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SPRING 2014

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

The intriguing lives of Gordon’s younger alumni

Also in This Issue 44 28 Beyond Beyond Narnia: Narnia: The The Staying Staying Power Power of of C. C. S. S. Lewis Lewis 30 46 Good A Book Friday Is Born Faith 49 31Renaissance A Book Is Born Man


FEATURE

12 Kicking off our celebration of Gordon’s 125th year are profiles of 50 alumni under 50. What are they doing and where have they been? Turn to page 12 and find out. Jim Belcher ’87 Lindland ’90 ’92

Lisa Edmondson Buettner ’87

Michael Messenger ’90

M. Eric Mollenhauer ’93

Mason Ostrowski ’97 Bryn Gillette ’01 Mark Teiwes ’03

Chris Westrate ’98

Herron Shultz ’09

Sradda Thapa ’08

Nick Shultz ’09

Thomas Lake ’01

Erin Burke-Moran ’03

C. Sean Lovell ’07

Anne Taylor ’10

Delia Kim ’96

Chuck Bartholomew ’01

Philip Jamieson ’01

Hillary Scholten ’04

Tim Hohman ’07

Robin Smalt ’08

William Park ’95

Gabe Davis ’00

Peter Murphy Lewis ’02

Jake Kircher ’04

Jocelyn St. Cyr ’06 Idicheria ’08

Theo Nicolakis ’93

Anna Boorse Doubeni ’90 Anthony Falcetta ’92

Brandi Anderson Bates ’92

Sarah Herman Heltzel ’01

Oliver Lindhiem ’02

Malcolm Foster ’88

Samuel Tsoi ’07

Jane Eisenhauer ’09 Dan Castelline ’11

Nathan Uebelhoer

Tim Willeford ’96

Iana

Gina Kulig Bradley ’01 Melissa Florer-Bixler ’02

Jesse Holcomb ’03

Melissa Barrow Kircher ’05

Rebecca

Calvin Joss ’03

Emily Fisher ’05

Freda Obeng-Ampofo ’08 Scotland Huber ’09

Zach Capalbo ’12

Irene

Ashley

Molly Connolly ’13


CONTENTS ARTICLES

Narnia: The Staying 44 Beyond Power of C. S. Lewis by Dr. David Aiken

Dr. Aiken makes a case for Lewis’s most enduring legacy: as an exemplar of the “baptized” imagination.

44

46 A Book Is Born

Dr. Elaine Phillips’ new devotional, With God Nothing Is Impossible, aims to bridge the gap between the academy and the pew.

46

IN EACH ISSUE Front with 2 Up President Lindsay Aerial Views

3 Inspiration

Linda Colleran: Giving Peace a Chance

4 Gordon Life 5 SPORKS

Notes from a young alum

6 On the Grapevine

Student, Faculty and Staff News

9

48 Class Notes Alumni News

ON THE COVER(S) This issue was published with four different covers. From left: Sarah Herman Heltzel ’01 (photo: Arielle Doneson); Gabe Davis ’00 (Danny Ebersole); Melissa Barrow Kircher ’05 and Jake Kircher ’04 (Alex Christine Photography); Scotland Huber ’09 (Andy Brophy).

SPRING 2014 2012

SPRING 2014 2012

SPRING 2014 2012

SPRING 2014 2012

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE

STILLPOINT

STILLPOINT

The intriguing lives of Gordon’s younger alumni

The intriguing lives of Gordon’s younger alumni

The intriguing lives of Gordon’s younger alumni

The intriguing lives of Gordon’s younger alumni

Also in This Issue 44 28 Beyond Beyond Narnia: Narnia: The The Staying Staying Power Power of of C. C. S. S. Lewis Lewis 30 46 Good A Book Friday Is Born Faith 49 31Renaissance A Book Is Born Man

Also in This Issue 44 28 Beyond Beyond Narnia: Narnia: The The Staying Staying Power Power of of C. C. S. S. Lewis Lewis 30 46 Good A Book Friday Is Born Faith 49 31Renaissance A Book Is Born Man

Also in This Issue 44 28 Beyond Beyond Narnia: Narnia: The The Staying Staying Power Power of of C. C. S. S. Lewis Lewis 30 46 Good A Book Friday Is Born Faith 49 31Renaissance A Book Is Born Man

Also in This Issue 44 28 Beyond Beyond Narnia: Narnia: The The Staying Staying Power Power of of C. C. S. S. Lewis Lewis 30 46 Good A Book Friday Is Born Faith 49 31Renaissance A Book Is Born Man

THE MAGAZINE OF GORDON COLLEGE


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UP FRONT with President Lindsay

Aerial Views Being a college president means lots of air travel; in fact, I recently logged 23,000 miles in ten days. I’m sure I’m not alone in this: having a good book along can redeem the time. One of the amazing things about being made in the image of God is that words can become worlds; these symbols allow us to be traveling companions on someone else’s journey. We are not exactly the same, as we finish reading a good book, as when we began.

it was first published in 1980. I’ve also just read Malcolm Gladwell’s David & Goliath. Perhaps you know that it was while working on this book that Gladwell rediscovered the salience of his Christian upbringing. “Here I was,” he said, in a Religion News Service interview, “writing about people of extraordinary circumstances and it slowly dawned on me that I can have that too.” Writing projects can shape the author’s life.

Sometimes the journey is straightforward. For example, as I flew to Singapore for the first time, I read former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s autobiography, From Third World to First. I arrived there newly aware of how much this vibrant country has accomplished— and the extent to which integrity, hard work, strategic thinking, intelligence, and decisiveness can enable places to become globally significant.

I’ve used quite a bit of my airplane time to review various drafts of my own book, View from the Top. Writing (and rewriting) it has shaped my own thinking about leadership in profound ways. It’s also reminded me, over and over, that I cannot do all that I want. On any given day at least ten meaningful, important things compete for my attention. It has taken me several years longer than I expected to write this book, but it is incredibly gratifying to see it come to completion.

Sometimes it’s a more interior journey. I recently read Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. This book is about the effects of distraction on discipleship, and it is even more relevant today than when

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Each person profiled has responded to a different worthwhile, compelling call. At the end of many of the profiles you will learn how you can contact these individuals, and I encourage you to do so—whether to renew an old friendship or to reach out in encouragement to someone new. As students and alumni we are travelling companions on one another’s journeys. We are not exactly the same, after spending four years together, as we would have been spending those four years with a different group of people, in a different place. May you continue to find your life strengthened and deepened by the rich Gordon College community of which we are all a part.

My other in-flight reading includes preview copies of College publications. I found it energizing to read the brief articles about 50 alumni in this issue of STILLPOINT, and I hope you will, too.

New Book viewfromthetopbook.com

Twitter twitter.com/GordonPres


IN EACH ISSUE

INSPIRATION

VOLUME 29 NUMBER 2

“At the still point of the turning world.” T. S. Eliot, from “Burnt Norton,” Four Quartets EDITORIAL

CREATIVE

Patricia C. Hanlon Editor

Tim Ferguson Sauder Creative Director

Cyndi McMahon Staff Writer

Rebecca Powell Abby Ytzen-Handel ’10 Publication Design

John Dixon Mirisola ’11 Staff Writer and News Section Editor Ann Sierks Smith Copyeditor and Staff Writer

ALUMNI NEWS Adrianne Cook ’92 Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

ADMINISTRATION D. Michael Lindsay President Rick Sweeney ’85 Vice President for Marketing and Strategic Communications

ADDRESS CHANGES Development Office gordoncollege@gordon.edu

OTHER CORRESPONDENCE Editor, STILLPOINT | Gordon College 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham MA 01984 stillpoint@gordon.edu

PRINTING

Giving Peace a Chance Linda Colleran, College Communications and Design Center Linda Colleran is excited about the many ways that Gordon teaches students about peacemaking and reconciliation. “We learn about war in school, but we aren’t taught specifically how peace happens. And peacemaking is 100 percent biblical,” she says. In the Design Center and College Communications, Linda oversees the budget, student employees, electronic communications, the bookstore and other areas. As a volunteer mediator in the Essex County (MA) courts, she helps parties to small civil lawsuits communicate and reach a mutually acceptable resolution. “Too many people don’t realize that mediation is an alternative to full-blown litigation,” she says. “When people are having a conflict, they don’t sit down and talk to each other. But amazing things can happen when they do.” She mediates in other settings, too. Linda launched this second vocation eight years ago when she became involved with the North Shore Community Mediation Center (NSCMC); she now serves on its board. Gordon is also a rich context for peacemaking and mediation. Linda is involved in the Peace and Conflict studies minor, and led a student group last year on great peacemakers—and NSCMC trains Gordon student interns to mediate in schools to help students resolve interpersonal disputes. “It is really exciting and inspirational to know that students in this program are taking their rich experiences, knowledge and skills out into the world,” she says. Linda has undergone training through the Massachusetts Bar Association, Community Mediation in Cambridge, and the Public Conversations Project. She is contemplating an additional advanced degree that integrates cross-cultural understanding with peacemaking.

Flagship Press | North Andover, Massachusetts Photo Chan Mi Kim ’16 Opinions expressed in STILLPOINT are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gordon College administration, or of all members of the alumni community. The College reserves the right to edit for clarity, conciseness and appropriateness. Gordon College is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, or national or ethnic origin. Reproduction of STILLPOINT articles is permitted, but please attribute to STILLPOINT: The Magazine of Gordon College, and include author’s name, if applicable.

www.gordon.edu/stillpoint

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GORDON LIFE: Ways to stay in touch The latest news about the College now appears on Gordon-sponsored online sites and publications. Read faculty and student reflections, sit in on Chapel and Convocation, and join the open dialogue that has always been part of Gordon’s identity. (Postings do not necessarily reflect the College’s institutional positions and beliefs.)

Gordon Facebook page WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GORDONCOLLEGE

Online College Publications WWW.ISSUU.COM/GORDONCOLLEGE

A Weekend in the Big Apple

This Gordon Life

Students, faculty and staff travelled to New York City in February for the Accessible Icon Project’s debut at the Museum of Modern Art. Here’s a recap.

View this collection of essays, artwork and poetry (most by faculty) compiled in honor of Jud and Jan Carlberg. Highlights of the nearly 20 years of the Carlberg presidency.

www.facebook.com/gordoncollege

View “page-turning” PDF: www.gordon.edu/thisgordonlife

Notes Along the Way, the Gordon College blog GORDONCOLLEGEGRAPEVINE.BLOGSPOT.COM

The “Superbowl of Model UN Competitions” Dawn Cianci ’14 won the Best Delegate award at the Harvard National Model UN, among students representing Arab League nations.

Read more: gordoncollegegrapevine.blogspot.com

Gordon’s YouTube channel WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/USER/GORDONCOLLEGE

Temple Grandin The renowned disability activist and professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University gave the Convocation address “Different Kinds of Minds Contribute to Society” during Beyond Disabilities week in February.

Watch the video: www.youtube.com/user/GordonCollege

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IN EACH ISSUE

Story bryan parys ’04

N OT E S F R O M A YO U N G A L U M

INSTALLATION 18: THINGS GO BAD

The cabbage I have left to ferment on the basement stairs of our apartment building smells so bad that my landlady has forbidden me to make sauerkraut anywhere near her first floor dwelling ever again. Doesn’t she understand a miracle when she smells one? I’ve been thinking about success, and it’s not been going well. Part of this stems from the fact that my current job mainly consists of writing about notable Gordon alumni, and so the question often arises in my mind: will I always be the interviewer, the one framing the question? But I can’t help but fear I’ve been viewing success in completely the wrong way: in particular, as something that ascends. The concept runs deep in my education as a Westerner—capitalism as “climbing the ladder”—and as a person of faith who has been taught to regard the goal of heaven as a kind of elevation—the idea that going up means getting better. What if ascension can be misleading? Given that most of my life is made up of moments when I don’t feel as if I’m rising to anything beyond my bed, then would it follow that not-ascending is equal to a lack of success? Instead, I want to be like sauerkraut. I want to be okay with people thinking that I’m going bad, fermenting on the back stairs, all the while creating a teeming ecosystem of bacteria, a biodiverse stew of sunken goodness, weighted down in order to rise up. Ephesians 4:14 reads: “We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” I’m used to making this kind of mistake. I once drank rotten rice milk for five days, mistaking the sharp, blueberry-like taste for a quality my would-be gourmand’s palate described as “artisanal.”

was pursued by Apple—and I think: well, why doesn’t Apple care about me? So—and here I speak as a spiritual lay person, not as a theologian—I’ve come to see that there could be a converse to this verse that is equally true. That is, should we seek out truths so transformative that they first look like lies? In his book Status Anxiety, the pop philosopher Alain de Botton traces a history of the modern conception of success to explain why so many Westerners are gripped with the utter

I ONCE DRANK ROTTEN RICE MILK FOR FIVE DAYS, MISTAKING THE SHARP, BLUEBERRYLIKE TASTE FOR A QUALITY MY WOULDBE GOURMAND’S PALATE DESCRIBED AS ‘ARTISANAL.’ fear that we’re not being successful enough—or if we’re bold enough to admit it, not looking successful enough. He illustrates one of his key ideas in terms of physical height. If one’s community are all of relative size, then one does not feel threatened. But if just one of those peers grows taller, then we are liable to be uneasy and envious, even though, as de Botton says, “we have not ourselves diminished in size by so much as a fraction of a millimeter.” It’s not the success that’s the problem, it’s how it looks to everyone around it. As the cabbage hangs out in its jar, smelling more and more putrid, a robust system of nutrients proliferates, creating an anaerobic environment that is generally not conducive to the kinds of bacteria that would make humans sick. It is then just a waiting game for that right moment where that smell of compost-meets-socks reaches its zenith, and can in turn be deemed a success.

But that was before I understood the rotting process. My sauerkraut recipe: salt and shredded cabbage squeezed with bare hands until enough liquid forms to cover the vegetable matter in a liter-sized canning jar. Place a coffee filter and rubber band over the top and then just leave it there—for at least a month, but even up past a year. If you want to raise the stakes, add garlic. That way, even your wife will question your sanity, and will complain that the smell has forever bonded with the coats it shares a closet with. The problem with success is that it is so often seen as inseparable from status. And while higher education might’ve taught me that status, in the celebrity, all-about-the-benjis sense, is not a healthy perspective, I still look around at my peers, my old roommates, that friend who got a job at Apple—

bryan parys ’04 works and teaches writing at Gordon College. He apologizes to his co-worker, Lindsey, who asked, “What is that smell?” He’ll try not to leave the kimchi in the office fridge again. bryan.parys@gordon.edu

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NEWS: ON THE GRAPEVINE

STUDENT, FACULTY AND STAFF NEWS

Photo Brian Guest

The Loy family (clockwise from top right): Barry, Donna, Lizzi Loy ’14, Sarah Loy Gifford ’09, son-in-law Rob Gifford ’07, Matt Loy ’06, and Andrew Loy (Westmont ’13).

Barry and Donna Loy: In Appreciation

students, I need to know who students are, and how they are changing.’”

As Barry and Donna Loy hiked a seaside trail in Maine this winter, a young woman approached them tentatively. “Hi,” she said. “Are you . . . Barry Loy?”

Gordon scholar-in-residence Stan Gaede, who was involved in hiring Barry in 1985, speaks of his gracious, gentle manner, his astute matches of staff members with jobs that fit just right, and his ability to understand people coming from a variety of points of view. He gives Barry substantial credit for Gordon’s ethos of “unity and diversity—a student culture that has, on the one hand, clarity about that which we believe and affirm, but also an appreciation of the diversity and range of people who make up the community.”

That’s going to happen a lot. Forever. Barry, Gordon’s vice president for student life, will retire in July after 29 years in Gordon’s student life office, and his face is familiar to 12,000-plus alumni and current students. He knows many by name; the snapshots and missions flyers on the Loys’ fridge are mostly from Gordon alums. “I was initially trained as a counselor,” Barry says. “As you move up in administration, the tendency is to move away from students, even at small schools. But I made it a goal to always have a certain level of student contact. I felt, ‘If I am going to be a good VP or dean of

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The Loy clan are linked with Gordon in many ways. Most of the family’s younger generation are graduates of the College. As the associate director of admissions operations, Donna trains and works as part of the crew who handle the increasingly high-tech work of processing

student applications. She remains close to many of the former students with whom she bonded during the years when she worked nights at the Jenks Library circulation desk. “Conversations at 11 at night are very different from conversations at 11 in the morning,” she says. When the Loy children were youngsters, Donna says, students were role models and helped them “feel connected to something that’s beyond our family, connected to a faith community that’s bigger than the local church.” In July the Loys will move to the North Carolina house in which Barry grew up, on land in his family since 1849. They’ll live with his father, who’s 92. Barry will do some consulting, and further research on his forebears who were potters (about whom he spoke on campus in March). If you find yourself in Snow Camp, North Carolina, stop in and say hello. 


ON THE GRAPEVINE

EPA Chief Visits Gordon

IN THEIR WORDS

by John Dixon Mirisola ’11

“If any generation has the hope and the audacity and the knowhow to ‘walk out’ in racial reconciliation, it’s the generation that is represented predominantly in this room. It is us. It is us.” —Emmanuel Arango ’10 in January 2014 Chapel address

Gordon Rocks The Mikado

Photo Dan Nystedt ’06

Photo Mark Spooner ’14

Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, addressed the Gordon community this past November. She is a New Englander, and her Boston memories are inextricably linked with its history of environmental distress: McCarthy recalled how, as a child, she routinely needed to clean oil off her skin after swimming in the waters around Boston. The Merrimack River ran green one day, yellow the next, depending on what dyes the textile factories were using. While working for her hometown’s government, she discovered toxic deposits in the same neighborhood where she grew up.

The A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel traveled to imperial Japan in January, its stage transformed into a Japanese courtyard complete with rice paper doors and luminous red and orange lanterns. The occasion for this transformation: Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous comic opera, The Mikado.

She reminded her Gordon College audience, however, that the environmental history of the Massachusetts Bay is also one of rejuvenation. Due to an upwelling of public concern and decades of hard work by policymakers and community members alike, today Boston’s water is clean, the Merrimack is clear, and her old neighborhood is safe.

A collaborative effort presented by Gordon’s Theatre Arts and Music Departments, The Mikado was directed by Professor of Theatre Arts Jeffrey S. Miller and Associate Professor of Music Michael Monroe. Gifted musicians and skilled actors sang and danced in an eclectic blend of kimonos and modern Harajuku statement outfits, among the production’s many contemporary touches.

McCarthy noted that the environmental, economic, and public health threat Americans face today is harder to see, because it doesn’t cloud the air with smog or clot the rivers with oils and dyes. That threat is climate change brought about by unsustainable carbon dioxide emissions, a threat which McCarthy urged the audience to take seriously, and to take action against. She spoke optimistically about the democratic, cooperative civic process, which she witnessed bring dramatic change to her home region years ago. “My father used to chase me around the house shutting off lights,” McCarthy said. “He didn’t do that because he was worried about carbon emissions; he did it because he was worried about the bills. Well, do the same thing, only now worry about carbon emissions.” Responding to questions, McCarthy addressed topics including the impact of hydrofracking, and the United States’ ability to partner with countries such as China that lag behind the U.S. in addressing emissions and pollution issues. When not in Washington, McCarthy lives with her husband in Jamaica Plain, and she holds to the unmistakable Bostonian affinities: Dunkin’ Donuts, the Red Sox, and, sparingly, the word “wicked.” 

The comedic genius of Gilbert and Sullivan has been a favorite for Gordon’s winter productions in recent years, with the successes of 2011’s Pirates of Penzance and 2012’s H.M.S. Pinafore. The quick wit and improvisational freedom that infuse these scripts find a natural home amid the talents of Gordon’s Music and Theatre Arts Departments. 

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An MLK March for Unity

Photo Mark Spooner ’14

“This past fall semester, we experienced some events that divided us along racial, ethnic and gender lines,” says Jorge Rodriguez ’14, a Gordon College Presidential Fellow, Clarendon Scholar and Pike Scholar. “In reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, I came up with the idea of a march around the quad on MLK Day—a way of honoring King, who, through his marches, raised awareness of problems and expressed a vision of what could be. I was tired of division and wanted to see unity.” Jorge and other students, including Juwan Campbell, Conor Krupke, Carl Brooks, and Ashlie Busone, began their march at the Ken Olsen Science Center and proceeded around the quad and through the mini-quad, ending on the chapel steps. Along the way they stopped—at the bell, in front of Jenks, in front of Bromley, at Chase Hall, and in front of Lane—and took turns reading portions of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. On the chapel steps Carl Brooks delivered a speech, cowritten by the students, contextualizing King’s words to Gordon’s campus.  “The march on Gordon promoted the betterment of campus life, as it pertained to the unity of this institution,” says Jorge. “This movement was not one of politics but one of heart, soul, and mind that asked ‘Who are we in God’s image?’ and responded: ‘Children—different, but still children.’ In marching, individuals sought to bring forth the Kingdom of God by symbolically declaring the beauty of our difference and the strength of our unity.”  

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A Generous Vote of Confidence New friends of the College have made a gift of $1 million to fund 50 new beds for students in the residence halls, with work to be completed before the start of the fall 2014 semester. It is expected that the centerpiece of the project will be an expansion of Gedney Hall. The plan also calls for renovation of Conrad, and of the house located at 216 Grapevine Road.

While these generous benefactors wish to remain anonymous, they made their gift because they believe in the College’s ongoing commitment to Christ and its pursuit of excellence across campus. The College is deeply grateful for this vote of confidence, and for the donors’ willingness to invest in our students and in the future of the College. 

A Break for Refreshment, Fellowship and Hard Work by Nora Kirkham ’16

Photo Amber Dvornski

Just six hours away from the stacks of textbooks and coffee-stained paper of semester midterms are upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains, where many of Gordon’s La Vida expeditions take place. For the past three years, La Vida has drawn together campus volunteers—many of them alumni of the summer expeditions or of Gordon’s W.I.L.D. semester—for a weekend of service at the program’s base camp. I was one of 13 volunteers this past October, and I couldn’t have spent quad break weekend in a better way. Working alongside park rangers in the Adirondacks, we tackled projects ranging from building and clearing trails on Hurricane Mountain to digging privy holes at campsites on Pollywog Pond. Volunteers hiked and canoed to work sites, and the last day of the trip was spent hiking the breathtaking Phelps Mountain in the High Peaks region. In one short trip, I was able to experience the simple pleasures of community and the vastness of God’s creation. After weeks of running through the cycle of coursework and commitments, this was a breath of fresh air. While at times it was hard work, we not only learned new skills, but gained new friendships grounded in a common purpose: practicing environmental stewardship and experiencing fellowship rooted in a specific place. 


ON THE GRAPEVINE

Seeing with New Eyes: Global Education Photo Contest

Beyond Disabilities Week

Each year the Global Education Office sponsors a photo contest for participants in Gordon’s many overseas programs. The 2013 theme was “Diverse, Divided and Reconciled.” To read the winners’ complete reflections on their photos, and view other students’ images and writing, go to http://gcgeophotocontest.blogspot.com

Photo Mark Spooner ’14

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1

3 1

First place Carolyn Meckbach ’14 “Staalstraat Brug” | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Walking down a canal in Amsterdam, I came upon a rather public private wedding ceremony on top of a bustling downtown bridge, involving just the bride, groom, and an individual who leaned in to whisper vows into the couple’s ears. . . . The ceremony carried on amidst mopeds whizzing by and pedestrians casually navigating about them. A small crowd of spectators would come and go, curiously whispering to one another while holding up cellphones to capture the event. 2

Second place Caroline Reigel ’14 (untitled) | Buenos Aires, Argentina

High in the mountains, gasping for air—restricted by the hand of man and of God—the people of Tilcara, Jujuy, have not let their steps falter, though oppressed by both European settlers and the Argentine government, as they walk the dust-consumed dirt path. Instead, all seven colors that layer the surrounding mountains can boast of the people of Jujuy and their fortitude. . . . Currently, the steps may be aided by a staff, but the imprints left on the gravel are just as sure as they were two hundred years ago when they stood proudly in the richness of their culture and home. 3

Third place Victoria Petway ’14 “The Procession” | Orvieto, Italy

During the ceremonies of Corpus Christi . . . Orvietani and people from nearby towns parade in all kinds of medieval regalia to celebrate their history as well as the Miracle at Bolsena in which the Eucharist host dripped blood onto the linen below. . . . As much as I appreciated the way that such an array of people in one city and around the world could come together to celebrate the ultimate reconciliation, I cannot also help but feel some divide as a Protestant who cannot fully partake in the Eucharist of the Catholic church. 

Building on the success of last year’s “Beyond Colorblind” week, “Beyond Disabilities” week was held February 17 to 24. This student-led week was envisioned by Leah Serao ’14, an elementary education and linguistics double major with a concentration in special education, who wanted to cultivate discussion about disabilities, confront sometimes negative preconceptions, and make Gordon a place more hospitable to individuals with disabilities. Nearly 20 events included film screenings, lectures, panel discussions, and a project forum. “Since our goal was to transform attitudes through education, interactions, and conversations, we hope the community will be more accepting of the differences found within the community,” Leah says. “I know a lot of students were moved by participating in one of our events called ‘Experiencing Disabilities,’ where students were given the opportunity to rent out wheelchairs. The challenge becomes real when you experience a bike blocking the automatic door button in KOSC or the difficulty of going up a ramp covered in snow and ice.” Students packed the chapel and even its foyer to hear keynote speaker Temple Grandin (pictured above at right, with Leah), who is a professor at Colorado State University, an autism activist, a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, an engineer, and the best-selling author of Thinking in Pictures. The Time 100 list names her as one of the one hundred most influential people in the world, in the “Heroes” category.  

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Faculty in the News and on the Road Each semester Gordon faculty participate in scores of conferences and other events, and the schedule’s particularly packed around the holidays, when academics everywhere are on a break from classes. Here are a few of the ventures they pursued in recent months. Dorothy Boorse (biology) spent time during her fall 2013 sabbatical reviewing a DVD series that addresses her passions: evangelical faith, science and truth. It wasn’t an easy writing project, given the contentious, often tense perspectives held by various groups. In November, BioLogos posted her essays “Science and the Truth Project, parts one and two” on its website. Paul Borthwick’s book Western Christians in Global Missions: What’s the Role of the North American Church? has been honored by Christianity Today as one of the two best recent publications on missions and global affairs. It received an Award of Merit in the 2014 Christianity Today Book Awards. Wheaton College professor Scott Moreau, one of the judges, wrote: “Borthwick introduces Western readers (especially Americans!) to what they need to know to engage the diversity of global Christian faith. Offering both critique and encouragement, he reminds us of how Americans perceive themselves and how they are perceived by sisters and brothers around the world. It’s a solid dose of humility to offset our pride at being socalled world leaders.” Borthwick teaches part-time in the Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries and also serves on the staff of Development Associates International, travelling extensively around the world to mobilize local church leaders for cross-cultural ministry and assist with leadership development. Western Christians in Global Missions (IVP Books, 2012) is his sixteenth book.

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In the November 2013 issue of Commonweal Magazine, Agnes Howard (English and history) explores the difficult but crucial topic of coping with miscarriage. In “Comforting Rachel: How Christians Should Respond to Prenatal Death” she examines the profound emotions around losing a baby, and Christian communities’ response. Howard writes: “Christian churches have been strong defenders of the unborn. . . . These positions demonstrate a strong commitment to life before and after birth. But perhaps insufficient care—both in teaching and pastoral settings—has been given to the puzzle of children not aborted who nonetheless die before birth. . . . Churches should do a better job of recognizing this as a theological problem and offering liturgical and pastoral support to those affected by it.”

Harold Heie, a senior fellow of the Center for Faith and Inquiry at Gordon College, has published Evangelicals on Public Policy Issues: Sustaining a Respectful Political Conversation (ACU Press, 2014). The book began as online conversations on his website, Alternative Political Conversations, involving six evangelical Christians (including Gordon political scientist Paul Brink). It considers 12 public policy issues, including K–12 education, Syria and Iran, and the federal budget deficit.

David Wick (history) chairs the arts and humanities research division of an international organization of scholars in many disciplines, the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER). He spent early January in Athens, Greece, helping to host ATINER’s first arts and humanities conference, during which he delivered a paper, “Virgil’s Vision and the Anniversary of Actium—A Little Known Sidelight on Akarnanian History, the Battle of Actium and the Identity of Augustus.” The conference drew scholars from 26 countries on six continents. At two conferences, in fall 2013, LeQuez Spearman (recreation, sport and wellness) spoke about the uneven playing field of America’s greatest game: baseball. During last October’s conference of the Popular Culture/American Culture Association, Savannah, Georgia, he chaired a session examining how race, class, spirituality and sport intersect in the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson. He also spoke on “A Critique of Meritocracy and Race in 42: What Really Mattered in the Jackie Robinson Story?” Spearman revisited that topic in November at the North American Society of Sport Sociology conference in Quebec, focusing on Robinson and on Hank Greenberg as he examined the interface of sport and religion and the twin tides of oppression that Jews and African Americans have faced in professional athletics. Spearman joined the Gordon faculty in fall 2013. His other interests include environmental sustainability in sports facilities.


ON THE GRAPEVINE

Into the Woods: Phillips’s Sabbatical Explores the Dynamics between Rural Poverty and Education by Jo Kadlecek

In January, Kristen Cooper, Douglas Puffert, Stephen Smith, and roughly ten thousand other economists attended the Allied Social Science Association meetings in Philadelphia—the world’s largest annual gathering in that field. Smith, executive editor of Faith & Economics (the journal of the Association of Christian Economists) met with its editorial board and promoted ACE’s 2015 conference on global poverty, which Gordon is hosting. Cooper and Puffert joined the Gordon Department of Economics and Business in fall 2013. Earlier in 2013, Cooper, a 2006 Gordon graduate whose specialties include consumer behavior and environmental economics, received her Ph.D. from Cornell University. Puffert, whose specialties include the economics of technological change, previously served on the faculty of The King’s College in Manhattan. James Trent (social work) spoke at the Smith College Museum of Art during a two-day January symposium, “Excavating the Image: ‘The Belchertown State School’ by Randall Deihl.” In his talk “A Season in Hell’s Palace,” Trent spoke about his former work at a residential institution for intellectually disabled children and adults, and related his experiences to Deihl’s painting. He also shared these thoughts with the Gordon community during Beyond Disabilities week in February. 

Photo Mark Spooner ’14

It’s cold in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And its economy, once built on forest and maple products, has faltered in sparsely populated, economically disadvantaged regions of the state. But neither stopped Suzanne Phillips, professor of psychology, from spending a yearlong sabbatical there in 2012–2013. In fact, she felt right at home. That’s because she was born there. A first-generation college student herself, Phillips, a community psychologist, did her sabbatical research on rural populations, their access to post-secondary education, and first-generation college students. She focused on young residents of Coos County (near the Canadian border) and a community college there. “New Hampshire is a wealthy state, but the wealth is not distributed evenly,” she said. “I wanted to understand the impact poverty had on education, why people born in Coos County seemed to have less access to education, and what the implications of both were for the local quality of life.” Most of New Hampshire’s seven community colleges are in the southern part of the state. White Mountains Community College (WMCC) is the only one in Coos County, where just 300 to 350 students graduate from high school in a typical year. What Phillips discovered in online databases was startling, even for local educators she talked with: between 2007 and 2011, the percentage of new high school graduates in Coos County starting college jumped from 58 percent to 69 percent. By contrast, statewide there was no change, and in some counties, the percentage dropped. Why the change? Phillips thinks creative efforts to encourage teens to think of themselves as “college bound” had an impact. She discovered, too, that WMCC was functioning as a gateway: in a year or two at that small commuter campus, students gained confidence and were able to transfer to four-year colleges and universities to further their studies. “The good news,” she said, “is that more first-generation college students are finding success (in northern NH) and that’s something that can potentially be replicated in other regions of the state, or across the country.”   SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 11


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The intriguing lives of Gordon’s younger alumni

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They were born between 1964 and 1992—between the Beatles’ first

They were born between 1964 and 1992—between the Beatles’ first appearance on appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. the Ed Sullivan Show and Bill Clinton’s first Presidential campaign. We connected We connected with them through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter—social media with them through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter—social media channels that that they somehow survived childhood without. Their church backgrounds? they somehow survived childhood without. Their church backgrounds?—Baptist, Mainline, megachurch, house church, and lots in between. Some are “secondmegachurch, mainline, house church, and lots in between. Some are “secondgeneration Gordon” and others never heard of the place until it was mentioned generation Gordon” and others never heard of the place until it was mentioned by by a youth pastor, friend, or friend-of-a-friend. Some knew their career trajectory a youth pastor, friend, or friend-of-friend. Some knew their career trajectory from from the day they arrived on campus. Others changed majors (or post-graduation Day One. Others changed majors, or post-graduation jobs, several times before jobs) several times before finding their nexus of “deep gladness and the world’s finding the nexus of “deep gladness and the world’s deep need,” as Frederick deep need,” as Frederick Buechner has phrased it. Buechner has phrased it. The women and men whose stories appear here are just a tiny sample, a fraction The women and men whose stories appear here are just a tiny sample, a fraction of one percent of all Gordon alumni under 50. There are nearly 200 other alumni of one percent of all Gordon alumni under 50. There are nearly 200 other alumni in that cohort for each person in these pages—all with compelling stories and in that cohort for each person in these pages—all with compelling stories and journeys. Some day, tell us yours. journeys. Some day, tell us yours.

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 13


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Rebecca Lindland ’90

Market analyst • Saudi Arabia Cause: Animal welfare

Since graduating from Gordon as a double major in business and accounting, Rebecca Lindland has carved out a career as a leading market analyst. At IHS Automotive she analyzed brands, models and trends and consumer preferences from a base in the BostonNew York corridor. Now she leads the Transportation Studies and Big Data Initiative at KAPSARC, based in Riyadh, consulting with consumer insight companies and auto firms on a global basis. She continues to serve on two National Research Council committees assessing fuel economy standards, and market issues around electric vehicles. The common threads: savvy understanding of industry trends and consumer behavior, plus an unusual ability to express complex ideas concisely and memorably, in Forbes magazine and elsewhere. She’s interviewed often by Bloomberg, CNBC and other media outlets. “I have never interviewed Rebecca without her giving me a quote that blows my doors off,” one reporter says. rebecca.lindland@gmail.com

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Malcolm Foster ’88

Associated Press journalist • Thailand Recently read: Every Good Endeavor (Tim Keller), Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)

Malcolm Foster will never forget the flash on the TV screen warning that a major earthquake was about to strike. It was Friday afternoon, March 11, 2011; he was in the AP’s 7th floor bureau in downtown Tokyo. Seconds later, the walls began to creak and groan as the building shook, the blinds rattling loudly against the windows. His colleagues dove under their desks as Malcolm struggled to type a news alert as his keyboard rocked back and forth. After the shaking died down two minutes later, the newsroom sprang into action, and over the next hours and days they pursued a nightmarish, surreal chain of events: A tsunami, triggered by the magnitude 9.0 quake—the strongest


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reduction in staff—not to mention coping with a multi-faceted disaster—took time away from his family even as his two boys were quickly growing up. After four years, it became clear his family “We are not left alone. God is needed a change. Malcolm now works more regular hours as an editor on the working in our world, even amid AP Asia desk in Bangkok, where he tragedy. There’s redemption and helps spearhead AP’s regional coverage transformation going on, often from India to China, and Australia to in ways we cannot see.” North Korea. MALCOLM FOSTER ’88

ever recorded in Japan—smashed into the northeast coast. Entire towns were swept away, killing about 19,000 people. Then explosions and radiation leaks at the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi plant added the specter of a full-blown nuclear disaster. Sensing the enormity of what was unfolding, Malcolm early on blurted out what he calls an “arrow” prayer for clear thinking. “God was with me every step of the way,” he says. “I felt his calming presence. But directing coverage of this huge story for weeks on end was the biggest challenge of my career.” Being Tokyo bureau chief from 2009 to 2013 was Malcolm’s dream job; it was exciting and fulfilling to lead a team of reporters, using the Japanese he learned as a missionary kid. He wrote about political turnover, diplomatic tension with China and radiation polluting the ocean. But his most memorable stories were about the sadness and resilience of ordinary people who lost much in the 2011 disaster—homes, livelihoods, loved ones. Over time, the dream job proved extremely stressful, grueling and all-consuming. The unpredictable daily agenda, long hours,

It’s still a highly challenging work life. With the spread of the Internet, smartphones and social media, news organizations including the AP have gone through major changes. But the underlying principles of good journalism haven’t changed, he says. People more than ever crave reliable, fair, illuminating and engaging news coverage, in images and words, to help them understand our interconnected world. As a Christian in the media, Malcolm believes that journalism plays important roles that carry spiritual significance: telling the truth, promoting global understanding, shedding light in dark places and holding people in authority accountable. “I believe God is concerned about those things,” he says. A lot of news tends to be bad news, and at times he wrestles with why God allows suffering that can be overwhelming. But the Christian message gives him hope. “We are not left alone. God is working in our world, even amid tragedy. There’s redemption and transformation going on, often in ways we cannot see,” he says. “As followers of Jesus, we are called to be agents of healing and justice, and I think one of the roles of journalism is to help us identify with and aid those in need.” Working in the high-pressure world of journalism has also forced Malcolm to confront the difficulties of juggling the demands of his job and raising a family. That’s especially true when both parents work, as was the case during their time in Tokyo, when his wife, Mio (Ohta) ’89, taught at an international school. “We are called to do excellent work and use our gifts to contribute to society, yet it is easy to let our jobs take over our lives, and the other parts of our lives can suffer,” he says. Finding the right balance remains an ongoing challenge, he says. “I’d love to hear what other Gordon grads have to say about this.” Since moving to Bangkok, the Fosters have been volunteering every three weeks or so at Sparrow Home, a home for about 15 kids whose parents are in prison. Many of them just want to be picked up and held. Activities together include drawing pictures, blowing bubbles, building block towers and running around in the small park next door. “Sometimes the people you’re trying to encourage end up encouraging you in a big way,” says Mio. mjfhokkaido@gmail.com |

 @mjfosterap

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 15


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Tim Hohman ’07

Alzheimer’s researcher • Nashville Drummer in his church’s praise band

It’s rare to choose a vocation in high school and make it stick, rarer still for the vocation to center on a disease of the elderly. But that’s Tim Hohman’s story. Volunteering in a veterans’ home during high school sparked his interest in Alzheimer’s disease; he arrived at Gordon set on a research career focused on the disorder; and now, at Vanderbilt University’s Memory & Alzheimer’s Center and the Center for Human Genetics Research, he is trying to pinpoint neurological mechanisms that appear to protect some individuals against the ravages of the disease. “In the past,” he explains, “researchers were looking for which markers say who will get Alzheimer’s. I’m trying to figure out who can actually endure it without manifesting symptoms.” That sounds counterintuitive; how can someone have Alzheimer’s and not manifest symptoms? Decades ago, evidence obtained in autopsies established that the brains of people who suffered from Alzheimer’s are riddled with tangles of the tau protein and fibrous plaques of the beta-amyloid protein. But more recently, researchers discovered the same is true of the brains of some individuals who never exhibited Alzheimer’s symptoms. In other words, after they die, neurological evidence proves they had the disease—but something blocked its effects. Tim’s goal is to find out “how we can regulate the innate systems that seem to be operating in asymptomatic individuals.” He thinks neuroinflammatory genes may modify the association between the presence of Alzheimer’s pathology and the manifestation of

clinical symptoms. By modulating the body’s inflammatory response, these genes may change the downstream effects of plaques and tangles, ultimately preventing clinical symptoms. Figure out how that works automatically in some individuals, and you’re on the road to figuring out how to make it happen for others. A related, complementary study that made headlines in March examined brains post-mortem; by contrast, in Tim’s post-doctoral research at Vanderbilt, he uses neuroimaging to measure the pathology—the state of the brain— in living patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. “We look at genotypes derived from DNA which may nor may not have a mechanism that is localized in brain tissue,” he says. Preparing for this work took Tim first to Washington, D.C., where he earned a master’s degree in cognitive psychology and a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from American University. He interned at the National Institute on Aging, learning to model change in memory, and found computational research a good fit, with its ample theoretical component and its emphasis on programming. Tim is married to Laura (Schweiger) Hohman ’06, a doctoral candidate in history at Catholic University in D.C., who teaches at two colleges in the Nashville area while writing her doctoral dissertation on early medieval sermons and religious culture, which she hopes to defend in the coming year. Together they lead a small group of folks from their church, and he leads another for men. A rescue greyhound rounds out their household. timothy.j.hohman@vanderbilt.edu

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Hillary Scholten ’04 and Jesse Holcomb ’03

Lawyer and researcher • D.C. Favorite camping spot: Shenandoah National Park

As an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Hillary Scholten reviews appeals for the Board of Immigration Appeals. Before law school, she worked for an extended period as a Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representative, representing low-income immigrants. Her husband, Jesse Holcomb, studies and writes about the information revolution and its impact on the U.S. news media. For the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ), he’s authored studies on the changing news ecosystem, nonprofit news, the use of social media in journalism, and media coverage of religion; he is one of the producers of PEJ’s annual State of the News Media report. Before joining the Pew staff in 2007, Jesse was a staff writer at the Public Interest Network and editorial assistant at Sojourners magazine. The couple live in Alexandria, Virginia, with their two young sons.

Jane Eisenhauer ’09

Systems engineer • Boston First outdoor rock-climbing: in Utah

As a systems engineer in Raytheon’s integrated defense systems division, Jane Eisenhauer works with radar systems that identify and track incoming targets (such as missiles). Before live tests of these radar systems, she conducts pre-mission simulations and analyzes and identifies the causes of anomalous behavior. She’s also pursuing a master’s degree at Northeastern University in electrical and computer engineering leadership. She still plays field hockey (as she did at Gordon), and fits in yoga and broomball regularly, too. Jane writes of her work, “I love my job at Raytheon. As a systems engineer, I get to design and study complex systems. This requires critical thinking, logical analysis, functional decomposition, and clearly presenting my ideas to engineering and program leadership. These are all skills that I developed and matured while at Gordon.” jane.eisenhauer@gmail.com

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 17


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Anne Taylor ’10

Lifestyle blogger • Denver Favorite author: Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines)

A history buff, Anne Taylor is preparing for doctoral studies, and speaks with enthusiasm about her current research projects on the Salem Witch Trials; women in academia and in church leadership; and a comparison of the Adams presidency with the FDR and Clinton administrations (both of which had intellectuallyinvolved First Ladies). She is also the author of Anne the Adventurer, a popular blog about everyday living. She’s active in the blogosphere, and has been featured at (in)courage, Darling Magazine, Creature Comforts, Dream Green DIY and many other blogs. “My studies and blogging go together,” she says. “I love people and I love stories, and I love equipping people with the resources they need to share their passions and stories with others. Academia and, in the future, teaching, will allow me to continue to help people learn about and share stories, just as much as my blog/writing career does.” www.annetheadventurer.com

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William Park ’95

Financial services • South Korea Recent favorite book: How Will You Measure Your Life? (Clayton Christensen)

Bill Park has been with State Street Bank and Trust Company for 18 years. He started in its Boston office, and in 2005 became Korea branch manager; at 33, he was the youngest country manager in the firm’s history. Now a senior managing director, he has grown the size and scope of the office, helping Korea to become one of the most important markets for State Street. As Asia-Pacific chair of State Street’s Global Giving Campaign, Bill has led his Seoul office to partner with Yeomyung School, an alternative middle and high school that helps North Korean teenage refugees adjust to life in South Korea, resume their studies, and prepare for university. “I’ve had the great fortune of being an entrepreneur while working in a large global company,” he says. “Developing others to become better leaders is one of the most rewarding aspects of my career.” billypark71@gmail.com

Sradda Thapa ’08

Communications and research • Afghanistan Most influential Gordon professors: Dr. John Mason and Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover

Sradda Thapa was a world traveler before she even got to Gordon; besides her home country, Nepal, she had lived in Hong Kong, India, and Australia. Senior year she interned in Washington, D.C., and after graduation worked with Search for Common Ground, which seeks to build sustainable peace. As a youth advisor to the Women’s Refugee Commission, she addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the impact of conflict on youths’ access to quality education. In June 2009 Sradda joined The Carter Center to observe Nepal’s constitution-drafting and peace process. In 2012 she moved to Afghanistan, where she is with a communications firm in Kabul that works with government and international agencies. In one project, she analyzes data and reports on a nationwide multi-year project on counter narcotics. Her time at Gordon, she says, “equipped me with the perspective and shaped the priorities which have eased the many changes and transitions I find joy in.” sradda.thapa@gmail.com

C. Sean Lovell ’07

Statistician • Thailand Favorite instrument: Flute

Sean Lovell and his wife, Duyen, began their overseas adventure on day one: their wedding day in Vietnam. After time at USC, where Sean earned a master’s degree in economics, and three years in New York, where he worked for the United Nations, they moved to Bangkok. Sean is in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific statistics division, population and social statistics section. “It is technically challenging, so it is always interesting. But in a larger sense, it is very rewarding to be part of an effort to improve our understanding of living standards in a region where so many countries are undergoing rapid change,” he says. Sean and Duyen have two young daughters, Madeline and Olivia. lovells@un.org

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 19


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Jim Belcher ’87

President-elect, Providence Christian College • California Recent great read: Visions of Vocation (Steven Garber)

Back in the States since 2012, Jim is concluding his faculty post this spring at Knox Theological Seminary in Florida, and, this summer, will assume the presidency of Providence Christian College in Pasadena, California. He reports that though some memories of the pilgrimage year have faded, he and his family “will never see the world or God the same way again; we have been changed. . . . Our pilgrimage taught us that the last chapter of our adventure has not been written for any of us, that ‘the best is yet to come,’ as Casper ten Boom would say.” Jimbelcher.net/speaking |

 @jimbelcher

Church planter. Lead pastor. Author. Pilgrim. Professor. Through all these phases of his career, Jim Belcher has been passionate about ecclesiology—the theological study of the nature and function of the Church. Early in his ministry he struggled with the tensions between traditional evangelicalism and postmodern “emerging” understandings of the Church. He sympathized with many of the critiques of evangelicalism, yet had what he calls “Calvinist misgivings” about the emergent movement’s core and direction. He founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church in California in 2000 as a response to his dissatisfaction. Then in 2009, toward the end of his 10-year pastorate there, he published his first book, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional (IVP). In it he casts a vision for a concept he borrowed from C. S. Lewis. It resonated with many thoughtful readers: among other accolades, Deep Church won Christianity Today’s 2010 Best Book Award, and Leadership Journal’s 2010 Best Book Award in the category of “The Leader’s Outer Life.” Three years later, Jim’s second book, Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness and Heart of Christianity (IVP, 2012) made both of these lists again, but with a key difference: Leadership Journal honored the book as the “best of the best” about “The Leader’s Inner Life.” A lot happened in the four years in between. After an extraordinarily busy decade—starting and leading a new church, having four children, writing Deep Church, fixing up an old house—the pastor was tired. Not surprisingly, so was his wife, Michelle. Realizing the need for a spiritual rest, Jim left Redeemer Presbyterian and the family set off on a yearlong pilgrimage through Europe, pursuing heroes of the faith including C. S. Lewis, Vincent Van Gogh, Corrie Ten Boom and Maria Von Trapp. “I wanted to take a year to walk in their steps,” he says, “to read their books again and marinate in their lives—go deeper into their stories and learn from them all over again.” Jim and Michelle also wanted their children to have the opportunity to “go deep” into the lives of these men and women. His Pilgrimage volume reports and reflects on that experience.

Caspian ’01 and ’03

Rock musicians • Greater Boston Most offbeat media coverage: Guitarworld feature on five ways to sleep in a van

The musicians of Caspian have spent over 10 years cranking symphonies through blaring amplifiers. Since their first show at the Pickled Onion in Beverly the year two of them graduated from Gordon, the post-rock band has been not-so-quietly turning the heads of listeners all over the world. In February they played their 600th show, in Dunkirk, France. The Beverly-based outfit’s sound has evolved over the course of two EPs, a live concert recording and three full-length albums. 2012’s evocative and mature Waking Season won national praise in publications including Rolling Stone, Spin and Alternative Press (as well as humble STILLPOINT). Caspian’s members are Philip Jamieson ’01, Calvin Joss ’03, Erin Burke-Moran ’03, and Joe Vickers, who spent two years at Gordon. In 2013, founding member Chris Friedrich, who also spent time at Gordon, passed away. Several months later, the band released Hymn for the Greatest Generation, an EP of new and remixed songs dedicated to Friedrich’s memory. www.caspianmusic.net

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 21


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Peter Murphy Lewis ’02

Tourism entrepreneur • Chile Closest companion: 1st Nikon DSLR

It’s bold to let customers pay what they want—but it’s working for Peter Murphy Lewis and his business partner in Tours4Tips. com. Backpackers rarely stiff him after walking tours of Valparaiso and Santiago that feature street art, old trolleys, and alfajor cookies baked by his “adopted father.” Peter (at left in photo) and his partner also lead award-winning bike trips. With a master’s in politics from a Chilean university, he appears on Chilean TV discussing U.S. politics or cultural influences—gun rights, the Tea Party—but has largely shelved his academic aspirations. Ten years in Chile have changed him. “On a daily basis, Chilean culture and values have made me question my own culture and values,” he says. “In the U.S. we try to live every moment by taking pictures of ourselves so we can remember it. Living in Chile has taught me a lot about just being present. But I still carry two cellphones.” www.labicicletaverde.com | www.tours4tips.com

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M. Eric Mollenhauer ’93

Investment management • Boston Favorite leisure activity: Watching his kids’ athletics

After graduation, Eric Mollenhauer went to work for Fidelity Asset Management, and the fit was right. Twenty-one years later and now a chartered financial analyst, he manages retail, institutional and collaterized loan obligation portfolios in the firm’s Boston office, with a focus on the leveraged loan market. “The markets continually present new challenges,” he says. “You get a scorecard every day as to how you are doing versus your competition.” One of his earlier roles at Fidelity was research analysis of industries including entertainment and leisure, gaming and lodging, homebuilding, and printing and publishing. From 2003 to 2006 he was the Director of High-Yield Research, overseeing Fidelity’s high-yield research professionals and resources and managing a number of high-yield bond portfolios. Eric and his wife, Beth (Baril) ’94, have five children ranging from ages 8 to 19. Beth directs Teachers Training Teachers, a training program for Haitian teachers.

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Melissa Florer-Bixler ’02

Mennonite pastor • North Carolina Dream: To help develop a L’Arche community in North Carolina’s “Triangle region”

“I love preaching,” says Melissa Florer-Bixler (at center in photo). As a Mennonite, she understands the work of interpretation as an act of the church community discerning the Holy Spirit; her role is to make way for the gospel using the gifts she’s been given. “It’s a vulnerable exercise,” she says, “and a sacred duty.” Her wide-ranging preaching reflects passion for the Word, the world, and the Kingdom. In “Why We Sing, A Sermon on Psalm 96,” she invites the congregation to consider the eschatological implications of worship:


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Photo Cat Allen

If we sing like singing is something our own little insular group does when it’s not busy doing real work, then no one is going to want to be a part of what we do here. People are busy! We’ve all got our idols to worship, whether that’s money, prestige, relationships, sex or politics. Psalm 96 reminds us that our singing isn’t one of these idols but says something about these gods: “For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.” Singing to the God Who Rules Everything will blow the doors right off the church. Melissa characterizes her growing family with her husband, Jacob, as a “blend of chaos and light.” Two of their children were born while she was in grad school, and the baby arrived just this spring. “We’re tired all the time,” she says. “But there’s also toddler wrestling, pancake parties, and introducing the whole world to these little ones. We work to find the holiness of everyday things,

and we’re learning to see parenting, partnership, vacuuming, and family meals as the crucible for our discipleship.” Growing up, Melissa never had a female pastor. She’s thought a lot about what it means to be a woman in ministry. During grad school at Princeton she wrote this memo to herself: “Remember that you bring something amazing to the table. All those maternal references in Augustine? You get that. Discipline, discipleship, love, fear, commitment, ceaseless devotion, gut wrenching selflessness, care for the helpless, the recognition of our helplessness. What is motherhood apart from these things? These are also the defining characteristics of the Christian life.” As she works with youth, college students and young adults in her church, she loves knowing that girls in her congregation get to see someone proclaiming the Word who looks like them—and like their mothers, grandmothers and sisters. “That,” she says, “feels like a little piece of the Kingdom of God.” melissa.florerbixler@gmail.com

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 23


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Photo Andy Brophy

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.” FREDA OBENG-AMPOFO ’08

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Scotland Huber ’09

Communications specialist and photographer • Boston Blogs at Sound of Boston

He’s interested in urban development, social media, nonprofit management, new technologies, and making health care accessible. That all comes together for Scotland Huber at the Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester—Boston’s largest neighborhood and also one of its most diverse. He uses his creatively restless mind to leverage communications and marketing tools and connect the Health Center’s services with those in the community who need them. Scotland also runs Give and Take Pictures, a six-year-old photography business that specializes in weddings. He keeps his camera lens—and his heart—wide open whether traveling to Ethiopia, to the Pacific Coast and back, or to and from work each day.  @scotlandhuber | www.scotlandhuber.com | www.giveandtakepictures.com

Freda Obeng-Ampofo ’08

Diplomatic press officer • Ghana Sport of choice: Marathons “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.”

Freda Obeng-Ampofo is equally fluent in English and in Twi— the principal native language of the Akan lands in Ghana. Both languages are absolutely necessary for her work as press and information officer for the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana. She began her job in 2013 after more than three years working in Washington, D.C., on a career trajectory that involved international business, trade and project management with organizations including the American World Services Corporation, and Futures Group International under the USAID Health Policy Initiative (HPI/HPP). “The timing for my work with the delegation couldn’t have been more perfect,” she says. “Ghana had had a peaceful 2012 election; however, the opposition contested the election, citing issues such as double-counting and voting without biometric verification. It was exciting for me, in my new role, to be following the development of the case until the announcement of the verdict, when the incumbent was reinstated.” She was hired when the verdict was still pending, and most development partners had suspended funding (or were thinking about it). The E.U. delegation was in the midst of talks on how to proceed with their work in Ghana. Meeting with high-level executives and change makers was a great opportunity for Freda to get reoriented to Ghana after spending her high school and college years in the United States.

A typical day for Freda at the E.U. office in Accra includes accompanying the E.U. ambassador to meetings with diplomatic and media personnel, coordinating visits to the delegation (by other E.U. delegations, or by students, for instance), following up on developments in economic partnership agreements, and preparing weekly news reviews to keep local, regional and international partners informed about Ghana. In addition, Freda does social media consulting, and has been freelancing at a public relations agency, scoping out potential clients among mining and energy firms. She is involved with the Ahaspora Network, a group of Ghanaian professionals who have worked or studied abroad, are now back home, and want to give back to Ghana through a mentoring program for high school students. “Aha in Akan means ‘here,’ spora is from diaspora; so Ahaspora means the Ghanaian diaspora here in Ghana,” she explains. When she’s not running marathons—sometimes to raise funds for cancer research and treatment—another leisure-time project is her new blogsite, www.fabfitfine.com, on which she writes on “healthy eating habits (using our own foods and Ghanaian recipes), staying fit and rocking our natural hair.” freda.obengampofo@gmail.com |

 @fabfitfine and @garisellers

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 25


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“Each day is an opportunity to convey the gospel that allows people to ‘breathe Christ’ in all they do.” THEO NICOLAKIS ’93​ 3

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50 UNDER 50

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Melissa Barrow Kircher ’05 and Jake Kircher ’04

Co-authors • Connecticut Recently read: Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend (Andy Stanley)

“Marriage can be messy, and marriage while serving in ministry is extra messy,” admit Melissa and Jake Kircher, who ought to know: they’ve been married eight years, have two children, and Jake has been a youth pastor ever since graduating from Gordon. Their 2013 book, 99 Thoughts on Marriage and Ministry: Prioritizing the “HolyMess” of Matrimony (Group Publishing), draws on their own experience. They blog about relationships and marriage in Relevant Magazine online, and at www.holymessofmarriage.com. Melissa also has written a young adult novel, The War Inside, the first in a trilogy. Jake serves at Grace Community Church in New Canaan, Connecticut, and is deeply involved in supporting and advocating for youth pastors (many of whom, he says, are in their 20s and bivocational: in other words, likely to be overworked, underpaid, and at risk of burning out).  @marriageismessy | www.mkircher.com

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Chris Westrate ’98

Educator • Greater Boston On book list: Dylan’s Visions of Sin (Christopher Ricks)

Even the best-prepared homeschooling parent may need to delegate certain subjects to great teachers outside the home (say, chemistry, or British lit). New Hope Tutorials on Boston’s North Shore provides a la carte courses to supplement families’ homeschooling. Chris Westrate began teaching there during his master’s program in English lit, and now as director he sets vision, trains fellow educators, fundraises, and still teaches a few English courses. “Directing New Hope is always rewarding because in a really small NPO you’re doing so much work on behalf of and with wonderful people,” he says. “Our families understand that there’s no bifurcation between what you learn academically and what we usually call ‘real life.’ Education is an organic enterprise.” That’s Monday to Friday; on Sundays he serves as an ordained deacon at Boston’s Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral. He and his wife, Lisa (Hall) ’98, a social worker, met during their Gordon orientation; they have two young children. chris.westrate@newhopetutorials.org | www.newhopetutorials.org

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Theo Nicolakis ’93

Chief information officer • New York City Question he’s most often asked: “Have you abandoned the Red Sox and become a Yankees fan?” Answer: “O ye of little faith.”

As the chief information officer for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Theo Nicolakis is responsible for technology and digital communications for the entire Archdiocese. Projects and events have involved U.S. presidents, the Congress and Senate, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and the Pope. He’s built strategic partnerships with Facebook and Google, managed global communications for over 500 local communities, and helped lead projects including the first Orthodox Christian Bibles for children, for youth, and for the military. “Having the ability to marry my love for Christian ministry and evangelism and my passion for technology and media as a career is one of the biggest blessings in my life,” he says. “Just about every day is looking at the multifaceted challenges of ministry and figuring out ways to apply technology solutions to those challenges. Each day is an opportunity to convey the gospel that allows people to ‘breathe Christ’ in all they do.” Theo’s expansive view extends to his leisure pursuits. An avid home theater buff and audiophile, he also loves comic-book, fantasy, and sci-fi genres—and enjoys weaving themes from these genres into his many lectures and retreats for youth, teens, and parents. He writes audio and home theater articles and reviews for www.audioholics.com. His heroes? “Hands down: my parents, my wife, and my kids.” Biggest influence on his approach to ministry? Father Andrew Demotses, pastor emeritus of St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Peabody, Massachusetts. Two of his favorite places, in fact, are churches: Demetrios in Thessaloniki, Greece, and the Church of the Prophet Elias (Elijah) on Mount Athos. His favorite quote (from St. Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to Polycarp 3) is nearly 2000 years old: “Stand firm, like an anvil being smitten with a hammer. It is the mark of a great athlete to be bruised, yet still conquer.” When asked about a memorable work moment, he recalls setting up a live webcast of church services for a shut-in “who, when the service came on his screen, embraced me and his priests, wept, and became speechless. Glory be to God in all things.” theo@goarch.org

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 27


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“Our mantra around here is that culture is upstream of politics, so if you want to affect the political landscape and morals of a country you have to actively be involved in promoting the common good in culture.” MOLLY CONNOLLY ’13

Molly Connolly ’13

Creative consultant • D.C. On the side: Folk-rock violinist and keyboardist (with The Lighthouse and the Whaler)

“Our mantra around here,” says Molly Connolly, “is that culture is upstream of politics, so if you want to affect the political landscape and morals of a country you have to actively be involved in promoting the common good in culture.” “Here” is the Clapham Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that promotes the good, true, and beautiful through culture, community, and compassion. Her job with Clapham followed an internship last summer with Wedgwood Circle, a related D.C.-based nonprofit. Molly’s projects involve, most fundamentally, “working across ideological and party lines to pursue the common good.” So far, she’s worked to get faith communities more involved with the Humane Society’s vision of sustainable agriculture; been involved in supporting the efforts of the College Board; and organized roundtable discussions at which political and policy leaders tackle issues like foster care, juvenile justice, and career and technical education.  molly@claphamgroup.com

Gina Kulig Bradley ’01

Financial services • Boston Loves to sing

A political science major at Gordon, Gina Bradley earned a law degree and then embarked on a career in the finance industry. She currently is chief operating officer, general counsel, and a principal of The Colony Group, a Boston-based wealth-management firm, where she provides operational and financial management services, as well as legal counsel that focuses on corporate, employment, and securities-related matters. “I work behind the scenes,” she says, “to ensure that The Colony Group’s operations, technology, and client service exceed our clients’ expectations and are worthy of the trust they’ve placed in us.” Always striving for a healthy balance between work and home, Gina most enjoys being with her husband and three little ones, and also is involved in her local church in Needham, Massachusetts. “And in the odd quiet moment,” she says, “I relish being caught up in a great novel.” gbradley@thecolonygroup.com

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50 UNDER 50

Zach Capalbo ’12

Software engineer • Greater Boston Incessant banjo player

During his first year at Gordon, Zach Capalbo collaborated with philosophy professor Brian Glenney to create a prototype of the Kromophone, a sensorysubstitution device that translates color into sound. With another Gordon student, they tested it by wandering blindfolded through Harvard Square, becoming increasingly excited about the device’s potential to unlock the mysteries of the visual world for the blind. A secondary goal, Zach says, was “to allow users a pleasing experience of visual artwork while blindfolded.” He and Dr. Glenney coauthored a scholarly paper about the device, and in the fall of his sophomore year Zach travelled to Tokyo and presented the paper at the Asia-Pacific Computing and Philosophy Conference. His years at Gordon as a physics and computer science double-major were full. During a summer research stint, he worked on hardware and software control for a three-axis micro-engraver, and researched applications for microfluidics. The project that consumed his life senior year was exploration, with Dr. David Lee (physics), of the intersection of fluid dynamics and nonlinear acoustics, which Zach says “reaches into the boundaries between thermodynamics and chemistry.” It’s a field of research, he says, with many tantalizing gaps left to be filled—with possible practical applications for the biochemical and biomedical fields, next-generation user interfaces, and oil and gas exploration. Zach clearly dwells in what programmer Ellen Ullman has described as that “mysterious space between human thoughts and what a machine can understand, between human desires and how machines might satisfy them.” He’s carried that orientation into his current work with Thermo Fisher Scientific, a leading technology company near Boston that serves pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and clinical diagnostic labs, universities, research institutions and government agencies. His group at Thermo Fisher makes handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometers—devices that look like guns. “When you point them at something and pull the trigger,” he explains, “it tells you the elemental composition (for instance, 75% iron, 10% copper, 5% nickel, and so on). I work on the algorithm software, turning the physics equations and principles that our scientists come up with into something that someone can use on the device.” Zach is no cloistered lab whiz; he’s eager to involve others in his explorations. In his spare time he continues to refine the Kromophone, “an open-source project,” he says, “which means that you’re free to download the source code, make changes, and copy it for your friends as you see fit.” zach.capalbo@gordon.edu | www.kromophone.com

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 29


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Anthony Falcetta ’92

Artist • Greater Boston Recent favorite color: Cobalt turquoise

Anthony Falcetta’s lush, gestural work springs from a dialogue between the observable, external world and the fragments he carries from his own internal landscape: memory, emotion, curiosity and a willingness to get lost from time to time. For a long time,” he says, “I’ve had this idea of a painting as its own landscape, with a geography, a logic and a history of its own. My project as a painter is to simultaneously build the piece and help it find its balance. Sometimes I think about what I do as ‘terraforming’—very literally creating a topography or territory inside the bounds of the painting.”   Tidal marshes and coastlines, the structures and textures of New England’s faded industrial towns—they all provide inspiration. Just as important is his evident passion for the process itself— paint and pigment, exploring and improvising, the push/pull between painterly image and physical object. It produces work that one viewer described as “mature and solid. No gimmicks, no bells and whistles, no trendy hype affiliation, no shock or ‘transgressive’ value, no political grandstanding.” Anthony arrived at Gordon in 1988 as an English major. He traces his “conversion” to a survey course, Arts in Concert. Bruce Herman brought in several large canvases. It was Anthony’s first

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time seeing serious art outside a museum; to him they seemed to “breathe and move and throw off sparks.” Gordon did not offer an art major at the time, but Anthony minored in it. After college he spent five years trying various creative pursuits, married the love of his life (Jennie-Rebecca Stine ’92), and then studied painting at Massachusetts College of Art. In 2001 he began “painting with intent,” and since then has only paused long enough to be an at-home parent to Nico, now five-and-a-half. He paints at a studio in Beverly, Massachusetts, and had a solo show last summer at a gallery there. His paintings were recently included in a Barrington Gallery exhibition of art by Gordon faculty and alumni, and his work has been exhibited in gallery shows in Boston and beyond. Art is “kind of a choose-your-own-adventure story,” he says, “and the everyday world doesn’t actually care much whether an individual artist keeps at it or not—but I can’t imagine not making these strange things which get at the stuff of existence and the richness of my surroundings. It has to be (and so often has been) its own reward; anything more is gravy, or grace.” www.anthonyfalcetta.com www.facebook.com/PainterlyAbstraction


50 UNDER 50

Brandi Anderson Bates ’92

Full-time mother • Romania Recently started a children’s library-in-a-box

Dana and Brandi Bates’ foundational work with youth in Lupeni, Romania, is well known to the Gordon community. Less well known: the ongoing story of their family (pictured here in one of the famous wooden churches in the Murameres region of Transylvania). Having kids in their late 30s changed life for both of them, and Brandi shifted from full-time ministry to being a full-time mother, a calling she adores. “Creating a vibrant homelife takes time in a place that has so much, but also lacks so much,” she says. She keeps a children’s ballet class going, and has run VBS programs and other activities. In their firstborn’s early years she created a mother-to-mother support group within the community (something previously unheard of) that concentrates on natural parenting and on breastfeeding support (in a town where breastfeeding is rare). The group is thriving, and bearing much fruit for young families who are trying to make healthy and countercultural choices, empowered by mutual support. danabrandi@new-horizons.ro

Irene Idicheria ’08

Elementary music teacher • Greater Boston Favorite music: Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, and anything by Patty Griffin

In her first year as a music teacher at Guilmette Elementary School in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Irene Idicheria was nominated for the “Rising Star Teacher of the Year” award. In 2013, her talent and dedication to Lawrence students was recognized with the Sontag Award in Urban Education, which recognizes outstanding teaching. As part of the award, Irene will lead classes at the LPS Acceleration Academy, which provides more small-group support for students. She shares her passion for music beyond the Lawrence city line; she teaches at the Boston Conservatory, and is on the Boston Children’s Chorus staff. At Gordon, Irene was most often found in the corridors of Phillips, between rehearsals and independent practice times. Now, she travels widely, and the greater Boston community is glad that her talents go with her. irene.idicheria@gmail.com

SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 31


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“We know that therapy works for a lot of people, but we don’t really understand how or why it works.” OLIVER LINDHIEM ’02​

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50 UNDER 50

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Robin Smalt ’08

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Dan Castelline ’11

Education management • Nashville

Menswear entrepreneur • Greater Boston

Wants to visit all 196 countries in the world

Favorite place in New England: Concord, Massachusetts

Born into a family of teachers, a young Robin was once quoted as saying she would “never, ever, not in a million years” work in education. After graduating from Gordon, though, Robin could no longer ignore the civil rights issue of inequitable public education. She paid her Gordon education forward by joining Teach for America’s Charter Corps in Nashville, teaching elementary school for three years and earning a master’s in instructional leadership. While her school’s curriculum focused on reading and math, Robin was struck by the absence of other critical life skills in her students. So she joined EverFi, an education technology company that develops web-based programs to help teachers teach skills such as personal finance, entrepreneurship, STEM, civics, and health and wellness. In her free time, Robin can be found cooking organic vegetables, scrutinizing the New York Times “Most Emailed” articles, and traveling (30 countries down, 166 to go).

Dan Castelline (on left in photo) founded Concord Button Downs, fittingly, in the back of a New England pub. The shirt company, which involves several other Gordon alumni as fellow partners, blog editors, and other roles, has a passionate vision for providing goods made in the United States. The shirts themselves might sound familiar to the Gordon community, named after key places and people in New England: among them, the Hawthorne, the Emerson and the seasonal Estabrook (a holiday plaid). Dan says, “For many reasons Concord Button Downs has been a wonderful experience pairing my interest in textiles with my love for small business. The opportunities provided because of this brand have truly been extraordinary.”

robin.smalt@gmail.com

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Mark Teiwes ’03

Multimedia photographer • Greater Boston Favorite artwork: Ellsworth Kelly’s The Chicago Panels

In 2011 Mark Teiwes and his wife, Becky, walked the 500-mile Way of St. James across Spain to the trail’s destination point, the city of Santiago de Compostela. Mark photographed the stark northern-Spanish landscape, and the couple blogged about their adventures along the way. Then they extended the adventure with nine months in South America, volunteering at the Bolivian orphanage Niños con Valor and documenting the student protest movement in Santiago, Chile. (In photo, Mark is at a salt lake that straddles those countries’ border.) In the U.S., he has freelanced for clients including the Kenyan Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge, New Horizons Foundation (Romania), and The Salem News. He currently works as a videographer and photographer at Lesley University. Mark and Becky live in Cambridge, and are expecting their first child in April. www.markteiwes.com | markbecky4.blogspot.com

dan@concordbuttondowns.com | www.concordbuttondowns.com

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Oliver Lindhiem ’02

Psychologist • Pittsburgh Next family vacation destination: South Africa

Clinical psychologist Oliver Lindhiem spends a lot of his time with his wife, Elspeth, and their children, Caleb and Ingrid, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing a plethora of research projects in his post as assistant professor in the psychiatry department at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He did his doctoral research on attachment in foster infants, and is now working on research funded through a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. His project is focused around “cognitive-behavioral skill acquisition and utilization.” Oliver explains it this way: “As a field, we know that therapy works for a lot of people, but we don’t really understand how or why it works. The angle I’m taking is to study what people actually learn while they are in therapy, and what skills they apply to their day to day lives. In other words, I’m studying what ‘sticks.’” He hopes this also will shed light on “why not everyone benefits from therapy, and how we can make therapies even better.” Oliver’s real passions, however, are statistics and methodology, so he has several side projects going, about decision support systems and Bayesian diagnostic tools in the mental health field. What drew him to psychology? In large part, Gordon. “Gordon has an outstanding psychology department!” he says.  lindhiemoj@upmc.edu SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 33


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“We’re seeing this hunger among readers for long stories that really dig into something to find answers rather than just sticking to the surface.” THOMAS LAKE ’01

Thomas Lake ’01

Sportswriter • Georgia Cause of his Gordon probation: A prank war between Lewis Three West and Wilson Two North over “The Pineapple” If you could unbreak the bones and erase the scars, recall the bullets and sever the chains, recap the bottles and catch all the smoke, if you could swim 16 years up the river of time and find a town called Stevenson, you just might see something glorious. —Sports Illustrated December 8, 2008

The opening sentence of Tom Lake’s first Sports Illustrated feature, “2 on 5,” took a long time to get right—the swirl of small moments calling toward the grand story ahead, the rhythm carrying echoes of something ancient. “I was only able to write it after studying the style of Ecclesiastes 12, my favorite chapter in the Bible, for several hours,” Tom says. This carefully crafted passage displays Tom’s greatest strengths as a storyteller: evocative detail, heroic scope, and most notably, that attunement to deeper narratives, like those found in Scripture. His pieces catalog miracles of humanity, trials and sacrifices and mercies that transform stories about sports into stories about people. Tom’s career began with rejection and resilience. He moved to Jesup, Georgia to cover six beats and type obituary copy for a small community paper. Never without ambition, one day Tom cut out a story from the front page of the Savannah Morning News, edited it, put on a suit and walked his revisions down to the Morning News editor’s office. The impromptu meeting

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didn’t go well. He relocated to the North Shore, where he filed correspondent pieces at the Salem News for $45 per story (one week, he submitted 17). Eventually, his diligence and talent began to reap rewards. He got a reporting job with the Florida TimesUnion, and then with one of the Southeast’s finest papers, the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), where his crime journalism gained national recognition. In 2008 Sports Illustrated ran “2 on 5,” his very first magazine piece. SI hired him as a senior writer in 2010. In the decade after Tom’s graduation from Gordon, digital platforms and user-generated content utterly transformed the news industry. Yet long-form journalism—like the substantial pieces he crafts for SI—is experiencing a renaissance. “We’re seeing this hunger among readers for long stories that really dig into something to find answers rather than just sticking to the surface—and they’re reading them on their iPhones,” he says. Over the past five years Tom has used long-form sports writing to explore urgent, fascinating topics in American culture— including a recent profile on that most divisive of professional athletes, Tim Tebow. Now, at the top of his game and among the best in his field, Tom is after a new story: He’s writing a novel. thomasglake@netscape.net | byliner.com/thomas-lake


50 UNDER 50

Tim Willeford ’96

Communications director • Hartford Wedding venue: India

As the communications director for Aetna’s Innovation, Technology & Service Operations (ITSO) division, Tim Willeford is involved with telling stories across the Aetna Corporation, from the Aetna Innovation Labs, to Aetna’s story around Big Data, to technology innovation in health care, call centers, and communications for the 20,000+ employees of ITSO, the largest division in the company. In 2008, Tim received IBM’s highest honor, the Chairman’s Award, for leading Project Big Green energy and environmental campaign communications. twilleford@yahoo.com

Chuck Bartholomew ’01

Emily Fisher ’05

Videogame designer • Texas

Adolescent health specialist • Nashville

At Gordon, was the drummer for a band called Schroeder

Favorite BBQ in Nashville: Edley’s 

Most of Chuck Bartholomew’s days at Gearbox Software involve some aspect of character design, a process he says starts with “envisioning the play style of a character, and what that character can do in the game. From there, I work with a variety of artists and programmers to create all the pieces required to make the character ‘playable.’” Game design is a highly competitive field, and Chuck spent the majority of his career as a software quality assurance engineer for companies including Zynga and McAfee. But in his spare time he was playing, understanding, designing, and creating video games. At Southern Methodist University’s Guildhall, a top game-development program, he built up a body of work. Then he spent another year contacting game studios and attending industry events to meet the right people. “Now I look forward to work every single day,” he says. “I call it ‘living the dream.’”

Emily Fisher set off for Norway as a Fulbright Scholar after graduating from Gordon, but her international interests have extended far beyond her year in that prestigious program. She is a member of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), and recently became its global chair. She also is editor-in-chief of the monthly ISECN Newsletter, Health Promotion Connection. Emily is studying adolescent health and health promotion at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. “I’m excited about continuing my studies through the Community Research and Action program. This interdisciplinary program gives me the opportunity to study and practice new research methods for better understanding adolescent development in the context of their everyday lives,” she says. emily.a.fisher@vanderbilt.edu

chuck.bartholomew@gmail.com SPRING 2014 | STILLPOINT 35


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Sarah Herman Heltzel ’01

Opera singer • New York City A favorite NYC spot: Alice’s Teacup, for high tea

Photo Shannon Langman

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50 UNDER 50

Sarah Heltzel grew up in a house full of music: Cole Porter, Cat Stevens, The Police, hymns, classical music. In high school she began performing in musicals and theater, discovering she was a natural performer who needed refinement and coaching. That’s where Gordon came in: Tom and Susan Brooks, music professors during Sarah’s college years, got her started on the path to a career in performance. Like all opera singers in the United States, Sarah is a freelancer. Her life is itinerant: travel for auditions, months away for performances in far-flung locations. In March she sang the role of Jo in Mark Adamo’s 1998 opera Little Women with Opera on the James in Virginia—a role she has been anticipating for 10 years. “It’s a challenging score, but a very accessible story that so many of us grew up with. Jo struggles with her coming of age— something we can all relate to,” she says. “A lot of us grew up with thinking we can do anything, go anywhere, but as adults we realize that there is significant sacrifice in the making of art. But the joy for me in opera is in collaborating with others who love music and drama, and in offering our art in public performance,” Sarah says. “When you have truly given yourself, and the audience is perfectly still, applauding, or weeping, you know you’ve created a theatrical moment that will never come again. It has power to change people.” Sarah opened the 2013–14 season with Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Seattle Opera, the company with which she apprenticed after

graduate school. In recent seasons she has performed roles such as Carmen, Komponist, Azucena, and Suzuki with numerous regional companies, sung recitals, worked with composers to create new opera, taught in New York City Opera’s outreach program, and appeared with 1976 Gordon graduate Karin Coonrod’s New York theater company Compagnia de’ Colombari. She is a mezzo-soprano—a dark-hued voice type that sits slightly lower than soprano. Mezzo roles encompass some of the richest characters in opera; she often plays the witch, maid, seductress, or “trouser role”—a young male character, an acting challenge she loves. Last season she took on Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, a setting of Romeo and Juliet, with Houston’s Opera in the Heights; reviewers wrote of her “star performance,” “rich, powerhouse voice” and “perfect balance of power and subtlety.” Sarah and her husband, Peter, a published author, minister, and seminary professor, live in Harlem, not far from the conservatory where she did her graduate work. She says she arrived as well prepared as any of her classmates—thanks to the Gordon Music Department. She remembers being inspired by Gordon’s “Salt and Light Campaign” underway during her time at the College. “There was a focus on being excellent at what you do because it honors God, and shares with the rest of the world the beauty and power of his truth.” She says it inspired her to “be worthy to a wider world.” www.sarahheltzel.com

Michael Messenger ’90

Nonprofit senior leader • Canada Quirky job responsibility: Yearly “polar bear dip”

Michael Messenger is executive vice president and chief operating officer of World Vision Canada, one of the nation’s largest charities. The Christian agency works for children’s wellbeing worldwide through emergency relief, long-term development and advocacy. After Gordon, Michael worked five years in its Toronto and Geneva offices, then left for law school and nine years of legal practice. He rejoined World Vision in 2007 and has been executive VP since 2010. He regularly travels to see the agency’s work around the world, most recently to the Philippines in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. (In photo, he visits in the Philippines with a World Vision staffer and a sponsored child, Rona.) “I’m so grateful that my job brings together my faith, my passion for justice— nurtured during my time at Gordon—and my skills as a leader,” Michael says. He, his wife, Yvonne, and their two teenagers live near Toronto, where he’s involved in his church and serves on community boards (“an occupational hazard of being a recovering lawyer”). He’s training for his first (fund-raising) marathon and this winter led the World Vision team into Lake Ontario for his fifth (fund-raising) New Year’s Day “polar bear dip.” He reports it gets no easier with practice. michael_messenger@worldvision.ca

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Ashley Herron Shultz ’09 and Nick Shultz ’09

Nonprofit founders • Greater Boston Recent vacation: Belgium

Ashley and Nick Shultz, already busy with demanding marketing and financial advising 9-to-5s and Ashley’s Harvard M.B.A. program, have also turned their energies to supporting the fight against breast cancer. Ashley founded the Miss Pink Pageant, in which the entrants are women who are fighting or who have survived breast cancer; Nick is deeply involved too. The pageant hit its fifth anniversary this year and has become an iconic event in New England. “It is a struggle for women, in general, to feel beautiful,” Ashley says. “Never mind undergoing breast cancer. It is important to raise awareness and help women understand what true beauty is, especially in the eyes of God.” The 501(c)3 nonprofit also sponsors fitness events and community education, provides financial help to families, and partners with medical organizations making strides in finding a cure. www.misspinkpageant.com

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Samuel Tsoi ’07

Advocate for immigrants • Boston Big fan of noodle soup and basketball

Samuel Tsoi’s parents left mainland China for Hong Kong to seek a better life. When he was young, the family immigrated to the United States. Now Sam’s professional life focuses on helping new refugees and immigrants as they transition to life in the U.S. While continuing his education as a Fellow at Boston University’s Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership, he coordinates early education initiatives at the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants, and provides support to the Inter-agency Human Trafficking Taskforce. “These two public issues—education and immigration—are critical to America’s future,” he says. He’s also a freelance journalist, covering China and issues facing Asian Americans and migrant communities. Sam and his wife, Amanda (Hartman) ’06, a high school biology teacher, are new parents, and members of the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church. worldview@gmail.com |

 @samueltsoi


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Iana Mason Ostrowski ’97

Delia Kim ’96

Homeschooler of 6 • Greater Boston

Youth program founder • New York City

Memorable vacations: Cross-country in a beat-up RV

Loves Korean food, and exploring outdoors

Although she says she’s never used her Gordon studies “officially,” Iana Ostrowski’s psychology major has served her well every day for 24 years. She is the mother of nine children, and has homeschooled six of them. “I have observed, researched and counseled with nine very different children in all of Piaget’s different stages of development over the past 24 years. I might qualify for an honorary degree in conflict resolution after the thousands in which I have intervened!” she says. Her pupils at home in Essex, Massachusetts, are down to the youngest four now; two sons are at Gordon, and her oldest is married with kids. It was at Gordon, she says, that she began to work out her salvation, and “became passionate about the integration of faith and learning—a major impetus in my desire to homeschool.”

Except for her student years at Gordon College as a social work/ biblical studies double major, Delia Kim (at right in photo) has spent her life in the New York City borough of Queens. After earning her master’s degree in social work from Hunter College, she worked with youth in low-income Queens neighborhoods, which convinced her that—as she puts it—“the best way of empowering communities is by empowering youth.” In 2011 she founded Young Governors, a program that hires and trains Queens teenagers as community organizers. “They learn communication, conflict resolution, and action planning,” she explains. “They work in teams that identify and address issues in their own communities, and develop and implement projects. Every day I am inspired by these young leaders who are breaking the negative stereotypes of teenagers and reinvesting in their communities.”

iana.ostrowski@comcast.net

www.younggovernors.org | www.facebook.com/young.governors

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Gabe Davis ’00

Commercial filmmaker • Greater Boston Top 3 films: The Life Aquatic, Annie Hall, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Gabe Davis puts things in motion. Since launching Grain Digital, a media production and brand films agency, in 2012, Gabe has helped a wide range of businesses, institutions and nonprofits communicate their message through a combination of video, animation and brand imaging. Recent clients have included Timberland, Red Bull, MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital. Grain Digital was featured in the December 2013 issue of Northshore magazine, in which the article “What’s the Story?” showcased the Newburyport agency’s unique approach to its work, and commitment to finding the narrative in each company’s project. “We see video as the most dynamic component of advertising, and feel fortunate to be a part of the energy that goes into these campaigns,” Gabe says, “and we are excited to see these campaigns in action supporting the marketing for a diverse client list that includes a New York City hotel, a kids’ shoe company and a nanotechnology center.” www.graindigital.com

Lisa Edmondson Buettner ’87

Management consultant • Greater Boston Loves to travel: 34 nations so far

Lisa Buettner helps some of the world’s major companies develop their senior leaders’ skills. For instance, she helped sales leaders at Hewlett Packard develop strategic acumen and rise from selling products to selling “solutions.” She helped global directors at Cinépolis, the world’s fourth-largest cinema firm, more effectively lead the firm’s multinational growth. “Being able to contribute not only to a company’s success, but to an individual’s professional success, is very rewarding,” she says. Lisa followed her Gordon business major with a master’s in organizational development, and worked for a management consulting firm before founding Anchor Consulting in 1994. Her work for HP and Xerox has netted national awards. Family ties to Gordon are strong: Lisa and her husband, Cedric ’87, have endowed a scholarship for a business student at Gordon, and their son Jake is a sophomore; daughter Michelle is in high school. lbuettner@verizon.net

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50 UNDER 50

Anna Boorse Doubeni ’90

Medical educator • Philadelphia Niche interest: Preventive medicine in global settings

Perhaps you took the same Gordon sociology course Anna Doubeni did—or was it anthropology? Perhaps you read the same article about an aid agency digging a well in the center of a village in sub-Saharan Africa to provide clean water, only to return a year later to find women still walking a mile to draw water from a river. In days packed with focused work, that walk was their chance to socialize. They were loath to give it up.

family medicine residencies, the overarching goal is to help get another started, and equip them all to better train new doctors. She delivers continuing education lectures for physicians, and works with residency faculty about how to teach and evaluate their students. In Guatemala, Penn’s partnership with a small hospital in the Lake Atitlan region offers Penn family medicine residents an opportunity to both learn and teach with an emphasis on capacity building and partnership development.

“Why didn’t they sit down with the people and get that figured out? That way they could have put the well a mile away,” says Anna (at right in photo). “From then on, my interest was in understanding communities, and why communities do what they do—particularly public health things—so when you’re doing a public health intervention, it’s culturally relevant, not just the best-engineered.”

“For a low-income country, one of the challenges in health care is that people who are able to pursue medical education will often leave to pursue that in another country. Studies show that if they leave, there’s a higher chance of them not coming back. So there’s an enormous brain drain,” she explains. Penn’s programs are designed to “help those countries develop their own physicians, within their countries.”

An M.D. and an associate professor of Clinical Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, she also works with the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Foundation medical faculty development program in Haiti, and Penn’s global health fellowship in Guatemala. In Haiti, where there are only two

Anna and her husband Chyke, who also teaches at Perelman, live in Philadelphia. At Gordon she sang in the Women’s Choir, but these days her vocal performances are limited to the choir of their tiny church and, as she puts it, in the car. Their three children range in age from 9 to 21. anna.doubeni@uphs.upenn.edu

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Nathan Uebelhoer ’92

Dermatologist • San Diego Laser surgeries performed since 1997: 10,000

Nathan Uebelhoer had been serving the U.S. Navy Medical Corps for nearly a decade when U.S. forces entered Afghanistan in 2001. Stateside military hospitals began receiving a steady stream of wounded soldiers, transferred from field hospitals for treatment of serious burns and scars from crude but enormously destructive improvised explosive devices (IEDs). When the U.S. entered Iraq two years later, soldiers from that conflict joined the stream. “God put me right in the middle of one of the largest of these hospitals, the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California,” he says. “And then he put a laser in my hands that has helped improve the quality of life for hundreds of wounded warriors.” That laser technology, fractional photothermolysis, was new when Nathan encountered it in 2004 during a medical fellowship in Boston to learn techniques for post-cancer facial reconstruction, augmentation and laser surgery. It was designed for cosmetic procedures, but he recognized its applicability to restorative work as well. Later, as the head of the dermatologic surgery division at the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) he used fractional photothermolysis to repair damage done by IEDs and on the battlefield. Four years later, ablative fractional photothermolysis was developed, which utilizes a different, very specific portion of the light spectrum, and softens burn scars. Advanced technologies and his surgical training have enabled Nathan to make a profound impact on a range of patients. In addition to treating U.S. military personnel, he has done medical work in two Asian nations, and four in South America—where, with no access to lasers, he used his surgical skills to remove

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malignant and disfiguring skin cancers from people who otherwise had little chance of seeing a dermatologic surgeon. He served with a Marine Corps helicopter detachment flying food and clean water to starving Haitians after three flooding storms hit that nation. He collaborates with military and civilian colleagues to “push the envelope of scar revision treatment,” and has lectured throughout the world about advances in the field. In 2011 he co-directed the NMCSD Scar Symposium, the first military multi-disciplinary symposium on blast- and burn-scar treatment with fractional ablative lasers. Now retired from the Navy, Nathan continues his scar research out of San Diego, and routinely travels to Aroostock County, Maine, seeing patients who would otherwise have no local access to specialized care for anything from rashes to skin cancer. He lives in El Cajon, California, with his wife, Cynthia (Bauman) ’93, and their two young daughters; they are members of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego. Nathan notes that that wounded soldiers receive whatever care is necessary without having to get prior approval from private insurers. He hopes that insurers will begin to cover the laser technique that he and his colleagues pioneered, so that the treatment can be more widely available for civilians. “There are millions of Americans with burns that restrict their movement,” he says, “and the vast majority of them would benefit from this treatment.” n.uebelhoer@gmail.com


50 UNDER 50

Bryn Gillette ’01

NPO founder and painter • Connecticut

“I am meeting with people who are in a dark time in their lives and are having a hard time seeing a way out. My role is about providing some light.” JOCELYN ST. CYR ’06

An earlier vocation: “Skate church” pastor

Bryn Gillette describes his artistic process as “painting prayers”: his own and those of the communities to which he belongs. Those include his family—his wife, Kirsten (Anderson) ’01, and their three kids; their church, where he paints onstage alongside preachers and teachers; his students and colleagues at a prep school north of New York City; and 200 orphans cared for in Haiti as adopted children by Bryn’s friend Daniel Jean. Bryn co-founded TeamOne:27 (named for James 1:27), which supports Jean’s work by raising funds and sending donated items to Haiti in vehicles that can anchor entrepreneurial businesses. His recent series of 12 large-scale paintings, “Beyond the Ruins,” is intended as a catalyst for conversation about how to restore that nation’s national infrastructure in what he calls “the seven spheres of influence.” The series is on exhibit in Danbury, Connecticut, through early June and begins a U.S. tour this summer. artbybryn.com | beyondtheruins.com | Teamone27.org

Jocelyn St. Cyr ’06

Mental health therapist • Greater Boston Loves photography

As a case manager, Jocelyn St. Cyr, M.S.W., helps clients obtain housing, childcare, government benefits, food, and health insurance. As a domestic violence coordinator she runs a confidential support group, serves on a team handling high-risk dangerous cases, coordinates an advocate program, and connects professionals who work at low cost or pro bono with women facing domestic violence crises. As a private practice clinician Jocelyn works with survivors of child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Most of her clients have histories of extensive trauma; she is passionate about how best to help clients who so often feel stuck. “In all of these roles,” she says, “I am meeting with people who are in a dark time in their lives and are having a hard time seeing a way out. My role is about providing some light.” jocelynstcyr.com

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Beyond Narnia: The Staying Power of C. S. Lewis C. S. Lewis championed the imagination as an avenue for reflecting the glory of God—perhaps the most important part of his legacy.

November 22, 2013, marked the fiftieth anniversary of C. S. Lewis’s death. For many readers of this renowned literary figure and Christian thinker, the occasion was celebrated with gratitude for his enduring achievements. For others, particularly younger readers, Lewis will be remembered, if at all, as the author of those charming children’s stories, The Chronicles of Narnia. Prospective readers may find that the cultural distance between them and a classically-educated Ulsterman in Edwardian England simply looms too large for a just appreciation of his achievement. Why bother with a writer whose works are laced with allusions to ancient Greek and Roman literature, medieval philosophy and theology, and a host of modern poets and novelists unfamiliar to 21st century

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Americans? Why bother with a writer whose cultural biases have become increasingly, and glaringly, evident over five decades? Though I have no doubt Narnia will continue to enchant readers, it isn’t clear that Lewis’s thornier philosophical works (Miracles; The Abolition of Man), much less his highly specialized literary scholarship (The Allegory of Love; The Discarded Image), will win new, or devoted, readers in our increasingly impatient age. Still, I believe several aspects of Lewis’s achievement are likely to endure through the “changes and chances” of our human condition. Obviously, we should read Lewis simply because he was a terrific writer. Though hardly a literary genius like Dante or Dostoevsky, Lewis was a gifted essayist and storyteller. His writing, for all its

intellectual vigor, engages the senses while informing the mind. His capacious imagination gives sinew and substance not only to fictional narrative, but also to his scholarly work. Whether writing essays for a popular or specialist audience, Lewis was a consummate stylist. His prose is accessibly human in what might otherwise seem bloodless theological abstractions. This brings me to a more important reason to rescue Lewis from the status of potentially dated figure. Not only did he use his literary talents with a singular virtuosity, he rehabilitated the imagination as a vehicle for embodying transcendent truth, setting him apart as a Christian thinker. Consider, for instance, how St. Augustine, the pre-eminent Church Father, set the agenda for devaluing the imagination


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Story David Aiken Illustration Grant Hanna ’06

by offering a scathing critique of pagan literature. He denounced Greek and Latin myths as inherently immoral and unworthy of serious study, and rejected the truth-worthiness of the literary imagination because he believed it misrepresented reality. Following Plato, Augustine argued that images derived from our senses weren’t enough to portray realities that exist beyond time, space and matter. Lewis rightly rejected this Platonic line of reasoning. He proposed instead that if there is a God who created the material world, endowed us with organs of sense, and made it possible for us to re-envision our world in poetry or fictional narrative, then there’s no reason to suppose that our imagination is, well, bad. Literary history, thankfully, confirms this: Dante, Milton, Gerard Manley Hopkins and others showed how the literary imagination can point to a transcendent reality. Lewis went further, however, by proposing that even those “immoral” pagan poets (Ovid, Virgil), so despised by Augustine, are worth studying for the insights they offer into human and divine reality. By recovering the imagination as an avenue for reflecting the glory of God, Lewis renewed our longing for eternal life and reinvigorated the virtue of hope. And given our modern penchant for reductionism and skepticism, Lewis’s call for such theologically exercised imagination constitutes perhaps the most important reason for keeping his legacy alive. Lewis affirmed, after all, that humans are endowed with a natural desire for fulfillment that surpasses the highest earthly happiness. If this deeper yearning of the human spirit is indeed innate and universal, then, Lewis argues, it’s unreasonable to deny that the conditions for its fulfillment exist.

In other words, this “otherworldly hope” represents the fullness of every positive reality we know: love, peace, contentment, creative activity, friendship, aesthetic beauty, etc. Intimations of this life are found in fleeting moments of joy, or in longings evoked by natural or artistic beauty. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to view Lewis’s heavenly life as a kind of eternal play—a great dance, to cite his metaphor—rather than, as the Requiem Mass (and all manner of funeral services) would have it, as “eternal rest.” Just as dancing requires bodies, so also heaven’s play must not be viewed as a ghostly minuet of discarnate minds. What we long for in our heart of hearts is not simply a deeper union with our Maker, but the full restoration of our being. So, our inherent desire for eternal life demands not just the perfection of our intellects, but also the fulfillment of our sensuous and imaginative natures. And for this reason, Lewis’s great achievement as a writer was not merely constructing arguments for Christian truth; he also provided literary images that help us imagine what may be in store for us if we remain faithful to our calling as divine image-bearers. That, in and of itself, is still worth the read. This essay originally appeared in Faith + Ideas= (a faculty “e-conversation” on the Gordon website), and in the Salem News.

Photo Mark Spooner ’14

Hell on Stage The imperfections of the human soul provided C. S. Lewis plenty of fodder for The Screwtape Letters, a humorous novel written as a series of letters from Screwtape, a senior tempter in Hell, to the junior tempter Wormwood. To mark the 50th anniversary of Lewis’s death, faculty members Norm Jones (theatre arts) and Mark Stevick (English) staged a production of The Screwtape Letters last fall in the Margaret Jensen Theatre of the Barrington Center for the Arts. Stevick’s script integrated The Screwtape Letters with two other Lewis works: The Great Divorce and Poems. Jones directed the 80-minute cosmic (and often comic) tour of the battlefields where the struggle for souls is waged. The production featured 17 student actors. Portraying demons was a challenging imaginative exercise. Sarah Hand ’14 played the apprentice tempter Wormwood. “The terrifying thing was that it actually didn’t feel very different—I felt the same sinful, self-centered urges as Wormwood that I feel as myself,” she recalls. “The difference, though, was that as Wormwood, I was inseparable from those urges. Without God to mediate them, without the presence of goodness or love, those urges consumed me; they were me. As an actress, my technique is based in

David Aiken is a professor of philosophy at Gordon College. He and his wife, Becky, live in Beverly, Massachusetts. david.aiken@gordon.edu

intention: pursuing what my character wants. As Wormwood, what went on in my imagination was a completely and horrifyingly uninhibited sense of desire.”

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A Book Is Born Elaine Phillips’ new devotional, With God, Nothing Is Impossible, attempts to bridge the gap between the academy and the pew.

August 2006 found biblical studies professor Elaine Phillips 8,500 miles from home—at Kithu Sevana, a church in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Its pastor, Adrian De Visser, is the father of Prashan De Visser ’08, and Prashan had invited Dr. Phillips to journey to Sri Lanka with Gordon students he’d recruited to volunteer in ministries linked to the church, including a widows’ home and a home for boys and girls. She told Prashan she would be delighted to go—as long as she could find some way to be useful. So on a hot and humid day just 18 months after the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated Sri Lanka’s coastal regions, the scholar of Old Testament and rabbinic literature delivered the first of several sessions for a group of about 100 women. As children milled about, she narrated

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familiar stories of women in the Bible, assisted by a translator. Though the venue was new, her subject matter was familiar territory. As an evangelical woman working for decades in biblical studies, she had developed a special interest in how women fit into the picture of God’s Kingdom. “As the sole woman in the Bible department at Gordon for quite a long time (until Sharon Ketcham joined our ranks in Christian Ministries), I was often asked to address the role of women in leadership and, of course, the foundations of that in the biblical text,” Phillips says. Over the years she built up a lot of material—and writing up notes to speak to the women of Kithu Sevana was a catalyst. “Having done that amount of work,” she says, “it seemed a waste not to try to use it further.” She rearranged and shortened additional

existing lectures on biblical geography when she returned to Sri Lanka, three years later. This time, Prashan was her translator. Phillips has integrated ideas from the first seminar into a 14-chapter devotional, With God, Nothing Is Impossible, which was released in February by Deep River Books. In it she highlights exemplary women in the Bible who faced trials with faith. Each chapter examines portions of Scripture and concludes with further reflections. The book is “more personal than the scholarly writing I’ve done over the past 35 years,” she says, “and yet I wanted to challenge readers with a devotional of substance. Though it’s not academic, it does study these women in the context of culture and geography, which modern readers may not always consider.”


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Photo Mark Spooner ’14

“I want to challenge readers with a devotional of substance.” Years ago, when Phillips and her husband, Perry, were in seminary, they were youth group leaders for their local church in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. “Teaching in that context,” she says, “was wonderfully challenging in terms of being biblically founded, accessible, and (by the Spirit’s working) life transforming.” Later, she taught a women’s Sunday School class on the life of Christ—a “rich experience.” During that time (1979 to 1992), she was teaching Bible at Pinebrook Junior College, a two-year Christian college. After joining the Gordon faculty, she taught a number of Christian formation classes—including a survey of Bible geography—at Park Street Church in Boston.

Hannah’s life story “inspires us to take a sober look, daily and moment by moment, at the things we want most. Are they the kind of things we would vow to give back to God?” Abigail’s life with a heartless man “reminds us that God uses everything to accomplish his sovereign purposes. We see, again and again, that the impossible is indeed possible with God.” Esther, from the margins of society, was brought by God “to an astonishingly influential position in order to be ready ‘for such a time as this.’” “It’s kind of hard to come to grips with the fact that nothing is impossible with God,” Phillips says, “when things feel really impossible. I have to preach my message to myself again and again.”

The Pope and the Professor History professor Thomas (Tal) Howard recently returned from a month traveling in Italy—including time in Orvieto, Ravenna, Rome and Naples. “The life of a scholar is sometimes tough,” he quips, “but someone has to do it.” While some travel to the Vatican in Rome for a spiritual pilgrimage, Tal spent his two weeks there poring over historic documents and records. Though the Vatican allows access

With God, Nothing Is Impossible is about women of the Bible, but the takeaways are not exclusive to women, she says. “I’d love both women and men to be more engaged with the Bible and with understanding that God’s word is indeed living, acting, and transformative. The way he worked in these peoples’ lives is the way he still works for us.” Among the women whose stories she tells: Mary, the mother of Jesus, who “followed Jesus all the way to the foot of the cross”; Sarah and Hagar, who “challenge us to transcend the ever-present impulses that arise when jealousy rears its ugly head”; Deborah, the judge, whose life “reminds us of the responsibilities of leadership.” Samson’s mother, who watched her son reject every aspect of his God-ordained Nazirite vow, is an example of grace in times of discouragement. Naomi’s sorrow and bitterness “turned to hope when she experienced the faithful and loyal love of Ruth, her sole traveling companion.”

Photo Rebecca Powell

only to materials from before 1939, Pope John Paul II made a special dispensation to open the archives of Vatican II for Howard’s current research project. He completed a strict application process (which even required a copy of his doctoral diploma) to be able to gather primary material for his new book, tentatively titled The Pope and the Professor: Elaine Phillips has taught biblical studies at Gordon since 1993. Since

Pius IX, Ignaz von Döllinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age.

1995 she and her husband, Perry,

Howard’s book is a study of the modern

have frequently taken Gordon

papacy, and German scholar Ignaz von

students on summer study trips to

Döllinger’s dissent after Pope Pius IX’s

Jerusalem University College. They

decree on papal infallibility at the First

lived in Israel for three years as

Vatican Council in 1869 and 1870.

graduate students. Her book-length commentary on Esther appears in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, edited by Tremper Longman III and David Garland. To receive an autographed copy of With God, Nothing Is Impossible ($10), contact collegecomm@ gordon.edu elaine.phillips@gordon.edu

“The pope that interests me the most,” he says, “is the one Protestants tend to have the most difficulty with: Pius IX or ‘Pio Nono’ [1846–1878]. Among other controversial actions, he issued the Syllabus of Errors [1864] that denounced modern civilization root and branch.” tal.howard@gordon.edu www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench

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COMING UP IN 2014 MAY 5

Gordon College Celebration of Faithful Leadership Honoring Micheal Flaherty, founder and President, Walden Media, and featuring actress and producer Patricia Heaton

Legacies of Faithfulness For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5 In 1889, beneath the shadow of the great bell at Clarendon Street Baptist Church in Boston, Gordon College was born. This “school of Christ” would become one of the nation’s premier Christian colleges, offering students leading-edge opportunities for intellectual, professional and leadership development. The peal of the Clarendon bell—now located on Gordon’s campus—still resonates, reminding its hearers of the faithfulness of God and His people “through all generations.” The Gordon community stands on the shoulders of those who left legacies of faithfulness to God and to all that the College endeavors to achieve. The Clarendon Society is a gathering of faculty, staff, alumni and friends who have chosen to remember the College in their estate plans, personal wills and family trusts. Endowed scholarships, building projects, academic programs, athletics, and the arts are just a few areas in which bequests, gift annuities and family trusts have a lasting impact, blessing students now and in the future. We invite you to share in this legacy of faith by leaving one of your

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own—through a planned gift that will support Gordon College for many years to come.

Here are a few giving options: »» Make a bequest through a simple will or living trust. This ensures your family’s security while also directing assets to the College. »» Set up a charitable gift annuity. Predictable payments to you supplement your retirement income while also supporting the College. You receive an upfront tax deduction, and a portion of your payments may be tax-free. »» Establish a charitable trust of cash, financial securities or other property. This provides an immediate tax deduction, plus income to you or your designee for life or a term of years. »» Make a gift of a paid-up life insurance policy, or designate Gordon as the beneficiary, and receive tax benefits.

BEGIN PLANNING TODAY! Web: www.gordonlegacy.org Email: plannedgiving@gordon.edu Phone: 978.867.4900

MAY 16–17

Baccalaureate • Golden Reunions • Commencement OCTOBER 2–4

125th Anniversary of Gordon College • Homecoming and Family Weekend OCTOBER 24–25

“God, Globalization, and the Good Society in Asia Today”  Christianity in Asia, a conference cosponsored by the Center for Faith and Inquiry and the Institute for Global Engagement

NOVEMBER 5–7

Herrmann Lectures on Faith and Science Cambridge neurochemist Dr. Denis Alexander on “Is Life Going Anywhere? Creation-Biology, Randomness, and Purpose” In partnership with the John Templeton Foundation, honoring the pioneering work of Dr. Robert Herrmann View more information about Gordon College events at www.gordon.edu/calendar


A GROUNDBREAKING STUDY OF 550 GLOBAL CEOS, SENIOR GOVERNMENT LEADERS, AND NONPROFIT EXECUTIVES, BASED ON TEN YEARS OF RESEARCH “If you ever wanted to know what the lives of top CEOs and national leaders are really like, read View from the Top. — Kerry Healey, Ph.D. President, Babson College

“Michael Lindsay continues to impress as one of the foremost thinkers on the topic of leadership. Drawing on a massive wealth of firsthand data, he clearly presents insights into what creates great leaders and more importantly, the attributes, skills and techniques each of us should add to our leadership arsenal.” — Pat Gelsinger CEO, VMware

“Michael Lindsay has personally interviewed more than 500 of America’s premier business, political, and non-profit leaders, a tour de force; and what strikingly emerges from his inside portrait of the careers and views of those at the top is the value of seizing opportunity, navigating networks, and garnering trust.” — Michael Useem, Ph.D. Professor and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and co-author of Boards That Lead

D. MICHAEL LINDSAY is the president of Gordon College and one of the youngest college presidents in the country. An award-winning sociologist and educator, Dr. Lindsay has lectured on five continents and worked with dozens of organizations to increase their leadership capacities.  His Pulitzer-nominated book, Faith in the Halls of Power, was listed in Publisher’s Weekly “Best Books of 2007,” and his work has been profiled in hundreds of media outlets worldwide.  He lives with his wife, Rebecca, and their three daughters, on the Gordon campus, just north of Boston.

viewfromthetopbook.com Available wherever books and eBooks are sold


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

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“The proof of Gordon is in its outstanding alumni.” Peter and JoDee Herschend have invested for decades in causes they care deeply about, including Gordon. “Gordon is better than anyone at teaching young people how to be Christian in a very real world,” says Peter. “It’s what sets Gordon apart.” Peter advises anyone with a desire to give to do so in a concentrated way, allocating more support to fewer causes rather than spreading philanthropic dollars too thinly. One way the Herschends do so is by committing a portion of their estate to Gordon’s mission to prepare Christian men and women for leadership and service. Theirs is a legacy of faithfulness. Share your own legacy with Gordon. Consider a bequest, trust or gift annuity—a manageable way to make a lasting impact that helps fund endowment, scholarships, academic programs and more.

www.gordonlegacy.org


Stillpoint Spring 2014