Thursday, May 27, 2010

CNN Hero

Each year CNN recognizes Heroes: individuals who are making a difference in the lives of the people around them. In 2009 Suezette Steinhardt ’87 was acknowledged and featured as one such Hero by CNN for the work she’s been doing with struggling, low-income families in her community, Fairfax County, Virginia.
“It was a blessing to have our work recognized and validated by an outside source,” says Steinhardt. In the CNN feature she adds, “We just put the support under [these families] so they can realize what they can do. Whatever they need to move forward, we’re going to find some way to do it.”
Steinhardt founded Family PASS (Family Preservation and Strengthening Service) in an effort to fill in the gaps she noticed between homelessness, transitional and affordable housing, and to help working families move toward stability and self-sufficiency. It began in 2004 as a means to help a working mom who lived at the transitional housing facility where Steinhardt worked. The woman could not afford to move out of transitional housing into an apartment, despite the fact that she had a full-time job. In the CNN interview Steinhardt recalls, “I did her budget [and] realized that at a low rent, working full-time . . . if she just paid her bills, not buying food, not buying clothing, she was already [in] a $300 to $400 deficit each month.”
Together with her husband, Steinhardt worked with the landlord to get a lease for the woman, and using their own money subsidized the portion of her rent that exceeded 31 percent of her income. That’s when community support poured in and Family PASS took off, originating out of the Steinhardt’s basement but now working out of an office with a small, part-time staff.

Steinhardt is thankful for her time at Gordon as a psychology major and how it developed the work she now does. In 1987 she graduated as a member of Phi Alpha Chi, an academic honor dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of scholarly research, clear thinking and creativity by Christians in every discipline. “My time at Gordon made a significant impact on my life and my worldview,” said Steinhardt. “Being a member of Phi Alpha Chi prodded me into actions that are outside of my comfort zone, such as establishing Family PASS.”

To read the complete CNN Heroes feature on Steinhardt’s work, visit


Gordon Students Bask in Summer Learning and Service Opportunities

Communication arts major Katie Thompson is preparing for a two-week mission trip to Haiti in early June with 14 other Gordon students. Senior class president Jesse Adams is interning for a U.S. senator. English major Stephanie Bittner is studying international journalism in Italy. And biology major Samuel Maldonado is conducting research in a lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with a scientist from Harvard Medical Center.

These young leaders are part of a large number of Gordon College students who are taking advantage of their summer breaks to continue their academic pursuits and community engagement. Read what many others are up to here.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fish Farmer Meets Organic Farming?

Gordon alum Jesse Meeder, a self-taught fish farmer shares his latest (and very interesting project) with The Buffalo News. Watch the video below to see how this alum has combined a fish farm with organic farming, all in the same greenhouse.

Working to change the food system : City & Region : The Buffalo News


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Renaissance Soup Man

David Black has been preparing food for students for 45 years—that’s almost three generations of Gordon students. He’s known as our renaissance soup man, and his chowder is a culinary tradition on campus. Gloucester Times reporter Stephen Fletcher reports.

“Since 1965, David Black has fed 60,000 students in Gordon College’s Lane Student Center.
“Now, the College has honored his 45 years of service with a dinner at the president’s house.
“Black, a Rockport resident and father of two, stands as the longest-tenured employee in Gordon College’s Dining Services, according to the manager, Jack Lawrence. He began working at the College when he was 19. . . .”

Read the entire May 19, 2010, Gloucester Times article HERE.


Three Friends with Three Things in Common

By Erica Lawrence ’11

Albano Berberi ’13, Katherine Moss ’13, and Karl Belanger ’10 are three friends who, as Albano says, have become the terror of the blind community.

They have a great sense of humor. But they also share a visual disability and a love for technology. These three things bind these friends together. “All three of us are extreme techies,” says Karl.

They love to play computer games together, some of which are specifically audio based for the blind. “One thing you’ll notice—and I’ve noticed—about blind people in general,” says Albano, “is that we get amused at strange noises that people usually wouldn’t [be amused by].” Sometimes they like to pit video game fighters against each other on computer mode just to listen to the punches and blows of each character.

As much as they love fun sounds and playing video games, technology frustrates them as well. Katherine, who calls herself “a closet computer scientist” has so many computer problems that she’s afraid she has bothered Karl with them so much that he won’t want to come back to visit after he graduates. Karl says that he actually thinks the sheer volume of computer problems she has is amusing. She seems to attract computer issues—like a magnet attracts iron filings.

They agree that sometimes PDF writers and website authors are lazy when it comes to making their sites/documents accessible for the blind. Karl says that in most cases it would only take five more minutes of programming to make their sites accessible, but sadly many don’t. As Katherine says, most things “ with screen readers, but it’s just a pain.”

Although these three have only known each other for one school year, they have become very close friends. Karl and Albano are even roommates and enjoy playing around with the ever-entertaining Quasar, Karl’s dog that he says is so funny he could write a book, titling it, “The Amusing Antics of Quasar.” Katherine and Albano, two freshman, say they will miss Karl and what they’d really like to do is kidnap Karl for another three years. They have loved having dinners together, going to Gordon basketball games, talking about technology, and playing video games, and really soaked up the last few months as a trio before Karl graduated in May.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Maggie’s High-Tech Glasses

By Erica Lawrence ’11

News from the Academic Support Center:

If you see a student in classrooms or around campus with magnifying goggles in, it’s probably junior Maggie Austen sporting the JORDY, the latest piece of technology for legally blind individuals. For you Star Trek fans out there wondering if there is a connection between the name JORDY and Geordi La Forge, there is! But, if you are unfamiliar with Star Trek, the connection is important because Geordi La Forge was a blind character who wore shiny headband-shaped glasses to see. The spelling change occurred because the word “JORDY” actually stands for “Joint Optical Reflective Display.”

When describing the look of the new device, Maggie compares it to night vision goggles, and even though they do not have this feature, they’re so advanced that she says they probably could. “It’s basically like binoculars, except they’re electronically magnified. There’s a camera in the headpiece and it projects the image onto the screens that are like glasses in front of your eyes,” she says. It’s actually so powerful that she can’t use it in the front row during class because she loses perspective of the board.

Other features include color contrast options to make certain things stand out more, and a locate button that you can click and it will zoom out all the way, circle something in red, and zoom back in. The only downside is that it cannot be used while walking.

She received the device as a gift from the New York State Commission for the Blind before spring break and cannot wait to use it on her trip to Israel this summer.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alumna Plans Miss Pink Pageant to Raise Funds and Awareness for Breast Cancer

As if she didn't have enough to do as an assistant in Gordon's development office, Ashley Herron Shultz '09 has used her experiences as a communication arts major to plan a unique fundraiser. Her service to the community on the North Shore is what makes Gordon proud of our students and alumni.

Read her story here in The Salem News and consider being a part of the fundraiser next Friday night, May 21, at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Middle School Students Challenge Gordon Fencing Class to Tournament

Talk about a unique final exam! Last Friday, May 7, at 4:30, 20 middle school students from the Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) in Marlboro arrived at Gordon's Bennett Center to compete in a FENCING tournament against 14 Gordon students. The Gordon students had been taking a class with adjunct instructor Jack Mullarkey, who is a former Olympian and the physical education teacher at the AMSA. This was the second annual fencing tournament; last year Gordon won by a close two touches. This year, according to Mullarkey, the "little kids were out for revenge."  And they won!       

The Gordon fencing class, which is a physical education quad elective, always fills up and has a waiting list, according to Dr. Val Gin, the chair of the recreation and leisure studies department. With this kind of unique preparation and fun-filled competition, it's not hard to see why. 


Friday, May 7, 2010

In the News: Sarah Allyn Learning Center Dedicated

Featured in The Daily Item.
Photo Credit: Owen O'Rourke
Lynn, MA - 162 Curwin Circle went from the nameless address for the College Bound program to the Sarah Allyn Learning Center Thursday.
College Bound, also known as Gordon-in-Lynn (GIL), is a program created in 2004 by Sarah Allyn, a social work major from Gordon College who was killed in a car accident in 2006. The program seeks to create faithful student leaders through guided civic engagement within mutually beneficial partnerships that contribute to creating a healthy community.

Read the entire Gordon In Lynn story in The Daily Item newspaper HERE


Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Reception of Countless Gratitude

Teachers . . . The impact of their intellectual instruction has a profound impact on lives. The lives of students, the lives of their academics colleagues, and the lives of the community they serve. At Gordon, professors draw from our shared Christian faith to invest in our students, discussions in the classrooms, lectures, exams, and countless papers. They have an unseen authorship on the pages of our lives and careers. But with all great stories, chapters transition to other themes, plots thicken, and sequels spill into other generations.

Thursday, faculty, staff and students joined together in a wonderful celebration of happy endings. From retirement of countless years of service and new callings for academic and faithful discipline, we shall miss you: Ann Ferguson, English; Niles Logue, Economics; Craig McMullen, Gordon in Boston; Chuck Blend, Biology, and Emily Jarvis, Chemistry. Thank you for your amazing contributions to the Gordon community!


Students Gather for National Day of Prayer

Because today is the National Day of Prayer, GCSA (Gordon's student government) is rallying around the flag pole with fellow students to pray for our government, local and federal officials.

Students will be meeting to pray at 2:00 p.m. on the quad near the flagpole. If you are on campus, please join us--all are welcome!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

U.S.News & World Report: Inside the Newseum with Dani Zorn '09

U.S. News & World Report journalists have a real eye for spotting quality resources for articles around the subject of careers, finance and our nation’s workforce. So we weren’t surprised when they chose to interview and quote a Gordon College alumna for a recent article on volunteering.

Dani Zorn (pictured below just outside of Washington, D.C.), studied communication arts at Gordon and graduated in 2009 and shares in the article how volunteering transpired into a position at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

While service is a central theme in every academic discipline at Gordon, volunteering and giving back continues long after our scholars embark into the workforce or graduate programs. Earlier in this year, Dani met with current journalism students at the Newseum. The students were in Washington for a field trip to study news in action at the museum of journalism. Over lunch, Dani and other Gordon alumni currently working in Washington shared their career path stories with Gordon students and provided networking opportunities for the next generation.

Read the U.S. News & World Report article HERE.


We Give Thanks

Custodian Leonid Kurochka was among 42 Gordon employees recognized for five to fifteen years of service at a reception in the Ken Olsen Science Center. The tradition of honoring long-term employees with a gift and personal words of appreciation goes back over 35 years. Recently, the number of faculty and staff reaching milestone anniversaries has increased to the point where separate celebrations are now scheduled for employees celebrating 20 to 45 years of service.

"This is a very special occasion for our community," said Nancy Anderson, director of human resources who organizes the annual event. "It brings faculty and staff together to both publically recognize our colleagues and to remind us of the value we all bring to Gordon. Sharing personal stories about the unique interests, family, or skills of these individuals helps builds connections with one another and strengthens our community ties."


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the Audubon

Audubon magazine (subscriber base of almost 2 million readers) recently interviewed Gordon student Kate Kirby in its May 2010 issue. The article, "Have Faith," spotlights a new generation of evangelical Christians who are influencing environmental issues in the U.S. Kate was interviewed about her fall trip to Washington, DC. Read the entire article by


40 Cases of Pansies

More than 100 student volunteers helped beautify campus recently. They joined Gordon's lead landscaper, Eric Bell, ready to get their hands dirty with 40 cases of pansies. Sarah Bishop, an English and secondary education double major from Lebanon, Ohio, was one of them. "It was a fantastic turnout. Just another great example of the community we have here at Gordon, or maybe we all have an almost laughable case of spring-fever. Comes with the territory I guess, when you go to college in coastal New England."


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring Is Here!

The colors and scents of spring are everywhere on campus right now, including in front of Frost Hall where this photo was taken. We hope they inspire students as they prepare for their final exams this week!