experience showed her “what science can be.” Now a specialist in reading education, as chair of Gordon’s elementary teacher preparation program she has used her expertise in both science education and reading education to chart an innovative course: training teacher candidates to strengthen elementary students’ science comprehension by using scientificallybased methods for the teaching of reading. “It’s critical to have research-based knowledge about how individuals acquire reading skills, and how teachers can best help struggling readers through that process,” Dr. Nelson says. “Now, we are applying that to science education, too.” Research shows that students whose families read and talk a lot with them 18
develop better reading comprehension. So when third grade rolls around and a child who has not had that experience is given science material to read, even if the child can decode it—read and understand the words—that child may not fully comprehend the material. A gap remains in students’ ability to “pull meaning out of what they’re reading,” as Dr. Nelson puts it. After Massachusetts education officials called in 2012 for better teaching of informational texts such as science, Gordon retooled education majors’ science methods coursework to integrate techniques taught in Gordon’s highlyregarded courses on the teaching of reading. Education majors now learn to teach science systematically, outline steps, present students short paragraphs to read, and converse extensively with students during lessons to build their listening— and reading—comprehension skills. The hands-on projects students take home aren’t just for show. “They explain them, and they answer their parents’ questions,
which reinforces subject learning and comprehension skills,” Dr. Nelson explains. The science curriculum that Gordon elementary education majors learn to use is called KnowAtom. Dr. Nelson learned how effective that curriculum proved in Lynn, Massachusetts, so she contacted the KnowAtom company to speak with founder Francis Vigeant —and discovered he’s a Gordon alumnus, a math and econ major, Class of 2004. His own teaching experience led him to create more effective curriculum materials. That parallels Dr. Nelson’s doctoral research on scientifically validated methods for the teaching of reading, which stemmed from her own efforts as a reading teacher to find effective ways to help struggling students. “Equipping teacher candidates to help all children find pleasure in reading a variety of text structures, as well as how to think like a scientist and engineer, breaks down barriers to new discoveries,” she says. Priscilla Nelson, Ed.D. (University of Massachusetts Lowell), associate professor of education
“It’s no exaggeration to say chemistry at Gordon is on the leading edge. Our department was an initial signatory to the Green Chemistry Commitment; our students and faculty are both developing greener chemical methods and working toward the greening of chemical education. In the past decade we’ve introduced the principles of green chemistry to thousands, through presentations at high schools, museums, community centers, national symposia and other venues. We look forward to the day when ‘green’ chemistry will just be called chemistry.” —Irv Levy, M.A. (Wesleyan University), M.S. (Boston University), professor of chemistry
Singing Across the Boundaries Jim Zingarelli, 4/4 #54, oil, charcoal and conte on linen on panel; 44" x 32"
In his Common Time series, Jim Zingarelli creates visual images of music; in this piece, “a linear score navigates through a sound space, an infrastructure of consistent metronomic delineations by way of shape, color, or both.” Jim Zingarelli, M.A. (Trinity College), professor of art
In prison, boundaries are literally set in stone. Steel bars isolate inmates physically and emotionally. That’s why Jamie Hillman stands with inmates and tells them to close their eyes, hold hands and raise their voices. He knows music can break down barriers. He and Boston University professor André de Quadros launched a music program at Massachusetts’ Norfolk prison in 2012 as part of BU’s Metropolitan Prison Education Program. Inmates study music from a variety of traditions, and get to sing in the one prison location that encourages expression and participation. Hillman, who conducts the Gordon College Men’s Choir, has brought his students to MCI Norfolk to perform. Hillman’s choral compositions have been performed in Asia, Europe and North America. An examiner for Conservatory Canada, he has adjudicated at festivals or presented at conferences in Canada, the United States, and Southeast Asia. His co-editorial work includes numerous editions of Arabic, Asian, Latin American and Western choral pieces. “But it’s easy to lose passion when anything, even music, becomes your work,” he says. “The heart has to be involved in all aspects, from study to performance.” Jamie Hillman, M.M. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), D.M.A. candidate (Boston University), assistant professor of music
Exploring the Edges
thinking in icons
In a Strategic Position Day job: kinesiology professor. Part-time passion: the French horn. Peter Iltis integrates the two in his research about how a brass player’s mouth and pharynx make music—and what can go wrong.
“This icon, ‘Holy Theologian Bernard Lonergan in the Mystery of the Processions of the Most Holy Trinity,’ symbolizes my highest aspirations as a scholar. Lonergan sets down his book, representing his lifelong scholarship, and takes the hand of the angelic figure representing the Holy Spirit. This is not anti-intellectualism, rather a humble recognition that knowledge is the ‘shadow,’ and the eternal life of the Trinitarian Persons is the reality. For ‘when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.’” David Aiken, Ph.D. (Boston College), professor of philosophy
Dr. Iltis’s recent research focuses on embouchure dystonia, a potentially career-ending disorder of the muscles that control the lips. Magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to transform this field by enabling movement specialists to visualize the position of the jaw, teeth, lips and tongue when a musician plays or sings. Dr. Iltis is working with the Institute for Music Physiology and Musician’s Medicine in Germany to refine a method of retraining musicians, and to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder. Concurrently, he is involved in an ongoing project with his Gordon student Emily Outland ’14 and Dr. Steven Frucht (Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City) surveying psychological correlates of musician’s dystonia. He suffers from embouchure dystonia himself, and personal experience of the disorder places him in a strategic position in his field. “Neurologists and physiologists seem concerned with mechanisms (of course), music teachers don’t know what to do, and students are afraid. Somehow, the Lord has seen fit to plug me in right there,” Dr. Iltis says. “God has taken one of the greatest sorrows in my life and turned it around—in the words of Robert Browning, ‘tempering sorrow so that it has reached me like a solemn joy.’” With the help of Jonathan Elcock ’15 and Brett Haschig ’13, Dr. Iltis also is directing a study to determine the role of breathing exercises in improving static and dynamic lung function in singers and wind instrumentalists. Preliminary results seem positive, as trends toward improvement can be seen in the data. Peter Iltis, Ph.D. (University of Kansas), professor of kinesiology
A specialist in American and British intellectual history, Steve Alter writes books and articles on topics as varied as Old Testament scholarship in America, the scientific trajectory of the field of linguistics, and Darwinian thought. His recent essay, “Darwin and Language,” was published in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought among other essays by an international group of leading scholars in Darwin studies. Stephen Alter, Ph.D. (University of Michigan), professor of history
“Part of [my] ecological training involves…understanding that events in one part of the ecosystem have trickle-down effects on other parts. What happens to the arctic food web when the loss of sea ice means there is less algae attached to the underside of floes? What happens to young marine fish growing in salt marshes when sea level rise begins to overtake them?…These are some of the questions ecologists ask.” —Dorothy Boorse, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin–Madison), professor of biology (from “An Evangelical Scientist’s Notes on Climate Change and Faith”)
Christ and Culture
Detail, QU4RTETS no. 2 (Summer), oil with 23kt gold, silver and moongold leaf on wood; 97" x 60", one of four paintings by Bruce Herman in the collaborative exhibition QU4RTETS
A Traveling Collaboration In 2009, a small group of friends discovered a shared deep enjoyment of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. The result is the collaborative exhibition QU4RTETS: paintings by Bruce Herman and by Makoto Fujimura (who formerly served on the National Council on the Arts); a score for piano and string quartet by Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis; and commentary by Duke University theologian Jeremy Begbie. QU4RTETS has appeared at Baylor, Duke and Yale Universities; at the IAM in New York City; and at Gordon, Wheaton and Westmont Colleges. Exhibitions are scheduled at university galleries in Paris and Hong Kong. Professor Herman’s four QU4RTETS paintings “interact directly with Eliot’s use of the four elements—earth, air, fire and water—to create a set of meditations on death and resurrection while pointing toward a mysterious fifth element (quintessence),” he says.
“I am excited about exploring the critical connection between culture and faith,” says Gregor Thuswaldner, a native-born Austrian. His first book addressed the role religion plays in 20th- and 21st-century German and Austrian literature. In 2008 he edited a collection of essays on European literary theory, which focus on the recent “religious turn” in literary studies. His third book (2011) explores Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard’s complex critique of Austria’s repressed Nazi past. His current project is co-editing an essay collection on religious and secular visions of sacrifice in European and American cultures. Gregor Thuswaldner, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), associate professor of German and linguistics
Bruce Herman, M.F.A. (Boston University), Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts
John Skillen, Ph.D. (Duke University), professor of English and associate dean of European programs
Global Reach “For some of us Gordon faculty, ‘global reach’ meant coming to Gordon in the first place, from France or Austria, England, Chile, Hong Kong, Australia or Ghana. ‘I’m still on my studyabroad program,’ I often tell students who are wide-eyed at the prospect of an Asian, African or Latin American internship. Coming or going, a common set of spiritual and pedagogical commitments unites us. Gordon generates curiosity and
care for societies, ecosystems, and ideas worldwide— because, as John Paul II once expressed it, ‘All things human are the soil in which the Kingdom of God may grow and flourish.’” —Timothy Sherratt, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky), political science
At two national Truth and Reconciliation Events in Canada, Judith Oleson witnessed and researched the church’s role in public apology, reparations and reconciliation with First Nations communities. Cultural genocide “contributes to generations of trauma in entire communities that social workers and all agents of peace must comprehend before healing can occur,” she says.
Disability Services Across Cultures
Judith Oleson, M.S.W. (University of Minnesota Duluth), M.P.A. (Harvard), associate professor of social work
Creative thinking can produce astoundingly inexpensive technology. As a graduate student, Jessica Ventura led a team that designed and patented an artificial ankle joint that can be assembled with basic workshop tools and $5 worth of materials. The prosthetic has been produced by a medical outreach group in Honduras, and nonprofits elsewhere have also expressed interest in fabricating the ankles. Dr. Ventura brings an engineer’s ingenuity to bear on her intricate understanding of the human body. She initially planned to be a mechanical engineer, but after earning her bachelor’s degree in that field she found herself uninterested in redesigning printer heads or seatbelts. A family friend, who fits and fabricates prosthetics, and a mentor, who is a biomedical engineer, were instrumental in her decision to get further training in biomechanics and apply her skills to the design of prosthetics. Her particular focus is physical function of the lower body. To gather data to inform prosthetic design, she clinically analyzes and computationally models human motions. One project describes the variations in hip and ankle movements of amputees and non-amputees when they turn. Another project assesses how different types of athletic shoes (or none at all) affect the gait mechanics of long-distance runners. Her students learn firsthand about how culturally-specific technology and disability services can be. In her Kinesiology 371A course, they learn about disabilities, and about rehabilitation services worldwide; then during winter break in 371B they spend two weeks with her in Central American cities and villages, immersed in what life is like for a physically disabled individual in a developing nation. Dr. Ventura’s 2012 paper on how best to prepare students for such cross-cultural forays, and how to later help them process the experience, was honored by the American Society of Engineering Education. Jessica Ventura, Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin), assistant professor of kinesiology
Crucibles of THE IMAGINATION
Volunteering in Haiti alongside Gordon students after the 2010 earthquake dovetailed with Emmanuelle Vanborre’s interest in why authors respond to such events by writing fiction. When she studied the theories and fiction of Maurice Blanchot and Albert Camus, she was struck that their keen attention to literary form did not distract them from involvement in their community. Fiction like that forged by Haiti’s earthquake captures our imaginations so we remember the victims and survivors; it helps us “keep them in our hearts, our minds, our prayers.” Emmanuelle Vanborre, Ph.D. (Boston College), assistant professor of French
“A longstanding puzzle in international economics is why the prices of goods— things like oranges and T-shirts—are so different from location to location around the world, even though transport costs keep falling, information flows freely, and barriers to trade have never been lower. I and two co-researchers developed and tested a new way to think about why this is, and it turns out transport costs explain more than previously understood. We researched international price dispersion, but were pleased to discover that development planners can use this model to evaluate road-building proposals in a poor country, and assess roads’ impact on human welfare in isolated communities.” —Stephen Smith, Ph.D. (Stanford University), professor of economics and business
A Stellar scholar
For much of his career, Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard has been exploring the fraught interplay among European history, religion, and modernity. Dr. Howard’s fourth book, God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide (Oxford, 2011), explored the United States’ and Western Europe’s diverging religious paths to modernity; it received one of Christianity Today’s 2012 Book Awards. He received the Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for his 2006 Protestant Theology and the Making of the Modern German University (Oxford).
Photo: World Bank
Humanitarian Logistics Organized and led by Mike Veatch, the Gordon-hosted conference “Humanitarian Response: Innovation to Meet Needs” brought together representatives from organizations as wide-ranging as MIT’s Humanitarian Response Lab, Doctors Without Borders, Partners in Health and the Salvation Army.
Most recently he was the editor of IMAGO DEI: Human Dignity in Ecumenical Perspective (Catholic University of America Press, 2013). “This book,” he writes, “is offered in a spirit of prayer, an effort to bring divided Christians together.”
“Supply systems are critical to humanitarian response,” Veatch says, “yet the contexts present unique challenges for logistics management, which is where the role of mathematics comes in. Speakers talked, for instance, about the logistics of humanitarian responses in situations ranging from the 2010 Haiti earthquake to the recent Hurricane Sandy. It’s exciting to see how math, nonprofit management, economics, health professions, international affairs, and sociology all come together when discussing innovative ways to respond to humanitarian crises.”
Thomas A. (Tal) Howard, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), professor of history
Michael Veatch, Ph.D. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), professor of mathematics
Outreach and Inroads Keynoter
Music man David Goss (history) performed in concert for the 150th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, as guitarist and lead singer in the 2nd South Carolina String Band, which plays often at Civil War reenactments—and twice recently at the Smithsonian Institution.
On immigration Ruth Melkonian-Hoover (political science) conducts focus groups and surveys in Denver and Chicago churches to document evangelicals’ views on U.S. immigration policy, and whether advocacy groups shift public opinion.
On the peace Train Hospitals and markets, opera and baseball—experiences during a Witness for Peace tour of Cuba gave Leasa Lutes (Spanish) rich material for her scholarly interest in Cuban social and political history, and for a new upper-level course.
Tal Howard (history) delivered a keynote lecture, “Ignaz von Döllinger and the Modern University,” at the Conference on Religion and the Idea of the University, at the University of Cambridge, England.
papyrologist Graeme Bird (linguistics and classical studies) traveled to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Oxford University, England, for seminars and workshops on papyrology. He and students are studying an 1800-year-old papyrus of Homer’s Iliad.
Climate Changer Dorothy Boorse (biology) was one of a small group of scientists who drafted a letter to Congress urging action on climate change. Boorse’s stance, as she writes and travels, is especially focused on how climate change affects the world’s poor.
PARTNERS ACROSS THE SEA Liberation exploration In addition to his scholarship on Chilean films, culture and politics, Moisés Park (Spanish) explored liberation theology in a conference presentation.
Dan Darko (biblical studies) met with Christian leaders in London and in Accra, Ghana, about student internships and other Gordon partnerships, and taught at the Divinity School of Regent University in Accra during a Gordon summer break.
For 50-plus years—decades before globalization became a buzzword—Gordon faculty have been bringing a global perspective to their teaching and research. Here’s just a taste.
Symposium Gregor Thuswaldner (German and linguistics) co-organized the 2012 Salzburg Institute Summer Symposium on “Making Sacrifices: European Visions of Sacrifice,” University of Salzburg, Austria.
man of peace Paul Borthwick (Christian ministries) leads seminars for Christian leaders throughout the Global South, including a course on ethnicity and diversity in India (2012), and pre-election peacebuilding workshops in Kenya (2013).
walking the scriptures Elaine Phillips (biblical studies) is a field instructor for Jerusalem University College, where she and her husband, Perry, teach in a summer study program in historical geography.
faith meets science Craig Story and Justin Topp (biology) are helping Korean pastors improve their scientific literacy, in a three-year grant-funded project. They are at work on the same project back in the U.S.A.
a world of sport Valerie Gin (recreation and leisure studies) consults with national coaches and athletes in Zambia and 20 other countries, and is an International Sport for Peace and Development Research Fellow at Northeastern University.
Stoneworks Sculptor Jim Zingarelli (art) explores issues surrounding world hunger; he has traveled to Honduras, South Africa, and Morocco to create an art of public service within the global community.
Growing up in Malaysia, Rini Cobbey (communication arts) experienced Asian cultures’ interplay with popular Western media. It fueled her scholarly exploration of visual stories, world culture, and religion, including her recent research on Middle Eastern and Indian cinema.
World music While an honorary associate at Macquarie University in Sydney, Jonathan Gerber (psychology) began research with a journalist for a book on Christian music; they’ve also interviewed musicians in Scotland, England, and U.S. cities. 27
Curriculum Vitae Committed to teaching and mentoring students, Gordon faculty apply themselves behind the scenes as well. Below, a sampling of their scholarly work, leadership roles, performances, awards, exhibitions and more, over one recent year.
Author, author! David Aiken (philosophy), “Bernard Lonergan’s Critique of Reductionism: A Call to Intellectual Conversion,” Christian Scholars Review. Stephen Alter (history), “Darwin and Language” in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought. Lauren Swayne Barthold (philosophy), “Rorty, Religion, and the Public-Private Distinction,” Philosophy and Social Criticism; and “Warnke’s Text-Person Analogue: A Closer Look,” The Review Journal of Political Philosophy.
Ivy George (sociology), “Motherhood: When Mothers become Females” in Results May Vary: Christian Women Reflect on Post-College Life (Point Loma Press). Jonathan Gerber (psychology) co-authored “Measuring the existence of cool using an extended Social Relations Model,” PsychNology Journal. Brian Glenney (philosophy), “Philosophical Problems, Cluster Concepts and the Many Lives of Molyneaux’s Question,” Biology and Philosophy.
Paul Borthwick (Christian ministries), Western Christians in Global Mission: What’s the Role of the North American Church? (IVP).
Roger J. Green (biblical studies) co-edited Boundless Salvation: The Shorter Writings of William Booth (Peter Lang).
Paul Brink (political science), “Negotiating a Plural Politics: South Africa’s Constitutional Court” in Walking Together: Christian Thinking and Public Life in South Africa (ACU Press).
Bruce Herman (art), “At the table with our guard down: Submission, Courtesia, and Symbol in the theories of C.S. Lewis, George Steiner, and Hans Georg Gadamer” in C.S. Lewis and the Arts: Creativity in the Shadowlands (Square Halo Press); he also coauthored Through Your Eyes: Dialogues on the Paintings of Bruce Herman (Eerdmans).
Mark Cannister (Christian ministries), Teenagers Matter: Making Student Ministry a Priority in the Church (Baker Academic). Karl-Dieter Crisman (mathematics), an instructional manual, PREP Tutorials for Sage mathematical software system. Janel Curry (provost) co-edited a special issue of the Christian Scholars Review on global trends in Christian higher education, and contributed the essay “Attachment to Place and Nature in Our Search for Shalom” to Integrating the New Science of Love and a Spirituality of Peace (Cascade Books). Damon Di Mauro (French), “A Tribute to Winthrop H. Rice,” Romanic Review; and “Sur les traces du Vaudois Teacher, poème narratif de John Greenleaf Whittier,” La Valmasque. 28
Andrea Frankwitz (English), “Transforming Borders in William Wells Brown’s Narrative,” Nineteenth-Century Prose.
Thomas “Tal” Howard (history) edited Imago Dei: Human Dignity in Ecumenical Perspective (Catholic University Press). Steven A. Hunt (biblical studies) co-edited Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John (Mohr Siebeck), and wrote or co-authored eight of its chapters. Irv Levy (chemistry) co-authored “Seed Oil and Fatty Acid Composition in Capsicum spp.,” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. D. Michael Lindsay (sociology, and president) co-authored “Rethinking Religious
Gender Differences: The Case of Elite Women,” Sociology of Religion. Andrew Logemann (English), “Physics as Narrative: Lewis, Pound and the London Vortex,” in Vibratory Modernism (Palgrave Macmillan); and “Leader, Scribe, and Skeptic” in The Pocket Instructor: Literature (Princeton University Press). Moisés Park (Spanish), “Post mortem: San Salvador Allende y la autopsia histórica” in New Readings in Latin American and Spanish Literary and Cultural Studies (Cambridge Scholars). Pilar Pérez Serrano (Spanish), “El canto de las sirenas: concienciación y supervivencia en la era del capital,” Estreno: Journal of Contemporary Spanish Theatre. Elaine Phillips (biblical studies), “The Book of Amos” for the Lexham Logos Online Bible Dictionary Project; and “Exodus” in The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Suzanne Phillips (psychology) coauthored “Teaching Experientially in the Undergraduate Community Psychology Classroom,” Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community. Kent Seibert (economics and business), “Business as Mission in Light of Augustinian and Thomism Theology: Commendations and Critiques,” Journal of Biblical Integration in Business. Stephen Smith and Bruce Webb (economics and business) were among three co-authors of Economic Growth: Unleashing the Potential of Human Flourishing (AEI Press); Dr. Smith also co-authored (with the late David Lumsdaine, political science) “World Trade Organization” in The Oxford Companion to American National Politics.
Mark Stevick (English), ”A Stadium Full of Bears” in Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual.
in Power” at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco.
Jeff Miller (theatre arts), Speranza Foundation, “Contemporary British Theatre.”
Chad Stutz (English), Evangelicals and Aesthetics from the 1750s to the 1930s (Paternoster Press, forthcoming in the Studies in Evangelical History and Thought series).
Marvin Wilson (biblical studies), “Classical Foundations of Christian Scholarship: Hellenic or Hebraic?” at the Conference on Christian Scholarship sponsored by The Foundation for American Christian Education.
Jonathan Senning (mathematics), SC12, “High Performance Computing Educators’ Program.”
Jim Trent (social work), The Manliest Man: Samuel G. Howe and the Contours of Nineteenth-Century American Reform (University of Massachusetts Press). Emmanuelle Vanborre (French) edited The Originality and Complexity of Albert Camus’s Writings (Palgrave MacMillan). Michael Veatch (mathematics), “Approximate Linear Programming for Average Cost MDPs” in Mathematics of Operations Research. Marvin Wilson (biblical studies), “Ancient Aberrations and Modern Views of Holy Scripture,” Journal of the Restoration Foundation; he also co-authored “World Religions” in Global Study Bible (Crossway Books). Jim Zingarelli (visual arts), “Music for the Imponderable in the Work of Paul Klee,” CIVA SEEN Journal.
Journal editors Mark Cannister (Christian ministries), senior editor, Journal of Youth Ministry. Roger Green (biblical studies), co-editor, Word & Deed: A Journal of Salvation Army Theology and Ministry. Stephen Smith (economics and business), editor-in-chief, Faith & Economics.
Keynote speakers Paul Brink (political science): “The Word of God in the City of Man” at the Zylstra Symposium on Politics and Culture, Ontario. D. Michael Lindsay (sociology, and president): “An Inside Look at People
Exhibits and performances The Miners, a narrative fiction short film written, directed and produced by Toddy Burton (communication arts), screened at 10 film festivals, coast to coast. Paintings by Bruce Herman (visual arts) were featured in the exhibition QU4RTETS, which appeared at Gordon during the weeklong 2013 Celebration of the Arts before touring in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Norm Jones (theatre arts) acted in three locally produced films, and in a Japanese public TV show about the Salem witch trials. Jim Zingarelli (visual arts) exhibited his drawings at Andrea Marquit Fine Arts, in Boston.
Grant recipients Janet Arndt and Priscilla Nelson (education), Leslie Peter Foundation, “Supervising Practitioners for 21st Century English Language Learners Program.” Karl-Dieter Crisman (mathematics), Mathematics Association of America, “Mentoring Math Circle: Gordon College and Girls, Inc. of Lynn.” Ian DeWeese-Boyd (philosophy, education), Notre Dame Center for Philosophy of Religion, “Analytical Theology Cluster Group.”
Craig Story and Justin Topp (biology), BioLogos Foundation, “Moving Pastors Toward Scientific Literacy.”
Professional leadership Janet Arndt (education), governing board of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. Dorothy Boorse (biology), board of the Au Sable Institute for Environmental Studies. Kaye Cook (psychology), secretary of the Association for Moral Education. Sandra Doneski (music), president of the Feierabend Association for Music Education. Bruce Herman (art), Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Christians in the Visual Arts. Bert Hodges (psychology), president of the International Society for the Study of Interactivity, Language, and Cognition. Sharon Ketcham (Christian ministries), Board of Directors of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators. Irv Levy (chemistry, computer science), Chemical Education Board of the American Chemical Society. Gregor Thuswaldner (German and linguistics), director of the Northeast region for the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Bob Whittet (Christian ministries), chair of board of directors of Christian Education Ministries (Greenville, S.C.).
Greg Keller (biology), Nuttall Ornithological Club, “Influences of Habitat Fragmentation and Hurricane Damage on Wintering Songbirds in Belize.” 29
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Published on Oct 9, 2013