Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sonia Weitz Speaks At Gordon

Sonia Weitz was only 11 years old when she and her family were rounded up and shipped from Poland to death camps in Nazi Germany. Of the 84 members of her family, she and her sister Blanca were the sole survivors. Today Weitz is a Peabody resident who has been promoting Holocaust awareness for nearly 30 years. This was her 28th consecutive year of lecturing at Gordon.

Listen to her question and answer session podcast or view her video podcast I Promised I Would Tell.


Monday, December 29, 2008

A Talk of the Muse Interview with Charlie Peacock

“It was while I was in the world and then having my new relationship, new understanding, about how reality is put together,” said Charlie Peacock in a recent Talk of the Muse podcast. “All these things collided with my vocational life, and that caused me to have to begin to think about that very quickly and to put together a working theology of art making.”
Charlie Peacock, a singer, songwriter, pianist, recorder and author, spoke with Jo Kadlecek, senior communications writer for Gordon, for a Talk of the Muse podcast. He talked about his conversion experience and how this shaped the way he currently creates music.

Listen to the podcast.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

“Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading.” Read the rest of Nicholas Carr’s Atlantic Monthly essay.
English professor Paul Borgman’s response to Carr:
“We all need to do soul exercising: how to enrich the inner us, intentionally. Then I think Google et al. becomes enriching, immensely helpful. We’re being stretched, all of us; but all brain/body/soul muscles—especially soul—need extra commitment to become the fuller persons we can now become more than ever.(Think of the ugly nobles/monarchs and the miserable plebs and the vindictive/killing tribalism in those awful, awful ages we call “dark” with good reason—the darkness extending its horror, of course, into our own centuries, but with more access to light and less excuse than ever to curry the grey-dark.) Darkness still seeks to overcome the Light we celebrate this season of Jesus’ birthday, but there’s more consciousness than ever—as an example of increased Light possibilities—of this being a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, not an excuse for us to treat ourselves to goodies and gifts in the old tribal way: that we give Jesus gifts, as on anyone’s birthday (see Matthew 25:21-46, the very last words of the very last of five discourses of Jesus; and see website “”). Now more than ever we have a chance, even through technology, to listen to voices other than our own (like the Advent Conspiracy folks). And this I believe: Listening is the essence of humility; humility is the heart of Love. So there! :)"


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

(Many) Advent Voices

"During Advent, I find it heartening to remember the legacy of poets, prophets and saints as well as the testimony of my contemporaries. In fact, I’ve come to depend on them, on that great cloud of witnesses who’ve testified to God’s strategy for redeeming humankind—through a baby, of all things.”
Read Mark Wacome-Stevick's Advent poem, and look for the voices of T. S. Eliot, Alan Tate, John Donne, Thomas Hardy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Beverly Robinson, Dylan Thomas, John Updike and Robert Frost. (And Stevick’s too).

Mark Wacome Stevick is a poet, playwright and associate professor of creative writing at Gordon College. This essay and poem appeared in FAITH + IDEAS =, an op-ed column written by Gordon College faculty. Subscribe here. It was republished in The Salem News.
Image: "24 Poets and One Astronaut."


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gordon Alum Serves as Army Chaplain

Andrew Shriver ’95 recently completed a 15-month tour of Afghanistan. As an army chaplain he helps families reconnect through retreats and counseling, provides spiritual support to trauma cases in the E.R. and their families, and shares the message of the gospel with his battalion of 900 soldiers. He is also currently completing a medical course for chaplains and is training a new chaplain assistant, SGT Weissman, who is a Reformed Jew and the Jewish lay leader for Fort Lewis in the state of Washington.
“I enjoy my work of living out the gospel message each day and showing soldiers Christ in my life,” said Andrew. “It gives them strength and guidance and is a powerful ministry. Gordon helped prepare me by grounding me in the fundamentals of my faith while also giving me the tools to mentor and guide soldiers in their own journeys of faith. My two mentors at Gordon were Alton Bynum Jr., superintendent of grounds, and Les Peckam, groundskeeper, and these two men lived out their Christian faith and were incredible role models for me.”


Carrie Tibbles, M.D. ’93, Pays Tribute to Science Profs

“Learning can be fun,” said Carrie Tibbles ’93 in a short speech during the Ken Olsen Science Center dedication on September 27, 2008. “It involves a curiosity and a willingness to take risks.” A double major in biology and psychology while at Gordon, Carrie went on to receive her M.D. from Boston University and then to Minneapolis for specialty training in Women’s Health in Emergency Medicine. Her current career led her back to Boston to work as assistant director of Beth Israel’s Emergency Medical Physician residency program. She spoke briefly about the importance of education and how she was shaped by her education at Gordon. Listen to the podcast.


Monday, December 22, 2008

The Path of Ministry

Chad Fransen graduated in 1994 with a major in youth ministries and got a job as a youth minister at a small church in Minnesota. Three years later Chad went to seminary at Fuller in Pasadena. He then worked as a youth pastor in Seattle for over five years. He quit two years ago to get married and focus on his marriage. Chad and his wife were recently invited by a church in Mexico to live with them and serve.
“We visited in October and were invited by Gustavo and Elizabeth Pacheco to live in their building so we might serve the community of La Mision,” he writes in a recent blog post. “It is exciting. We will be leaving in the middle of January, and we feel very unprepared. But I remember my buddy, Toby, saying that God did not call Moses because he was prepared; God prepared him because he answered the call.”

To read more about Chad’s life and travels, visit his blog.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Walden Media Internship

Dan Hemphill ’10 has always been interested in the media aspect of communications. A communication arts major with a media studies concentration, Dan is currently interning at the Boston branch of Walden Media, the film production and publishing company best known for films like The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge to Terabithia and Because of Winn-Dixie.

His favorite project to date is the current marketing campaign he and other interns are working on. Though he was unable to disclose details of the project, he did note that the interns haven’t been given guidelines for how to go about setting up the campaign. “It’s 100 percent intern operated,” he said, “and we are expected to finish our time at Walden Media with an understanding of the basics of publishing and film production.” Read more...


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Plans for the Christmas Season

Photo courtesy of bakingbites.comDuring the Christmas season many will spend time with family, bake gingerbread cookies and sing carols. We asked a few faculty and staff to share their holiday plans. Feel free to comment and share yours!

“Over the holidays we will attend church, play games, have some gifts, and eat holiday foods. We will play in the snow if there is some, and I hope belatedly to get our bird feeders up. My older son will be a nonspeaking shepherd and my younger son will be a donkey in the church pageant. Christ Church is particularly good at linking meaning and ceremony and I will revel in it. I will attend the Nutcracker Suite with most of my extended family—something we have done since I was 5.
“On New Year’s Eve we will all stay up and make wild party hats out of wrapping paper, newspaper and decorations. Some will have strings of lights. We will be very grateful for Christ and for the time as a family.”
—Dorothy Boorse, associate professor of biology

“My boyfriend, Matija Belkovic, a junior philosophy major, and I are going to Hawaii to visit my father’s side of the family, all of whom live on the island of Oahu. I’m excited to have a break from the cold weather and stress of Boston, and am looking forward to kayaking, swimming, surfing and hiking near my grandmother’s house in Lanikai. Also, it will be nice to read some not-for-school books and reconnect with family and friends whom I haven’t seen for a while.”
—Hannah Powlinson, senior international development major with an African concentration.


Friday, December 19, 2008

"We are Still Losing This War Against HIV..."

Tim Morgan ’78, deputy managing editor for Christianity Today, was in Washington, D.C. on December 1 covering the celebration of the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. The Civil Forum on Global Health, held at the Newseum in D.C., was hosted by Saddleback pastor Rick Warren, who presented President George W. Bush with the first International Medal of PEACE from the Global PEACE Coalition in recognition of his unprecedented contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Morgan writes: “Eight years ago, who could have imagined that George W. Bush would receive such an award? Bush is now inside his final 50 days as president. This particular event didn’t make the front page of the New York Times. In fact, the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day also didn’t make many front pages around the country. How is this possible when there are about 40 million people with the virus and the daily death toll is around 8,000 per day? If this daily carnage happened in one day in a single major metro area, of course, there would be wall to wall coverage, 24/7.” Read more...
Morgan, an English major at Gordon, has spent much of his professional life covering the worldwide AIDS crisis. Read more... Warren was Gordon’s Commencement speaker in May 2008.


"MMusings" in the Blogosphere

Michael Monroe, assistant professor of music at Gordon and blogger extraordinare, was noted for one of his blog entries in the Sunday Globe, December 14. Michael says, “It concerns a little experiment I did to demonstrate how the difficult early modernist style of Anton Webern became a familiar part of the sound world of mid-century film and TV. The post was inspired by a comment former student John Hendricks ’08 made when I played a Webern piece for him last year. It reminded John of background music from The Andy Griffith Show, and that led to this post, and this one.
“These were linked by Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, author of the highly acclaimed The Rest Is Noise, and probably the most influential classical music blogger.
“From there it was picked up by The Globe’s Brainiac blog on December 5, and then noted in the paper.”
Michael has also reposted his “12 Composers of Christmas” from last year, which has had more than 1,500 new YouTube hits in the last two weeks.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Greener Holiday

The season of gift giving and festivities doesn’t have to mean waste and a full trash bin. According to Earth911, as much as half of the 85 million tons of paper products Americans consume every year goes toward packaging, wrapping and decorating goods. Also, wrapping paper and shopping bags alone account for about four million tons of trash annually in the U.S. So how can you make your holiday season a little bit greener?
*Rather than buying brand new wrapping paper, use alternative wrapping: newspaper (the comics section!), magazines, old calendars, paper shopping bags, tissue paper, or fabric. According to, if every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
*Around 125,000 tons of plastic packaging are thrown away over the holiday season. Take your own reusable shopping bags when you do your shopping—they’re greener, and carrying a few reusables is easier than toting a different bag from every store you buy at!
*Donate used toys, clothing, and electronic equipment rather than throwing it away. Places like Salvation Army and Goodwill take various items, and Stuffed Animals for Emergencies, Project Night Night, and a site for children in Iraq take toys. To recycle items, visit Earth911’s recycling locator.

For more information on how Gordon recycles, visit Restore Creation. To learn more about recycling and how to be eco-friendly for the holidays, visit Earth911’s Green Your Holidays.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Students Spend Christmas Break Serving

Over Christmas break more than 65 Gordon students will divide up into six teams and spend two weeks on missions trips to Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, South Africa and Jackson, Mississippi. The six teams will work with orphanages, churches, outdoor education leaders, and Compassion International.
The Jackson trip’s focus is racial reconciliation, working with the John Perkins Foundation. La Vida will lead a team to Ecuador to build ropes courses and provide training for outdoor education through contact with a Gordon grad, Paul Reichert ’02. A team through the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department will return to South Africa to maintain the ropes courses built there and to encourage recreation-type activities. Nathan Hausman ’00, director of Adirondack programs and codirector of GORP, and Val Buchanan, director of Gordon in Lynn, will serve as Gordon staff on the trip. “We are working with Monte Christo Ministries based out of Paarl, but specifically working on their farm in Porterville,” noted Hausman.
“I find it interesting that students still want to serve, even with the economic crisis at hand,” said Kirk McClelland, director of service learning and missions at Gordon. “The students on these trips will be taking skills from Gordon classes and sharing them with people in these other countries.”


Saturday, December 13, 2008


Wednesday night after classes ended, Gordon College students were transported into another time and place. The Masquerade Ball held at the Danversport Yacht Club was a stunning clash of modern and traditional, creating an aura reminiscent of an avant-garde Victorian ball—with a 20th-century twist.

The theme encouraged an atmosphere akin to the masquerade scene from the Phantom of the Opera and incited a curious blend of bold style and masks evocative of a different age. But the hip hop and dance music pounding throughout the hall and reverberating through dancing bodies immediately revealed the time period in a way a mere glance into the ballroom wouldn’t.

Keeping with the theme, students wore an array of masks that ranged from grandiose to simple. There were masks with feathers, beads, jewels and sparkles in all different colors. Glowing chandeliers winked down upon this swirling crowd, casting troupes of dancing shadows upon the walls and floor.

The Masquerade ushers in the holiday season and gives students one last night of festivities before the inevitable cramming-for-finals begins. It is also the last big hurrah for the many good friends who will be separated over Christmas break. This was apparent with a cheerful drone of chatter and laughter underneath the pulsing music.

When the clock struck midnight, it was accompanied by a slow click of heels and a tired march off the dance floor as bodies bundled up and reluctantly headed back to campus and reality. The Masquerade had been a resplendent flurry of dramatic style and entertainment, sure to draw students back next year.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Gordon Adds Course to Travel to Croatia and Bosnia

From May 17 to June 3, 2009, Gordon College’s newest course, War and Peace: A Literary and Philosophical Encounter with Southeastern Europe, will take students through Croatia and Bosnia in order to explore themes of war and peace in a cultural context.
From the course students will gain a first-hand experience of the literary and philosophical context by listening to guest lecturers, visiting historic sites, and engaging in conversations with local people. Slavic literature and philosophy texts will also provide a context in which students can deepen their understanding of 400-year-old ethnic conflicts.
War and Peace will be taught by Petra Belkovic-Taylor, adjunct professor of English and a native of Croatia, and her husband James Taylor, adjunct professor of philosophy.
For more information visit the course site.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blog Covers Gordon Athletic Events

Writing Scots is an unofficial blog written by Peter McClelland ’63 covering Gordon’s men’s basketball and assorted individual stories connected to Gordon athletics. The writer, a Gordon alum and former athlete, has followed the basketball team and put together game stories since the 2002-03 season.
“My niche is personalizing each game,” he writes. “I try to figure out why a game goes the way it does. I try to make fair assessments without burning any bridges home or away in the process.”
Peter says he started writing a few games as a personal interest in 1998 when Troy Justice coached, but when Mike Schauer became coach in 2002, he decided to upgrade his coverage and find people to send it to. He gradually built up an email audience that reached over 100 among Gordon friends, players and players’ families. In 2007 Peter switched to using a blog in order to reach a larger audience (he reports 9,697 hits since October 2007).
“The increased audience brings with it increased responsibilities,” says Peter. “I pray with each entry that God would be pleased with what appears on Writing Scots.”
To read up on Peter’s coverage of Gordon’s athletic events, visit his Writing Scots blog.


Gordon Congratulates Kina Mallard

Provost Mark Sargent announced last week that Kina Mallard, academic dean at Gordon, has been named the provost at Carson-Newman College in Tennessee. He noted that this was not a post Kina pursued but was recruited because of her excellent reputation throughout Christian higher education.
Kina will begin at Carson-Newman in January but will return to Gordon for a short period in the spring to help complete a few projects. Carson-Newman, a Baptist liberal arts college, is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. As provost Kina will give leadership to the academic programs of the college as well as admissions, financial aid and campus computing.
In an email sent out to the Gordon community, Mark wrote, “In her three-and-a-half years with us, Kina has been enthusiastically committed to faculty development and has worked in many ways to strengthen teaching and learning. She has built a Dean’s Council of department chairs and has helped enrich the role of the chairs. She has encouraged curricular innovations, guided faculty in the early stages of their careers, and made improvements to our advising programs. On numerous occasions I have appreciated her problem-solving gifts, her ability to assess an issue quickly, identify possible remedies, and set the right people on the right tasks. Academic leadership can be especially challenging in tough economic times, and I have valued Kina’s ability to manage resources with prudence, always focusing on the essentials.
“I will miss her friendship, good counsel, and ability to find humor and inspiration in the work we have shared, even in the difficult moments. I am confident she will flourish as Carson-Newman’s provost.”


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Prospective Students Come for Fine Arts Day

Monday, December 8, Gordon hosted its first Fine Arts Experience Day. Similar to the Science Experience Day in October, this day was crafted specifically for prospective students interested in the fine arts: music, art and theatre.
Students had the option of coming for a general Gordon Experience Weekend, December 6–8, as well as participating in the Fine Arts Day events. For the two events, Gordon gathered 180 visitors. All visitors attended the Advent chapel, campus tours and fine arts luncheon, after which the students broke up into groups by majors and attended specific workshops and interviews.
Prospective art majors attended an arts reception at which they met faculty and saw Shadowing Over by Gordon alumna Sasha Irish; attended The Drawing Project, a drawing workshop led by professor of visual arts Jim Zingarelli; and had art portfolio interviews. Prospective theatre arts majors attended an acting workshop led by associate professor of theatre arts Norman Jones; and theatre auditions. Prospective music majors attended a music experience, an interactive music workshop led by undergraduate music coordinator Keith Gruen, and a music information session, also led by Gruen; and music auditions.
The Admissions Office looks forward to hosting more focused Gordon Experience days in the future.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Student Sail Art Displayed in Beverly Trees

Starting Saturday, December 6, two trees on the Beverly Common will be adorned with sheets of recycled sail fabric as part of an interactive art project by Gordon College senior Kirsten Eichenauer.
All art majors are required to complete a senior thesis in their final semester.
Over the course of the fall semester, Eichenauer worked with Bruce Herman, Lothlórien Distinguished Chair of Fine Arts, and fellow student Angela Yarian as part of an independent study centered on what it might mean to see sails in trees. Brad White, sail care manager of North Sails Northeast in Salem, generously donated two sails to Eichenauer for her project and continued to be enthusiastic about her work as the project progressed.
The sails were unveiled at an opening reception Saturday, December 6, on the common, located at 31 Dane Street in Beverly, and will be displayed until January 3.
“It is my intention that the public be enabled . . . to awaken greater appreciation for the natural world through integrated elements of natural and manmade structures,” said Eichenauer in her art statement, “and to respond to nontraditional materials in the context of a public place.”


Monday, December 8, 2008

A Week in Photos

During the week of December 2–6, Gordon hosted a variety of events for Christmas at Gordon. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then words are not necessary to convey the spirit and festivity with which the Gordon community celebrated the Christmas season. Below are photos from the week’s events:

Campus and tree lighting, December 2

Advent Exhibit and Performances, December 4

Carol Sing, December 6

Gordon at night, December 6


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Poking Fun At Annoying Expressions

The Salem News published a quirky article on December 1 titled “Most Annoying Phrases in Ear of the Beholder.” The article cited a list of overused annoying (and often grammatically incorrect) phrases such as “shouldn’t of” and “I personally.” This subject undoubtedly solicits responses from people, which were included in the article. One such person was Graeme Bird, assistant professor of languages and linguistics at Gordon:
“Graeme Bird, an assistant professor of linguistics at Gordon College, admits to some annoyance after, like, you know, listening to some of his students.
“Bird, a New Zealand native, preaches against ‘like.’ Yet, he has found himself almost involuntarily using the word ‘in front of 20 students who were laughing their heads off.’ Words and phrases become infectious, even annoying, because they’re useful. ‘Like’ is a practical device designed to give the speaker a chance to form his thoughts. ‘In a sense,’ Bird says, ‘nothing is right or wrong if people accept it.’”


Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Student's Perspective

Lauren Nash, a senior and history major, wrote for the History Department’s fall newsletter about her semester studying in Orvieto:
“Studying and living in Orvieto, Italy, invigorated the history major inside me! I loved spending my afternoons wandering the narrow cobblestone streets of Orvieto. These well-trodden paths led me to the many treasures of this Umbrian hilltop town, including the Duomo, the Gelateria Pasqualetti, the Etruscan ruins, Café Del Corso, and many other sites. Each of my Orvietani expeditions helped me appreciate the relaxed Italian lifestyle, their delicious food and the beauty of their rich traditions.
“The location of Orvieto was idyllic. So many sites I had seen in history books—the Colosseum, Michelangelo’s David, and the Basilica of St. Francis—were only a train ride away. Going through the Gordon in Orvieto program was amazing because the professors planned many such excursions. This provided our group of 24 students with personal tour guides and inside connections. As history majors under the tutelage of Drs. Tal and Agnes Howard and Dr. Jennifer Hevelone-­Harper, we were able to see the earliest Christian art in the Catacombs, have an audience with the pope, and see many beautiful Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna.
“Each of these field trips helped to highlight the themes of art, faith and culture emphasized in our classes.
“Oh, how I wish I could return to the quiet Italian streets to enjoy a cappuccino and gelato with a friend!”



Produced by Gordon College and Lamp Post Media, Gordon College: A School of Christ is now available for viewing and downloading at Gordon’s iTunesU site.

The film highlights the formative years of the College and features interviews with key members of the Gordon community today, including current president R. Judson Carlberg, former president Richard Gross, and Gordon-Conwell professor Scott Gibson, a leading expert on A. J. Gordon, after whom the College is named. Gordon College: A School of Christ was produced by Chris Gilbert, a veteran filmmaker and international video-journalist, along with a team of communication arts alumni. Gilbert drew from dozens of interviews, hundreds of archival photos, and numerous articles, papers and files to create the 18-minute film. David Grimes, a composer who has scored several PBS documentaries, created the musical score.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Open House Art Gallery

Jean Sbarra Jones, artist and adjunct professor of art, invites the Gordon community to a Christmas open house at the Visions and Revisions Gallery in Salem, Massachusetts. The gallery, also the home of Jean and her husband, Norman Jones, was originally built as a warehouse and retains much of its original character with brick walls, hardwood floors and steel beams.
Expressionist and impressionist artists influence Jean’s representational style in her paintings. She is an award-winning artist who has shown locally and nationally.
“We are grateful to all of you who have joined us for one of our open houses this year,” wrote the Joneses in a recent email. “You have made them such joyfully memorable occasions. And those who have not yet been able, we hope you can find your way to enjoy some festive Christmas fare, share conversations with friends old and new, and see Jean’s newest paintings.”
The gallery will be open December 6 and 7, 1–6 p.m. Those unable to attend are encouraged to contact the Joneses to arrange a visit to view Jean’s paintings. The gallery is located at 10 Derby Square, next to Old Town Hall. When you arrive, go in the door at 10 Derby Square and take the elevator to the second floor. If you would like more information, contact the Joneses at 978.745.4752 or at


A Dynamic Scientist

Service and gratefulness are the keys to happiness, according to physics professor Stan Reczek. These attributes coupled with the occasional canoe trip or mountain climb have led him to transcend baseless scientist stereotypes and become a positive addition to the Physics Department at Gordon College.
As a scientist Reczek believes God expects us to use our intellect to know about the world logically. As an outdoor enthusiast he recognizes that God gave humans other nonscientific ways to enjoy the earth. But there is a problem: “We all have an innate curiosity that seems to diminish as we age,” he says. “It would be marvelous to help people rekindle that natural curiosity.”
Reczek therefore teaches a canoeing course on Gull Pond in addition to physics and takes every opportunity to enjoy creation; hikes the notoriously difficult Knife’s Edge trail on Mount Katahdin in Maine, for example. Enjoying and being grateful for the world is as much an act of worship as understanding it.
Reczek teaches a core physics course for nonscience majors called Newton to Einstein in addition to a more intensive biology, kinesiology and algebra-based physics course. He understands that not all students enjoy learning about the world scientifically but nonetheless says, “What a wonderful group of students we have! Not all are motivated to learn physics, but I can’t think of any student who’s not a great human being.”

His heart for both a scientific and an aesthetic appreciation of the world culminate in a dynamic personality that is a model to colleagues and students.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas at Gordon Kicks Off

The second annual Christmas at Gordon celebration kicks off tonight with a Christmas tree and campus lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. All are welcome to join together for free hot cider and chocolate around the Christmas tree for a special performance of the Jabulani Choir as well as an advent reading and Christmas reflections by Gordon faculty members.
Throughout the rest of the week there will be five more community Christmas events offered including musical performances, a community carol sing, an art exhibit and theatre performances. If you were around for the celebration last year, note that in addition to the carol sing and Christmas Gala there will be a three-day Advent Festival of the Arts on campus this year.
“Christmas is such an important celebration that, over the years, has been taken away by the commercial culture,” said Jeff Miller, professor of theatre arts. “The Advent ceremony is an attempt to bring it back.”
The advent festival will begin tomorrow at 7 p.m. with a panel discussion about art and faith. It will also include Bruce Herman’s new art exhibit, Miriam: Virgin Mother, with accompanying music and theatre performances and a choral celebration of The Magnificat.
“These events in our Christian heritage continue to spark imagination and creativity,” says Miller. “Hopefully that deepens the understanding of that event.”
Christmas at Gordon will once again culminate on Saturday, December 6, with the Christmas Gala—a North Shore favorite for over 17 years. The Gordon Women’s Choir, College Choir, Children’s Choir, and Wind Ensemble will join together to present a fanciful look at the true meaning of Christmas.
And, as always, in the spirit of giving, Gordon College will have a receiving box for gift card donations at each “Christmas at Gordon” event. The gift cards will be donated to Gordon’s community partners, social services and charities in the city of Lynn.


Congratulations to the Women’s Choir!

The Gordon College Women’s Choir, an auditioned group of 40-50 singers, has been selected to perform at the Eastern Division Conference of MENC (the National Association for Music Education) in Providence, Rhode Island, in March 2009.
“The Women’s Choir was selected by blind audition to perform at the conference,” said Faith Leuth, adjunct professor of music and director of the Women’s Choir. “This is the first time a Gordon College ensemble has been selected for a performance at an Eastern Division Conference.” The music educators conference will have exhibitors, and performances by an auditioned band, orchestra, and chorus, selected from an all-state competition.
“Dr. Sandra Doneski, associate professor of music at Gordon College, has also been selected to present two sessions at the conference,” Leuth said. “It is an honor to be selected to present one session. To be selected to present two sessions is outstanding.”
The Women’s Choir will perform at The Magnificat and Christmas Gala during the Christmas at Gordon celebrations.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Gordon Professor’s Research Has Global Significance

Dr. Craig Story, associate professor of biology at Gordon, recently had his research published in the November 4 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Story spent his sabbatical exploring microengraving technology with several colleagues (left) from MIT and the Whitehead Institute. Their research, presented in Proceedings, provides a way to obtain an extremely detailed snapshot of how thousands of single immune cells are responding to vaccination by separating each cell into a microscopic chamber and collecting its secretions for analysis.
A recent article in The Salem News spoke of Story’s work in a more global context:
“The goal, Story said, is to perfect the process [of microengraving] and eventually have students develop hepatitis B antibodies on Gordon’s campus. From there, he hopes to move on to developing antibodies for other diseases, such as malaria, HIV and hepatitis C.

Read Gordon’s press release and the Salem News article.


Students Promote Awareness of World AIDS Day

After chapel this morning, students stood at the doors handing out small red ribbons. The students were part of Gordon’s Social Work Committee, and they distributed the ribbons to promote AIDS awareness by taking note of World AIDS Day.
Greg Carmer gave an invitation at the close of chapel for interested students to pick up a ribbon and AIDS fact sheet at the door. “These sheets provide current information and statistics about the AIDS epidemic as well as information about where students can go to learn more,” said Katherine Tong, a sophomore and member of the committee. “The hope is that the red ribbons will be worn throughout the day on Monday.”
This day is an opportunity to reflect upon and promote change in the treatment of individuals with AIDS as we move towards a cure for the disease. For more information on World AIDS Day and how to get involved, visit the World AIDS Campaign site.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Gordon Takes Christmas to Lynn

With the economy at the forefront of purchasing decisions this holiday season, Christmas at Gordon will not only offer traditional and free or inexpensive ways to celebrate the holidays, but each event will also provide an opportunity to give to one of many Gordon in Lynn partners.
While the Gordon community has often supported Lynn partnership organizations through toy or coat drives at Christmas time, this year giving will take on a new dimension.
“Gift cards will let organizations buy according to their exact needs rather than being forced to make do with what they might not really need,” said Gordon in Lynn Program Assistant Beth Wright. “An organization like New American Center caters to refugee teenagers, many of whom have just arrived from Iraq and Burma. For them clothing, rather than something like toys, is an immediate need.”
Gift cards to local malls, supermarkets and stores will go to organizations such as My Brother’s Table, The Community Minority Cultural Center, International Rescue Committee and the Boys and Girls Club. Collection boxes can be found at each Christmas at Gordon event held December 2–6.



Christmas at Gordon

Gordon College invites families across the North Shore to take part in the events offered during the second annual Christmas at Gordon celebration December 2-6, 2008. Christmas at Gordon is an opportunity for the surrounding North Shore communities to celebrate the Christmas season with students, faculty and alumni of the College as well as neighbors and friends in the community. Performances at Gordon College are always special, but this year our schedule of events will offer five days of seasonal festivities, many of which are free and family friendly.
Events include a campus tree lighting, community carol sing, Christmas Gala, and Advent Festival of the Arts. Those special little extras, like hot chocolate and cider, carols and candy canes, will also be provided. To read more about the celebrations, visit the Christmas at Gordon site.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gordon Grad in Mexico

On Cinco de Mayo, Latin American Studies major Mariska Bolyanatz ’08 presented her Pike Honors thesis entitled “La mujer chilena bajo la dictadura de Pinochet: Antecedentes, opresión y resistencia.” Building on her junior year abroad in Santiago, Chile, her study was an exploration of Chile under Pinochet, particularly how it affected women of all social classes and their reactions to the various types of oppression they encountered. Following her graduation, Mari was selected as Fulbright Grant recipient to Lerma, México, where she is an English teaching assistant at the Universidad Tecnológica del Valle de Toluca. Follow her adventures on her blog.


Lacking Papers or Prospects, Faith Sustained Pilgrims in Plymouth Sojourn

“This Thanksgiving, once again, our oldest son will migrate home from college. As usual, there will be no custom duties on his laundry, and we will hear about his current classes, especially one on immigration. At some point during the Detroit Lions’ annual loss we may review a few theories regarding border control. And because it’s Thanksgiving, we will likely recall those most famous of ‘undocumented’ immigrants—the Pilgrims.”

Read the rest of Provost Mark Sargent’s essay “Lacking Papers or Prospects, Faith Sustained Pilgrims in Plymouth Sojourn” in the Salem Evening News.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sociology in South Africa

Meg Dempsey ’09 spent five months in Cape Town with eight other Gordon students in the spring of 2008. A social work and sociology double major, Meg enjoyed her time in South Africa learning about the community, studying, and volunteering at nonprofit organizations in the area. In her photojournal on Gordon’s website, she writes about one of the issues she noticed while in South Africa:
“The large inequality present in Cape Town and in all of South Africa was something I noticed when I arrived. Seeing a mansion a few miles from a shack is alarming and reveals very starkly the growing inequality in South Africa. In the United States we distance ourselves from inequality, but it still remains.”
To see more photos and read more about Meg’s semester in South Africa, visit her photojournal.


Thanksgiving 2008: Here Follow Some Thoughts on the Burning of Westmont

“A few weeks back, when I was asked to write something on the Pilgrims for Thanksgiving, I weighed several themes—immigration, religious liberty and so on—but the fires on my son’s campus certainly alter the ways I think this year about giving thanks. For decades Gordon and Westmont have enjoyed a special rapport. We share a similar Christian liberal arts vision. Stan Gaede served as our provost and then their president. Westmont students come east for a term as Consortium visitors. Many of our own faculty and staff have sent children to study in Montecito. The sorrow of friends lingers into a holiday, even though from across the country we sometimes struggle to know what we can do or say. Yet the 'Tea Fire' that raced through their campus is a reminder that seasons of gratitude are often tangled with grief.”

Read more of Provost Mark Sargent’s Thanksgiving message to the Gordon and Westmont communities...


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Sophomore Spanish major Jennie-Rose Saucier wrote about her experience with Gordon’s La Vida program for the Languages and Linguistics fall newsletter:
“Covered in sawdust and with the potent scent of wood stain in my nose, I endeavored to get to know a girl named Laura under the hot Ecuador sun on the first day of the trip. While we sanded and stained our eucalyptus wood, there were a lot of silent moments as I mentally pieced together questions in Spanish. I proudly pulled these sentences out, only to fall back into a lengthy silence after Laura answered my questions with simply one or two words. After a few rounds in this pattern, my limited Spanish vocabulary began to run dry and I started to slip in some English. Though a little frustrated, I realized that this trip with the Gordon La Vida Outdoor Education Program would most certainly be a learning experience as I strove to improve my Spanish speaking skills.
“During the trip our group became friends with a couple Ecuadorian interns, Dani and David, who were learning English. As some of us in the group spoke un poco de Spanish, we often met halfway, communicating in Spanglish. I recall joyous evenings around a campfire learning words that are never taught in Spanish class—words like chévere, which means “cool,” and ¡chuta mangos!, an exclamatory phrase used in place of profanity. In the spirit of cultural exchange, we made an effort to translate the English tongue twister “Sally sells seashells by the seashore” by incorporating some Pictionary along with our faithful friend Spanglish.
“Attempts at translation frequently ended in laughter, and it often took a long time to communicate the meaning of a single word or concept, whether from English to Spanish or vice versa. In the end, however, the feeling of “OH—that’s what you were talking about” always signaled a triumph.
“In the midst of these fun moments of ‘learning,’ it was encouraging to know that I was not alone—Laura, Dani and David were struggling to learn and speak a second language as well. Speaking another language always requires leaving your comfort zone, taking risks, and making mistakes so that in time practice makes perfect. But if at first you don’t succeed, Spanglish always works.”


Gordon's Got Talent

In the season of giving, even a class project can contribute to those in need. Gordon’s Got Talent, an event to showcase the hidden talent in the Gordon community, was planned, managed and marketed as a fundraising project by the 11 students in the Organizational Behavior business course. The admission fee, a mere $3 per person for a two-hour event, went toward fundraising for The Boston Project.
The Organizational Behavior class raised a total of about $2,000, which translated into Thanksgiving baskets for 70 families. They attributed their financial success to three things: They were able to keep expenses low, had a good number of people attend, and received generous donations from organizations on campus and attendees of the show. “People would come in and hand us $5, $10, or even $20 and tell us to keep the change,” said one student. “They knew it was going to a good cause.”



Monday, November 24, 2008

Playing with Truth in the World

“We have to stop treating Jesus as a noun. We need to understand how our faith is more important than that,” said Friday’s convocation speaker, Dr. Nathan Corbitt. He has a long list of credentials, including director of the Global Center for Applied Research, professor of cross-cultural studies at Eastern University, and president of BuildaBridge International. He spoke about the different truths existing together in our world and encouraged us to not think of ourselves as “resident aliens,” but instead just as “residents” so we can engage the culture we inevitably live in. Corbitt illustrated his points through several engaging demonstrations and stories, including the time he lived abroad, next door to an Muslim.
He said at one point he and his neighbor got into an argument over who Jesus really was—a prophet or the Son of God—and Corbitt eventually realized, “If we were going to be good neighbors, Jesus could not get in the way.”
Toward the end of convocation, Corbitt asked, “Is it enough for you and me to be in relationships with people and bring joy to the world? We feel like we have to work and save the world. All you have to do is be who and what you are. If you’re a student, be a good student. If you’re a manager, be a good manager. Be where you are.”
To listen to Dr. Corbitt’s talk, visit Gordon on iTunesU. The podcast will be posted within a few days.


A Semester in Beijing

CJ Pope ’09, an economics major, spent his spring 2008 semester studying in Beijing, China. Not only was CJ halfway around the world, but he was able to study in China during the country’s preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics. He wrote about his experience in China for Gordon’s collection of photojournals:
“As an economics major it didn’t seem there was any place better suited for me than China—the fastest growing economy in the world. It was really exciting, then, when I found out I could study at Peking University through the Beijing Program of Asian Studies. Not only did I make a lot of good friends I still keep in touch with, but I learned to appreciate a different way of life.”
To see more photos and read more about CJ’s experience in China, visit his photojournal.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Social Salvation and a Red Kettle Christmas

The familiar Christmas clanging of bells outside of store fronts will soon be heard as The Salvation Army stands faithfully next to their signature red Christmas kettles asking people to give to the poor, especially during this difficult financial time.
As the economy is struggling and people are in great need, The Salvation Army still embraces their cofounders’ message of “social salvation.” William and Catherine Booth taught that fulfilling a person’s physical needs before their spiritual needs is the only way people will have open ears to hear the gospel. At Gordon College, one professor’s writings are helping continue to share that message through his historical books on The Salvation Army and its service to the poor.
Roger Green, professor of biblical and theological studies and an expert on the Booths and The Salvation Army, explains in his book War on Two Fronts: The Redemptive Theology of William Booth (Salvation Army Supplies, 1989) the importance of social salvation. “The book attempts to give a careful overview of William Booth’s theology,” says Green, “the heart of which was his doctrine of redemption.”
According to Green, who is a soldier (layperson) in The Salvation Army, the Booths committed their lives to the poor, strategizing and implementing ways to make a practical difference to the impoverished. That vision throughout the 19th century caught like wildfire and spread to over 114 countries and 157 languages, and it is still being lived out today.

Colonel Dr. Earl Robinson, former chair of The Salvation Army International Doctrine Council says of Green's book, "In this book, Green traced the development from William Booth’s initial emphasis on personal conversion and a resultant personal salvation to his understanding of Christian redemption as embracing both personal and social salvation." Robinson continues, "Roger has provided further enlightenment on that thought and other distinctive features of The Salvation Army through being one of the most prolific and well-informed of Salvationist writers on the history and theology of the movement."
Green’s other Salvation Army books include a biography on Catherine Booth titled Catherine Booth: A Biography of the Co-Founder of The Salvation Army, (Baker Books, 1996) as well as his most recent book, The Life and Ministry of William Booth: Founder of The Salvation Army, (Abingdon, 2006). Green has taught at Gordon College since 1985; his courses have included biblical courses and theology courses as well as the New Testament survey course.
"Roger is an encouragement to other Salvationist writers," continues Robinson, "to share their thoughts and insights about The Salvation Army and its history in The Salvation Army’s Theology and Ministry Journal, Word & Deed, a publication that he was instrumental in bringing into being in 1998 as its co-editor."


Friday, November 21, 2008

We're Having Technical Difficulties...

Thanks for checking out our Gordon College blog Notes along the Way. We are currently experiencing problems with the blog displaying properly in Internet Explorer. The blog DOES display correctly in Firefox, however. If anyone out there has troubleshooting advice, we’d love to hear it!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Alum a Member of the Washington Nepal Forum

Sradda Thapa ’08 recently emailed several members of faculty and staff at Gordon to thank them for their contributions to her life while she attended Gordon.
Sradda is listed as one of the founding members of the Washington Nepal Forum. Her profile reads:
“Ms. Thapa currently works as the international development program associate at Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest peace-building organization. With hopes of contributing to sustainable socioeconomic development in her home country, she is part of American University’s Women and Politics-WeLead program. Additionally, attending three different international schools in Hong Kong, India and Australia between the ages of 7 and 18 had a profound impact on her worldview as she witnessed the intersecting spheres of poverty and affluence.”
While at Gordon, Sradda served as student vice president of finance and majored in international affairs with a minor in economics and a concentration of study in international development. She currently lives in Washington, D.C., and plans to return to Nepal in the summer of 2009.


Responding to St. Francis

“The reason Francis seems to have captured the imaginations of people is because who he was as a man was someone who was always reaching out for those on the fringe, reaching out for those who were broken,” said Wendy Murray, adjunct professor in Gordon’s Orvieto semester, in a chapel service September 15 titled “Five Ways Francis of Assisi Changed His World (and Ours).” Murray told the story of St. Francis, his life and conversion, and how he changed the world around him.
In an article printed November 18 in The Christian Century, Murray is discussed as one of the modern writers on St. Francis of Assisi:
“Evangelical journalist Wendy Murray begins A Mended and Broken Heart by arguing that Francis’s theology, as well as his personality, was complex. This is unusual as most writers have trouble discerning much theology in Francis at all. I believe that this is one of the secrets of the saint’s popularity in every age: he’s mostly praxis. . . . Murray seems to feel challenged by Francis in ways that Catholic readers will not. For instance, she mentions that her students at Gordon College, an evangelical school in Massachusetts, questioned whether Francis was really a Christian because he ‘didn't seem to apply to himself the principles of grace and mercy.’

To listen to the podcast of Murray’s chapel talk, visit the Gordon on iTunes U site.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Kids on the Block

The Boston Globe ran an article, pitched by Jon Phelps '08, on Saturday, November 15, about the former home of New Kids on the Block band members Jonathan and Jordan Knight. The famous Dorchester home, renamed the Jubilee House, is also one of the residences where Gordon in Boston students spend their off-campus semester. The article briefly mentions the students:
“The house is home to 15 people, including the Dunigans and their grown children, and students from Gordon College, who spend a semester living there while working with city youths.”
Students in the Gordon in Boston program spend a semester living in community, studying subjects in the context of urban living, and participating in local internships. Sue and Bill Dunigan, the pastors of the Salvation Army’s Jubilee House, continue their ministry of hospitality by opening their home to Gordon in Boston students, adding one more aspect of community to those participating in the semester.


Gordon Celebrates Day of Prayer

On Tuesday, November 18, the Gordon community observed a Day of Prayer. Rather than going to class and planning lectures, students, staff and faculty spent the chilly Tuesday in a morning liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox tradition, a community breakfast and prayer, chapel, and prayer groups.
“People pray, all over the globe,” said Greg Carmer, dean of the chapel, in Monday’s Service of Worship and Prayer. “In fact, like laughter and sorrow, like song and dance, prayer is one thing that seems to mark humans as distinct from other animal life on the planet.”
“Of course, adherents of the three great monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all pray, in different ways and in different voices, but all lifting themselves to the Creator God. Hindus pray, Buddhists pray . . . Even the doubtful and nonreligious, in times of duress, call out to the one whom they believe knows of their plight and can do something about it. Prayer seems to be a built-in human response to stress, wonder and gratitude.”
Throughout the day students went to the Ken Olsen Science Center to pen prayers on three large paintings. The “prayer murals” (left) will hang in the chapel as an artistic expression of community prayer. The chance to pause and spend a day in prayer is a welcome break during the busy fall semester.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Recreando Refugio

Senior Patricia Chan, a communication arts major, wrote about her experience with the El Refugio program for the Languages and Linguistics fall newsletter:
“My sophomore year at Gordon I met missionaries Paul and Beth Reichert at their supporting church in Gloucester. They introduced me to their program in Ecuador—El Refugio, an adventure-based, leadership-training center working with Ecuadorian church youth. Given my love for both Spanish and the outdoors, my interest was immediately sparked. Over Christmas break I had the opportunity to work with this program.
“I could tell you many stories about the teenagers we worked with, the ropes course we helped build, the trail we cut through the cloud forest, the hikes we took and the volcanoes we saw. But one of the most influential parts of the trip was connecting with the workers and kids through language.
Ask most of the core staff at El Refugio, and their stories are uniquely different yet strangely similar. Most had no intention of ending up with the program yet somehow found themselves there, loving their work and serving with whole hearts. One good friend I made had even been on a set path to a career in marine biology working at Sea World in California when God called her to Ecuador to visit her old youth pastor six years ago. Since then she’s been working with El Refugio. While arranging for a different course of life, God was secretly preparing her for His will.
“I feel strangely similar regarding my interest in Spanish. I have been taking Spanish classes since my freshman year of high school. Without a major, minor, or any particular reason in mind, I am drawn to it, and I can’t explain why. Once I set foot in Ecuador, however, the pieces seemed to fall into place . . . my passion for outdoor education . . . my years of Spanish . . . a desire to connect with people through language. I now see this seemingly undirected interest in Spanish as preparation—preparation for my future.
“These events have led me to believe even more strongly in God’s will. As Thomas Merton prayed, ‘I do not see the road ahead of me . . . nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.’ I often struggle with the question of knowing what God’s will is or if my inclinations are simply my own desires. But looking back (isn’t that always how it is?), I realize God has been preparing me through language for a long time.
“After all, as Proverbs 16:9 states, ‘El corazón del hombre traza su rumbo, pero sus pasos los dirige el Señor (The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps).’”


Monday, November 17, 2008

Cultivators and Creators: An Interview with Andy Crouch

The blog Text Messages, edited by Patton Dodd, recently published an interview with Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making: Rediscovering Our Creative Calling. Gordon art professor Bruce Herman is mentioned therein, along with Makoto Fujimura, whose painting, Golden Pines—Gordon, was recently installed in the Ken Olsen Science Center.
Dodd’s final question asked, “What are some of your favorite examples of Christians who are making culture today?” Crouch responded, “I think we are on the verge of a renaissance in the visual arts, led by artists like Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman. They are not as widely known as they should be, but they are doing peerless work of cultivating and creating. There are some truly amazing young artists following in their footsteps as well.”
Herman will also be a presenter at the upcoming Intervarsity Christian Fellowship conference, Human Flourishing, in Chicago, December 27-31. Vocatio (left), oil on panel, is part of his 2005 Pentimenti Series.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

“Isn't College Fun?”

Jennifer Brink, coordinator of academically based programs with Gordon in Lynn, writes of the En Camino excursion in which 80 fourth graders from Harrington Elementary School in Lynn visited Gordon’s campus:

“That was the best field trip ever!” shouted the kids as they finished up their school day at Gordon College. Jennifer Memmen, director of Adventure Camp and GORP Program, led them in a closing exercise where they tapped their legs, clapped their hands, snapped their fingers and then pointed to each other saying “Yeah!”
“What do we need to celebrate?” she asked. Hands shot up and after each answer she led them in the cheer routine. They wanted to celebrate things like science, seeing the residence halls, eating lunch, the art, being in the big gym, and making silly putty.
The fourth-grade children from E. J. Harrington Elementary School (one of several partner organizations with Gordon in Lynn), spent the morning of Friday, November 7, En Camino, which is Spanish for “on the path.” They learned about college and how it might be a part of their lives someday.
They began the day at the Barrington Center with Professors Mark Stevick and Dawn Sarouff. Dawn shared her early fascination with drawing and art and how that led to a career building theatre sets and teaching acting. Mark followed with a dynamic introduction to poetry, teaching the kids about rhythm, rhyme and meter with examples from classic poets such as Dr. Seuss, Eminem and Shakespeare.
Next, they divided up and visited the science faculty in the Ken Olsen Science Center to spend 30 minutes in a college classroom. Holding up a great horned owl, Professor Greg Keller talked about how owls eat without hands. Professors Dwight Tshudy and Emily Jarvis created a foaming chemistry reaction called Elephant Toothpaste. Professor Craig Story projected images of real beetles, butterflies and other colorful insects onto the big screen so the children could get a good look. Professor Stan Reczek worked with electricity and made their hair stand on end. In each classroom, the enthusiasm and curiosity of both children and faculty was obvious each time a hand shot up or someone said, “That’s cool!”
The children also visited the residence halls and talked with current students. Throughout the day Gordon in Lynn students and A. J. Scholars served as tour guides for the fourth graders. The children were able to ask lots of important questions like “Do you like the food?” and “How do you get along with your roommate?” And next Tuesday, November 18, on the Day of Prayer, the same Gordon students will visit Harrington School to further reflect with the children on their experiences at Gordon.
When Gordon student Dave Bircher asked some of the children what they wanted to be someday, one child answered, “President,” to which another child replied, “Did Barack Obama go to college?” “Yes, he did, and yes, you can too,” someone answered.
Though the path to college can be challenging as some families seek to overcome economic, social and cultural barriers, early exposure to college—like this day at Gordon—is one way to alleviate some of the challenges. It gives kids a vision of college life and an understanding of its importance for their futures. En Camino is a way to do justice for these kids so they too can imagine themselves in college someday.
As Professor Story asked as he pointed to a bright red beetle, “Isn’t college fun?” No one disagreed.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gordon College Provost Mark Sargent Receives Top Chief Academic Officer Award

Out of nearly 600 member colleges and universities across the country, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) recently honored Gordon College Provost Mark Sargent with its top annual academic officer award for 2008. (Sargent is pictured with his wife, Arlene).


For Love of Salamanders and Turtles

Dorothy Boorse, associate professor of biology, will share her latest research at the annual meeting of the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust this coming Sunday, Nov. 16. “[She] has come to know a great deal about the local amphibians, such as turtles, frogs and salamanders that inhabit the Manchester-Essex Woods,” the MECT’s newsletter states. “Dr. Boorse will share her extensive research into these critters, their breeding activity in vernal pools and wanderings in upland areas.”
In mid-October Boorse attended a Faith Community training with The Climate Project in Nashville, Tennessee. The training gave people like Boorse tools to become volunteer presenters of information on climate change. She said, “I personally became convicted of the problems the environment is facing years ago. Climate change is one of them, and one of the most urgent.” Running the conference were former Vice President Al Gore, Professor Emeritus of University of Michigan Henry Pollack, and National Wildlife Federation head Larry Schweiger.
Dr. Boorse’s primary research and teaching interests are in aquatic community ecology and invasive species, and her biological research focus is on vernal pools. She is available to give presentations to faith or other groups about global climate change and may be contacted at


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Biology Professor Receives Award

Dr. Greg Keller, associate professor of biology, recently received the Charles Blake Award for ornithological research from the Nuttall Ornithological Club. “The grant is for a migratory bird project I designed and submitted last month,” he explained. The one-year award includes funds for travel and student assistance. “I’m excited to start selecting study sites, and I’ll be waiting for the return of those warblers,” he said.
Student involvement is key in this project. “I think students gaim a much greater appreciation of science by doing it rather than reading about it,” he says. Dr. Keller’s students, with training, will be able to identify small songbirds and follow these birds, paying attention to their behaviors. “All of these measures will help me understand the differences between sites based on habitat quality,” he says.
“A songbird that weighs the same as four pennies flies 2000 miles over the course of three weeks, and we see them here, foraging enthusiastically to try to make it successfully to South or Central America, Mexico or the West Indies,” says Keller. “It really is a remarkable feat, and we see it here in our very own Gordon College woods twice a year.”
Dr. Keller also participated in En Camino, an event on Friday where school children from Lynn visited the Gordon campus and attended classroom sessions with four science professors. Keller was able to share his love of birds with a classroom full of enthusiastic fourth graders.


Friday, November 7, 2008

An Open Birthday Letter to Billy Graham on His 90th Birthday

“I’m grateful for the profound influence you had on Gordon College in the 1960s and early 1970s. I know that you considered Dr. Ockenga (pictured, left) your mentor during these years and were intimate friends with several trustees of the College. You and Mrs. Graham also knew the value of a strong Christian liberal arts college like Gordon because one of your daughters attended Gordon during this period. Thank you for all the times you were a speaker on our campus at the height of your ministry because you inspired many Gordon students to serve Christ throughout the world. Your consistent example of Christian faith and service has been a model to me.”
-R. Judson Carlberg, President of Gordon College

Read more birthday greetings to Billy Graham from the Gordon community.
Read 1950 Gordon alum Polly Brown’s reminiscenses
of the 1949 Billy Graham Crusade in Boston, and how it galvanized the Gordon community.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recreation and Leadership

November 6, 13, and 20, over 60 local homeschooled children will take part in recreation days at Gordon’s Bennett Center. Student leaders play with the kids in activities involving parachutes, beach balls, blindfolds and racing. “The program has been going on for a number of years, so it has a good reputation,” said Peggy Hothem, professor of recreation and leisure studies. “The students who help out get to practice their leadership skills.”
What better way to spend a rainy November day?


Why Should Christians Read Poetry?

Of Brad Davis’ poetry, Mary Oliver has said: “[His] poems are modest and intense at the same time—in every way a comfort, a reminder and a prod.”
Davis, a 1976 Gordon alum, was recently interviewed for LeAnne Martin’s weblog, Christians in the Arts. Davis currently works at Pomfret School in Connecticut, where he edits the Broken Bridge Review, a journal for emerging adult poets and writers. In the past he has taught Writing Poetry at Eastern Connecticut State University and the College of the Holy Cross, and in 2005 published a volume of his poetry, Though War Break Out. This is the first volume of his Opening King David collection. (View all of his books here)
In Martin’s interview Davis discusses the “music of language,” poetry in everyday life, and why Christians “should” read poetry. “I am drawn to poetry for the experience of how it makes my brain work,” says Davis. “In an encounter with a well-written poem, whether on paper or articulated at a reading, I see, hear, feel things vividly in my inner self that enlarge my experience of the beautiful, broken world in which you and I serve as stewards.”