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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spanglish

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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).’”

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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.

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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.

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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).
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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 dorothy.boorse@gordon.edu.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.”

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Path to Publishing

Jeremy Robinson, a former Gordon student, published his second novel, Antarktos Rising, in December 2007. Less than two weeks after Robinson self-published it, the editor of Thomas Dunne contacted him with a book deal. The series includes Antarktos Rising, Kronos (scheduled for release January 16, 2009), and a third to be released in the spring/summer of 2009. Life hasn’t always been easy for Robinson, though. Fosters.com tells his story.
For now Robinson’s hard work has finally paid off. He looks forward to new business investments and an anime film based on Antarktos Rising due out in 2010.

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Psychology Alum Receives Award


Less than a year after graduation, Deborah Teo ’08 is amazed at how Gordon professors continue to be involved in her life. “Gordon never fails to impress me with how much the professors care!” says Teo, a Singapore native who grew up in Japan before coming to Gordon.
With the recommendation of Gordon’s faculty, the New England Psychological Association chose the psychology major and current graduate student at Harvard University as the recipient of their prestigious Honorary Undergraduate Scholars Award for the 2008-2009 year. In addition to this award, Teo recently received funding from Gordon’s Undergraduate Research Committee to support her November travel to the Association for Moral Education (AME) meetings at the University of Notre Dame. At the conference she’ll be presenting a paper coauthored with Kaye Cook, professor of psychology, entitled “Attachment to Fathers in Religious Families and Implications for Moral Development.” And this isn’t the first time Teo has presented at a conference of this caliber. While at Gordon she designed a study of the dreams of an international student while crossing cultures, which she presented at the New England Psychological Association 2007 Conference.
In addition to these accomplishments, Teo won the Best of Show award in the 2008 Gordon Undergraduate Research Poster Conference for her comparative study on “The Portrayal of Parent-Child Relationships in America’s and Singapore’s Media.”
“We wish Deborah the best as she continues to serve God with her extensive academic abilities,” says Dr. Kaye Cook on Teo’s continued education and accomplishments.

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Communion of Saints—Jerusalem and Athens Forum Prayer Book Debuts

Part of the goal of the Jerusalem and Athens Forum program is to help evangelical students gain a deeper understanding of the broader Christian intellectual tradition and the life of the church. Toward that end, we have created a JAF devotional/prayer book drawn from such historic and diverse Christian sources as Basil, Jerome, Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, Wesley, Kierkegaard, Martin Luther King Jr., and many more. We hope this will help give our students a greater sense of the “communion of the saints.” Download the prayer book here.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

New Center for Nonprofit Organization Studies and Philanthropy at Gordon College

Gordon recently approved a new minor in Nonprofit Organization Management and Social Entrepreneurship and launched a new Center for Nonprofit Organization Studies and Philanthropy—which offers new courses for a minor unlike any other at Christian colleges across the nation. Assistant Professor of Economics and Business at Gordon College Casey Cooper, along with colleague Professor Ted Wood and a team of others, helped launch the new program.
The minor in Nonprofit Organization Management and Social Entrepreneurship is designed specifically to support a student’s current major. Its purpose—and its uniqueness—is to augment students’ majors across disciplines while providing an understanding of the function of nonprofits in society. Whether studying youth ministry, social work, recreation or even the arts, the new minor will be equipped for careers or volunteer opportunities in nonprofits across a broad array of interests and passions.
“We realized that when Gordon students graduate they take jobs with relief organizations, hospitals, museums, businesses and a host of other not-for-profit organizations,” Wood said. “So we began to ask, why wouldn’t Gordon College, of all places, be helping students better understand that type of administrative ministry?”
Joe Krivickas, an entrepreneur with an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, provided generous help for the program’s launch. “Partnering with Gordon College allows my family and me to invest in our passion to develop young people into leaders,” Krivickas said. “It’s exciting to be a part of a project like this—one that equips those to better serve the nonprofits they love.”
The new Center for Nonprofit Organization Studies and Philanthropy at Gordon College also hopes to host conferences, campus speakers for the local public community and offer online noncredit certificate courses. The unique emphasis on nonprofit studies at a Christian liberal arts college makes the Center the first of its kind while also meeting a crucial need that has been missing in organizations for decades.
“So many individuals in nonprofits are well intentioned but have little business experience,” Cooper said. “They’re working in an area that requires a piece of their heart, or their passion, so they deserve to use their resources to the best of their ability. This program provides that training, which is a great ministry in itself.”

Read more in the Boston Business Journal.

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From Philosophy Professor to Anglican Priest

Last year Malcolm Reid retired from his position as professor of philosophy and chairman of the Humanities Division at Gordon. In May of this year he was ordained a priest in the Anglican Communion by Bishop William Murdoch, rector of All Saints Church and Ministry Center in Amesbury, Massachusetts.
For a number of years Reid has served the wider Anglican Communion in a variety of ways as a lay preacher, lecturer and consultant on Christian higher education.
Read more of this seacoastonline.com article, and about Gordon’s ongoing involvement with Uganda Christian University and the Village 2 Village Project.

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