Friday, February 26, 2010

A Clinical Psychologist in Training

Since graduating, Brian Denietolis ’05 has been studying at Antioch University New England in a combined master’s/doctoral program in clinical psychology. Brian isn’t sure he’d be where he is if it weren’t for his academic advisor at Gordon, Dr. Kaye Cook, professor of psychology.
When he was a freshman in Psychology 101, Dr. Cook pulled Brian aside and told him he should be a psychology major because she saw potential in him. Dr. Cook continued to bolster his professional and academic development; in fact, Brian says the faculty and courses offered at Gordon provided him with “an extremely solid foundation in general psychology, enabling my success as a graduate student. Working alongside students who got their undergraduate degrees at Boston University, Boston College, Tufts, Brown and Duke, I have always felt Gordon prepared me as well as my colleagues to rise to the challenges. But the dedication and commitment of Gordon’s faculty was the most crucial factor in my decision to become a clinical psychologist.”
What else has contributed to leading Brian down this path? He worked as a research assistant for the Multicultural Center for Research and Practice at Antioch and was a student reviewer for the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development. He served as a student leader for the Support Group for Ethnic and Racial Diversity and was a student leader for the Psychoanalytic Discussion Group and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual Discussion Group. He was a team member of Antioch University’s Disaster Shakti, an organization that offers social-justice outreach services to disaster-stricken communities. “With the help of my academic advisor,” says Brian, “I designed a treatment outcome study for my dissertation examining whether or not ‘mindful foster-parenting’ cultivates attachment security and adaptive emotion regulation among foster children.” Brian also received training at some of the leading teaching hospitals and medical schools in New England: Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Brown Medical School and UMass Medical School, among others.
“I have also sought specialized training in treating children, adolescents and families faced with chronic psychological suffering in general, and child maltreatment/post-traumatic stress disorder in particular,” Brian says. “As a predoctoral intern in clinical child and adolescent psychology at Dartmouth, I am receiving specialized training in implementing evidence-based practices to treat the cognitive, emotional and behavioral sequelae experienced by children exposed to interpersonal traumas (i.e., sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence).”
He also joined a team of clinicians with Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center, committed to distributing evidence-based practice for treating post-traumatic stress in children 1–4 years old. The treatment model, called Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), is a dyadic, attachment-based manualized treatment.
Brian Denietolis received his degree in psychology with a minor in youth ministries at Gordon. He and his wife, Kristina Whitehead-Denietolis ’06, will celebrate their fifth anniversary this July. Brian says, “Our love, commitment and support for each other is a far greater accomplishment than any of our academic and professional achievements.”


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finding Vision with Eagle Projects International

Phil Eyster ’80B has a vision—to help others fulfill their own. To realize it he founded Eagle Projects International (EPI), an interdenominational ministry through which he has organized missions and humanitarian trips to over 300 different countries, planted churches and spread the gospel around the world.
Eyster is a Barrington graduate whose biblical studies major laid the groundwork for further theological work at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and with Campus Crusade for Christ in New York City. His wife is Marcia L. (Gammon) Eyster ’81B, a devoted mother to their seven children, including two adopted girls from China.
Missions got in Eyster’s blood during his first international trip to Uganda in 1980, though he had to put this desire on hold because of seminary. He continued to serve through inner-city evangelism, street preaching and his chaplaincy role at the Portland Rescue Mission. In 1989 Eyster finally launched EPI and each year takes hundreds of volunteers to underdeveloped nations to serve and minister through field evangelism. “Field evangelism means we go to them,” said Eyster. “It’s not crusade evangelism. We follow up, and we take the message to them—on their territory.”
EPI has kept its original vision for 20 years, though the world continues to change. The recent disaster in Haiti, for example, requires alterations in EPI’s ministry plans in the country, and currently a small team is planning to go down in March to better assess the situation. The relationships Eyster has cultivated for the past 20 years are helping him figure out how EPI can continue to be a positive influence in Haiti in the future.
Despite natural and political difficulties, Eyster and others are still out in the villages, bus stations, prisons and marketplaces of the world. Their goal is to spread the gospel and share the love of Christ while maintaining relationships with those they serve. It’s all part of his vision to come alongside people as partners and help to fulfill God’s mission for their lives.
If you would like to be a part of a short-term missions project or learn of other opportunities to support EPI, visit


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hands-on Learning for Math Majors

When Mike Veatch, professor of mathematics, wanted to give the students in his Operations Research class hands-on learning experiences in the field of math, he took them to Lynn and connected them with the Police Department. His students studied the cost of responding to false burglar alarms and made recommendations on reducing the number of false alarms.
The police chief and many of his staff attended their presentation at the end of the semester and were pleased with their results. “Even though their research was mostly dealing with statistics,” says Veatch, “this was great experience for my students. They interacted with employees from different backgrounds and learned how to deal with a computer data system they weren’t familiar with.”


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Caitlin Snyder, an art major from Santa Barbara, California, speaks on the integration of art, education and the mindset of career preparation:

The Department of Art's graphic design program is an active experience . . . more than I would have imagined. The faculty constantly encourage me to learn more about my craft and to seek passion for the arts beyond the studio classroom.

In talking to other students, I realize how integrated our love of design is with our education and interests. But I’ve also realized how much our professors really care, as fellow artists, in helping us reach our career goals.

The full integration of art and education really came together during my sophomore year at Gordon. I was asked to create a logo here, a brand there, and many, many T-shirts for students and on-campus groups. That’s when I decided to name my work, creating my own freelance design company, called cee.grace Designs. With the knowledge gained from my courses and the individual research into the lives of designers and design companies, I’ve pulled together a vocation that I’m passionate about. Today I have my own small company, a design blog, and clients.

In May, when I graduate, there will be more to come. This is only the beginning of my journey as an artist.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Gordon Presence Felt in Third Annual Salem Film Festival

Organizers of the third annual Salem Film Festival are giving local residents an opportunity to see the world—through film. Of the 34 documentary films chosen for the Festival that runs from February 26 through March 4 at Cinema Salem (1 Church Street), all include stories from across the globe, including Cuba, Poland, Jamaica, China and more. Several filmmakers—including British Academy Award winner Les Blank—will be on hand to discuss their work.

Gordon College Provost Mark Sargent—who runs the Provost Film Series on campus—is again one of the Festival judges. Chris Gilbert, adjunct professor of communication arts, is the coordinator of volunteers, and Paul VanNess, a Gordon graduate from the Class of 1973, filmmaker and co-owner of Cinema Salem, is a member of the Salem Film Festival Planning Committee.

“This year’s Festival showcases some particularly compelling, relevant and gritty films that are quite thought-provoking,” said Sargent. “Once again the organizers of the Festival have provided the community with a great opportunity to see emerging talent and important stories in these documentaries.”

The Salem Film Fest also offers a rich schedule of discussions, parties, galas, meet-and-greets, family-friendly screenings, high school student film showcases, and opportunities to meet visiting filmmakers in intimate settings. Many of these special events are free, but space may be limited. For ticket and additional information, visit the Salem Film Fest Web site.


Celebrating Passover with Dr. Wilson

Under the tutelage of Dr. Marvin Wilson, professor of biblical and theological studies at Gordon, students are experiencing the history of their faith. And in March, while taking part in a Jewish Passover Seder meal, they will literally “eat history,” according to Wilson.

Wilson has broadened students’ religious education with over 400 interfaith field trips into the North Shore’s Jewish community during his time at Gordon. On March 18 students will take part in the yearly Passover meal at the Jewish Community Center in Marblehead, joined by both Christians and Jews from North Shore Community College, Salem State College and other North Shore organizations. In past years 400–500 have attended.

The Seder meal celebrates the Exodus from Egypt and slavery by retelling history to family and community. Through liturgy, a traditional meal, and song and dance, participants relive the deliverance, redemption and friendship experienced so long ago.

“The redemption from Egypt celebrates the greatest miracle in our Old Testament,” Wilson says. Every item on the table is a reminder of some aspect of life in Egypt. Salt water represents tears shed by Jewish slaves; matzah is to remember the quick departure from Egypt; charoset represents mortar for the making of bricks; and horseradish is to remember the bitterness of slavery.

Wilson hopes students will better understand the theme of redemption, will appreciate more about the Jewish background for Passover, and will learn about expanding Jewish-Christian relations. “We as Christians have the opportunity to relate to the Jewish community,” Wilson concludes, “and to articulate a personal sense of indebtedness, appreciation and thankfulness to them for bequeathing such a rich Hebraic heritage to us in the Church.”


Friday, February 19, 2010

National Colloquium to Be Held at Gordon

On March 27 literature and linguistics students from across the country will gather at Gordon to present their papers at the first annual Literature and Linguistics Undergraduate Colloquium (LLUC). The event is a great opportunity for students in the field of language and literature to become professionalized and to receive more from their papers than just a grade.

“Usually when a student writes a great paper they get excited about it and their teacher gets excited about it, but it ends there,” says Dr. Gregor Thuswaldner, associate professor of German at Gordon. “Now students have the opportunity to do something more with these papers.” The one-day event will host several panels of three to four presentations, which will precede discussions with professors and other students.

Thuswaldner, who is organizing the event alongside Dr. Andrea Frankwitz and Professor Andrew Logemann from the English Department, and Dr. Graeme Bird of the Languages and Linguistics Department, recognized a need for this conference because only a few colleges across the country host events like it. Thuswaldner says, “It’s necessary for students to share their work—They’ll become professionalized and be more comfortable presenting to a crowd and defending their arguments.” It’s also important because the pressure is on for many students. Graduate schools are competitive, and presenting at an undergraduate conference can give students an advantage; it shows they’re serious.

The February 15 deadline has garnered responses from literature and linguistic students from all across the country who have written on a broad array of literary and linguistic topics. It is sure to be a fun and informative day for all. For more information visit


Thursday, February 18, 2010

David Denison ’11 Awarded Best Delegate at Harvard’s Model UN

By Steven Fletcher ’12
Twenty-five hundred students attended Harvard University’s National Model United Nations at Boston’s Park Plaza hotel this past weekend. Seventeen were from Gordon College. One walked away with the title “Best Delegate” for his committee.

The seventeen, a mix of political studies, international affairs, philosophy and music majors led by Paul Brink, associate professor of political studies, returned from the weekend-long conference on February 15. David Denison ’11, an international affairs and philosophy major from Windsor, CO, returned with the Best Delegate award. Denison served as the Tanzanian representative to the UN Development Committee, which included nearly 40 other delegates from colleges and universities across the country, representing countries the world over.

Best Delegate stands as the highest award a delegate can receive at the Model UN, and it usually falls into the hands of Yale or Harvard students. Denison’s honor marks the first time in Gordon’s involvement in Model UN that a student has received an award.

The Best Delegate award is given by the committee staff, which is comprised of other student delegates and takes a wholistic view of the delegate’s performance over the weekend. The honor takes into account attendance, participation, skill, presentations, and everything in between.

“David had to master the topic, the jurisdiction and scope of the committee’s purpose, and he excelled at each,” said Brink. “This award is really exciting for Gordon and, of course, for David because he’d worked so hard preparing for the event. Just ask him how much sleep he got.”


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Finding Color in the Cold

The winner of the winter
photography contest was Nina Gundrum, a freshman from Reinholds, PA. The winning submission was based on the theme “Finding Color in the Cold.”
Nina’s beautiful landscape of Gordon’s Coy Pond was selected from over 100 images and was voted on by a team of professional judges including John Becker of TIME magazine; Tanja Butler, associate professor of art at Gordon; Cyndi McMahon, College Communications; and Timothy Ferguson-Sauder, creative director of the Gordon College Design Center.
Visit PHOTOGordon to see the selected top ten picks and the next theme, “Gordon Faces.”


Farming Corn God’s Way

“It was Gordon that introduced me to the concept of agricultural missions work and gave me a passion for it,” says Joanna Lippmann ’07, who was a Pike scholar majoring in sustainable agriculture and community development, minoring in missions and outdoor education. ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) solidified her love for sustainable agriculture; her missions minor helped her interact with issues missionaries regularly face as they decide where to go, what to do, how to do it and who to be as they share Jesus with people around them.
It was Gordon that made Joanna aware of ECHO, a nonprofit, Christian organization she interned with, dedicated to fighting world hunger through ideas, agricultural information, training, and seeds. Joanna’s agricultural internship with ECHO led her to Niger to help another ECHO staff member at a conference for homeschooling families and to visit missionaries involved in agricultural work.
Today Joanna lives in Cambodia—in a town called Mondulkiri—apprenticing with an Australian family doing agricultural work. Currently they are cross-breeding U.S. and Australian breeds of chickens for the purpose of improving the size of the eggs, disease-resistance, and egg-laying capacities of village chickens. They’ve also been working on demonstrating the Farming God’s Way method when growing corn, distributing fruit trees, educating people about rearing rabbits and teaching them how to produce their own animal feed instead of buying it.
Farming God’s Way, also called conservation farming, was designed to mimic the way God grows things in nature. It was developed by a Christian Zimbabwean corn grower who was having difficulty growing things. He developed new techniques including heavy mulching, no tillage, permanent planting stations, planting along the contour of the hill, specific spacing and timing, and doing things to high standards and with pride and excellence. He shared these with his neighbors, along with the gospel, attributing his success to God’s goodness to him. His methods have spread to Cambodia, where Joanna is working to implement them in her community.

Joanna is pictured with a friend’s son in front of their Farming God’s Way corn plot.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Reading Program a Win-Win

Priscilla Nelson, assistant professor of education writes:

Every Thursday the Early Childhood Education majors and I travel to the Harrington School in Lynn to help with reading. My students spread out to six classrooms in kindergarten, first and second grade.
Some of these classrooms use the S.I.O.P. (Sheltered Instruction, Observation Protocol) model for English language learners. My students plan and present reading lessons to small groups of students. They also direct reading center activities and help teachers with reinforcement activities—all things they are learning in their EDU 346 and EDU 348 classes.
With as many as 27 students in the Harrington classrooms, having Gordon students help means the elementary students receive instruction in small groups—which we know from research produces better results. Because reading failure is a national concern, Gordon students are seeing firsthand that these types of reading practices and activities prevent this failure.
This program is a win win—the Harrington students benefit from small-group targeted instruction; Gordon students benefit from seeing success as a result of putting research into practice.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gordon Guard Leads the Nation in Three-point Shooting

by Matt Moran

He’s had a hard time missing the net this season but fans of Gordon’s men’s basketball team don’t mind. They’re celebrating the fact that Brady Bajema ’10, a business administration major, is currently leading all Division III men’s basketball players in the nation with his three-point shooting percentage.
The 6'2" guard is shooting .549 from long range (39 of 71) and helping lead the Fighting Scots to a 12–3 season record so far and 5–0 in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC).
“Brady’s contributed great things for us all year,” said Tod Murphy, head coach for the Scots. “He completes the backcourt for us and has built on a very successful junior year, where he also led the team in assists (4.64 pg) and free-throw percentage (89 percent). His record is a reflection of his talent and leadership.”
Bajema also set the Gordon record for three-point shooting in 2008–09, and could break that mark this year if he continues at his current pace. Bajema recently broke the 1000-point mark in the Scots game against Nichols College at Gordon February 6. Bajema was named All-TCCC Second Team his junior year.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Extending the Campus: Service Learning

Peter Morse, a double major in political science and biblical studies from West Newbury, Massachusetts, shares his experience working last summer for the homeless community:

Finding that “perfect” summer job is always a challenge . . . you want meaningful work at a reputable organization, but as a college student you also need to make money. My experience last summer was a paid internship at the Lifebridge campus—a homeless shelter and transitional housing agency in nearby Salem. Just a short drive from campus, the organization is committed to ending homelessness in the city and on the North Shore, focusing on residential and clinical services for homeless men and women.
Homelessness is a persisting and disturbing feature of our society. Learning to care effectively for those in need through this internship has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve experienced as a Gordon student. My regular outreach included interviewing and writing about homeless clients, drafting fundraising and grant requests, and serving in direct-care positions. My education coupled with the realities of the Lifebridge campus exposed me to both practical skills for meaningful social work and a deep level of compassion.
One of the really encouraging aspects of my internship was the support I received from the Gordon community back on campus. Since I lived on campus for the summer, I was able to share my experiences with other students also staying on through Gordon’s summer housing offerings. My friends at Gordon volunteered with me, offered donations, and listened thoughtfully to the stories and questions I brought home from the shelter each night.
I found I was not alone in wanting to work for a compassionate organization. Other friends shared their stories of serving at tutoring programs, food pantries, and research for the blind and deaf. So, while it can be easy to get caught up in the academics and social scene of college life, my summer internship—along with conversations with other socially involved students—reminded me how a huge part of our education is what we learn off-campus. To have a college and faculty so close to these kinds of opportunities provides such diversity for students wanting to give back.
Here is a photograph of David (not his real name). After partnering with Lifebridge, he now has his own apartment and a steady job. His story touched my internship experience. He still gives back to the homeless community and volunteers there to help men and women with their struggles.


Twenty-Four Hours in Haiti

Having gone to Haiti for the last 10 years, Dan Haugh ’02 reflects on a recent trip:

The first 24 hours after I arrived in Haiti my eyes gazed upon the horrors of disease, malnutrition, starvation, trash everywhere, orphans roaming the streets, the apparent lack of sufficient infrastructure, and roads completely missing. My ears heard cries of pain, agony and death, screams of hopelessness and the lament of loss. My heart ached for the nation of Haiti and a people in such despair and utter desperation—and the pain from these 24 hours occurred before the earthquake!
On January 4 a team of 15 from my church headed down to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for a week of service and ministry. We had a remarkable and heart-touching week serving the poorest of the poor living in villages, orphanages and garbage dumps. At the end of the week we pledged to raise money to help build some orphanages and a sports complex. And we promised to pray for Haiti—that God would transform lives and restore hope. We left at 5 p.m. from the Port-au-Prince airport with excitement and a sense of urgency to continue to give to the people we met.
At 5 p.m the next day, a massive earthquake shook Haiti to the core. Our team set up an emergency meeting to embrace, pray and cry for the country and the people we loved. Fortunately we received word that our friends and family down there were all safe, but our hearts were not. I was able to secure a flight down to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the next day and spent the week working with Air Calvary, an aviation rescue and relief organization based in New York, helping coordinate helicopter flights to and from Haiti for relief workers and missionaries.
This time Haiti was even worse off. The problems that existed just a few days earlier were all magnified on a scale like never before. What was already a desperate situation now seemed like utter hopelessness.
But in the midst of tragedy, good can and will come forth. Within 24 hours of the earthquake, the entire world was watching Haiti and wanting to help. Prayers are still being offered, aid and money given, and people’s lives forever changed.
I have been praying for over 10 years for the eyes of the world to be upon Haiti and that the people of Haiti would turn back to God. I believe great hope can be restored to the nation as a result of this tragedy; beauty can be found in the brokenness, and new life can arise from the ashes.


Monday, February 8, 2010

We Are Black History: Students Lead Chapel Celebration

By Katie Thompson ’12
Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

This was the overarching message of the chapel service February 1 in celebration of Black History Month. Some of Gordon’s own black students led the service and emphasized that no matter the color of one’s skin, we are all black history, as Dr. King implied.

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” said Vroselyn Benjamin ’12, a communication arts and social work major from Boston, Massachusetts, who coordinated the event (pictured here, center, with Danielle Simpson, left, and Tia Brookens.) “It took lots of work, commitment, and time, but we wanted to celebrate Black History Month because everyone is a part of history, and it is a huge part of our lives.”

The multidimensional service allowed a variety of students to showcase their talents. Alanah Percy ’13, a kinesiology major from Windsor, Connecticut, performed a dance to worship music. Roderick Caesar ’11, a biblical studies major from Queens, New York, and Vroselyn Benjamin read poems, while Sheldon Costa ’12, a communication arts major from Boston, Massachusetts, and Annery Miranda ’09 spoke to students. Danielle Simpson '10, a biblical studies and English major from Mattapan, Massachusetts, Nate Haywood ’10, a music education major from Newton, Massachusetts, and Tia Brookens ’11, a business administration major from Boston Massachusetts, led students in worship, with Daniel Turcich ’11, a social work major from Springs, New York, on guitar, and Statler Gause ’13, a communication arts major from Springs Florida, on drums. Arva Byron ’13, a deciding major from Boston, Massachusetts, and Matt Sutherland ’13, a psychology major from Randolph, Massachusetts, worked behind the scenes to make everything happen.

A video coproduced by Dan Waldron ’10, a communication arts major from Derry, New Hampshire, and Danielle Simpson—featuring Gordon students explaining Black History Month—ended the service and implored the Gordon community to remember that each day we recreate our own history and must not forget to look back to where we have come from. The hard work students put into this service is recognized and much appreciated by the Gordon community.

“I am proud to say the students put a concerted effort into making it a success,” said Shella SaintCyr, director of the Clarenden program and advisor to ALANA. “They continue to demonstrate that they are rich with God-inspired talent and gifting.”

The chapel service that ushered in this year's celebration of Black History Month was a powerful reminder of who we are, where we came from, and what we are here for.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Communion and Community

Leslie Paul, a senior recreation and leisure studies major, shares thoughts on “A Night with the King,” a recent chapel service that included Communion.

Dr. Carmer spoke about Holy Communion and our community life at Gordon. He shared how we each have different traditions and ways of celebrating the body and blood of Christ. But even more so, how we often, even in a Christian community, forget the significance, responsibilities and support we each have when living in community with one another.
Our lives are interwoven here at Gordon. As I saw row after row of my friends share in the offering of Holy Communion, I was humbled to be part of a community of Christ seekers . . . my sense of community grew from this visual. The image of our campus chapel full of students, with evening in the air, was such an encouragement for me. I’m thankful to witness and participate in this community of students eager to serve and care for one another.