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SPRING FALL 2015 2012



Learning by Doing A Place for Invention 14

12 A Trek through Montana’s Beartooth Wilderness Mark Sargent:

18 Structure and Serendipity: On the “Living Ground” of How Experiential Learning Gordon College 17 Adds Up

“One of the questions we continually asked was, ‘Are you choosing to live by faith or fear?’ In the wilderness, where we are quite literally out of control, choosing faith over fear is a daily necessity.”

Also Also in This in Issue This Issue 28 Indwelling 4 Anvil by Urban Spring (+ Rural) 24 Scots’ Landscapes Study Spots 30 Living 30 Alumni the History: NewsPeople, 36 Faithful Places and Leadership Connections


Photo Catherine Schweitzer ’15

LEARNING BY DOING Lauren Purdy (above) and Catherine Schweitzer, both senior biology majors, gathered data from 36 North Shore locations during summer research on bird habitats. Each year hundreds of Gordon students take advantage of varied opportunities for hands-on learning.

Trek through Montana’s 12 ABeartooth Wilderness by Heather Korpi

Seven Gordon students spent 17 September days in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness as part of their W.I.L.D. Semester (Wilderness Immersion Leadership Development). Gordon photographer Mark Spooner ’14 traveled with them for a week—several cameras and bear spray in hand—to capture the ups and downs (quite literally) of their backcountry excursion.

and Serendipity: 18 Structure How Experiential Learning Adds Up

Here is a roundup of some of the many ways Gordon students put their classroom learning to work. Sometimes it takes place half a world away; sometimes very near campus. Through mentoring relationships, internships, research fellowships, mission and service-learning trips, students test their hunches and stretch their limits.

ON THE COVER “I used to think there was only so

much time I could spend with the same people, only so many nights I could spend shivering, only so many hours I could hike. While I may put limits on myself, a limitless God lives in me.” By the crackle of a campfire against the chilling winds of the Montana wilderness, Jessica Pankratz ’16 and fellow W.I.L.D. semester students redefined their limits. Cover Photo Mark Spooner ’14



26 ARTICLES Study Spots 24 Scots’ by Truett Smith ’15 A behind-the-scenes tour of some of Gordon’s best, worst, and most hypothetical study spots—from a popular 2014–2015 Tartan series.

Women in Leadership: 26 Achieving Mission by Janel Curry

What if we expected God to call all of our young people to big callings and big dreams in order to fulfill the purposes of his Kingdom? That’s the question behind a new study of women in evangelical leadership.

28 and Athens 28 Jerusalem Forum Essay Contest “Why is it that what seems to be often is not what is?” That was the prompt for this year’s JAF essay contest. Hannah Wardell ’17 wrote the winning essay; Sam Sherratt ’15 and Christy Urbano ’16 received honorable mentions. 

the Faithful 36 Celebrating Leaders of Gordon’s Past, Present and Future

Looking out over Boston Harbor, 480 Gordon alumni, family and friends gathered for the fourth annual Celebration of Faithful Leadership. Mike Ullmann is this year’s honoree.

6 IN EACH ISSUE Front with 2 Up President Lindsay Engaged, Purposeful and Passionate

3 Inspiration

Pascal Huguet A Gastronomical Adventurer

4 Gordon Life

Anvil by Spring


Notes from a youngish alum

6 On the Grapevine

Student, Faculty and Staff News

30 Class Notes Alumni news






UP FRONT with President Lindsay

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

Engaged, Purposeful and Passionate aliqui blan.”

Photo Mark Spooner ’14

What factors during one’s college years lead to an engaged work life and overall well-being as an adult? Last year the Gallup organization released a groundbreaking study measuring key factors that are strongly correlated with engaged, purposeful and passionate lives post-college. Personal connections and experiential learning, they found, are key. This June and July, we posed the Gallup poll’s questions to our own alumni of 2014, 2010, and 2005. They scored their Gordon experience far higher than the national averages reported by Gallup. Three times as many of our graduates report “strong agreement” with all six statements (in bold type here) that Gallup considered pivotal.

I had at least one professor who made me excited about learning. Mollie Enright ’15 worked alongside Dr. Jennifer Noseworthy on pioneering safer, more sustainable methods for extracting lycopene, the powerful antioxidant, from tomatoes. Mollie says this research bridging analytical biochemistry and sustainable


agriculture gave her “unique insight into the solutions that are being developed to face key environmental challenges.” Now Mollie applies those insights as a program manager for the company Beyond Benign: Green Chemistry for a Sustainable Future.

I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams. “Just do what you love” was the advice Austin Drukker ’15 received early on from his advisor. Austin loves economics and math. This dual interest “grew legs” during his internship with MIT’s Humanitarian Response Lab and the UN’s World Food Programme, during which Austin developed a linear programming model to forecast the availability of commodity grains in the Darfur region of Sudan. He graduated in May and is a research assistant at the Brookings Institution, the influential economic and public policy think tank in Washington, D.C.

My professors cared about me as a person. Music performance major Emily Bartz ’17 was one of only 24 students from across the nation selected to perform in the highly competitive Collegiate Flute Choir this past summer. She credits her Gordon flute teacher, Dr. Eileen Yarrison, with helping her realize her potential. “She supports me, encourages me, attends my performances, answers my never-ending supply of questions, and creates opportunities for me,” Emily says.

I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom. As a summer teaching assistant at MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Sciences program, Hannah Jang ’16 led girls during workshops, field trips and day-to-day dorm activities. She found that her Diversity in U.S. Populations class prepared her for hard conversations about racism, privilege


INSPIRATION and ethics. Experience as a Gordon writing tutor positioned her to help native English speakers and English language learners at MIT to revise class work and formal papers.

I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete. The Presidential Fellows program, now in its fourth year, stands out as an exceptional year-long opportunity for some of Gordon’s most talented students. (This year’s Fellows are pictured on the facing page.) William Hagen ’15, for example, who worked in my office last year as a Presidential Fellow, felt called to unite the campus in prayer. Over seven months he spread his vision, and his efforts came to fruition during a time dedicated each spring to spiritual renewal, DEEP FAITH week. Friends and members of the Gordon community in more than 35 countries partnered in 125 hours of consecutive prayer, thanking God for the blessings he has bestowed on Gordon and praying for his continued guidance of our community.

I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations. That’s an understatement when applied to 2015 grad John Buckley, whose many extracurriculars included several he started— like Exit 17 Live, Gordon’s first late-night variety show. These experiences built up his skills in team leadership, copywriting, public speaking, market research, film production, web development, graphic design and customer relations. He’s currently working in marketing at a video communications firm called MadDash E-Media, and aims to start his own digital advertising agency.

A Gastronomical Adventurer Pascal Huguet, Executive Chef With his international background and candid warmth, Gordon College’s executive chef Pascal Huguet brings a fresh perspective to the kitchen and table. From Menigoute, a small village in western France, Pascal has pursued his passion for food since 1979. In 2000, he moved to the United States and made his American culinary debut in Massachusetts, first in Marblehead and then at Gordon, where he has worked for the past 15 years. Inspired by his European upbringing, he is passionate about sharing his culture in the context of student life. Students seem to be particularly fond of his chicken marbella, vegetarian lasagna, stuffed salmon with mascarpone, and spinach and gowrie fruit salad. Before he met his wife, Alessandra, in Paris, Pascal did not imagine he would leave Europe. But “moving to another country makes you more modest; you learn about other cultures and languages,” he explained. “People have to travel.” One of his favorite things about working at Gordon is the opportunity to meet students from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Connecting with international students reminds him of working in the cosmopolitan environment of Paris. Pascal and Alessandra live in Raymond, New Hampshire, with their two children. They enjoy strolling in historic New England cities such as Newburyport, Portsmouth and Portland, and drinking espresso. Asking a French chef for pastry recommendations is always a good idea. Pascal’s favorite dessert is Mille Feuille (“Thousand Leaves”), a popular French treat consisting of layers of thin flaky puff pastry and vanilla cream. He recommends Finesse Pastries, a French patisserie in Manchester, New Hampshire. —Nora Kirkham ’16 Photo Mark Spooner ’14

These, of course, are just a few examples of myriad opportunities for Gordon students. As Toussaint Williams ’18 exhorted himself as he was mulling summer options: “Toussaint. You have the whole world in front of you and so many opportunities ready to be taken.” We hope you’ll enjoy his story and many others in this issue of STILLPOINT.








Story Max Halik ’15

ANVIL BY SPRING A short conversation with Eric Convey ’87 about “things to do in your senior year at Gordon” kick-started an 11-month adventure that would take Max Halik ’15 on frantic runs through the Gordon woods in deep snow, and even lead him to doubt and distrust his closest friends. But that, as he understands it, is what “The Gordon Anvil” is all about.

In March of 2014, the spring of my junior year, I thought it high time for someone (myself) to recover a bit of tradition before I graduated. When Gordon College merged with Barrington College in 1985, as a symbol of creating a bond between the two groups of students, a commemorative anvil was dedicated— approximately 120 pounds of hardened steel, an actual blacksmith’s anvil. It was originally labeled “The Barrington Anvil” and, of course, it was immediately stolen by Gordon students. In following years it became vogue to possess The Anvil—a point of great honor, even. Dorms took pride in acquiring it; whole classes competed for its ownership. The rules were simple: it had to stay on campus, and a small part had to be visible. The tradition flourished. And then one year it was nowhere to be found. I decided to find The Anvil. When I ran into alums, I asked them about it. I followed up on leads from the College website. It seems that the tradition subsided in the mid-’90s but then bounced back; graduates of ’04 and ’05 remember seeing it, but after that the trail goes cold. I still hadn’t found anyone who had actually hidden The Anvil around the time that it vanished. Early this year, with graduation looming and my mission unfulfilled, I emailed Paul Helgesen, the director of Physical


Plant. He directed me to a man who would prove essential: Jeff O’Brien, who has worked at Physical Plant for a number of years. “The last I knew,” he wrote, “this Anvil was found and re-hidden by a student during the spring of 2003 and then he graduated. I am not sure if it has ever been found since then.” Jeff promised to contact the alumnus, to see if he knew The Anvil’s last whereabouts. I wanted to contact him directly, but Jeff told me the alum is now president of a company, and wanted to remain anonymous. The mystery alum couldn’t guarantee that someone hadn’t found it where he had hidden it. But he would come up to campus to check, and after the snow melted he would recover it for me if it was still there.  I had spent nearly a year looking for this relic, and now it would be . . . delivered to me? I would never get to know where it had been hidden? I started running like a madman through the Gordon woods on the weekends, looking for fresh tracks and disturbed ground, hoping to find The Anvil for myself. One evening I frantically shoveled at a spot where I was sure someone had left a fresh marker, only to find snow, dirt and disappointment.

The Gordon Anvil. And no further information in the e-mail, only a tantalizing image of the quarry I had pursued for months, along with the “someone else”—who I knew by then (from some online detective work) was Francis Vigeant ’04. I threw on a pair of shoes and ran to Physical Plant, nearly breaking down Jeff O’Brien’s door. “I wondered when you’d come by,” he said. “So. Do you want to see it?” And the rest is . . . tradition. Jeff snuck The Anvil out from his truck and we took a picture with it for the Tartan, per Francis’ request. Physical Plant made me an Ark of the Covenant, and in May I proudly toted it around with my friends to the honor of Bromley Hall at the Inaugural Highland Games. Tavilla Hall tried and failed to steal it. I hid it, but someone has since purloined the relic. It’s back in circulation, and there may it stay. Ring by Spring? I prefer the tradition of Anvil by Spring.

This thing is like the One Ring: it corrupts the hearts of men. In April I received an email from Jeff. No text, only an image. The Gordon internet decided to be slow, revealing the image from the bottom up, with no abundant haste. Two pairs of shoes. Two pairs of legs. Jeff O’Brien and someone else. Standing outside of the entrance to Gordon. Standing next to . . .

A physics major at Gordon, Max is currently chasing further adventures in Edinburgh in the pursuit of his master’s degree.


Story Bryan Parys ’04

INSTALLATION 21: IN TIME (EXCERPT) The problem is that everything swirls. In first grade, I am introduced to eternity. There is in the beginning, and there is also world without end. The spaces below my seat in church and the worn scoop of grass under the swing set outside are shrinking. I am inside listening to a man at the microphone say, “Christ is the One! He is it!” then I am on the playground feeling a light swipe of someone’s small finger slide across my windbreaker, “You’re it! You’re it!” I am playing, then I am praying. If I am praying, I could also be playing. I am aging, and I believe. But I am also always doubting. I come to believe that doubting creates belief. I do not know how old I am. In the first sentence I am five; later, I am closer to now. Now I am then. My father dies at age thirty-seven, and I am four. The consistent message from my mother and Rick and Scott and Bob and everyone else who attends Centre Harbour Christian Fellowship with my family is: You’ll see him again. In heaven. In heaven there is no death, only life; no time, only—what? Pure existence, or Am. When Moses asked God’s name, He said, I Am. Many people try to tell me what this phrase means. Most of them try to find a word to finish God’s fragment. They want, “I am something.” They are satisfied only when God is one thing or another. If Descartes asked God’s name, the answer would’ve echoed back: existence. God thinks, therefore God is. I’m supposed to think God is there, and therefore I hope I think God is here. Time then, is a waiting. “Don’t worry,” Mrs. Jackson says to me in second grade, “for God, a thousand years is like one day.” “So,” I say, “if God says, ‘I’ll end the world next week,’ he means in 7,000 years?”

Lord and Savior. They are saved. Rick, Scott, Bob, and their other saved friends begin what will soon be called Centre Harbour Christian Fellowship—a nondenominational Christian church without any national funding or ties to any larger religious organization. When a railing breaks, someone in the church will secure it because they should, because they are saved and it is their turn to do the saving. When my father dies in 1987, more than one someone in the church tries to secure my mother, my little brother, my older sister, and me because they have to, because it is their turn to do the saving.

IN HEAVEN THERE IS NO DEATH, ONLY LIFE; NO TIME, ONLY—WHAT? Look back—my father lives, has to pee, dies, and is in heaven. But he is not in heaven in terms of my earthly notion of now. His soul must wait for the Day of the Lord—but a day is a thousand; a thousand a day. The sleeping eyes of my father’s soul burst open as soon as cancer closes his brown ones, and he is in heaven, because now he is outside of time. I am in second grade when I realize this for the first time—that he is already with me in heaven and we’re joking about how lame earthly time is/was. In fourth grade I think about my entire existence—that everyone begins and ends in that blinking transition of my father’s eternal eyes. In fifth grade, Liza dares me to go past the school boundaries, marked by a crooked, moss-covered stone wall. “Life’s too short,” she says. I say, “It’s already over.” I put the tip of one foot over the boundaries. Now, we can begin.

“Could be that long. Maybe not. The time could fly.” To grow up as a Christian means that time flies away—it exists only to show that it doesn’t. When the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in Thessalonica, he used the word we when referring to those who would be alive when Christ returned to earth. They began their frantic preparations, and so he wrote them a second letter to calm them down and explain that it might be them, but then, who knows? +++ In 1969, my father has to pee, and is having trouble figuring out where to find relief because he and my mother are at Yasgur’s farm listening to Country Joe & the Fish. In 1973 they find relief because they have stopped growing pot in their basement window and have accepted Jesus Christ as their

Bryan Parys is an editor/writer at Berklee College of Music and teaches writing at Gordon. This is an excerpt from Wake, Sleeper (Cascade Books, 2015), a memoir that was, in part, borne out of the writing style he began with SPORKS back in 2006. Perhaps you would like to buy a copy? Really? You would? Super. Head to FALL 2015 | STILLPOINT 5








Photo Mark Spooner ’14

Homecoming and Family Weekend 2015

Highlights of the weekend (October 2–3) included victories for the field hockey team and men’s and women’s soccer teams, food trucks and activities on the quad, and reunion celebrations. The Gordon College Gospel Choir (above) performed at the Homecoming Awards Celebration Friday night (photos, page 30).

Lectures, Convocations, Symposia, and More Along with casual conversations around campus, there are many of the more formal sort happening every week. This past spring, the newly chartered Center for Evangelicalism and Culture (CEC) sponsored the Templeton-funded conferences “Evangelicalism in Brazil and China: Current Perspectives, Future Directions” and “Faith Alive: What’s Next for Brazil and China,” a conference for Brazilian-American and ChineseAmerican pastors. In late July, more than 100 evangelical leaders from across Canada and the U.S. gathered on campus for “Hope for a Time of Crisis: Creation Care and the Mission of the Church,” a conference co-sponsored by the Lausanne Creation Care Network. 6 STILLPOINT | FALL 2015

In early September, Peter Berger, Gordon’s 2015–16 Distinguished Visiting Scholar, spoke on “Faith in an Age of Pluralism.” Just before Pope Francis’s late September visit to North America, Paul Vallely, author of the new biography Pope Francis: Untying the Knots, visited campus and spoke on the topic of “Politics and Forgiveness: Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy.” On September 21 the Center for Faith and Inquiry sponsored an all-day conference titled “Islam in the College Classroom.” Later that day chemist Richard E. Engler, who is affiliated with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Chemistry Program, spoke about how green chemistry can help address the problem of marine debris. On September 25, Jessica Jackley,

co-founder of Kiva, related lessons learned from businesses that thrive in poor nations. In early October Chris Seiple, president emeritus of the Institute for Global Engagement, spoke on “Coming Home: Discipling to Discern.” On October 6, Kenneth Elzinga, University of Virginia, delivered the John Mason Lecture: “Economics and Theology in Conversation.” The next day, Brian Stiller, global ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance, spoke on his new book, Evangelicals Around the World: A Global Handbook. The annual Richard F. Gross Distinguished Lecture was delivered on October 12 by Grant Wacker, Duke Divinity School, on “Billy Graham’s Legacy.” As we go to press, we are looking forward to talks by Shannon Sedgwick Davis,


CEO of Bridgeway Foundation (10/23); Romanita Hairston, vice president of World Vision’s U.S. Programs Division, (10/28); Stanley Hauerwas of Duke Divinity School (10/29); and Jarrod Goentzel, founder and director of the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab (10/30).

Forging Connections in the Pacific Rim

Many talks and other events are livestreamed, and viewable afterward on Gordon’s YouTube channel. 

A Promising Beginning

With extensive experience in nonprofit organization management and fundraising, Paul V. Edwards, Gordon’s new chief development officer and senior vice president for advancement, has helped secure commitments in the seven-figure range to support the expansion of advancement at Gordon, and has raised nearly $1 million toward the endowment of academic initiatives. He and the advancement staff achieved the largest annual fund total in the College’s history, and were the drivers behind the September 29 Celebration of Faithful Leadership dinner, which raised over $1 million for student scholarships. (See page 36.) “Gordon College is poised to take some significant steps forward in its fundraising and scholarly achievements in both participation and results,” he said. “I’m greatly encouraged by the professionalism of the team, the enthusiasm of alumni volunteers and the eagerness of students to champion the College’s vision.” 

Meetings with public intellectuals, exploration of a world power’s geopolitics, and visits to extraordinary cultural sites were among highlights of May’s “Gordon Getaway” trip through China for a group of Gordon friends led by President Michael Lindsay and Rebecca Lindsay. As Gordon welcomes increasing numbers of students from China each year, the nine-day trip was an opportunity for Gordon constituents to better understand the nation’s cultural, educational, and economic landscape and how it relates to the mission of the College. The College is especially grateful to Gordon parent Dan Wright, founder of GreenPoint Group, who lent his decades of experience building bridges between U.S. and China-based corporations to help make this trip a success. In Beijing the group celebrated the release by Peking University Press of President Lindsay’s 2014 book View from the Top in a Chinese language edition. The book’s release was marked with a leadership forum featuring two Chinese executives and two American executives—including Dante Rutstrom ’80, the head of Eastman’s Asia-Pacific business. The group met Chinese public intellectuals including Victor Yuan, the head of China’s largest public polling firm (who spoke at Gordon in 2013); Dr. Henry Wang, the head of a large think tank and an official counselor to the Chinese political leadership; and Xin Hao, a leader in China’s burgeoning environmental activism community. At the Shanghai headquarters of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, Stephanie (Cheung) Oshchepkov ’07 of SMIC’s investor relations team led a tour of SMIC’s state-of-the-art manufacturing site. Afterward, the group visited the SMIC international school to learn about secondary education in China. In Beijing, the group intersected one night with 11 Gordon students and Professor Stephen Smith, who were visiting the second of six cities in Gordon’s China Seminar. Recently, along with 14 other college presidents and national educational leaders, President Lindsay was appointed to the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s Academic Advisory Council. 100,000 Strong, a bipartisan nonprofit endorsed by both the U.S. and Chinese governments, encourages students of diverse backgrounds from across the U. S. to learn Mandarin and study in China. 







Student Play, The Edge Effect, at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival

Anna Obert Takes on GCSA Presidency

by Jimmy Sicord ’16

Photo Paul Crookston ’16

A few of Gordon’s most intrepid theatre students brought their very own play to the international stage at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival this summer. Written and directed by Hannah Pentico ’16 and Jessica Richmond ’16, The Edge Effect is a piece about the fulcrum of life choices, human transitions, turning points and “Catch 22s.” Along with their dedicated cast of actors—Kari Mayne ’16, Austin Schroeter ’17, Kaylah Dixon ’17, Drew Cleveland ’17, Haylie Petre ’16—and crew, Hannah and Jessica spent a week in Scotland, taking the stage each night with a slew of world-class international theatre troupes.

A history major with a minor in pre-law, Anna Obert ’16 is this year’s Gordon College Student Association president. She works alongside vice president Johnathan Zhang ’17. Anna’s previous involvements include the Republicans Club and the Model United Nations Club; most recently she founded and led the Mock Trial Club and served as program coordinator for the College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Student-run organizations—like the College’s freshly chartered rowing club—will be at the forefront of Obert’s initiatives. 

Color the Night

The Fringe Festival is no hidden, dimly lit underground coffeehouse where black-clad performers bring dud acts for a few snapping fingers. It is the world’s largest international coming-together of arts and theatre. This year, the festival sold 2.3 million tickets. Over the course of 25 days, more than 3,300 shows were performed at 313 local venues, and a total of 49 countries were represented. Dubbed “Pentmond Co.,” this group is the first from Gordon’s Department of Theatre Arts to perform at the famous festival. “Many college productions make their way to ‘the Fringe’ but few are written, directed, acted and produced independently by the artists themselves—let alone artists who are also full-time students,” says Jeff Miller, professor of theatre arts. The Edge Effect is a play about in-betweenness. “This finding of life in the worst places ties back into my faith, showing that the most poignant redemptions often come through struggle,” says Jessica. “The idea of the ‘the edge effect’ comes from compositional ecology where the boundaries of two biomes overlap and create crossover space. It’s called an edge effect because there’s a humongous growth in biodiversity in that area,” Hannah explains. 


Photo Stephen M. Schultz ’17

“A cloud of multi-colored powder exploded into the air. It was glorious. The dancing started raucously and didn’t stop until the sounds of the last song died out.” That was how senior Sierra Flach described September’s “Color the Night” dance, held in the Old Tennis Courts behind Barrington Center for the Arts. The event involved sunglasses, cups of colored powder, white t-shirts, conga lines, and just plain fun. 


David Goss Receives Marv Wilson Award

Bands Director David Rox Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo Mark Spooner ’14

K. David Goss, professor in the practice of history, has received the 2015 Marv Wilson Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. Professor Goss, who gets rave reviews for his teaching, directs Gordon’s minor in public history and museum studies, which trains undergraduates to step directly into jobs in the museum field. He has leveraged long-standing relationships to help place Gordon students in internships with institutions such as the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem. In the last five years Goss has also produced two books focusing on late 17th-century Massachusetts, The Salem Witch Trials: A Reference Guide and Daily Life During the Salem Witch Trials (both published by Greenwood Press). Currently he is writing a study of the interrelationships and activities of one generation of Victorian Boston’s social elite. While working with the Caleb Loring Scholarship Project in 2007, he was introduced to Mrs. Joanne Patton. As a result, the Patton Project was established, in which Gordon interns were invited to visit The Patton Homestead in Hamilton, and began cataloging the Patton Family Papers from the early 1800s to the present. These include the personal and military papers of both General George S. Patton Jr. of World War II fame and his son, Major General George S. Patton IV, a commander during the Vietnam War. So far, thirty-five interns have participated in the program, learning the professional skills of an archivist under the direct supervision of Patton Project archivist Carol Mori. In addition to having his name engraved on the award plaque in Frost Hall, Professor Goss will receive an additional $1,000 for funding expenses to enrich his teaching and scholarship in the coming year. The Marv Wilson Award was established in 2006 through the generosity of Gordon alumna Betsy Gage Pea ’79 and her husband, Barry. The award honors Dr. Wilson for his many years of passionate teaching, and encourages other faculty to strive for similar success in the classroom. Previous Wilson recipients are Drs. David Wick (history), Damon DiMauro (French), Mark Gedney (philosophy), Pilar Pérez-Serrano (Spanish), Ian DeWeese-Boyd (philosophy and education), Sharon Ketcham (theology and Christian ministries), and Graeme Bird (linguistics and classics). 

The last concerts of the semester tend to have an air of celebration and accomplishment. The spring Pops Concert carried that tone, but with greater intensity as Dr. David W. Rox (pictured above, left), director of bands at Gordon College, was honored with the Chrisman Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England College Band Association (NECBA) in recognition of his significant contributions to the work of wind bands in New England. The award was presented to Dr. Rox by two distinguished conductors from other New England institutions, Max Culpepper of Dartmouth College and Douglas Nelson (pictured above, right) of Keene State College, during the Pops Concert at Gordon on May 3. Culpepper and Nelson are fellow members of the NECBA, of which Dr. Rox is past president. Dr. Rox has been lending his considerable talents to educating musicians at Gordon College since 1982—while also conducting bands and orchestras in communities and festivals across New England, and beyond. In 2005, he assumed leadership of NECBA’s selective honors festival, the New England Intercollegiate Band. From the stage to the classroom, Dr. Rox has taught, coached and mentored thousands of students over the years. His recognition by NECBA was the concert’s perfect grand finale. 







New Faculty Faces Hailing from Northwestern University, Susan Bobb (psychology) is a widely published and accomplished cognitive psychologist. Previously a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Göttingen (Germany) and Stanford University, she is an expert in the areas of cognition and applied linguistics.

Media studies and visual culture expert Grace Chiou (communication arts) has studied the intersection of media, culture, religion and gender. She also has professional experience as a market research analyst and business consultant in the pharmaceutical field. A leader in inclusive engagement and excellence, her interests extend beyond the classroom and into issues of social justice. Medievalist Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger (English) also has a strong background in early modern literature and religion. Her doctoral dissertation, which she defended last December, focused on “Mysticism and Metaphor: Visionary Literature in FourteenthCentury England.”

Amy Brown Hughes, a scholar of early Christianity, has joined the faculty as assistant professor of theology. She previously worked with Wheaton College’s Center for Early Christian Studies. Her first book, Christian Women in the Patristic World: Influence, Authority and Legacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynn Cohick, is to be released this year.

Russell Tuck brings professional experience to his role as professor of computer science. An award-winning software engineering manager, he led the productionization and launch of Gmail, and built and managed Gmail’s site reliability engineering group. He holds 10 patents, and a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Duke University. J. David West (visual art) has extensive experience in drawing, printmaking and mixed media. A widely exhibited artist and educator, he founded several art organizations and events. He has also worked as a prosthetics sculptor, collaborating with clients and anaplastologists globally to fabricate lifelike replacement limbs. 


Hunt and Melkonian-Hoover Receive Distinguished Faculty Awards

Each year at Commencement two faculty members are honored for their teaching, scholarship, and service. This year, Associate Professor Ruth MelkonianHoover, who chairs the Department of Political Science, received the Junior Distinguished Faculty Award. Professor of New Testament Steven Hunt received the Senior Distinguished Faculty Award. Dr. Melkonian-Hoover, who also directs the international affairs program, is a sought-after speaker and scholar on evangelical perspectives regarding one of the country’s most polarizing issues: immigration. She has published articles on Latin American evangelicals’ attitudes toward U.S. foreign policy, and her essay “Better Late than Never: Evangelicals and Comprehensive Immigration Reform” appears in Is the Good Book Good Enough? Evangelical Perspectives on Public Policy, edited by David K. Ryden. Since joining the faculty in 2001, Dr. Hunt has, in the words of a colleague, “stirred up a love for the New Testament for a generation of Gordon students through his passionate teaching.” In just the past five years, Dr. Hunt has authored Rewriting the Feeding of Five Thousand and edited two major volumes: Perspectives on Our Father Abraham, in honor of his colleague Marv Wilson, and Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel, which represents the most thorough study of characters and characterization in the Gospel of John ever published. 


Here, There and Everywhere A selection of recent scholarly adventures of Gordon’s faculty

Chord & Color #2 (oil and graphite on linen on panel)

Collaborations Professor of Art Jim Zingarelli describes his latest body of work, Chord & Color, as an “exploration of musical and visual compositions that dialogue together around chord forms and color contexts.” It’s a natural outgrowth of his long-standing orientation toward abstraction and contemporary art, with a particular focus, in recent years, on interdisciplinary study and collaboration within the fine arts. An Initiative Grant from the College two years ago enabled him to collaborate with two music professors/composers from Berklee College of Music (Boston): Gail McArthur Browne (saxophone) and Helen Sherrah-Davies (jazz violin), along with a professional rhythm section. A performance and virtual exhibit (using digital projection) was held at Berklee September 30. The partnership will continue in additional Boston and New York City locations. Zingarelli’s work has been exhibited at many galleries and other venues, including Dartmouth College, Yale University, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston. 

Putting Data to Work Gordon College has been selected to be part of the Data Wise Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Gordon’s team consists of Drs. Janet Arndt, Ellen Ballock and Priscilla Nelson (education), Jerry Logan (provost’s office), and Barbara Kelly (principal of the Paul Revere Innovation School). With principals and teachers from around the world, the team will use data to increase teacher effectiveness. “Data Wise is all about getting the right data and using it appropriately to improve teacher preparation. This work will ultimately benefit Gordon graduates who become teachers, and their students,” says Dr. Nelson. 

Green Chemistry Principle #9—Catalysis “As I look at the adventure that I have had over the past 25 years mentoring the American Chemical Society student chapter at Gordon College,” wrote Professor Irv Levy (in Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog), “it is interesting to reflect on the many ways green chemistry engagement has been a catalyst. Integration of green chemistry advocacy has transformed the past six years into our chapter’s most successful years.” Recently, at the ACS national meeting in Boston, the Gordon chapter presented a symposium about toxicology in the chemistry curriculum. 

When Girls Became Lions Celebrates Impact of Title IX on Women’s Sport Dr. Valerie J. Gin (kinesiology) and freelance writer Jo Kadlecek recently published When Girls Became Lions, a novel celebrating women’s friendships against the backdrop of sport history. The year is 1983, and teacher Bailey Crawford leads his town’s first girls’ soccer team to their school’s only state championship—despite the hardships they confront just to play. It’s not until 2008, when new coach Reynalda Wallace discovers their story, that the soccer champs finally receive recognition. Rey learns how much of her own life—past and present—is bound to those first athletes whose struggle she never knew existed. “As a child I devoured all the sport stories I could get my hands on at the library,” says Dr. Gin, who oversees Gordon’s Recreation, Sport and Wellness major. “All the stories I read were about boys. As an adult I have been waiting to read a contemporary novel with a female athlete protagonist. Having lived countless stories as an athlete and coach, I began to dream about writing a story to include some of our incredible sport moments and, better yet, to write about the friendships I enjoy with teammates and with the athletes I had the pleasure of coaching. So after voicing my dream with Jo, we teamed up to make it become a reality.” Dr. Gin hopes the book will fuel conversations, and result in more novels and stories that feature women athletes as the protagonists. 









A Trek through Montana’s Beartooth Wilderness

Story Heather Korpi Photos Mark Spooner ’14


Pictured Peter Nawoichik ’17


Pictured Scott Barnett, W.I.L.D. Semester director

Pictured Richelle Joseph ’18

You learn a lot about yourself on a zero degree night under a tarp in the Montana wilderness. You learn to plan as you pack for your daily 11-mile hikes as high as 12,500 feet. You learn how to manage blisters, filter stream water and ration your food. And you silently hope you won’t need to access that can of bear spray you just learned to operate. To seven Gordon students who spent 17 days in September in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness at the start of their W.I.L.D. Semester (Wilderness Immersion Leadership Development), those lessons are as fresh as the brisk Montana air. Gordon College photographer Mark Spooner ’14 traveled with them for a week to document their excursion. He slept with camera batteries tucked into his sleeping bag to keep them charged, and slung three cameras, four lenses and a tripod onto his already-50-pound pack.

“Not only did it bring us to our knees in worship of God, but it also motivated us to care deeply about preserving God’s world that we now know more intimately.” —Scott Barnett, Ph.D., W.I.L.D. Semester Director

Armchair adventurers, sit back and enjoy the view. FALL 2015 | STILLPOINT 15

Theories of problem solving and teamwork came into a whole new light when these students exchanged their four-walled classrooms for miles of expansive forest and epic peaks, school supplies for bushwhacking tools, roommates for bison, and the ring of cell phones for bird calls. They took turns as Leader of the Day, putting their training into action by orienteering, teaching one-hour lessons (on topics ranging from first aid to camp cooking), coordinating tasks for their fellow travelers, and facilitating debriefs under the light of their head-lamps. More than survival, students learned about life. More than learning about the wilderness, they learned through the wilderness. The duress of grueling hikes and aching muscles shaped character and built endurance. Empowered to make

critical decisions, they developed a deeper grasp of responsibility and service. Together they accomplished great challenges, rising to the occasion as leaders, and learning the art of following well. One hundred and seventeen miles later, the group is back on flat land, finishing their W.I.L.D. semester and outdoor education minor in Rockport, Massachusetts, with several shorter excursions that include kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Mark Spooner ’14 is the staff photographer at Gordon. In addition to his work for the College, Mark has his own photography business. When he’s not behind the camera, you can find him in the Adirondacks, working to complete all 46 high peaks. He has eight to go.

See more of the trip at or follow along on Instagram (@gc_wild) and Facebook (Gordon College WILD Semester).


At lower right, the entire W.I.L.D. group: left to right, in back row, Stefan Anthos ’18, Peter Nawoichik ’17, Nate McReynolds ’18, Evan Reppert ’18, Blake Denman ’18 and W.I.L.D. Director Scott Barnett; in front, resident advisor Abby Jones Coster, Jess Pankratz ’16, Grove City College student Jess Allen, and Richelle Joseph ’18.







Structure and Serendipity: How Experiential Learning Adds Up The setting might be far from home and comfort zone: an orphanage in Sri Lanka, a boardroom in Beijing. It might be as close as a whiteboard in Ken Olsen, or a tiny art studio in Roosevelt. Or maybe it’s somewhere in between: a wetland edge in West Newbury, 15 miles from campus. The common denominator is a situation that encourages a student to bring book-learning to bear upon the actual world, in all its thorny complexity. Add mentors to guide, suggest, critique—and sometimes just stay out of the way. Read on for just a few accounts of the many research projects, internships, and humanitarian trips happening at Gordon all year round.




“Mentors and apprentices are partners in an ancient human dance, and one of teaching’s great rewards is the daily chance it gives us to get back on the dance floor.” —Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life


Take a talented math student. Add a professor with an intriguing research interest. Stir well.

some of what daily life often brings, a sense of humor, and also despair, and not quite knowing which to embrace,” Becky says.

Ethan Kang ’17 (pictured on page 19) arrived at Gordon with a keen interest in mathematics. A research fellowship this summer, after his freshman year, allowed Ethan to apply that natural interest and ability to a compelling application: the optimization (and trouble-shooting) of supply chains—complex mathematical systems that keep essential goods and services flowing. One hundred years after Erlang founded queueing theory, there still is no general method to compute the average time it takes a customer to move through a series of queues.

She didn’t consider What Now a portrait, but Jones did. At Jones’s urging, Becky entered it in the National Portrait Competition. (View What Now at

One recent approach uses a worst-case analysis, cleverly adapted to the behavior of queues. Before beginning his summer research with Professor of Mathematics Mike Veatch, Ethan read Dr. Veatch’s unpublished paper on this approach; then, over the summer, he worked on some similar approximations. “The first time I saw the equations they kind of scared me,” Ethan reports. “But later on they got familiar and became useful tools for the research.” “Ethan stepped into the world of mathematical abstractions and formulas, living there comfortably and demonstrating persistence and rigor,” Veatch says. “As I worked with Dr. Veatch, I learned how to think creatively and formulate new ways of thinking,” Ethan says. “I think that was the biggest achievement. I want to be able to use what I learned in many different ways.” Take an art major working long, solitary hours on her thesis project: pair her with a mentor who is also an artist, and understands the territory.

Two summers ago, during Gordon’s annual British Theatre Summer Seminar, Becky Orcutt ’15 (facing page, right) visited London’s National Portrait Gallery with one of her Gordon College painting teachers, Jean Sbarra Jones (facing page, left). Hanging there that month were the winning entries in the museum’s National Portrait Competition—“the portraiture Oscars,” as London’s Daily Mail puts it. “We both noticed that many of the paintings were highly realistic and unique,” Jones recalls. “Having worked with Becky on a series of her paintings, I was very familiar with her interest in combining illogical or absurd relationships between the figure and ordinary objects. Her skill and subject matter seemed a winning combination.” During an independent study with Professor Bruce Herman, Becky completed the piece she would ultimately enter: What Now, a surprising image of a figure lying on the floor with his back to the viewer, a small toy top alongside. “The painting could evoke Photos: Previous spread Mark Spooner ’14 Left Samantha Matthews ’15

This spring, Becky was among 55 artists whose work was selected from a field of more than 2,700. What Now hung in the National Portrait Gallery in London from June to September. The exhibition has moved to Scotland. This fall Becky entered the New York Academy of Art’s M.F.A. program in figurative art, with the school’s top scholarship.

“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.” —Peter Drucker

Take a student with “M.B.A.” penciled into his five-year plan. Send him far from home to test that ambition. Provide support: just enough, not too much.

The Hong Kong Summer Finance Seminar was a key experience for Dan Hurley ’15. But it was no walk in the park. Led by Alice Tsang (economics and business), the summer-long program thrust Dan and his classmates into the bustling business sphere of Hong Kong, and into the highly competitive classroom environment at the Hang Seng Management College, where Dan took two finance classes. Alongside his classes, Dan worked full-time for the financial advisory firm Ernest Maude, where much of what he and the group learned in the classroom was put into practice. “Being able to work closely with the management director and be mentored by someone who is a professional in that field confirmed my interest in finance,” Dan says. Not only was it an opportunity to gain insight and find answers to tough questions; it was also a place that gave him self-confidence. “It made me realize I can handle the stress level and potentially get an M.B.A.” The path to Hong Kong was laid during the summer after Dan’s sophomore year, when he participated in Gordon’s China Seminar, a 19-day tour of the country that introduces students to China’s economic policies and history, business environment, political system and culture. “If I hadn’t gone on the China Seminar, I would never have gone on the Hong Kong Seminar,” says Dan, who is now an investment analyst at GE Capital in Norwalk, Connecticut.


Take a student who is a born leader. Provide opportunities, plus a small army of other students looking for adventure. Watch the energy multiply.

In her first two years at Gordon, Michelle Waduacharige, a senior political science major from Sri Lanka, has been involved with

Michelle’s work in Sri Lanka included facilitating vocational training and employment opportunities for women, and leading a campaign against the harassment of women in public spaces. “I drew from the multitude of skills and academic resources Gordon College has given me,” she says. The trip gave her a new perspective on “how I could take this Western education and experience and use it in my country without harming the communities I work with.”

“Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context.” —Margaret Wheatley, “Can We Reclaim Time to Think?”

the International Student Organization, Office of Community Engagement, and International Justice Mission. This past summer she led an eight-person team to the Ape Kedella orphanage in Sri Lanka’s capital city (and Michelle’s hometown), Colombo. Julia Glatfelter ’17, an art and early childhood education double major, planned daily English lessons. David Popa ’15 and Sara Golden ’17 held art lessons and art therapy sessions. Chapman Bettis ’16 designed a playground (pictured above) for the orphanage, and worked with contractors and construction workers from a local church, who built the structure, mostly of concrete and clay.


After graduating, Michelle plans to return to Sri Lanka, pursue a law degree and begin working on a truth-andreconciliation program for women in the post-war zone.

That student with a background in Mandarin and a strong desire to travel? Put him in touch with Pam Lazarakis, Director of Career Services.

That’s how Toussaint Williams ’18 landed an internship with Horizon Research Consultancy Group’s Institute of Global Development Power, a market-research company in Beijing. His responsibilities included small-scale research projects for new clients, editing and revising reports, designing PowerPoint presentations for weekly staff meetings, and transcribing recorded interviews. Most exciting of all was accompanying consultants to interviews with upper-level officials of big companies such as

Photo Sarah Golden ’17

Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer and Virbac, and new companies looking to expand in China. Before arriving in China, Toussaint had spent two weeks in May in Kingston, Jamaica, as part of a short-term service trip to support the work of the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf (CCCD). “I arrived with many assumptions about the students and the work we’d be doing,” he says. “I was proven wrong every single day. The kids were so bright. I had nothing but my helping hands to offer, but these kids offered me encouragement, motivation, humility and a new perspective on life.” Toussaint recalls, one night during his time away, “meditating on all that I worried about before going overseas. I thought about all the people in my life who have constantly reminded me of my gifts, talents and potential. Although I doubted those encouragements sometimes, I realize those things were carrying me through. They were like tools for innovation, to bring me to the next level.” Take two bird-loving biology students. Turn them loose on the North Shore’s forests, pastures and wetlands.

Senior biology majors Catherine Schweitzer and Lauren Purdy both love birds. This past summer, they translated love into action as they rose before dawn and sweated through hot summer days at a total of 36 North Shore “edge habitats”—zones that fall between distinct ecologies: between forests and wetlands, forests and pastures, and forests and residential areas.

Directed by Professor of Biology Greg Keller, they were tracking the impact of habitat changes on eight species of birds that typically occur at forest edges: Baltimore orioles, common yellowthroats, warbling vireos, gray catbirds, yellow warblers, red-eyed vireos, great-crested flycatchers and eastern kingbirds. The students conducted “point-count” surveys, recording all birds of those species seen at each of the 36 sites. They also surveyed the vegetation at each site to determine the impacts of plant differences on the birds, and recorded the number of times that a male bird sang or called at their sites, a measure of breeding behavior. This research documented that several species are particularly dependent on wetland-edge habitats. Since wetlands are fragile and increasingly threatened, the study afforded Lauren and Catherine the time and space to research a phenomenon— habitat fragmentation—that affects wildlife not just on the North Shore but worldwide. “It was great being able to see the effects of different edge types firsthand,” Catherine says. “It really makes you appreciate that we impact other species—even if we don’t mean to.”

Some material in this story was originally published in longer form in The Bell, the Gordon College blog. Student authors are Jimmy Sicord ’16, Michelle Waduacharige ’17 and Toussaint Williams ’18.







Scots’ Study Spots The previous pages describe learning at its best at Gordon. Here Truett Smith ’15 takes us on a tour of some of Gordon’s best (and worst) study spots—in snippets from a 2014–2015 Tartan series that lifted spirits even during last winter’s epic snows, when we needed it most.

The Leg Extension Machine in the Bennett Fitness Center Pros: Sculpted thighs, multi-tasking Cons: Gym noise, weird glances, soreness the following day

This Chair offers a surprisingly comfortable cushioned seat and back, which makes it a prime reading spot, especially since it lacks a nearby outlet for extended computer studying. Also functioning as a leg extension workout machine, this spot encourages studiers not only to work out their brains while studying, but also to tone up those quadriceps. No longer is one forced to choose between strengthening the mind or the thighs. As long as you don’t mind sweaty bodies, a hint of B.O., the burning sensation of non-stop leg extension reps,


classic rock music, the continuous hum of treadmills, the clinking of weights, and the perpetual thumping that is felt whenever a runner takes a stride, then you might have what it takes to study in this spot. Perhaps the only true place where “soul meets body,” The Leg Extension Machine in the Bennett Fitness Center is the perfect way to say, “Yeah, I may be a little nerdy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about my thighs.” The Pew Across from the Drinking Fountain in the Hallway of the Chapel Basement Pros: Unadulterated privacy Cons: Fluorescent light, wooden seat, existential crises

No place of worship is complete without its very own catacomb, and our A. J.

Gordon Memorial Chapel is no exception. The basement of the Chapel has everything one could possibly want in a modern-day catacomb: pristine lavatories, a drinking fountain, carpet, bright lights, and no dead bodies. However, I’d be lying to you if I told you that this Pew has the makings of a great study spot. If the fluorescent lights don’t make you feel as if you’re locked in solitary confinement or the morgue, then the utter vacancy and lack of human interaction certainly will. Yes, the hallway provides outlets and a surprisingly strong Wi-Fi signal, but the hard, cushion-less planks of The Pew offer no mercy to your body. Granted, if my computer overheats in my lap and catches my trousers on fire, I can be grateful for the fire extinguisher only a step away. However, to be honest, I’ve lost all sense


Story Truett Smith ’15 Photos Rachel Chang ’17

of time since coming down here, and with the lack of defining features, I can’t discern whether I’m still in the chapel or if I ever even was. The Desk at the End of Aisle GE to GV 446 in The Stacks: Level 2 Pros: Quiet, private, inspiring Cons: Wooden chair, no windows

Walk down the hallway towards CTS, turn left into The Stacks. Tiptoe down the industrial grade steel staircase to Level 2. Take another left at the end of the stairs; find the back corner, and seat yourself not in the corner desk but in the one directly in front of it. This isn’t your casual studying-while-simultaneously-talkingto-my-table-full-of-friends kind of spot. This is the let’s-crank-out-that-15-pagerthat-was-due-yesterday type of throne. Its cubicle-like enclosure ensures privacy. Other noteworthy features include a wall outlet right next to The Desk, sufficient legroom, and encouraging (yet theologically debatable) desk graffiti—“god [sic] gives what you can handle!” As you sit in The Desk, you may notice that the top two shelves at the end of aisle F 596 to GD contain daring accounts of various Arctic explorers. If these men braved sub-zero winds, frostbitten extremities and miles of glaring ice and biting water, then surely you can pass that bio exam or finish that TGC reflection. Best suited for study marathons, this Desk will perfectly facilitate your “zone.” Just don’t forget to get some fresh air or sustenance from the Bistro every once in a while. The Right Side of the Booth Adjacent to the Coffee Shop in Chester’s Pros: Window, close to coffee Cons: Wooden benches, social traffic, dim lighting

This watering hole appeals to Millennials like a river appeals to a herd of wildebeest

in the Serengeti. Many a student can be found in Chester’s eating, studying, socializing, or standing in the purgatory that is the Chester’s coffee shop line. The time of day is crucial for determining whether or not this Booth is the study spot for you. The popularity of Chester’s practically guarantees that the hours between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. will be a social butterfly convention, making intensely focused study sessions virtually impossible. Unless studying in the early morning or the wee hours of the night, you can count on the decibel levels and social interferences to be more than are ideal, so headphones are highly encouraged (especially depending on the varying musical tastes of the baristae). Focusing and quickly reading two supposedly easy pages from Our Father Abraham is a task that even the most determined sophomores find difficult in this Booth; we advise that assignments requiring longer than a half hour be done elsewhere. The Couch Between Two Ferns in the Third Floor Lobby of KOSC Pros: Natural scenery, footrest, room for two Cons: Deadly mammals, drinking fountain hum

Don’t let exaggerated stereotypes deter you; even a place such as this has study spots for the English major, the social work student, and the aspiring pastor. Work up the courage to scale two flights of stairs and to endure the piercing gazes of territorial science majors, and a surprisingly comfortable study spot awaits you. With its multi-colored, geometrically patterned upholstery, this Couch is hard to miss. It sports a cushioned footrest, a nearby outlet, and easy bathroom accessibility. The third floor lobby is filled with preserved and encased wild birds and beasts: pheasants, weasels, a black bear, and a mountain lion named Chet,

who greets you at the top of the stairs. The foliage on either side of The Couch adds to the authenticity of the experience. Just try not to get too distracted by the view, the between-class traffic, the random lab noises, or by reenacting scenes from Night at the Museum. And don’t be discouraged or offended when a kinesiology major asks you what you’re doing in KOSC after finding out you aren’t a science major (true story). Hang in there and study hard, you Herald of the Humanities. The Snow Pile Burying the Stop Sign at the Bottom of the Hill Pros: Empathy with snow(wo)men, opportunity to dare your friends Cons: Hypothermia

While the New England Ice Age of 2015 confined the rest of the student body to study in the warm, cozy, life-sustaining indoors, the frigid, uncomfortable, lifethreatening outdoors became the potential study spot of all those crazy enough to endure its thrashings. The height of The Pile offers an ideal vantage point from which to spot friends passing by, but good luck convincing them to study with you, which makes The Pile a lonesome study spot. Paired with this seclusion, the biting winds make one feel less like a Greek god or goddess atop Mount Olympus surveying the plebeians below but more like the lonely Grinch enviously spying on the warm and joyful Whos of Whoville. More symbolically this spot is the perfect metaphor for New England ideology— cold intellectual superiority looking down on the rest of the world, which may either provide a level of motivation while studying or might freeze your soul instead.

Truett Smith’s new study spot is the Basque region of northern Spain, where he is studying languages and involved in missions work.







Women in Leadership: It’s about Achieving Mission Housed at Gordon College, a national, multi-phase benchmark study of women in leadership within the evangelical nonprofit sector revealed some surprising results. Provost Janel Curry unpacks the study’s findings.

September 25 Women in Leadership panel discussion: Rich Stearns, World Vision USA; Amy Reynolds, Wheaton College; D. Michael Lindsay; Jo Anne Lyon, Wesleyan Church; and Linda Lader, Renaissance Institute.

Last year, Grace Chapel, a mega-church in the Boston area, voted by a large margin to allow women to serve as elders, removing the final hurdle for women leaders at this church. What was so revolutionary about Grace Chapel’s decision? I argue that it was the dual message of believing that this decision was both faithful to the Bible and necessary for the church to be able to achieve its mission. I saw this same urgency amongst the advisory board for a national benchmark study on evangelical women in leadership. The advisory board members, including men such as Rich Stearns of World Vision and Alec Hill of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, were incredibly forthcoming about the absolute necessity for change to happen now. The Women in Leadership National Study, supported by The Imago Dei Fund, is a 26 STILLPOINT | FALL 2015

benchmark study that is looking at women in leadership within the evangelical nonprofit sector. The study, housed at Gordon College, involves partnerships with Wheaton College and many other organizations. The study is not about empowering women, but rather about best practices that bring about institutional change. The research began with an analysis of women’s representation in leadership across a host of organizations. The study gathered data from the tax forms of over 1,400. The second stage of the study focused on gaining more insight into the perspectives of the men and women serving in leadership capacities within evangelical organizations and in higher education. In the third phase of this study, researchers interviewed leaders at

those organizations that perform well in terms of women in leadership, to better understand what factors were influencing their ability to promote and retain women in leadership. Findings

As expected, women had lower levels of representation in leadership than those sectors in society in general. Women held 16 percent of CEO positions, 21 percent of board positions, and 19 percent of top-paid leadership positions. These statistics stand in sharp contrast to the nonprofit world more generally. Women now make up close to half of all nonprofit board members (48 percent), and over a third of all nonprofit CEOs. Evangelical organizations are at best doing half as well. Within the evangelical nonprofits,


Story Janel Curry Photo Mark Spooner ’14

the organizations where women reach the highest level were from traditions that emphasized the work of the Holy Spirit. The study found that Christian colleges and universities often fare significantly worse in measures of gender equity. While women hold 5 percent of the presidencies in Christian colleges, they hold 26 percent of college presidencies more generally. In spite of the overall lower rates of women in leadership, the second stage of the study—a survey of leaders across the nonprofit sectors—showed evidence of a shift with expressed support for both women and men holding leadership positions within society. However, men and women differ when it comes to how leadership should be shared in the family and in the church. This difference may be why 20 percent of the women surveyed, compared to 7 percent of the men, said that they believed women and men should lead together, while they believed their colleagues thought men should hold distinctive leadership roles. Added uncertainty about the views of colleagues may come from the fact that more than a third of all egalitarians did not attend churches where women could fill all leadership roles. Given the confusion of Christian leaders regarding where their peers stand on women in leadership, leaders attending churches with more restrictive stances on women may contribute to confusion among other peers. Some initial findings are arising out of the interviews with the leadership of institutions that are doing comparatively well when it comes to women in leadership. One finding is that when a balance of men and women in leadership exists, the focus of attention moves to the individual talents and skills that each individual brings to the leadership team. Gender disappears and competence, diversity of viewpoints, and missional effectiveness replace it.

Another finding is that the clear, regular articulation of a position by the top leadership that welcomes women into their ranks and offers reasons why it is important help provide the context in which women will move into leadership. And it has to be modeled and articulated consistently. What keeps us from experiencing a Kingdom vision of a world where we utilize the full potential of women in leadership? First, work structures fail to imagine it. Work structures make it difficult for women to care for children and lead. Those organizations that are doing well have made it possible for women to lead. Second, networking patterns are self-perpetuating. We tend to hire who we know. Organizations that have women in leadership have a culture of looking for the very best for each position. Leaders are looking for different views around the table. Third, our imaginations do not lead us there. We are limited in terms of who we can imagine leading our organizations. Where we find women in leadership, we find organizations that are focused on achieving mission and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak into individual and corporate lives in terms of calling. Expanding our imagination seems to come when organizations have at least three women on the board, and when leaders support and affirm the calling of individual women. Leaders must see this as a necessity for achieving mission. In the end, it is not just about bringing more women into an organization, but about changing the organization in order to embrace the gifts that women bring—gifts that are essential to missional effectiveness. What if we expected God to call all of our young people to Big Callings and Big Dreams in order to fulfill the purposes of his Kingdom? What if

our daughters and sons put no self-limits on what God is calling them to do? The founder of Gordon College, A. J. Gordon, included women in the life of the College from its beginning. The focus was not on worrying about “who” God might call, but on “what” God was calling its students to be and do. In fact, while I may be the first female provost at Gordon, one of the earliest deans of the faculty was Isabel Warwick Wood. Recognized and sought after for her talents by the Board of Trustees, she brought her own considerable gifts as a scholar and administrator to the institution, planting seeds for the liberal arts college Gordon would eventually become. It was only the larger conservative cultural movements at large that began to shape the church of the 1930s to 1950s and focus attention away from mission and onto theological disputes about the “who.” We are reclaiming our history at Gordon College, a history that at its founding focused on God’s mission and the need to use all the gifts of everyone God has called. This study is helping us in this journey. For more about this study, its advisory board, and more extensive research reports, see

Janel Curry is the provost of Gordon College. As the chief academic officer of the College, she oversees numerous academic programs, provides guidance about curriculum and pedagogy, and helps connect faculty with opportunities for scholarship and grants. Dr. Curry, a geographer, is a two-time Fulbright Scholar.







Jerusalem and Athens Forum Essay Contest “Why is it that what seems to be often is not what is?” In this spring’s annual essay contest linked to Gordon’s “great books” honors program, JAF participants and alumni submitted 16 essays on that theme, drawing on works of theology, philosophy and literature. Hannah Wardell ’17 wrote the winning essay, which appears below. Honorable mention goes to Sam Sherratt ’15 and Christy Urbano ’16; excerpts from their essays are on the facing page.


Winning essay “On the Reality of Hope”

Recently I found hope for Gordon College in a letter written in December of 1958 by Flannery O’Connor. O’ Connor writes: “All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful”; and so this year our community has felt the pain of changing grace, of becoming more like Christ. From the perspective of a student trying her best to understand conflict and incite compromise, after two semesters full of letters, tweets, and overheard conversations, dialogue seems to be backlogged (or not, no one can even really agree on that). From any perspective— faculty to alumni to student—and no


matter where you place the blame or responsibility, Gordon has undeniably felt strife this past year. The tension is at times tangible, and progress often seems unattainable. Just the suggestion of hope is frustrating—it feels bankrupt and shallow. Yet hope is the most important reality to be uncovered in this tumultuous time. In his famed poem “Four Quartets,” in the passage for which this publication is named, T. S. Eliot writes: “At the still point of the turning world[;] Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is.” At this still point, “where past and future are gathered,” is “the inner freedom from practical desire, the release from action and suffering . . . yet surrounded by a grace of sense.”

Christ is the still point of our turning world that Eliot elucidates so gracefully. And so, Gordon as a community, and we as members of this community, must call back to Him and remember our hope. As the world turns and leaves us shaken and confused, as the presence of the past smashes into the reality of the future, Christ remains stable—the release from constant action and suffering, the grace of sense that surrounds us. As we find that Christian community often leads to disagreements and frustrations, we must not forget as we wrestle towards peace and truth that we can only find solid footing in Christ. Institutional growing pains are acts of grace in the life of our college; they are compelling us to a better sense of Truth and of each other.


Story Hannah Wardell ’17, Sam Sherratt ’15 and Christy Urbano ’16

Often, during growing pains like these, I forget that Scripture has come before me. In 2 Corinthians, Paul commends the church to “not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” because “the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us.” The Gospel, the hope of resurrection and completion through Jesus, renews us from the inside out, although at times it looks like we are wasting away and renewal does not feel like what we would expect it to. The greatest act of grace was an act of suffering, Jesus’s death on the cross. Victory over the grave could only come after his entrance into the grave. In Romans, Paul writes, “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” I have always struggled to comprehend the

transformation of suffering to hope. But, with the help of Flannery O’Connor, T. S. Eliot, and Gordon College, I have begun to realize that hope really “does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” Through His Spirit, through the very legitimate appearances of suffering and turmoil, we can find hope in a Lord who suffered to bring us painful, changing grace. To merely be critical or apathetic is lazy; to uncover hope is difficultly faithful. This year has been a trying one, but I know that the reality of hope courses beneath the suffering. Suffering is a reality of the Christian life, but it is not the final reality. When we let suffering negate this final reality—the reality of hope—we insult the cross. We must dwell in our suffering with grace, not simply negate

it for a shallow ‘hope’ but embrace it for the deep difficult reality of a hope that it is founded in the crucifixion. We must stop resisting grace because it is painful. Through tension there is unity and through argument there is compromise. At Christ, our still point, there the dance is.

Hannah Wardell is a political science major from Colorado Springs. This year she is a Gordon Presidential Fellow in the College’s Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications.

Honorable Mention | excerpt from “It Tastes Good”

Honorable Mention | excerpt from untitled essay

I was nine or ten and approached the Table like I always did. . . . Watching Dad, Mom, Abby and Hilary receive the bread and wine shaped my understanding of the sacrament. It wasn’t anything spectacular, it’s just what we and all Christians did. (It wasn’t until arriving at Gordon that I realized this notion wasn’t true— you can imagine the shock). And so when it was our turn to go up, I got in line behind my parents and shuffled to the priest in front of the altar. I cupped my hands just like Dad, right over left, and extended them in front of me. “This is the body of Christ, the bread of Heaven. Keep you in everlasting life.”

minored in chemistry. He now is senior

Our brains often sort our experiences into pre-established patterns even when we lack evidence those experiences are consistent with those patterns, or when the patterns are themselves logically unsound. . . . So we see meaning in horoscopes even though we know there’s no scientific basis for their accuracy. We see religious figures in pieces of toast. And we stereotype people, cultures, and situations, constantly and unconsciously and near ubiquitously. Our brains are extremely efficient machines. Racism, sexism, classism, et cetera—all these systems which distort our perception of the world—are very often not decisions we make; they’re products of the way all our brains process information. That is what science tells us about appearance and reality that I could not have philosophized or poeticized my way to.

research scientist at Elucida Research LLC

Read the full essay at

Read the full essay at

Sam Sherratt majored in biology and

in Beverly, MA, where he works on projects in the pharmaceutical industry.

Christy Urbano is an English major and gender studies minor from Coatesville, Pennsylvania. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in library and information sciences.



From left: David Brooks, Rebecca Lindsay, Michael Lindsay, Myron (Mike) Ullman, Ellie Beatty, David Beatty (Trustee).






7 Photos Mark Spooner ’14

Celebrating the Faithful Leaders of Gordon’s Past, Present and Future “Colleges leave a mark on the soul.” —David Brooks On September 29, 480 alumni and friends joined for the fourth annual Celebration of Faithful Leadership (5). Held at the InterContinental Hotel overlooking Boston Harbor, the evening featured creative interpretations of biblical truths by performance poet Shawn Welcome (1); depictions of A. J. Gordon and the crucified Christ by world-renowned performance painter David Garibaldi (2); and music performed by Music Department Chair Dr. Sarita Kwok (violin) (3), accompanied by music instructor Christina Chao (piano). The evening’s keynote speaker, New York Times columnist David Brooks (4), captured the essence of legacy virtues. Students Stephanie Antonucci ’16 (6) and Danny Bizumuremyi ’17 (7) offered their own inspiring, authentic testimonies. Business leader Myron (Mike) Ullman III (4) was honored as the recipient of the fourth annual George F. Bennett Leadership Award. Ullmann spoke candidly with President Lindsay about the successes and private trials associated with leading five world-class corporations, most recently J. C. Penney. “Love your audience,” he said. “Do your homework. Be yourself.” Thanks to the generosity of our guests and sponsors, more than $1 million was raised through this event; proceeds will fund student scholarships and help offset the burden of educational debt. | 978.867.4900 5


255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984-1899




27–28 19

“Christian Humanism and the Vocation of the Artist”

4–5 20

The 25th Annual Christmas Gala Gordon College choirs, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra in two evenings of glorious Christmas music, with readings and carol singing.

Gregory Wolfe (Seattle Pacific University Writer-in-Residence) The Walter and Darlene Hansen Lecture



14–16 17

“Biotechnology and the Human Future” Physician and neurobiologist William Hurlbut (Stanford Medical School) The Tak Yan Lee Lecture

6–16 7

“The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism” Historian Molly Worthen (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) The Annual Crum Lecture

STILLPOINT Fall 2015  
STILLPOINT Fall 2015  

Fall 2015 issue of Gordon College's alumni magazine, STILLPOINT