Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Case You Have Been Wondering about All the Moths . . .

Editor's note: This was posted last year (12/07/08), but it looks like it's about that time of year again. Dorothy Boorse, associate professor of biology, wrote:

“Leaving campus in the dark of early evening, I have been bombarded by clouds of fluttering moths at the glass entrance to the building. They lie in the wet of the sidewalk, bang against my face, tap on my hands as I flick them away. You have seen them too, I know, because I hear the tidbits of lunchroom speculations, references to the Hitchcock movie The Birds. Will they take over? Will Hitchcock’s legacy live on in some dreadful horror flick in which Gordon staff and faculty are battered to death by moths? Moths in the eyes (ta dum ta dum); the mouth (the horror!!)? Dan Tymann running screaming into the building, beating back the flurry of powdered wings; Greg Carmer found frozen in terror, covered by moths, almost to his car at the Chapel Lot. . . .
“Possibly. I can’t really speak to that. But in case you wondered, they are males of the wintermoth, a newly introduced European species that has taken over the Thanksgiving and Advent periods in eastern Massachusetts for the past several years. The larvae are those light green inchworms that so devastate your crabapple and oak trees in the spring, leaving only skeleton veins of those first juicy leaves. The house sparrows love them.
“But only males? Yup. The females are flightless. If you look closely at walls and doors, you will see what look like mutant moths, with small, unusable wing buds. They are supposed to be like that. They sit there and send out chemicals more powerful than the best Christmas present perfume, calling to the males, ‘Come find me,’ and apparently it works, except for all the males lost trying to get to the lights through the glass doors on campus, or feebly beating in the puddles I pass.
“Winter moths are similar to the native fall cankerworm. They come out at the same time and also have flightless females. But cankerworms don’t build up the huge numbers we have been seeing the last two weeks. These are almost certainly the European winter moth. So if you have been wondering, there you have it. If you haven’t been wondering, get out and notice while they are still around!”
More information is available through UMASS extension.
Enjoying the natural world, even the creepy bits,
Dorothy Boorse


Monday, November 23, 2009

Youth Ministry Symposium Draws Large Crowd to Gordon College

Gordon College is a busy place. Add a crowd of youth workers to that buzz and you’d swear you’ve never seen so many rowdy, passionate individuals together before. November 5 was one such day. The draw? Christian Ministries Day and the Youth Ministry Symposium were held simultaneously for youth and youth workers around New England.
Over 200 people, compared to last year’s 135, attended the event sponsored by the Christian Ministries Department, the Office of Church Relations and the Admissions Office. It was perhaps the largest gathering of youth workers in New England in a very long time, according to Bob Whittet, associate professor of Christian ministries and director of church relations.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Scott Larson—an adjunct professor at Gordon and head of Straight Ahead Ministries—taught two sessions on “Reaching Today’s Troubled Teens” and “Teaching for Transformational Change” in the Ken Olsen Science Center’s MacDonald Auditorium. But you wouldn’t have known it. The large-scale lecture hall took on the smaller and warmer tone of a house church or classroom as people responded to the talks and asked questions.
Larson was up for the task. His experience working with troubled teens in gangs gave insight to youth workers in all fields. He talked about how every behavior serves to meet a need, solve a problem or manage an emotion.
“Scott knows his stuff so well and his delivery is so authentic,” said Susie Richardson of Campus Crusade for Christ. “You can tell he draws from a deep well of experience and wisdom.”
This was also an important day for the Gordon College Christian Ministries Department, who officially presented the expanded Christian ministries programs to the visiting youth and youth workers.
Mark Cannister, along with Sharon Ketcham and Whittet—
professors of Christian Ministries—discussed the new Christian ministries major as now including concentrations in youth ministries, juvenile justice ministries (taught by Larson), global Christianity, urban ministries, and outdoor education ministries.
“When we saw the list of ministries that our graduates were involved in, we recognized we were preparing students for far more than typical youth ministry,” said Whittet. “Our new department name acknowledges and celebrates that.”


Friday, November 20, 2009

Having an Impact on Beacon Hill

This week, Gordon president Jud Carlberg, along with 35 other college presidents in Massachusetts, met with Governor Deval Patrick at a gathering organized by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM). The meeting featured a wide-ranging discussion on issues impacting higher education.
Since 70% of all bachelors’ degrees in Massachusetts are awarded by independent colleges and universities, it’s important that they maintain a high profile with leaders and policymakers. Gordon, as the only multidenominational Christian college in New England, provides an important voice in the discussion.


A Shared Mission

Kurt Keilhacker, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, visited campus this week for a special faculty and staff meeting. Keilhacker is the managing partner and founder of TechFund, a venture capital fund focused on emerging information and clean energy technologies.
According to Nancy Anderson, director of human resources:
"Mr. Keilhacker personally conveyed the appreciation of the Board for the work of the faculty and staff here at Gordon. He spoke on the importance of sound financial stewardship during these challenging economic times. He responded to questions from the floor on issues ranging from institutional fiscal strategy to the vision the Board has for Gordon. He frequently returned to the theme of 'shared mission.'
"It struck me that it was no coincidence that Mr. Keilhacker flew to Gordon before our annual Day of Prayer, a day when faculty, staff and students come together as a community before God. His presence reminded us that while we all have a unique and essential role in our work here, we are bound together by our faith and calling to do the work of our Lord at Gordon College."


Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Experience on the Trading Room Floor

Math and finance major Jordan Willis, of North Easton, Massachusetts, shares his recent experience on the "trading-room floor" in Boston:

"Each week, I meet with fifteen students and our professor, Larry Locke, as we engage in deep conversation and discussion about the many players, firms, and theories energizing the financial markets and institutions of our world. This week, our discussion moved from the familiar surroundings of desks, chalkboard, and Jenks 209, into the city of Boston...the heart of the mutual fund industry, and onto the equity trading floor for Fidelity Investments.
Taking the "T" from Beverly station, and a quick ride on the MBTA Orange Line, we shared in the commute experience of Boston's workforce.

Greeted by the equity floor manager, we were led into a conference room adjacent to the trading floor. From there, students observed the ins and outs of all the action. Multiple screens flickered with live daily reports, CNN Money, and global financial information. Stock-tickers stretched the length of the floor reporting the day’s financial changes and desks packed with monitors featured sophisticated trading and analysis software.

Fidelity emphasized teamwork and social interaction in their workforce – a character-trait not often associated with life on the equity trading floor. Through real-time observations, our questions, and our course Financial Markets and Institutions, we experienced a real sense of operations in global trading."


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Round-Table Conversations

"I chose Gordon because of the quality of the professors and the chance to engage my faith in the classroom and with other students," said Hilary Sherratt of Rowley, Massachusetts. "This week, I met with Dr. Paul Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and former assistant attorney general for administration for the U.S. Department of Justice. We talked about Christian colleges across the nation, and Gordon's unique role. My focus of study at Gordon is Ethics, Religion and Politics--speaking with Dr. Corts was a great opportunity."


Day of Prayer

At least three times a week students gather in the A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel for large services and presentations. Chapel and Convocation help define our identity as a community of believers as we undertake our educational mission. Yesterday, the campus participated in the Annual Day of Prayer.
"As part of the annual day of prayer at Gordon, students wrote prayers on strips of cloth and tied them to a wire structure," said Greg Carmer, Dean of the Chapel. "It was our desire to visually represent the prayers of the community; to allow spoken and unspoken longings and desires to be assembled into a piece of living art. Once the structure is taken down, the fabric strips will be collected into wreaths and remain as a token of of the collective spiritual life of the community."


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A 25-Year Anniversary

Please join us tomorrow as we welcome Rabbi James Rudin back to campus as part of our “Exploring Psalms with the Rabbis” Series. Twenty-five years ago, Rabbi Rudin and Dr. Marvin Wilson co-chaired the Third National Conference of Evangelicals and Jews on the Gordon College campus. Rabbi Rudin is co-editor of four different volumes on Evangelical Christian-Jewish relations with Dr. Wilson. He has the longest history of any rabbi in America of working extensively and nationally with American evangelicals.

Thursday, November 12
4:00 p.m.—Reception—Ken Olsen Science Center, Chairman’s Room
4:30 p.m.—Rabbi A. James Rudin
Ken Olsen Science Center, MacDonald Auditorium
Christian-Jewish Relations in America: Forty Years in Retrospect

Friday, November 13
10:25 a.m.—A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel
Psalms in the Collective Experience of the Jewish People
11:25 a.m.—Q & A Session with Rabbi Rudin at the front of the Chapel
The Future of Christian-Jewish Relations


Monday, November 9, 2009

Freshman Class "Tunes In"

This weekend, over 120 Gordon College freshmen gathered together in the Ken Olsen Science Center’s MacDonald Auditorium for a class event tailored just for them. The event included fellowship, worship and encouragement from guest speaker, Julie Ray, followed by a night of enthusiastic "Gordon-style" entertainment. Ray, associate dean of Gordon's first-year experience, started the night with a sincere address to students about “Tuning In” to what God wants of them during college. “Your first year in college is important, so tune yourself in to what God wants you to become. Be attentive and do your part.....Lean in, hear it, and look for it.” Ray's own recent struggle and victory over breast cancer served as an illustration for students - emphasizing to wait patiently on God as he unfolds what He has in store for each person. She talked to students about leaving their hands open so God can mature them, especially during challenges and difficulties along the journey.Following Ray’s words, Gordon's worship band transformed the night into a rock-stage to perform U2 covers for the newest members of the Gordon community. The reunion really started to buzz when lead singer Mac Gostow belted a version of “Livin’ on a Prayer” hosting Gordon-relevant lyrics composed by band member Rafaell Rozendo and Freshmen Class President Naamã Mendes. Amidst the set, t-shirts were hurled into the audience by the Freshman class cabinet to top off the night.


Friday, November 6, 2009

From the Western Plains to a New England Town

By Anne Taylor '10
As an intern in the Admissions Office, I’m often asked what made me choose Gordon College. Of all the phrases I use—“my professors care,” “an encouraging community,” or “close to Boston”—none reigns more true in my daily life than “feels like home.” But when I visited Gordon four years ago, I stepped onto campus hesitantly. Wenham, a small New England town, is 2,000 miles from the western plains in Colorado where I grew up.
But after touring the beautiful campus with its collegiate charms, meeting enthusiastic faculty like Mark Stevick, professor of creative writing, and actually making friends with current students, I knew Gordon was the place for me. Since I’m a history major, Boston’s place in the foundations of our country offers daily inspiration in my academic and spiritual life. As Abigail Adams wrote in a letter to her son, John Quincy, “The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by the scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”
This quote is taped to my desk, and, when I see it every morning, I’m reminded that no matter how far I am from home or the trials I face, it’s the challenges of making the move, studying for that exam, and praying through each difficult time that are forming my mind and heart. Gordon has equipped me and enriched me, and I am so thankful that I can call it home. I invite you to visit our campus on November 20th for our last fall open house, Gordon Experience Day, and take this important step in your college search. I hope you will feel as “at home” as I did, and that you are inspired by the opportunities that await you here.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Global Education Students Bring Rich Experiences Back to Gordon

Students returning from study abroad programs, international seminars, and summer missions programs had the chance to share their global experiences at a panel discussion held recently in Jenks, Many students and faculty attended. Students in each panel portrayed the diversity in Gordon’s global community. International students from South Korea and Poland listened as American students talked about their experiences in France, Botswana, Costa Rica, Uganda, Jerusalem, Swaziland and Thailand.
Professor Ruth Melkonian-Hoover moderated the discussion as students talked about topics ranging from their first intercultural experiences, families' and friends' reactions to their trip, struggles facing them when returning to the United States, plans to continue engaging in the global community and the ways in which their faith had been broadened through international experiences. After each student had a chance to share, Professor Melkonian-Hoover opened up the floor to the audience for questions. Many came away with a better idea of the benefits and challenges of global education programs. (By Natalie Giordano '13, communication arts)