Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Deeper Thirst for Peace

Communication Arts major Kristin Bollier, a junior from Indiana, spent three weeks in Israel and two weeks in Jordan earlier this summer studying Biblical geography through Gordon's Israel International Seminar. She shares some reflections on her transformative time in the Holy Land and the lessons she learned there.

"Picture mountains, streams, valleys, olive trees and grapevines. Try to imagine deserts and the fertile Jordan River bed. Close your eyes. . . Picture Jerusalem.

There are winding corners of the Old City weaving in and out of little shops owned by Muslims, Christians, and Jews. You see an old woman selling vegetables, sitting on the ground, calling to you. There is a young boy learning how to haggle. . . stepping into manhood as he learns the trade of his father and his father’s father. Take in vibrant colors, a cacophony of detail that fills your eyes up to the brim. This is the Middle East, where I spent five weeks studying this summer with Gordon students and our professor, Dr. Elaine Phillips.

Elaine Phillips, professor of Biblical and theological studies, taught us a tremendous amount about the land. As we sat at the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, Dr. Phillips read the story, found in John 9, about the healing of a blind man. After Jesus spit on the ground and put mud paste on the eyes of this blind man, the man walked to the pool and was healed. But what makes this story even more incredible is seeing just how far this man had to walk in order to reach the pool. Dr. Phillips explained that Jesus would have confronted this man at the Temple, and that the blind man then walked a significant distance to reach the pool. The amount of faith this man had was remarkable. As he walked to the pool, he placed all his trust in the Lord. . . that the Lord was truly going to open his eyes. Though many people doubted the nature of the miracle, and this man wasn’t sure how Christ did what He did, he concluded, “I was blind but now I see!”

In many ways, after this trip to the Middle East, I feel my eyes have been opened. Opened to a new culture. One rich in beauty and diversity. . . A culture with people striving for justice and truth amidst aches and pains. My heart has grown more compassionate, and I have a deeper thirst for peace. I have seen Christ in new ways through this trip to Israel. I have seen His heart for his people, whether Jew or Gentile, and I understand His character more fully. Walking on the streets his sandals touched has changed my heart .
. . . I was blind but now I see."


Special Edition T-Shirts, Festivals, and Gordon On-the-Road

Like road trips? Love music? So does the admissions office! That’s why we’re hitting the road this summer to connect with prospective students all over the country. Admissions counselors will be visiting music festivals and conferences in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, and New York. Current Gordon students Jake LaFlamme, Maggie Austen, Kristen Burke, Caroline Meditz, and Abigail Solberg will also be road-tripping along with our counselors. 

Gordon has a lively campus-culture. Like this photograph taken at the Golden Goose. . .Our own unique talent festival held every year on campus. What better way for current students to connect with future students, than meeting together at Christian-festivals across the country. Come on down and hang out with us . . .We look forward to meeting you!
Be sure to check out our list of destinations this summer. Counselors will be giving away special edition t-shirts to prospective students at each event. Our admissions counselors and current students are excited to tell you all about Gordon College. We also look forward to connecting with alumni, current students, parents, and friends. Be sure to stop by Gordon’s booth to say hello!


Monday, June 28, 2010

On Tour

Meg Lynch graduated just last month with a degree from Gordon College in communication arts. Today, she's fulfilling a creative dream . . . she's on tour. Singer Talain Rayne asked her to join him and his band for their East Coast American Tour with additional southern stops as the tour comes to a close. The two met last year at the Contemporary Music Center -- an artist's colony in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, sponsored by the CCCU Best Semester Program. (The same program also launched the careers of Jill Pickering and Kate Rapier, 2004 graduates of Gordon College, now touring with artist Kelly Clarkson.)
 Dear Sister, Your Brother, the latest duet by Talain and Meg, is one of the top downloaded songs on the tour website. Later in the summer, Meg plans to return to the area where she will be joining the staff at a successful Massachusetts publisher.


Sonia Weitz - Requiescat in Pace

 "Sonia was a courageous human being who taught the modern world to love and not to hate," said Dr. Marvin Wilson, professor of biblical studies at Gordon College. "There have been thousands of students affected by Sonia's story and her call to remember the past so people don't repeat it."

Sonia Weitz passed away on Wednesday, June 23, 2010. She spoke at Gordon College for 29 consecutive years, impacted thousands of students, and was a dear friend of Dr. Wilson and our college community. A video podcast of her 2008 visit to Gordon is available online.
To read the Salem News article on her local influence and quotes from those who knew her well, click HERE.


Friday, June 25, 2010

A New Video about Gordon College

Recently, the College launched a new video to share a glimpse, from the student perspective, about life at Gordon College. To view this fun and new way to share the Gordon story, click HERE.
Interested in helping spread the word? Consider posting this new video to your Facebook page, blog, and Twitter accounts. Or help us take it even further, and send it with your church youth pastor to share with middle and high school students at your church. As youth are always interested in authentic communication, follow-up with an offer to talk about Gordon after they air the video.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Thriving Music Scene

John Mirisola is a senior English major at Gordon with a creative writing concentration and a psychology minor. He shares a summer post with Notes Along the Way on the band-scene at Gordon College...and the music made along the road.

"The music scene at Gordon is vibrant. Many people have heard of CASPIAN, a very successful instrumental rock band who got their start at Gordon, playing shows in Gilles Lounge in the Lane Student Center. What they may not know, is Gordon’s music culture continues since CASPIAN graduated. Gordon has also spawned bands and artists like After the Sirens, Dreamtigers, and songwriter Meg Lynch, currently on tour with musician Talain Rayne.

I myself have been lucky enough to take part in Gordon’s music scene. In the fall of my sophomore year, three Gordon friends and I formed our band, Glass America. It’s been only two years since our first clumsy dorm-room practice, and in that time we’ve been signed to a small local label, Driven Records; recorded and released an album, Redivivus; added a member; and played quite a few shows in the greater-Boston area. Currently, we’re wrapping up the writing of our next album, most of which we plan to record in the Gordon audio lab this fall.

There’s something about Gordon that incubates musicians, and maybe it's not only the excellent music program. Our Gordon friends come to our shows; they use our music in professional slide shows and theatre productions. Gordon even has its very own music blog, Redeem and Record, which showcases Gordon artists with interviews and acoustic performances. Ultimately, I think Gordon bands and musicians succeed not only because of the talent they possess, but also because the community here wants to see them flourish, and does whatever it can to build those groups up and help them along."


Friday, June 18, 2010

Fishing Lines of the Dramatic Kind

Norm Jones is used to learning his lines. As a professional actor, director and assistant professor of theatre arts, he's familiar with the tides of emotions and tricks actors have use to catch an audience's attention. 
This summer, though, Norm's been using some different lines—fishing lines from his kayak! In early mornings, he equips his kayak with radar devices and just the right baits to find fish in Beverly harbor, a few miles from his home in Salem. 
"I love being on the water any way I can," Norm says. "This summer on the kayak has been a fun way to relax and let the creative juices flow in a new way. And the fishing's been pretty good too!"
This week, he caught a few striped bass. But they were too small so he tossed them back and threw out another line. Here's to catching something more dramatic, Norm!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer with the Senator

While most of the Gordon College Student Association (GCSA) Cabinet members put office duties aside for the summer, Jesse Adams ’11, executive president of GCSA, is spending his summer days in Senator Scott Brown’s office in Boston. The internship is a great opportunity for Adams, a business major and economics minor, to exercise his interests in the economy, jobs and businesses. “The whole process is exciting to me,” said Adams. “Politics is so pertinent and relevant to everyone, but we’re all too busy to really be involved. But the truth is everyone is so dramatically affected by political decisions.”
His duties include acting as a point of contact between the public, the senator’s office, and outside authorities, particularly with issues pertaining to unemployment labor, small businesses and education.
“My studies at Gordon have certainly given me a background for the work I’m doing in Scott Brown’s office this summer,” said Adams. “In my classes I’ve learned about HR, small business management, finances, loan processes and general terms related to the field—all have been useful.”
Adams’ role as executive president of GCSA has also been a positive influence on the work he’s doing outside of school this summer, especially the experience he’s had interacting professionally with administrators and faculty.
“To be able to work in this full-time, to see it day in and day out, is great,” said Adams. “I feel like I’m being informed about important things and helping people know things that are worthwhile. I enjoy being in that environment.”


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer in the Lab

This summer Samuel Maldonado, a biology major from Flemington, New Jersey, was selected for a research program in the laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Under the direction of Dr. Lisa Spencer, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Gordon College alumna and adjunct professor at Gordon (when she has time!), Sam is working on a project to elucidate functions of eosinophils, which are innate immune cells crucial to the exacerbation of allergic asthma.

Eosinophils are also involved in fighting off parasites and participate in allergic diseases. In addition to the bench work, Sam participates in weekly laboratory meetings of the labs within the Division of Allergy and Inflammation at which he will present his own research findings toward the end of the summer. He will also further his knowledge in related areas of immunology through participation in division-wide bimonthly journal clubs.
“The goals of our summer internship include hands-on laboratory research experience for students,” said Dr. Spencer. “But this is also an opportunity to complete a defined research project, organize and present results, and network with established researchers within the Harvard teaching hospitals.”

Congratulations to Sam and to Gordon's Biology Department for this great opportunity!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Student Drivers in for Surprise

Students who are used to parking behind Ferrin, Drew and Bromley are in for a pleasant surprise. The parking lots and roads on that portion of the loop around campus, once plagued by potholes and bumps, have been completely repaved.
Construction officially began on May 17, and the lots should be open again for driving this Wednesday, June 9. Not only are the newly paved parking lots more conducive to driving, but there is also improved lighting, a few extra parking spaces available, and a new drainage system that filters out debris and protects nearby wetlands from dirty water discharge.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Gordon Grad's Summer Plans

This summer newly graduated Nicole Kabrel ’10, from Hawthorne, New Jersey, is taking advantage of what she learned at Gordon as a recreation and leisure major, and will be using it to help people in a very specific way. This is what she said:

I am working over the summer, and I actually have my job all lined up, career-wise. Basically I work at the May Institute in Revere (http://www.mayinstitute.org/). This is a nonprofit service provider for individuals with intellectual disabilities, such as autism or Down’s syndrome. My daily endeavors consist of working with the staff in assisting these individuals to reach daily or monthly goals we’ve decided on.
The school is very social and active with different programs, activities and field trips occurring every day. Goals that we help with can range from learning to count money to remembering to brush their teeth, or playing soccer for 20 minutes every day. Everyone is different.
It’s been exciting to see how this definitely coincides with my major. Working at the May Institute fulfills the leisure side of my recreation and leisure major, because leisure is not just relaxation; it is about goals, mindsets, happiness and inner restfulness.
I’m thankful I can be active and help individuals learn different activities I have learned in my classes at Gordon. Also, since they each have different learning styles, I can utilize some of the different teaching strategies I have been taught. But perhaps the most important aspect of my work is that I get to learn from these individuals about life’s little blessings that I may not realize on a daily basis on my own. I learn as much from them as I hope they are going to learn from me.