Page 1

SPRING 2016 2012

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

16A Place for

InventionProfiles 14 Scholars’ Mark Sargent:

Habits and Habitats of On the “Living Ground” of Gordon CollegeProfessors 17 26 Gordon

“For me, theology is something we do as the Church as we seek to live in response to our Christian faith.” Amy Brown Hughes Assistant Professor of Theology

Also in This Issue 7 New Board of Trustees Chair 8 Celebrating Roger Green 37 16,000 Stories


FEATURE

Left to right, more or less: 42.19° N, -73.36° W (Great Barrington, Massachusetts) Steve Alter (history), on vacation with his favorite photographer (his wife, Carol), getting in touch with his “inner hippie” during a visit to the Arlo Guthrie “church” (actually a community center). “Last year was the 50th anniversary of the events commemorated in ‘Alice’s Restaurant.’ What an inspiration!”

42.39° N, 70.41° W (West Gloucester, Massachusetts) Mark Gedney (philosophy) and his dog at Wingaersheek Beach. 44.39° N, 68.30° W (Acadia National Park, Maine) | Russ Bjork (computer science) enjoying the southern end of Mount Desert Island. 42.60° N, -70.89° W (Barrington Center for the Arts)

Theatre professor Norm Jones’s office plant, Schefflera actinophylla. 32.72° N, 117.16° W (San Diego, California) Mark Cannister (Christian ministries) on a tour of the USS Midway. 44.98° N, 85.31° W (Torch Lake, Michigan) A destination for Mindy Eichhorn (education) over Christmas break.


16

Scholars’ Profiles

Habits and Habitats of 26 Gordon Professors

Before you meet professors face to face in the photoessay that begins on page 16, linger here to see some nearby and far-flung places they’ve been— in their own recent cellphone photos.

SPRING 2016 2012

SPRING 2016 2012

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

16A Place for

InventionProfiles 14 Scholars’ Mark Sargent:

Habits and Habitats of On the “Living Ground” of Gordon CollegeProfessors 17 26 Gordon

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

16A Place for

InventionProfiles 14 Scholars’ Mark Sargent:

Habits and Habitats of On the “Living Ground” of Gordon CollegeProfessors 17 26 Gordon

“For me, theology is something we do as the Church as we seek to live in response to our Christian faith.” Amy Brown Hughes Assistant Professor of Theology

“Religion is linked to world conflict, politics and social breakdown. I endeavor to deepen students’ understanding of Christian origins, how to interpret the Bible and draw from it to make sense of a wide array of social issues.” Dan Darko Associate Professor of New Testament

Also in This Issue 7 New Board of Trustees Chair 8 Celebrating Roger Green 37 16,000 Stories

SPRING 2016 2012

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

16A Place for

InventionProfiles 14 Scholars’ Mark Sargent:

Habits and Habitats of On the “Living Ground” of Gordon CollegeProfessors 17 26 Gordon

Also in This Issue 7 New Board of Trustees Chair 8 Celebrating Roger Green 37 16,000 Stories

ON THE COVER(S) This issue was published with three different covers. Clockwise from top left: Amy Brown Hughes (theology), Dan Darko (New Testament), and Dale Pleticha (physics). Photography Mark Spooner ’14

“One question we would like to answer is What is the physics involved in running straight up a vertical wall? ” Dale Pleticha Professor of Physics

Also in This Issue 7 New Board of Trustees Chair 8 Celebrating Roger Green 37 16,000 Stories

IN EACH ISSUE Front with 2 Up President Lindsay The Practice of What We Preach

3 Inspiration

Dr. Ivy George’s Dialogue-Shaped Classrooms

42.60° N, -70.89° W (KOSC parking lot) Russ Tuck (computer science): “Coy Pond with new ice, 1/7/16 ~ 9am.” 30.44° N, 31.24° E (Cairo, Egypt) Dan Darko (New Testament) visiting the Giza Pyramids. 18.40° N, 72.78° W (Thozin, Haiti) Sandra Doneski (music) teaching at a school sponsored by Mission of Hope International.

42°62° N, 70.69° W (Gloucester, Massachusetts) Mike Jacobs (political science): “The sign refers to a recent ballot question. In my Intro to World Politics course I screen Dr. Strangelove, in which General Jack Ripper attempts to start a nuclear war to foil what Ripper sees as a Communist plot to ‘sap our precious bodily fluids’ through the fluoridation of water. The good citizens of Gloucester voted to continue fluoridation.”

4 Gordon Life

Hypoallergenic, Short-Haired and Well-Trained

5 SPORKS Amulets

6 On the Grapevine

Student, Faculty and Staff News

32 Class Notes Alumni news


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

UP FRONT with President Lindsay

The Practice of What We Preach

“Pull quote goes here. Num veleseq uismodignim zzriuscil doluptat. Cum nos duis nulput digna con volenim ent augait wis nit aut aliqui blan.”

Our faculty are the sine qua non of the transformative education promised by Gordon’s mission statement. As we lead prospective students on tours of the campus, we encourage them to picture themselves here: to imagine being at lunch with new friends in Lane Student Center, for example. In a practice room in Phillips Music Center. In the stacks of Jenks Library, chasing down the answer to an intriguing research question. In the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel, listening to a preacher’s challenging words, or in one of several brand-new labs in Ken Olsen Science Center (story, page 11). As our Admissions tour guides acquaint students and their parents with campus landmarks and with distinctive aspects of a Gordon education, they literally begin with the end in mind. Before they step out of the Frost Hall lobby, the tour guides point out a bust of A. J. Gordon and share what we now call the “Victory Promise.” It is framed around the story of our College founder’s last word as he neared death—“victory”—which serves as a vivid metaphor for a life

2 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

dedicated to Christian faithfulness and lives well lived. The College’s Victory Promise articulates four foundational precepts, or pillars. They frame the transformational experiences each Gordon student can pursue. These four categories which are drawn from Gordon’s mission statement convey that we practice what we preach: to graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character, committed to lives of service and prepared for leadership worldwide. It’s appropriate that this issue of STILLPOINT highlights our faculty— in the “Scholars’ Profiles” feature that begins on page 16 and in other pieces you’ll find throughout the magazine. Our faculty are, after all, the sine qua non of the transformative liberal arts education our mission statement describes, and the chief reason we are so confident about making good on the Victory Promise.

president@gordon.edu

Cultivating intellectual maturity in young adults is profoundly relational. It’s about involving them in the most pressing and interesting questions of our times, and igniting a desire in them to become part of the solution. Professor Mark Gedney, for example, connects the study of philosophy with current discussions on “the role of identity in political, religious and ethnic violence.” Cultivating the faith and Christian character of young adults happens best in community, where theology is lived. “A crucial part of my approach to learning with young people,” says Associate Professor of New Testament Dan Darko, “is a deliberate effort not only to equip them with information but also that they may be formed and transformed by the Gospel.” Preparing students for lives of service happens when you talk about why a particular field of inquiry matters. Management specialist Professor Kent

www.gordon.edu/presidentspage

twitter.com/GordonPres


IN EACH ISSUE

INSPIRATION Seibert is excited about the emergence, in recent years, of social entrepreneurship and corporate social enterprise. “This is where the institution of business is used not just to generate economic benefit—that is, profit—but also to address social problems and do that in a sustainable way,” he says. “This requires giving attention to the triple bottom line: profit, people and planet.” Sending young adults into the world as leaders involves blazing trails for them. Professor of Biology Dorothy Boorse’s life’s work—studying climate change, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution and ocean degradation—has taken her all over the country, including to the halls of Congress. Many of her former students have made that path their own. The “Promise” in Gordon’s Victory Promise is that every student will have at least one experiential learning opportunity in each of the four areas of development that promise describes. None of those opportunities could happen without our expert, caring, committed faculty. You will read about some of them in these pages. I hope their stories will bring to mind your own Gordon experience, and the difference these good people made in your life.

Story Marianthy Posadas-Nava ’17

Dr. Ivy George’s Dialogue-Shaped Classrooms

Vibrancy, life and empowerment form the spaces of Dr. Ivy George’s classes. She begins by outlining her expectations for us: “I believe that at a very fundamental level, each of us houses the teacher and the learner in ourselves. Our lives, along with the world we live in, make up the center stage on which such activities take place. This being my conviction, it then follows that I, the ‘teacher,’ am a learner—and you, the ‘student,’ are a teacher as well.” As we settle into those expectations, the class is shaped into a dialogue. Her stories of travels and her deep analysis of the world are woven into our stories, and into the learning of social theory. Her strong presence and love welcome me into her classroom. Here, I join with my peers to think critically and to engage with curiosity. As a student from Mexico, I have been wrestling with many questions regarding my identity. In Dr. George’s classes, every narrative is welcomed. Suddenly there is space to explore. There is space to learn about the diversity of our intersected narrative, and to appreciate and honor the sacredness of the engagement of these narratives to further understand our world. In her classroom, we experience the communal analysis—and confession—of the disparities between race, gender and class that are present not only in communities distant from us, but within us as well. In this space, we find intersections between race, class and gender that go unaccounted for by us. And it is a safe place to be confronted and to confront. This powerful class dynamic sets the stage, from the beginning, for our questions to naturally fall to the tip of our tongues.

D. Michael Lindsay is the eighth president of Gordon College, and Professor of Sociology. His most recent book is View from the Top: An Inside Look at How People in Power See and Shape the World (Wiley, 2014).

Dr. George leaves space for her class to dismantle and rebuild, to critique and to dream. Christian liberal arts education comes to life in her classroom: we process our experiences and our world, and when we listen—to each other, to ourselves, to the social patterns around us—we find a God who is merciful. And in this space—our classroom—we are curious to imagine, to pray, and to work towards seeing those we are blind to, and towards hearing the voices we didn’t know we could learn from—voices intertwined with ours, and voices that we need.

President Lindsay is gratified to be working

Marianthy Posadas-Nava is an English major from Mexico;

alongside talented colleagues and regards the

she’s also studying French. Taking Women and World

College’s accomplishments over the past five

Development with Dr. George greatly influenced her writing,

years as evidence of a winning team on the

and has launched her into studying literature through a

Gordon campus.

feminist lens. m.posadas-nava@gordon.edu

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 3


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

GORDON LIFE

Story Sierra Flach ’18

the geese see him and it keeps them at a distance.” When he isn’t chasing geese, Jones oversees Gordon’s Physical Plant, Center for Technology Services, Campus Police, Mailroom, and Purchasing Department. “I really enjoy working with people, and my passion is in fixing broken systems and processes, and improving communication,” he says. He’s also a call firefighter and EMT for the Wenham and Manchester-by-theSea fire departments.

HYPOALLERGENIC, SHORT-HAIRED AND WELL-TRAINED This year, Gordon’s Center for Technology Services has an employee who is shorter and hairier than the rest of the crew: Shadrach, a café-grey ninth-generation Australian labradoodle. His job description is straightforward: Keep the geese away from campus. Long story short: Geese fly over the Gordon College campus and see the Promised Land. They graze for their food, and the quad, baseball field, and Ferrin field provide acres of their main source of sustenance: fresh, short, green grass. But the average goose produces a pound of droppings per day, and for humans, a playing field with droppings underfoot is not exactly paradise. “Over the years we’ve tried all sorts of things, like decoy coyotes,” says Chris Jones ’99, associate vice president for technology and operations. The fake coyotes were a social-media sensation with students, but the geese seemed unimpressed. Research indicates there are only two truly effective solutions: pesticides and dogs. Gordon chose dogs. Companies rent out dogs for this purpose, but in a brainstorming meeting last fall it occurred to Jones that his own dog, Shadrach, would probably work for food. Shadrach was approved by the

4 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

administration as an assistance dog, and has been issued an official Gordon ID, which he wears on his collar.

As a computer-science major at Gordon, Jones worked in what was then called the “Computer Center.” As he neared graduation, he was offered a full-time job. He’s been at Gordon ever since. “It’s really special to be involved in the lives of young adults,” he says, “and to be part of the College’s mission.” Jones and his wife, Emily (Singer) ’99, live in nearby Beverly. Their children Matthew and Kirsten, whom Emily homeschools, report that Shadrach’s favorite game is “Ruff, Ruff, Goose.”

With Jones, Shadrach patrols the quad, baseball field, and Ferrin Field at intervals every weekday during business hours, on the lookout for feathered invaders. On weekends the Gordon Police keep an eye out and inform Jones if there seem to be gaggles of geese invading any areas. As a failsafe, a weatherbeaten coyote decoy has been attached to a remote control car and is periodically set loose on the grounds to patrol robotically when Shadrach is unavailable. The Shadrach experiment is working pretty effectively, says Jones. They’ve had to chase the geese off the baseball field frequently and from the main quad a few times, but for the most part the campus as a whole is seeing fewer feathers. “I see the geese flying around a lot,” Jones says. “Just by having Shadrach on campus, I think

Sierra Elizabeth Flach is an English and communication arts double major with a linguistics minor and concentration in creative writing. She is working on an independent study in photojournalism. She is also assistant director of the Student Venues Council, which works to improve the campus. Sierra enjoys road tripping, and spinning records. This story originally appeared in shorter form in The Tartan, Gordon’s student newspaper. sierra.flach@gordon.edu


IN EACH ISSUE

Story bryan parys ’04

INSTALLATION 22: AMULETS Just before Christmas, I was walking down Boylston Street in Boston, en route to picking up some last-minute gifts. A bald monk wrapped in orange robes walked toward me, smiled, and handed me something shiny and golden, about the size of a business card. It contained the word “Amulet” on one side. I wanted to say “thank you” but somehow all I did was mouth the words before pocketing the object and sidestepping my way past him. Before I could move on, however, I felt his arm grab my bicep, and I was taken aback by how firm the grasp was. When I looked up, his face was calm, the complete opposite of how his left arm felt on mine, and he said in what I can only refer to as a benevolently earnest whisper, “Wait.” Without thinking, I wrenched myself free from that tangle of arms and continued, head down, on my way to a store that, as it turned out, was closed. I was afraid to look back in the monk’s direction, nervous that he’d be staring at me, so I just stood there at the door checking my watch—itself an amulet we think protects us from time—remembering only after that I don’t even own a watch. The grip and the monk’s face stayed with me. I could still feel the finger-shaped indentations lifting back into place on my arm, and there was something about the way he looked when he told me—not asked—to wait. I suddenly felt as if I had missed a chance at something. Last Easter, I walked into my parents’ house, and my mom handed me a piece of paper. It was tanned and dulled by years of being folded and filed. My eyes widened: my grandfather Alfred Jay Parys’s birth certificate. Considering his son, Alfred Francis—my father—died when I was four, my relationship with my heritage, my last name, has always been one of guesses and gaps. And while the paper listed his name the way I always knew it, there was a parenthesis next to it with the name Alfrath Porycz tucked inside. Almost 33 years of not knowing where this made-up last name of mine came from, and there it was in all of its throat-constricting Eastern European tenor. My insides were swelling with budding meaning, a sense of wires about to connect. I was quickly on my phone, googling the surname in a translation app, and in a matter of seconds, I’d confirmed the lineage as Polish. And the meaning? “Blubber.” That was it. Years of questions answered in one flabby pile of B’s. I quickly realized that this paper, which so directly

connects me to who made me biologically possible, only offers a new way to spell mystery. While the connection between the monk and blubber may seem tenuous, it’s indicative of my own daily search for amulets, for the objects and ideas that I so quickly imbue with a sense of transcendent importance. It could be a quote from Camus that feels inspiring but out of reach, a beached shell that leaps to the eye amongst thousands of others, or a shallow pop song from the ’90s that triggers an unnamed sense of loss. I’m in a constant process of quick to grasp, slow to let go.

IT’S INDICATIVE OF MY OWN DAILY SEARCH FOR AMULETS, FOR THE OBJECTS AND IDEAS THAT I SO QUICKLY IMBUE WITH A SENSE OF TRANSCENDENT IMPORTANCE. Not too long ago, I let my son, Alfie, play with the golden card; we needed to occupy him while we waited in line, and it was the only thing in my wallet not vital to my personal and financial identification. But when he tried to rip it in two, I jumped, as if the loss of this inked trinket would mean something crucial to my own . . . what? Happiness? It hit me: I had made it important for no other reason than that I wanted it to be important. The puzzle of names, histories, language, is there only as a reminder that the thrill of untangling a piece of the unknown can often make us think that we’re close to finding the rest of the pieces. You can take the amulet, but the truth is not in the object, but rather in the decision to keep walking—and perhaps even more, to let it be ripped.

bryan parys is the author of the memoir Wake, Sleeper (Cascade Books), and a writer and editor at Berklee College of Music. He’s no longer sure where the golden amulet is, and this feels like progress. bryan.parys@gordon.edu

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 5


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

NEWS: ON THE GRAPEVINE

STUDENT, FACULTY AND STAFF NEWS

Kurt A. Keilhacker, Chair of Gordon’s Board of Trustees from 2005 through early 2016, received this year’s Founder’s Medal on February 4. The award recognizes those who exemplify virtues embodied by A. J. Gordon. From left: new Board Chair Herman Smith, Kurt Keilhacker, and President Lindsay.

Honoring 15 Years of Exemplary Service Mr. Kurt Keilhacker, who joined the Gordon College Board of Trustees in 2001 and has chaired it since 2005, retired from the board in February. “During your tenure as Board Chair,” said President Michael Lindsay, at a ceremony honoring Keilhacker, “you have equipped the Board to act as a rudder, rather than an anchor; and you have projected a future for Gordon that is true to the institution’s rich heritage as a school of Christ, and yet agile and responsive to the needs of our time.” Beginning his career as an investment banker in mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Keilhacker shifted into the technology sector and applied his aptitude for identifying and maximizing untapped potential. In 1995, he founded TechFund,

6 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

a venture capital fund that supports clean energy and green technology start-ups in Silicon Valley and Europe. He has served on the Dean’s Council of Harvard Divinity School, and chaired the board of the Veritas Forum, which encourages students to explore how Christian truth relates to the pursuit of knowledge. President Lindsay enumerated the College’s strides forward during Mr. Keihacker’s tenure as Chair, which have included: •

The launch and completion of the Heart of Discovery Campaign.

The completion of the Balance and Mobility Center, Grace Hall, and the Brigham Athletic Complex; the acquisition of 216 Grapevine Road; and renovation of Lane Student Center, Jenks, and Frost Hall.

Nearly $100 million raised for the College over the last ten years.

Growth of Gordon’s endowment by 66%, and a near-doubling of the number of major donors.

• A total enrollment increase of 23%, including an international enrollment increase of 133%. •

Seventeen new academic programs and 15 new concentrations.

New study abroad opportunities in Australia, the Balkans, Belize, China, Hungary, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Africa and Wales.

“It’s fitting,” said President Lindsay, “that Gordon has celebrated both the 175th anniversary of A. J. Gordon’s birthday and the College’s own 125th anniversary under your charge. From your ardent support


ON THE GRAPEVINE

and sponsorship of programs like the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Social Venture Challenge; to your commitment to bringing celebrated scholars, leaders, and artists to campus through named lecture series; to meaningful spiritual initiatives like DEEP FAITH week; you have shown a deep commitment to Gordon’s being a city on a hill.” 

Herman J. Smith Jr. Takes the Helm of Gordon Board

Taking the Plunge: DEEP FAITH 2016 by Marianthy Posadas-Nava ’17

Gordon’s annual DEEP FAITH week brought pastor and author Skye Jethani to a packed chapel for a series of talks on the theme “Life with God.” Jethani posed the profound question: Who is the Jesus we are really worshiping? and led the campus community in exploring how we focus on who we want Jesus to be, rather than surrendering control of our lives into his charge. Students engaged with this challenge, wrestling with it in diverse ways. In the days that followed, Jethani explored how our vision of God affects our view of the world. The Gospels, he pointed out, show how much of Jesus’s time was spent trying to open the eyes of the world to the marginalized. Jethani contrasted Peter’s and Jesus’s responses to the Roman soldiers in the Gospel account of Jesus’s arrest (Peter attacks the soldier and cuts off his ear; Jesus heals the very soldier who has come to take him to his death). “Do we see ourselves in Peter?” Jethani asked, provocatively, exhorting us to deepen our understanding of who Jesus is and what he is about. 

“We were encouraged to ask questions about ethics, and about how power uses power,” says Herman Smith ’70 of his time at Gordon as a political science and history major. “Gordon prepared me very well for law school, and, even more importantly, for life after law school. It equipped me with academic discipline, and a striving for excellence and thoroughness. It gave me the foundation I needed for the integration of faith and knowledge.” In February he stepped into a new role at the College as Chair of the Board of Trustees, bringing with him a decades-long immersion in the political and cultural landscape of the Bay State. Recently retired from a distinguished legal career, he has practiced at both trial and appellate courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Having served as a Gordon Trustee since 1992, he is also no stranger to the opportunities and challenges faced by an evangelical college in New England. After Gordon, Chairman Smith earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1974, and he served there as an associate clinical professor from 1979 through 1990. In 1990 he was appointed an associate justice of the Housing Court, City of Boston Division, but continued his involvement at B.U. as an adjunct professor, teaching seminars on topics ranging from constitutional and housing law to trial advocacy. In 1994 he was appointed an associate justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court; he retired in 2011. A longtime member of Boston’s Park Street Church, Chairman Smith has served as an Elder and as the Moderator of its Board of Elders. His professional affiliations include the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Judges Conference, the Massachusetts Black Judges Conference and the Christian Legal Society. “All of us at the College,” says President Michael Lindsay, “are delighted to welcome Judge Herman Smith to his new role as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Having a Gordon graduate in this important place of service is a great blessing to our community and a testament to our institution’s great alumni, who give sacrificially to benefit Gordon and our students. Rebecca and I have deep appreciation and love for Herman and Ruth Smith, and I look forward to many years of partnership in the Gospel with them through the ministry of Gordon College.”  SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 7


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

A Blessed and Adventurous 46 Years

Global Ed Expands into Wales, New Zealand and Hungary

Gordon’s Global Education Office (GEO) has introduced three new approved programs, bringing to more than 40 the total number of opportunities for study abroad.

Roger J. Green, professor of biblical and theological studies and Terrelle B. Crum Chair of Humanities, retired in May after 46 years of teaching—at Barrington College, Asbury College, and, since 1985, at Gordon. This May and June, along with his wife, Karen (pictured with him above), he will lead the Holy Land Pilgrimage for alumni and friends of the College for the last time as a full-time member of the Gordon College faculty. “I could not be more delighted with the vocation that the Lord has given me these many years,” he says. A longtime member and a scholar of The Salvation Army, Dr. Green wove a new strand of theological understanding into Gordon’s curriculum through his knowledge of Wesleyan history and theology. His grounding in The Salvation Army’s commitment both to preaching and to social ministries—and its welcoming of women in ministry— has dovetailed well with Gordon’s institutional identity. He is the recipient of The Salvation Army’s rarely-bestowed Order of the Founder, and of an honorary degree from William and Catherine Booth College. In addition to his work published in journals, and his contributions to several editions of the Bible, he is the author of a bookshelf’s worth of volumes about The Salvation Army, including War on Two Fronts: The Redemptive Theology of William Booth and Catherine Booth: A Biography of the Co-Founder of The Salvation Army. High points of his career, he says, include being hired by Dr. Marvin Wilson in 1970 to teach at Barrington—and being invited to teach at the United College of Gordon and Barrington when the colleges merged in 1985. Meeting his wife, Karen, who worked at Gordon College as a nurse while he was still teaching at Barrington, is another highlight, as are semester-long sabbaticals to places like London and Nigeria. What will he miss most? “The dynamics of the classroom,” he responds. “You never know what the day will bring.”  To contribute to the Roger J. Green/Salvation Army Scholarship Fund, go to giving.gordon.edu/RogerGreen

8 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

Linguistics majors can now dive into syntax and lexical functional grammar at New Zealand’s world-ranked University of Auckland, located in the country’s largest commercial hub (pictured above). At Auckland’s School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics, students have a unique opportunity to discover New Zealand’s heritage by studying the language and culture of the indigenous Maori people. Across the pond in Wales, chemistry majors can now study at another coastal school—Cardiff University, one of the U.K.’s leading universities. Students will learn from world-class researchers and benefit from Cardiff’s state-of-the-art facilities, while also exploring Welsh history and culture through courses like “From King Coal to Cool Cymru: Society and Culture in Wales.” Computer science majors can engage in Hungary’s long tradition of creative computing at Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT). Taught by globally-acclaimed scholars, the program integrates design, entrepreneurship and humanities with foundational and advanced application computer science courses. Students also take a two-week Hungarian language course. 


ON THE GRAPEVINE

What They Saw Each year Gordon’s Global Education Office sponsors a photo contest for students in its many study-abroad programs. The 2015 theme was “Beauty in the Midst of Adversity.” Here are the top three entries, with excerpts from the students’ reflections. We recommend viewing all the entries and the photographers’ full reflections at gcgeophotocontest.blogspot.com

2

3

1

1

First place

Mackenzie Sains ’16 | “Santonpin Church” Santonpin, Thailand

“This photo shows the remains of a church in Santonpin, in northern Thailand. The church body was very present in the village, and I was able to help and experience the community coming together to demolish the church building in preparation for a new building. Even though my experience in the community was positive, there was brokenness amidst the people. Alcoholism, abuse, and broken relationships underlie the beauty of this village that I learned to call home. Yet despite all of the brokenness and destruction—Jesus was still there. This image manifests the victory of Christ, the broken made beautiful under the shadow of the cross.”

2

Second place

Kaira Colman ’16 | “Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo” | Buenos Aires, Argentina

“These are some of the most beautiful and courageous women in Argentina. They are known as ‘Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo’—in other words, revolutionaries against the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983. During this time, Argentina faced its darkest moments: moments of terror and torture, of control and confusion, of pure evil and oppression, and of not knowing whether you or a loved one would return home. These women are not only mothers who lost a child or family member to the dictatorship, but heroic women who stood against these horrid acts, marching day after day around the Plaza de Mayo.”

3

Third place

Charlie Mitchell ’16 “Cheung Chau Island” | Hong Kong

“This is Cheung Chau Island. It is dirty; it is jarring: a sight that evokes sadness, poverty, commotion, and adversity. Yet the water looks so crisp and still, and the adversity can appear so calm. This paradox is beautiful. It tells stories, giving us insight into another culture: its people, its history, and its everyday life. That C703566 boat belongs to somebody, maybe a man who fishes to make a living. Somebody’s clothing is washed in that water. Superficially beautiful things rarely ever reveal this kind of meaning. That is why we visit run-down historical sites and why Cheung Chau Island is such a popular tourist attraction.” 

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 9


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Vote of Confidence for Reading Specialist Program

during her practicum in her last year of the graduate program, using researchbased strategies she learned at Gordon, made her feel “very prepared to attack most situations.” The nonprofit IDA awarded accreditation to Gordon College’s reading specialist program in 2014 after a rigorous accreditation process, recognizing it as a teacher preparation program that offers research-supported instruction in how best to teach dyslexic students, other struggling readers, and the general student population. (If the IDA maintains its past schedule, another round of accreditations will take place this spring.) The IDA spotlighted Gordon’s teacher preparation program in its October 2015 national newsletter. 

The International Dyslexia Association’s accreditation of Gordon’s master’s degree programs for teachers seeking certification as reading specialists is proving beneficial to the program’s graduates—and their young students, too. In some school districts,the scientifically research-based training that Gordon emphasizes in its Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in Reading is becoming a must-have for new hires. “IDA accreditation recognizes that Gordon’s research-based program capitalizes on the teaching of what all teachers need to know to help their students be successful readers. The graduate program is excited to be with only 17 colleges and universities in the country who have earned this prestigious honor,” Director of Graduate Education Dr. Janet Arndt says. When Eileen Catizone took a job as a reading teacher while still a graduate student at Gordon, “most of my colleagues were not trained to that depth of reading instruction and contested the instruction I was delivering,” she recalls—but she was able to move many of her students to benchmark levels of reading. “Gordon College taught me how to assess a student’s individual needs, and design specific interventions unique for that student,” she says. Upon receiving her master’s degree in 2015 she shifted to a different district that embraces the approach she learned at Gordon. This winter, a colleague from her former district offered to buy Catizone dinner if she’d show her some of the reading intervention strategies she’d learned at Gordon. Gordon’s reading specialist program prepares teachers of reading to use scientifically based teaching strategies that focus on five major components of reading. Kelly Lestage, who also completed the program last year, reports that the North Shore district where she teaches students with reading disabilities increasingly opts for specialists certified in the Orton-Gillingham approach that Gordon teaches, the gold-standard for teaching children with dyslexia and other reading struggles. While dyslexia makes reading a lifelong challenge, extensive individualized teaching that focuses on an explicit, multisensory approach enables students to make progress (and thereby also increases their self-esteem). Lestage says that working for 100 hours with struggling readers

10 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

A Catalog of Opportunities by Michael Hildebrandt, Director, The Center for Teaching Excellence

The Center for Teaching Excellence collaborates with Gordon faculty to support innovative classroom teaching, and digital resources to provide students a catalog of opportunities for 21st century learning. Through consultations, workshops drawn from current educational research on teaching, and a weekly blog, the CTE promotes best practices for Gordon’s academic program. Here are some examples of how that plays out “on the ground.” Research indicates that peer learning can increase student engagement and achievement, so this spring Dr. KarlDieter Crisman (mathematics) had his students work in small groups to complete problem sets. Right away he noticed more discussion during class, and students were more engaged as the class later reviewed the correct answers to the problem sets.


ON THE GRAPEVINE

Dr. Crisman also worked with the Center for Teaching Excellence last fall to pilot a “virtual classroom” so he could teach calculus while his students were on campus and he was in South Africa. He led the class “live” from overseas; a classroom projector in a Gordon classroom enabled students to view his lectures and interact with him in real time. When they formed small groups, students passed around an iPad so Dr. Crisman could engage with each group as needed. Taking notes on a laptop seems like a breeze, but it often leads students to take overly copious notes—nearly everything that the instructor says. Research indicates that this impairs their comprehension and retention. Consequently, last fall Dr. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper appointed two students during each session of her introductory history class to be official note-takers who create a “transcript-like” set of notes, shared later with their classmates. This freed others to attend to the lecture more globally. She observed positive outcomes, so this spring she implemented the practice in her upper level courses. Dr. Jennifer Noseworthy (biology) has been working with the Center for Teaching Excellence to “flip the classroom” for Gordon’s Core science course, The Scientific Enterprise. Rather than begin with a lecture and then assign homework, Dr. Noseworthy and other “TSE” teachers now put “pre-learning assignments” online for students to complete before class. This leverages inquiry-based and collaborative learning: in class, students work in groups exploring specific topics and concepts, have questions answered in clarifying lectures, and present their critical thinking about scientific concepts such as climate change and green energy. Dr. Noseworthy and the Center for Teaching Excellence have applied for a National Science Foundation grant to investigate the impact of such strategies on students’ grasp of science and scientific concepts. 

New Science Labs = New Possibilities

In the Ken Olsen Science Center, science students now delve a level deeper—quite literally, in a new underground lab wing. Funded in part by a grant Gordon received from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center as part of the Life Sciences Consortium of the North Shore, it features a “Fab Lab” (fabrication lab, or machine shop) for physics students, a vivarium and aquarium for biology and psychology students conducting animal research, and a cadaver lab for kinesiology and pre-health professions students. The vision for the cadaver lab was cast a few years ago, when Dr. Sean Clark (kinesiology) asked students in his senior seminar to begin dreaming about what an anatomy lab at Gordon might look like. Kinesiology enrollments doubled over the previous decade, and the lab space shared with the Biology Department was stretched to its limits. At that point, his students weren’t necessarily designing labs with cadavers in mind, but they created something versatile enough to accommodate that option in the future. Their design ideas were incorporated into architects’ and specialists’ plans, which were then refined and finalized by Dr. Clark—even down to the soft blue paint color. Traditional white walls and stainless steel fixtures struck him as too stark and uninviting for students who would be encountering cadavers for the first time. With a capacity for five cadavers and an ideal location near the medical hub of Boston, “we are really looking to leverage our location to provide extra opportunities for students,” Dr. Clark says. His students tend to be highly motivated, with sights set on competitive graduate programs. “We have an opportunity to provide hands-on experience, and instill a humble confidence in students as they enter grad programs,” he notes. The cadavers are supplied through a donor program, with which Gordon has been building a relationship over the last three years. “We approach this endeavor recognizing and humbly appreciating the gift for learning that each donor has provided. The giving of one’s body for study is truly an exceptional gift and one that we need to appropriately recognize and steward well,” says Dr. Clark. Up next in the lineup of Ken Olsen Science Center additions: a new biology greenhouse space on the third floor. 

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 11


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Gordon Presidential Fellows Program Turns Five

The 2016–17 Gordon Presidential Fellows, from left: Kristiina Boettiger ’18, Joshua Cochran ’18, Jack Ricci ’17, Zachary Daly ’17, President Michael Lindsay, Andrew Kang ’17, Sohenga Depestre ’17, Rosanna Drinkhouse ’17, Dorothy Chung ’18. (Not pictured: Farnel Maxime ’17)

Drawn from the largest applicant pool in the program’s history, the fifth cohort of Gordon Presidential Fellows was recently selected for the 2016–17 academic year. The Fellows are each assigned to a member of the President’s Cabinet for substantive work assignments; they also frequently gather for broader discussions and educational experiences. An early initiative of Michael Lindsay’s presidency, the Gordon Presidential Fellows Program is modeled after key aspects of the well-regarded White House Fellowship, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Lindsay became familiar with the WHF during the research for his first book, Faith in the Halls of Power. Gordon seemed a promising setting for launching a similar program for collegeage students. Substantial recent research, Lindsay notes, “suggests that purposeful young people are more productive, resilient and moral far into adulthood than their peers without a sense of noble purpose.” Since the launch of the program in 2012, 33 students have completed the program; the coming year’s cohort will bring the total number of Fellows to 42. The program aims to nurture a sense of purposeful leadership across the disciplines; participants do, in fact, represent a range of majors. The highest percentage of Fellows (30%) major in various social sciences, followed by English and communication arts (23%), business and economics (19%), humanities (15%) and the sciences (13%). Of the program’s first three graduated cohorts, the largest percentage (28%) are working in business or business consulting; 20% have found positions in education and other human services, 19% in media and marketing, 14% in the nonprofit sector, and 5% in science and technology. Fourteen percent are currently pursuing graduate degrees. In 2015 the program received a grant of $210,000 from the John Templeton Foundation to run and assess the Gordon Presidential Fellows program for three years, with initial research focused on the virtue of purpose. “With the assistance of the Templeton Foundation,” says President Lindsay, “this program can provide a model for character education at colleges worldwide.”  12 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

Faculty Books Gregor Thuswaldner and (University of Colorado) colleague Robert Dassanowsky have published a translation of Felix Mitterer’s Jägerstätter, about an Austrian farmer who refused to fight for Hitler because of his Catholic faith (University of New Orleans Press, 2015). Dr. Thuswaldner wrote the introduction to the volume, and also recently published another translation with his wife, Pamela Thuswaldner: a children’s book by Gregor’s father, Werner Thuswaldner, Everyman for Every Child. It is a retelling of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s 1911 play Jedermann, which is based on the medieval mystery play Everyman. Paul Borthwick’s latest book Great Commission, Great Compassion: Following Jesus and Loving the World was released by InterVarsity Press in 2015 and was featured as a “Book of the Day” at last December’s Urbana 2015 Conference. Bert Hodges published a chapter entitled “Conformity and divergence in interactions, groups, and culture” in The Oxford Handbook of Social Influence (edited by S. Harkins, K. Williams, & J. Burger; Oxford University Press, 2015). Elaine Phillips published “Theology of Prayer in the Wisdom Literature,” a chapter in Praying with Ancient Israel: Exploring the Theology of Prayer in the Old Testament (edited by P. Camp and T. Longman III; Abilene Christian University Press, 2015). 


ON THE GRAPEVINE

Remembering Bruce Webb “He epitomized so much about Gordon at its best.”

In the Arts Sarita Kwok’s latest CD, Interchange, featuring violin and piano duos of the 20th century (works by Prokofiev, Janacek, Ravel and Stravinsky), was released worldwide in February by the German label GENUIN classics. Dr. Kwok, who chairs Gordon’s Department of Music, is joined on this recording by her regular collaborator, pianist and Yale faculty member Wei-Yi Yang. The performance is described as “a balancing act that both young musicians pull off splendidly, connecting long musical lines and palpably enjoying relentless rhythmic repetitions.” The CD is available on iTunes and Amazon. 

Bruce Webb, who taught students of economics and business at Gordon College for more than 35 years, passed away Nov. 10, 2015. A macroeconomist able to explain complicated concepts with remarkable clarity, he integrated philosophy and theology into his work with students, particularly in his popular course Christian Teaching on the Economy. “Bruce had an exceptional understanding of how Christian ethics and Christian theology intersect with economics across the whole sweep of Christian points of view and economic schools of thought,” says his colleague Stephen Smith. Dr. Webb joined the Gordon faculty in 1977. In 1982, he was among the founding members of the Association of Christian Economists, and for many years he served as co-editor of its journal, Faith & Economics. Deeply committed to the liberal arts, he led the effort a decade ago that reshaped Gordon’s Core curriculum to express the Gordon ethos of global understanding, civic responsibility, theological reflection, aesthetic practice, and scientific methods and principles. For many years he directed the College’s Christianity, Character and Culture Program. In 2009 he was honored with the College’s Senior Distinguished Faculty Award. “You would never catch this year’s recipient in an ivory tower,” said then-provost Mark Sargent as he announced the award. “In fact, you can just as easily catch him talking with a colleague or student about good novels, recent films and ancient philosophy as you can engage him in conversations about the complexities of his own field.” Dr. Webb retired in 2011, but as Emeritus Professor of Economics and Business he continued to write and teach part-time even as he continued to battle cancer. He pursued writing projects about economic growth (as co-author of Human Flourishing: The Case for Economic Growth, published by American Enterprise Press in 2013), and about how Protestants can (and should) use Catholic social teaching. “Bruce Webb epitomized so much about Gordon at its best: the teacher/scholar ideal for faculty, the vibrant connection between faith and our disciplines, and a high regard for the usefulness of liberal arts education in everyday life and for the common good,” says Dr. Smith. 

Bruce Herman, Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts at Gordon, served as artist-in-residence at Duke Divinity School this spring as part of its Initiatives in Theology and the Arts program. In that role he created a large painting, Riven Tree (pictured here), for the Divinity School’s York Room. He also delivered a lecture, “Making, Unmaking, Remaking: Conflict and Resolution in the Creation of a Painting,” which can be viewed on YouTube. “I was completely blown away at how much prayer, study, sacrifice, and trust went into this wonderful work,” said one viewer. 

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 13


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Scholars on Sabbatical Each year a small percentage of Gordon faculty are on sabbaticals, semester-long breaks from normal teaching and administrative responsibilities. This set-apart time—the word sabbatical is derived from the Hebrew shabbat—frees them for intensive research, writing or other scholarly work. Four of their stories follow here.

The Glory that Was (and Is) Rome by Steve Hunt Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries

An Entrepreneurial Sabbatical by Jessica Ventura Department of Kinesiology

I had long wished to immerse myself in the dirt and dust, the history and art, the basilicas and museums of Rome. To walk in St. Paul’s footsteps on the Appian Way. To visit his tomb at St. Paul Outside the Walls. With the generous grant of release time through Gordon’s sabbatical program, I have now made that dream a reality. In the late summer and fall of 2015, Bridget and I moved our family to Italy for three months so I could create a new course, Reading Romans in Rome, for the Gordon IN Orvieto program. I’ve spent my sabbatical in Gordon’s Biomechanics Laboratory working on research and venture projects with a number of kinesiology students. My goal is to establish ongoing funded opportunities for those interested in practicing biomechanics beyond the classroom. One research project, in collaboration with Dr. Karen Troy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Dr. Rebecca Fellin of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, studies the changes in running style and bone loading of first-time marathon runners. This is a great opportunity for the students, who are aiding in data collection and computational modeling of the runners, with the goal of submitting their findings for publication or as pilot data for funded research. Another project, in collaboration with Dr. Valerie Gin, seeks to establish an institute at Gordon that would provide clients with performance or clinical fitness assessment and training services. This spring we mentored a team of students who designed the business model for the institute as part of the Social Venture Challenge run through the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. (Editor’s note: the Social Venture Challenge had not taken place when this issue went to press—but it will have by the time you read this. Visit www.gordon.edu/svc to learn the outcome.) 

14 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

Up with the sun, most nights we did not return until late in the evening. I would then stay up most of the night reading more about what I had seen that day and/or planning our next day’s adventure. I would also ice my feet. We saw ancient frescoes and amazing mosaics, and more church relics related to Jesus and the early church than I can remember. We walked this piazza and that piazza and a dozen more besides. We spent significant time in St. Peter’s, the Catacombs, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Forum, the Palatine hill, Circus Maximus, Largo Argentina, Hadrian’s Mausoleum, Trajan’s column, Augustus’ Ara Pacis, Nerva’s Forum, the Theater of Marcellus and the Borghese gardens. We saw Caravaggio paintings, Bernini sculptures, Michaelangelo architecture. We walked ancient roads in Trastevere and modern jogging paths along the Tiber. We strolled the tiny little alleyways of the Jewish Ghetto, noting the names (marked in paving stones) of those poor souls who were rounded up by the Nazis in 1943. We also walked the Corso, a main road that becomes pedestrian-friendly every evening. I’m still culling through 12,000-plus photos. I suppose, if they’re honest, William (15) and Lindsey (13) will say they don’t need to see any more marble busts of dead emperors. As for our little ones, Parker (4) and Anders (1), they were really very good despite how hard we pushed them. To paraphrase a famous Roman, we came, we saw, we conquered. But our feet still hurt. 


ON THE GRAPEVINE

Reconsidering a Popular Novelist

The Neurology of Moral Decision-Making

by Chad P. Stutz Department of English Language and Literature

by Bryan Auday Department of Psychology

I am launching a new research project examining the life and works of the 19th-century Scottish adventure novelist R. M. Ballantyne (1825–1894), with the ultimate goal of producing a full-length critical biography of this once wildly popular but now largely forgotten writer. My interest in Ballantyne grew out of a senior seminar I taught a few years ago entitled Adventure, Nation, and Empire, which explored the tradition of British adventure fiction from Daniel Defoe through J. R. R. Tolkien. My teaching and research focus on British romanticism, Victorian literature and culture, and the intersection of Christianity and aesthetics in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially among English and American evangelicals. Since the only biography of Ballantyne was published in the late ’60s, the time is ripe for a reconsideration of this novelist whom Robert Louis Stevenson once admiringly referred to as “Ballantyne the Brave.”

Take a moment to reflect on the following hypothetical moral dilemma:

The author of more than 90 works, Ballantyne is most famous for The Coral Island—a novel that almost a century later prompted William Golding to write Lord of the Flies. An evangelical Christian who took seriously his influence on a generation of young boys, Ballantyne helped to shape mid-Victorian notions of faith, masculinity, empire and race.

My sabbatical last fall involved collecting data from over one hundred students who came to my brain imaging laboratory to participate in one of two studies on the neurophysiological correlates of moral decision-making. My six student lab assistants programmed a computer to present dozens of moral dilemmas similar to the one you just read. Each participant had to choose between two difficult options. While they agonized over which choices to make, we were recording their brain waves from 36 distinct locations on their scalp. We did this to gain a better understanding of the neurophysiological processes in the brain that drive the delicate interplay between cognitive and emotional systems used to make a moral decision.

One of the most exciting parts of working on a critical biography is the chance to do archival research. I took two trips during my sabbatical this spring—to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas and to Yale University, which hold some of Ballantyne’s papers and manuscripts. I am also planning future trips to UCLA, the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives in Manitoba, Canada, where Ballantyne spent several years working as a young man in the 1840s. Quite fittingly, my effort to follow the course of Ballantyne’s complex career has turned into an adventure all its own. 

You are a construction worker who is maneuvering a crane on a building site. You have just started your day when you realize that the cable of the crane is about to break. Attached to the cable is an enormous steel beam, which is directly above a crew of six who are working outside. What would you do? Would you move the arm of the crane a short distance to another area of the site knowing there is a worker present who will be crushed by the steel beam and will die, but leave the other six workers unhurt? Or, would you just let fate play itself out and not move the crane so you would not endanger anyone else, yet witness the steel beam falling and killing the six crew members?

Half of the participants completed a self-affirming task prior to seeing any dilemmas, while the other half were not self-affirmed. We want to investigate if the self-affirming task alters their choices or impacts the degree to which emotional processing is utilized. After the data are analyzed, an article will be prepared for publication. 

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 15


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Scholars’ Profiles

Habits and Habitats of 26 Gordon Professors Pneumocytes. The multiverse. Lives of renunciation. Treaties. Just a few of the things on the minds of professors you pass on the Gordon quad. Mind/body. Religion/media. Analog/digital. They may be mulling some compelling dissonance, or a convergence . . . Pollution. Keeping people’s hips intact. Moral dilemmas. . . . or chasing a solution to a problem. Hindi, Mandarin, Prolog, Python. Languages they might be pondering in, besides English. Kayaking. Construction. Boogie boarding. Baking. How they’ll unwind after work. Botswana, Argentina, Antarctica. To the ends of the earth. To the edge of the nanoverse. Where they’ve been. Where they’re going. 26 of our professors, all impressive. Enjoy getting acquainted.

Photography Mark Spooner ’14

16 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

Ivy George, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology and Social Work Gender, religion, race, ethnicity, globalization and social change

Teaching at Gordon since 1983

“I love being wonderstruck. In the face of awe I come to terms with my own mortality.” Currently exploring the fragility of modern

masculinity, and the relationship between masculinity and disability. Why sociology matters: “To understand the world we find ourselves in and to locate ourselves in it can be part of holy work. The activation of new lenses to see the world can be exhilarating and empowering. You then start to see the work you have to do. For me, sociology is a necessary tool for the project of redemption.” Fluent in Tamil, English and Malayalam. Enjoys a good belly laugh, making bread and jam, dance, music, poetry, making connections between beauty and justice, compassion and anger. Vacation highlight: Tracking lions and elephants in Botswana with her husband.

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 17


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Pilar Pérez Serrano, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Spanish Contemporary Spanish theater, Peninsular literature

Teaching at Gordon since 2002

“Theater mirrors society, and it carries both an aesthetic and an ethical responsibility.” Wrote La rebelión de Los esclavos: Tragedia

y posibilidad en el teatro de Raúl Hernández Garrido (2014). Upcoming: a compilation of essays dedicated to theater and crisis. Spanish theatre “is currently experiencing a fantastic resurgence. Many have attributed this renewal to the moral and economic crisis that the country suffers.” An important mentor: Dr. Ann Ferguson, professor of English literature at Gordon for over 50 years, who encouraged her to pursue graduate study. Enjoys long distance running. “It makes me a nicer person. You can ask my family.”

Sean Clark, Ph.D. Professor of Kinesiology Neuromotor control

Teaching at Gordon since 2000

“Concussions and post-concussion syndrome are hot topics not only in athletics but also in the medical field. Appropriate assessment and treatment can aid in return to an active lifestyle, or for athletes’ return to play.” Launched Gordon’s Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness. Partners with a Quebec-based

company, KINESIQ, to explore how a training device using a motion platform and real-life simulation might reduce fall-risk for older adults. What’s new in kinesiology: The use of physical therapy and vestibular rehabilitation to treat dizziness, vertigo and balance deficits in individuals who’ve suffered concussion. Enjoys small-scale farming; putting up cord wood; nature walks with his wife, Donna; rock climbing with his oldest son, Zac; shooting at the range with his youngest son, Jake.

18 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

Steve Alter, Ph.D.

Professor of History | Modern U.S. history and foreign policy; history of evolutionary theory and the modern human sciences

Teaching at Gordon since 2000

“An important way to study history is to focus on the difficult policy decisions people and countries have made—in foreign relations, for instance. It’s a way to learn from experience. History thus makes excellent preparation for one’s own decision-making, something all of us do in our own ‘historical context.’ ” Recently wrote “Darwin and Language,” an

entry in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought. Enjoys “tracing ‘great conversations’ about the individual in relation to society, especially the problem of American individualism v. social conformity.” Vacation highlight: In the Berkshires, he and his wife, Carol, visited the scene of the events that inspired Arlo Guthrie’s 1967 hit song “Alice’s Restaurant” (see photo, Table of Contents).

Dale Pleticha, Ph.D. Professor of Physics | Astrophysics; mathematical and computational physics

Teaching at Gordon since 1984

“One question we would like to answer is What is the physics involved in running straight up a vertical wall? ” Researching the physics of parcour, with a student. (See above.) What’s new in astrophysics: The multiverse and eternal

inflation, used by some well-known cosmologists to counter the intelligent design, teleological, and cosmological arguments for the existence of God. His dissertation in 21 words: A telescope with a spherical mirror allows you to point your telescope in many different directions all at the same time. Enjoys doing just about anything where it is very quiet. Recent favorite book: Quiet (by Susan Cain). Another claim to fame: Preparing quick, low-salt, low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sugar, “and consequently low-taste” meals. As a heart patient he finds this useful.

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 19


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Dorothy Boorse, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology Aquatic ecology, environmental science Teaching at Gordon since 1999

“Climate change, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, ocean degradation—our global passing of critical planetary boundaries will determine what options are available to future generations.” Wrote Environmental Science: Toward a Sustainable Future with Dick

Wright, Gordon emeritus professor of biology; is lead author of Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment. Promotes creation care among American evangelicals. Fluent in dichotomous keys—a reference tool in which a series of choices between traits leads, progressively, to the identification of a species. Mentor: Dick Wright, who advised her to go to graduate school and helped her become a textbook author. Her dissertation in 31 words: Small wetlands that dry out contain macroinvertebrate communities whose structure is determined by the drying period, distances to other wetlands, the likelihood of flooding, and the actual timing of water availability. Enjoys walking around looking at nature and telling other people about it, in person or on her blog, wonderofeverydaynature.com. Fun facts: Has a small native plant garden and a miniature poodle.

Kent W. Seibert, D.B.A. Professor of Economics and Business Business, management

Teaching at Gordon since 2008

“Young adults today demand more of businesses. They don’t just expect honesty and quality products; they want business to contribute broadly to the common good.” Edited a special issue of the Journal of Biblical Integration in Business

dealing with the Sabbath’s relevance for contemporary business people. Current projects: Working with Julia Marra ’13 on getting her

senior honors thesis published in a book on Christianity and business; developing an online version of his Principles of Management course. What’s new in business: The emergence of social entrepreneurship and corporate social enterprise. “This is where the institution of business is used not just to generate economic benefit (i.e. profit), but also to address social problems and do that in a sustainable way. This requires giving attention to the triple bottom line: profit, people and planet.” Why management matters: “Management is basically the secular word for stewardship, so it’s directly relevant to our personal spiritual lives.” Mentor: The late John Mason, emeritus professor of economics. Enjoys boogie boarding. “I find nothing more exhilarating than being propelled at breakneck speed inside a wave.”

20 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

Dan Darko, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of New Testament Pauline letters, Luke-Acts, principles of biblical interpretation Teaching at Gordon since 2011

“Religion is linked to world conflict, politics and social breakdown. I endeavor to deepen students’ understanding of Christian origins, how to interpret the Bible and draw from it to make sense of a wide array of social issues—human sexuality, race relations and cultural diversity.” Studying the use of kinship language in the social identity construction, moral framework and dynamics of leadership in Paul’s letters. Wrote No Longer Living as

the Gentiles: Differentiation and Shared Ethical Values in Ephesians 4.17–6.9 (T&T Clark, 2008). He is a contributor to the Africa Study Bible. His chapter on the “father image of God” in the Sermon on the Mount will appear in an upcoming volume of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph series. Fluent in English and Akan (Ghana), his mother tongue. Mentors include David Kalb of Ghana Christian University, John Stott, and—most influential—his mother, Angela, with whom he also worked in a family textile business. Enjoys hiking, and watching soccer on the weekends.

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 21


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Mike Jacobs, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Political Science International relations Teaching at Gordon since 2013

“Gordon students see a world filled with conflict, poverty, and other challenges and they want to make a difference. But to do so, they need to understand the major players in world politics and the wide variety of perspectives. These kinds of discussions are my field’s home turf.” Researching Christian denominations’ worldviews by

gathering and tracking the groups’ foreign policy statements. What’s new in poli sci: The journal Providence; he hopes to publish in it. His dissertation in 7 words: Elizabeth

Warren doesn’t understand bilateral investment treaties. Another claim to fame: College football. He played it; his father and brother coach it. He can detail a half dozen ways to stop a spread offense. Fun fact: Screens Dr. Strangelove in Intro to World Politics.

Grace Chiou, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Communication Arts | Media and religion Teaching at Gordon since 2015

“Young adults need to recognize the constructed nature of media messages.” Researching how college students (who are attuned to self-presentation and

its consequences in social media) increasingly construct messages in relation to the consequences for others—and are cognizant of selection and editing as they create stories on social media. Fluent in critical cultural studies, media and visual studies, and the intersections of religion and media. Mentor: Lynn Schofield Clark, director of the University of Denver’s Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media. Her dissertation in 6 words: It’s not about you. Just give. Enjoys “Britcoms”: As Time Goes By, Jeeves and Wooster, and the detective series Vera. Vacation highlights: In Spain, watched the sunset at the Alhambra, and in Barcelona visited the innovative designs of Antoni Gaudi, and marveled at the Sagrada Familia and its interior tree-like columns.

22 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

David West, M.F.A.

Assistant Professor of Art | Printmaking, drawing Teaching at Gordon since 2015

“The art world is faced with a public that is more heavily involved with images than possibly ever in history, but not well equipped with the skills of really slowing down and looking.” Launched a nomadic gallery in 2013 with fellow artist

Jerrod Partridge, staging elaborate one-day-only art shows all over Jackson, Mississippi. They spent days prepping or building display spaces, and then invited the public. It’s still running. A favorite facet of teaching: Working with seniors on their thesis projects. Why art matters: “Art, done well, will always change the way we perceive the world and make us ask questions of our current condition. That might look like a work of exquisite craftsmanship or bringing to our attention some beautiful thing previously unnoticed. It could embody an issue of social or religious importance that critiques the status quo.” Enjoys reading books that turn into naps. Another claim to fame: “With two little girls, I am getting pretty good at painting nails and braiding hair.” www.jdavidwest.com

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 23


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of English Medieval and Renaissance English literature Teaching at Gordon since 2015

“In spite of everything that seems foreign about medieval literature and religion, there are moments when some text or image can seem totally relevant, addressing some 21st-century situation in a way that is surprising and encouraging and illuminating.” An accomplishment: Dual Ph.D. (in English, and Religious Studies). Researching medieval mystical authors’

understanding and use of figurative language—in particular, metaphor. Her dissertation in 17 words: In the Middle Ages, people used a lot of metaphors when they wanted to talk about God. Mentors: “My parents exemplified the kind of ‘life mentoring’ that makes up good parenting. And Dr. Curtis Gruenler taught me to love medieval literature and modeled what it means to teach the liberal arts. He continues to challenge me as a scholar.” Enjoys time in the woods with her three-year-old son and black Lab.

24 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

Mark Cannister, Ed.D.

Professor of Christian Ministries; co-chair, Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries; moderator, Division of the Humanities Ecclesiology; church and youth ministries; strategic planning

Teaching at Gordon since 1992

“The emerging generation’s understanding of theology, culture, and ministry will shape the church of the 21st century.” Wrote Teenagers Matter: Making Student Ministry a Priority in

the Church (Book of the Year Awards from Outreach magazine and Hearts & Minds Bookstore). In progress: Contribution Matters: Integrating Teenagers into the Life of the Church. Mentors: “Mike Henning taught me what it meant to have a relationship with Christ and contribute to the community of the church. I learned what it meant to be a leader working alongside Jim Welch. Chuck Rosemeyer was a constant reminder of the importance of leadership development and networking.” Enjoys working with his hands—anything from building a treehouse to renovating a bathroom. Fun fact: Sat in Billy Graham’s office chair, thanks to a very connected alumnus, Sidney Shelton Youngs ’98.


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

Janis Flint-Ferguson, D.A.

Sandra Doneski, Ph.D.

Professor of English and Education Middle school education; composition and rhetoric

Associate Professor of Music Music education, choral conducting

Teaching at Gordon since 1990

Teaching at Gordon since 2000

“Teaching can feel insanely public, but walking alongside those who are preparing to teach is a quieter process— working through uncertainties, adding to their repertoire and listening as they find their voices.”

“Music changes people from the inside out and draws us together to create something beautiful that is beyond our individual identities.”

Accolades: College Educator of the Year (1997),

Massachusetts Association of Teacher Educators Awards for Leadership in Education; first higher-ed representative on the Board of the New England League of Middle Schools. What’s new in teacher preparation: Changes in how preservice teachers are assessed. Fluent in young adult literature. “A good ‘YA’ text opens a complex world at a sophisticated level appropriate for the adolescent reader.” Mentor: Her sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Paul, “who taught me that teaching is a balance of great fun and absolute seriousness.” Enjoys watching open-wheel auto racing. Fun fact: Played a maiden aunt who shared elderberry wine with lonely old men in Arsenic and Old Lace.

Accomplishments: Directs Gordon’s graduate music

programs, the undergrad music education program, and serves as Dean of Faculty. Developing, in collaboration with other New England music educators, ways to assess music students based on “CPR” (the three artistic processes, creating, performing and responding). What’s new in music ed: Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces No Child Left Behind. “ESSA enumerates music as a stand-alone subject in the wellrounded education of our nation’s students.” Fluent pianist. Mentor: Alberta Sinclair, her church junior choir director. Enjoys creating meals based on Food Network episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 25


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Mark Gedney, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy | Religion and politics

Teaching at Gordon since 1998

“The demand of philosophy to examine one’s own preconceptions—and to be interested in understanding the beliefs of others—will be crucial in increasing conversation and understanding across the divides that now separate us.” An accomplishment: Hosting the Society for

Continental Philosophy and Theology at Gordon, with major figures such as Roger Haight, Richard Kearney, Jack Caputo and Merold Westphal. Writing a book, The Uncanny Desire for Mutual Recognition. Fluent in English and French. Also quite good at iPhone repair. Mentor: Malcolm Reid, Gordon College professor emeritus of philosophy. His dissertation in 20 words: The path of “rugged individualism” is the greatest wrong turn in modern thinking (both in its secular and religious forms). Another claim to fame: Translates French and German poetry into English, including Paul Celan’s Atemwende.

Jamie Hillman, D.M.A. Assistant Professor of Music Choral conducting, music education, voice Teaching at Gordon since 2012

“I co-lead a thriving music and arts program at MCINorfolk, the largest men’s prison in Massachusetts.” Accomplishments: Laureate of the Leslie Bell

Prize for Choral Conducting from the Ontario Arts Council. North American juror (among six from three continents) at the Tomohon International Choir Competition in Indonesia. Received Boston University Prison Arts Scholar Award. Researching choral singing and other arts in prisons. “The Gordon College Men’s Choir had the opportunity to perform a concert at MCI-Norfolk. Some of the students mentioned that it was one of the most impactful experiences of their time at Gordon.” Fluent pianist. Another claim to fame: Is slowly picking up Taiwanese and Mandarin from his trilingual wife and son. www.jamiehillman.net

26 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

Norm Jones, M.A. Professor of Theatre Arts | Acting

Teaching at Gordon since 1985

“Theatre gives students the opportunity to reveal the miraculous in the mundane.” An accomplishment: Has directed 47 plays at Gordon College. Writing an autobiographical theatre piece. What’s new in theatre: Immersive

theatre. Audiences move throughout an unconventional theatre space on their own and discover portions of the play in each new room. Mentor: Jim Whitmire, his high school choir director. His thesis in 5 words: An epiphany may be painful. Enjoys fishing, because he loves to be where fish live. Fun fact: He saw all the Apollo moon launches.

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 27


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Mindy Eichhorn, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor of Education | Mathematical special education, international education Teaching at Gordon since 2014

“The impact of poor arithmetical skills is greater than the influence of poor reading skills on employment prospects.” An accomplishment: Over six years in Maharashtra

and Tamil Nadu, India, she trained hundreds of Indian elementary teachers in special education techniques and strategies—training that is hard to come by in a country of a billion people with only a handful of teacher training programs in special education. What’s new in special education: “Increased understanding of the importance of a student’s ‘number sense’ at a young age—their intuitive grasp of things like number relationships, number magnitude, estimation—and how it contributes to difficulties in learning math.” Fluent in English and conversational Hindi (helpful in watching the best Bollywood movies). She also is a fluent cook of spicy vegetarian Indian cuisine, such as palak paneer and chana masala. Another claim to fame: Was the featured baton twirler in her high school marching band, and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day and Rose Bowl parades.

28 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016

Bryan C. Auday, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology | Cognitive neuroscience

Teaching at Gordon since 1986

“Cognitive neuroscience provides a foundation for exploring the complexities between the mind and body, so we can more comprehensively understand what it means to be fully human.” Launched Gordon’s neuroscience program. Served as

medical editor of the five-volume Salem Health Magill’s Medical Guide (Grey House Press, 2014). Finishing two empirical studies on the neurophysiological correlates of moral decision-making. With student researchers he records participants’ brain waves while they solve a moral dilemma, to assess cognitive and emotional processing during different types of moral decisions. What’s new in neuroscience: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which enables scientists to visualize neuroprocessing in the living brain. Enjoys sea kayaking along Cape Ann’s coastline and dozens of islands. Fun fact: Has never had a cup of coffee.


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

Russ Tuck, Ph.D.

Professor of Math and Computer Science Parallel and distributed computing; mobile and cloud computing

Teaching at Gordon since 2015

“Computers are powerful tools. I want to prepare students to be shapers and creators of these tools.” Helped launch Gmail, and led its initial Site Reliability Engineering team (which kept it running and helped it grow to support millions of users). Developing a new eight-week summer practicum in mobile computing. Students will develop useful software for a real user. What’s new in computer science: Cloud computing. “Besides requiring dramatic changes in software systems, this elevates the importance of privacy and security issues.” Mentor: Dr. Fred Brooks, his doctoral advisor, author of The Mythical Man Month. Enjoys southbound travel: Argentina, Brazil and a cruise along Antarctica’s northern coast, with trips to shore. “We loved the penguins, seals, birds, and whales. It was also warmer in Antarctica (low 30s, summer there) than where our kids were in college (PA and NY, winter, in the 20s).” Fun fact: Spent the night at the top of the Empire State Building during a blackout.

Otonye BraideMoncoeur, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Bioanalytical chemistry Teaching at Gordon since 2014

“At Gordon, students interested in biomedical research are given the opportunity to engage in the interdisciplinary nature of the field.” Recently discovered that the KL4 helical structure (the first peptide-based replacement for surfactant protein B in pulmonary surfactant) is pH dependent. Fluent in Origin software used for data analysis. Also a fluent user of the fluorometer, which measures fluorescence. Her dissertation in 24 words: Rather than profiting by marketing surfactant replacement therapies, researchers have chosen to continue expanding knowledge about how these novel surfactants facilitate the breathing process. Mentors: Her friends the Vellekamps, “who have counseled me and shown me unconditional love and encouragement through extremely hard times.” Enjoys singing on worship teams, and travel (to Brazil, Japan, and—on her 2014 honeymoon—Tennessee).

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 29


STARTERS

NEWS

FEATURE

ALUMNI

Dick Stout, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics “Pure” mathematics; math for elementary teachers

Teaching at Gordon since 1980

“Unfortunately, many Christians dismiss mathematics as irrelevant to our lives. However, if you subscribe to the philosophy that mathematics is discovered, and not invented, it raises a host of questions that are of interest to Christians.” Writing study questions for the book

Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith. What’s new in mathematics: The use of math in the field of security codes. Loves watching birds and wildlife abroad with his wife, Martha. So far, they’ve seen grizzlies in Alaska, birds in Costa Rica and Peru, whales off Mexico, and a host of other creatures on safari in Kenya. Another claim to fame: High-mileage charity fundraising: 20 Walks for Hunger, and 15 Jimmy Fund walks along the Boston Marathon route.

Amy Brown Hughes, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology Patristics, Trinitarian theology and Christology Teaching at Gordon since 2015

“For me, theology is something that we do as the Church as we seek to live in response to our Christian faith.” Finishing a book (with coauthor Lynn Cohick, Wheaton College), Christian Women in the Patristic World: Influence, Authority and Legacy. What’s new in theology: More evangelicals are beginning to work in the field of early Christianity. Mentor: George Kalantzis, her Ph.D. supervisor, “who showed me how to find my voice.” Her dissertation in 16 words: Early Christian women who chose lives of ascetic renunciation contributed substantively to the development of Christology. Enjoys science fiction, which “helps us think about the societal choices we make.” Twitter @AmyBrownHughes

30 STILLPOINT | SPRING 2016


SCHOLARS’ PROFILES

Russ Bjork, M.S., M.Div. Professor of Computer Science Founded the major at Gordon

Teaching at Gordon since 1978

“Virtually every area of life is being affected, and will continue to be affected, by computers.” Developing an implementation of Prolog, a

high-level programming language based on formal logic, and widely used for artificial intelligence applications. It will incorporate support for “fuzzy logic” based on “degrees of truth” rather than on Boolean (“1 or 0”) logic. What’s new in computer science: “Various sorts of digital networking continue to transform numerous areas of life like commerce, the media, and even politics.” Fluent in several programming languages. Enjoys the wilderness. With his wife, Janet, he’s visited Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and the Badlands, and biked or walked all 45 miles of carriage roads in Acadia National Park.

Susan C. Bobb, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Psycholinguistics Teaching at Gordon since 2015

“Our world is becoming increasingly global. Studying bilingualism helps us understand how a majority of the world thinks.” What’s new in psycholinguistics: The finding

that a person who knows more than one language cannot turn one on and the other off. “Both languages are active to some extent all the time, which means that bi/multi-linguals are pretty amazing mental jugglers!” Fluent in English, German, French, “and in English punctuation.” Mentor: Dr. Judy Kroll, former director of Penn State’s Center for Language Science, “who taught me that good science and great generosity make fabulous bed fellows.” Her dissertation in 14 words: If at first you don’t succeed, you probably never will (learn German grammatical gender). Enjoys “making something out of nothing.” With cornstarch, water, and some left-over fabric, she frosted her bathroom windows last fall for $0.

SPRING 2016 | STILLPOINT 31


When Giving Comes Full Circle

Dr. Stan Gaede, Scholar in Residence


“We are so thankful for the support we received as students at Gordon—financial, and so much more.”

“I wouldn’t be doing what I am now without the support from the Gordon community— faculty, staff and donors.”

They graduated from Gordon more than 40 years apart, but Randy ’67 and Pat ’68 Collins have much in common with Joqui Giron-Melendez ’11. All were the first in their families to go to college. None could have afforded a Gordon education without financial support. Now all three give to Gordon.

At Gordon, it’s not just a gift— you build the future giving.gordon.edu/yourimpact


255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984-1899 www.gordon.edu

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! SEPT 30

NOV

–Oct 3

9–11

Homecoming and Family Weekend

Herrmann Lectures on Faith and Science

A rich time of reconnection for members of the Gordon and Barrington communities.

Jennifer Wiseman, NASA astrophysicist and Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope

www.gordon.edu/homecoming

www.gordon.edu/herrmannlectures

NOV

DEC

3

Gordon College Celebration of Faithful Leadership A gathering to honor an inspiring leader, and to celebrate the College’s preparation of the next generation of leaders. Proceeds fund student scholarships.

2–3

The 26th Annual Christmas Gala Gordon College choirs, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra in two evenings of glorious Christmas music, with readings and carol singing.

Stillpoint Spring 2016  
Stillpoint Spring 2016  

STILLPOINT Spring 2016