Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beyond Exit 17

On September 29, 6 to 9 p.m., the trustees of the Peabody Institute Library will host Starry Night at the Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm, Peabody. The event includes music and food. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and may be purchased at Peabody library location. Call 978.531.0100 for information.

Ten Tumbao
On Wednesday, September 29, at 7 p.m. the Rockport Music Chamber Festival Series presents Ten Tumbao at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, in Rockport, performing instruments and songs of Latin America. Free and open to the public; no reservations required; general admission seating.

Dragon Boats

Want to experience Dragon Boating on the Charles River? Living Root is always looking for men and women to join their team. To try the sport, with hope you'll join the Boston chapter, free Dragon Boat demos will take place on Thursday, September 30, 6-8 p.m. on the docks at Spaulding Rehab Hospital, Boston.

Design Challenge

This live museum offering is designed to introduce students and visitors to the engineering design cycle. Participate in a hands-on activity to design, build and test a prototype solution to a given problem. Visitors have a fun and engaging experience with engineering and the innovation processes.
Challenges vary and are offered in the Science & Technology Center at the Boston Museum of Science. Recommended for children and teens in grades four to 10 as well as for small family groups. College students, especially education majors or those who love art and science, are also invited. Each activity takes about 20 minutes. Friday, October 1, 11:30 a.m.

Topsfield Fair
The fair kicks off this weekend, so get ready to grab a roasted turkey leg, dunk the clown, and see this year's giant pumpkin. For information, maps and shows, click here. October 1–11, Topsfield.

Hay Day
Cider pressing, blacksmithing, hayrides and canoeing are just the start of Hay Day at the Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. For children there will be a mini-maze, farm animals, a vegetable/fruit critter design contest, pumpkin painting and free pony rides. Throughout the afternoon guided nature walks will be offered, and members of the Princeton Arts Society will exhibit farm-related and rural landscape-based artwork.
Saturday, October 2, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Cello and Piano Recital

Sunday, October 3, at 3 p.m., Joshua Gordon, cello, and Randall Hodgkinson, piano, will perform at the Slosberg Recital Hall in Waltham.

Boston Musica Viva
Friday, October 1, at 8 p.m., Boston's Musica Viva will open its season with Chinese-American composers: Lei Liang's Aural Hypothesis and Chou Wen-chung's Ode to Eternal Pine. This rare ensemble performance takes place at the Tsai Performance Center at Boston University.

Ipswich River: Tuesday Afternoon Series
On Tuesday, October 5, join the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary for an autumn leaf walk and admire the beautiful colors of fall. Discover the different shapes, sizes, textures and colors of leaves during a leaf scavenger hunt, and make leaf rubbings.

Corn Maize
Every fall Connors Farm in Danvers creates a massive corn maize on their property. The maize is open daily through October 31. (On Friday and Saturday nights the maize becomes a giant spook-maze with fog and scary treats . . . Friday and Saturday nights not recommended for younger children.) While there, pick your own pumpkins or visit their animal petting zoo. (Photo: This year's theme is Clint Eastwood)

Soar over Australia’s infinite desert, scale the sacred red rock, and sidle up to the Outback's most reclusive creatures in a spellbinding film that explores this fascinating island continent. Outback is playing at the Boston Museum of Science through October 25. For scheduling or to watch a trailer, click HERE.


Putting an End to Illiteracy

Nearly two-thirds of American fourth-graders aren’t reading at grade level. Anthony Pedriana, a teacher and retired elementary school principal, will be speaking this Wednesday, September 29, at 7 PM in the Ken Olsen Science Center about how to put an end to this growing problem of illiteracy in children.

Pedriana will provide insight into which reading programs are most effective, based on extensive scientific research and his 30 years of working with children in Milwaukee. He will also discuss his recent book on the subject, Leaving Johnny Behind: Overcoming Barriers to Literacy and Reclaiming At-Risk Readers.

Priscilla Nelson, assistant professor of education, comments, “At a time when many teachers and administrators feel discouraged by numerous reports of low reading scores, Pedriana’s experience is a voice of hope. Together we can do something that yields positive results.”

This free Gordon event is informative not only for teachers and administrators, but also for parents, who often have questions on how schools are teaching their children to read. “It will take a cooperative effort to end illiteracy and produce a new generation of readers,” says Nelson. “Pedriana’s progress shows this is possible.”


Crunchy Granola

Gretchen Peck, national coordinator for Renewal, loves Gordon College. She came to campus this week to partake in a fun student event organized by the Advocates for a Sustainable Future. Below is an excerpt from her blog at Renewal:

“Who knew that making granola was so easy? Well, now about 15 more gals and guys know that it isn't so hard. In coordination with Gordon's Advocates for a Sustainable Future, last week we planned a Renewal Do-It-Yourself Workshop of granola making. Students learned that stewarding the earth starts in the kitchen. One way to know what goes into your food and to reduce processing and packaging is to make it yourself. Gordon students brought bowls and spoons and made their unique mini-batch out of the available ingredients, which included oats, flour, sugar, nuts, and dried fruit.”

To see their recipe, click here.


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Thatcher

This weekend The Salem News covered a story about Pioneer Village. The historic village is managed and operated by Gordon's Institute for Public History. To read coverage on a current roof project, and the special thatcher doing the work, vist the Salem News web site here. Photo Credit: Mark Lorenz, The Salem News, September 25, 2010


The Power of Religion in American Foreign Policy

Tal Howard, associate professor of history and director of the Jerusalem & Athens Forum at Gordon College has contributed a chapter to the newly released God and Global Order: The Power of Religion in American Foreign Policy, edited by Jonathan Chaplin with Robert Joustra and published by Baylor University Press. The publisher writes, “With an eye on the turbulent century ahead, God and Global Order implores policy makers to recognize the power of faith to inform and enhance U.S. foreign policy. The contributors warn that ignoring the far-reaching role of faiths (those both religious and secular) and their influence upon international agendas could carry disastrous consequences—both for the U.S. and for the larger global order.”

The new book comes out of the USA with the World Project and is sponsored by the Center for Christian Studies at Gordon College.


Helping Out: Wingaersheek Beach

Recently Gordon students were given a chance to help the environment and an opportunity to raise awareness of coastal pollution problems as they volunteered to clean up a local landmark, Wingaersheek Beach.

Advocates for a Sustainable Future (ASF) helped organize Gordon’s participation in the event in nearby Gloucester. But the project also served to provide important documentation for research and environmental organizations looking to understand more about the effects of waste in natural resources with a hope to raise awareness in schools and communities.

This weekend’s Coast Sweep followed the lead of last week’s beach clean-up of Crane Beach in Ipswich, when the student Biology Club worked with Coast Sweep along 2.5 miles of coastline. Craig Story, biology faculty and advisor to the club, is passionate about environmental service projects and joined the students at Crane Beach also as a volunteer. “Coast Sweep heightens awareness on environmental issues and gets students active in a community need,” said Story, who showed the students the importance of cataloging the effects disposed litter has on coastal environments.

Sophomore Megan Means from Greeley, Colorado, joined the Crane Beach science crew. She shares the importance of preserving our local beaches near campus. “Picking up trash not only improves the beauty of the beach but also makes it a healthier place to live and helps keep balance in the ecosystem,” she said. “Through small steps like cleaning up the beach we hope to protect God’s creation and keep the diversity of life thriving.”

Photo: Some Gordon students give back to the community and help raise awareness at a nearby beach last week.


Not For Sale

Gordon College was well-represented at the recent Not For Sale walkathon in the city of Boston. From event organizers to walkers, the event drew regional awareness to slavery concerns around the world. Tour guides, many of whom were Gordon students, led walkers as they shared facts of current slavery issues. Also at the event were many Gordon students and alumni who walked the Freedom Trail and helped raise money to free those still bound in slavery today. Anita Coco serves as the Massachusetts co-state director of Not For Sale. “Many people on the walk learned about slavery today for the first time,” said Coco, who also works in the Center for Educational Technologies at Gordon College. “Those who already consider themselves abolitionists made good connections with others. It all helps to grow the movement, to move us towards the goal of ending slavery in our lifetime.”

Photo: Jesse Brink (son of Paul), Paul Brink, associate professor of political studies, Sarah Durfey ’09, and Peggy Hothem, professor of recreation and leisure studies at the Not For Sale event in Boston.


Friendship in an Age of Friending

In the era of the Facebook phenomenon, have we forgotten friendship for the sake of friending? Recently, students, faculty, and alumni gathered on campus to discuss this question in an event sponsored by the Jerusalem and Athens Forum (JAF), Gordon’s great books honors program. “The rewards for a site like Facebook are obvious,” commented Dr. Tal Howard, JAF director, in his introduction to the event, “but might there be some ironic downfalls?”

The discussion centered around responses from a panel of four recent JAF program alumni to William Deresiewicz’s article “Faux Friendship.” Each panelist offered a unique and impassioned take on the issue, ranging from total Facebook abstinence to frustrated disagreement with the writer’s portrayal of their generation as shallow and lacking meaningful relationships. “This is our future? Deresiewicz is so flippantly condemning,” commented senior David Denison, an international affairs and philosophy double major from Windsor, Colorado.

It seems only natural that such a discussion would take place at Gordon College, where Professors Sybil Coleman and Bryan Auday (social work and psychology, respectively) conducted research for their scholarly article on the popular social networking site, and where students are encouraged to examine their own use of websites like Facebook through a technology fast. “The students really have their hearts behind this issue,” explained Ryan Groff, JAF program coordinator. Through events like these, the JAF honors program strives “to be a contributor to the intellectual and spiritual environment on campus.”

Photo: Dr. Tal Howard, associate professor of history and JAF director, gives an introduction to the panel discussion; panelists Joel Noelette, David Denison, Sarah Grimes and Ryan Stadt seated to his left.


Symposium: Faith after High School?

It may be a few weeks away, but momentum for this year's Youth Ministry Symposium, hosted by the Department of Christian Ministries at Gordon, is really starting a buzz. This year's thematic question, “Will Your Kids Have Faith after High School,” hones in on an important question on the minds of youth ministers across the region. It’s a question that will be the primary focus of this year’s symposium. Though Gordon faculty and students attend the event, it is the region’s youth ministry community that is a huge draw for the event. If last year’s symposium is any indicator, over 150 youth pastors and volunteers will be joining us.

For the first time, pastors and youth pastors from outside of New England will be participating. With registration just underway, there are already registrants from North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi planning to fly to Boston to attend.

This year's speaker will be Gordon College alumna Cheryl Crawford, who specializes in the subject of youth and developmental faith. Dr. Crawford will present her recently completed doctoral research, which followed a group of Christian New England students from high school through college, analyzing the ramifications that decisions made had on their spiritual lives.

Bob Whittet, director of church relations and faculty member in the Department of Christian Ministries, is reaching out to an extensive alumni database of youth pastors from across New England to make this year's 9th annual symposium "the place to be" in October.

Whittet sees Crawford’s research as a great resource for study by current students on campus as well. “This is an important topic that will resonate with those interested in youth ministry,” said Whittet. “When presented with the opportunity to gather as a social community for our field, students often apply it to class discussions, bringing some real-life questions and relationships to the lecture hall.” Whittet views the symposium as an opportunity for current students to interact with professionals in the field and believes “students leave the symposium encouraged that they are part of something bigger than themselves.”

But Whittet is also taking the importance of this year’s topic to parents in the local community. “Everyone can identify with this subject, especially parents going through the college search process with their own kids.” As a result, Gordon College will be hosting its first ever Parents' Symposium on the evening of October 28, 7–9 p.m. Dr. Crawford will be presenting her research in a way that is pertinent to the parents of our region.

Gordon's Youth Ministry Symposium marks the largest gathering of youth ministry professionals and volunteers in New England. The symposium takes place Thursday, October 28, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., and is free.

Photo: Faculty from the Department of Christian Ministries, Mark Cannister, Sharon Ketcham, Bob Whittet.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Documentary Film Profiles Alumni’s Peacebuilding Efforts in Home Country of Sri Lanka

Even while class president at Gordon, Prashan De Visser, who graduated in 2009 with a major in international affairs, was working toward unity in his war-torn home country of Sri Lanka. While still a student he formed an organization called Sri Lanka Unites, the purpose of which was to create a “youth movement for hope and reconciliation.” So when he returned home after graduation, he and a 15-member committee planned a leadership and reconciliation conference that brought together hundreds of Sri Lankan youth.

That first conference is the subject of a new documentary film produced by another Gordon alumnus, Tom Kearney ’08. Sri Lanka Unites: The Road to Reconciliation will be shown Monday, October 4, at 7:00 p.m. in Gordon College’s Barrington Cinema. This first U.S. screening of the film is free and open to the public.

“I was compelled by Prashan’s passion to see his country unite,” said Kearney, who studied communication arts at Gordon. “I’m grateful that I was able to travel to Sri Lanka to capture the beginning stages of his efforts to bring about reconciliation.”


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thomas Lake '01—Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated

What do Communication Arts graduates do with their degrees? Some go on to pursue careers in film, publishing; or work in advertising firms or write for press rooms across the globe. Thomas Lake ’01, however, has taken his Gordon degree into new territory as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. After graduating summa cum laude and spending six years writing award-winning articles for various newspapers and publications and contributing freelance articles to Sports Illustrated, Thomas was recently added to the magazine’s senior writing staff.

“During the last six years Tom emerged as one of the finest and most versatile writers in the Southeast,” says Terry McDonell, managing editor of Sports Illustrated, which has a weekly print circulation of over 3 million copies. “Tom's award-winning freelance pieces have brought a new and distinct voice to the magazine.”

So as you’re flipping through your next issue, keep an eye out for Tom’s work, and remember where it all started. . . .


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Grand Opening

Some students love Chester’s Place for the crackling wood fire on a fall evening. Others gravitate towards the space for its unique tavern layout as they socialize with friends. But as of this week, there is one new common reason to gather in Lane . . . a popular student-run coffee house known as Claymore Cafe has moved into the space, expanding its hours and offerings to students.

With new hours (open until 2 a.m.) the on-campus tavern quickly became the place to be on Wednesday night as students strolled in and out and caught some live music performances by Chad Wimberly, Tom Reagan and Naama Mendes. Wimberly, a student performer on Claymore’s opening night, commented on the turnout: “Students are excited about the new Claymore location . . . its even cozier with their offerings here.”
Photo: Students hang out in one of the booths in Chester’s Place, a traditional tavern in the Lane Student Center on Gordon’s campus.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Gordon's Neverett Named Player of the Week

Gordon College junior Samantha Neverett (Athol, Massachusetts) was named the field hockey Offensive Player of the Week by The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) for her efforts in leading Gordon to a pair of wins last week.

In a nonconference matchup with Rivier College, Neverett paced the Fighting Scots’ aggressive offensive front, netting a hat trick in a commanding 8-0 win over their host. In Gordon’s TCCC opener against Anna Maria College, Neverett tallied two goals (the first of which came less than two minutes into the game) to help lift the Scots to a 3-2 win over the visiting Amcats.

With the wins, Gordon moves to 2-5 overall, 1-0 in the TCCC. The Scots return to action on Tuesday, September 21, as they travel to face nonconference opponent Framingham State College.


Campus Events Council

Gordon’s Campus Events Council (CEC) launched a new blog this week offering a new platform to showcase life at Gordon.

The student club organizes concerts, performances, games, and events for students across our 400-acre campus.

Photo: This year's CEC staff at Gordon College.


Beyond Exit 17: Events Off Campus in the Local Area

Fall Star Gazing
Harvard’s Observatory offers public presentations by professional astronomers and authors on the third Thursday of every month. The evening is free . . . as is the event parking. On Thursday, October 7, the Observatory offers Fall Sky Viewing. Learn to spot the arrival of Andromeda, Taurus, the Bull and Orion the Hunter as the fall constellations arrive. After the presentation, guests are welcome to join the group in roof-top observing with telescopes.

Peace Corps, City Year, AmeriCorps - An Evening to Learn More
The Greater Boston Small Colleges Event features opportunities to hear from returned volunteers for organizations like Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year and related post-grad programs. The night is open to the public free of charge, and provides information about personal experiences and how these organizations shaped career and life paths.

Mass Hiking Club
The Trustees of Reservations will hold its Hike of the Month on September 26 from 1pm to 3 pm at Rocky Woods located off Hartford St. in Medfield. Explore a new trail, uncover historic facts, and meet other hikers. Join a ranger from the Trustees and our growing group of hikers as we explore several of the manmade ponds, view the former quarry site, and venture to the top of Cedar Hill. This event is free. Preregistration is helpful but not required by emailing Charles River Valley.

MORE Trails and Sails
Trails and Sails, presented by The Essex National Heritage Area, continues this weekend, September 24-26. The annual event features a full weekend of walks and all things water. Events are free and include over 100 partner sites (including an event here at Gordon) across the Essex National Heritage Area.

Foliage Report
Planning on leaf-peeping this fall? From the Kancamagus Highway to the Bourne Bridge and beyond, this interactive map shows this year’s foliage plans for New England.

Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival
Now in its 10th year, this year’s gathering celebrates New Orleans, the city that brought jazz to life. The festival features a wide variety of artists from Elan Trotman to Berklee City Music students. The culminating event on Saturday, September 25, runs from noon until 6 p.m. and features a free, outdoor festival with three stages along Columbus Avenue in Boston’s South End.

The Boston Local Food Festival
Presented by Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston (SBN), the Boston Local Food Festival, is a delicious outdoor event celebrating the many benefits of local food. Located on the historic Boston waterfront, along Fort Point Channel, the festival showcases affordable food grown and produced in the Boston area and New England. Festival-goers can engage with farmers, chefs and entrepreneurs, learn from exhibits and demonstrations, and enjoy activities and local music. October 2, 2010.
Easily accessible via the MBTA Silver Line, Court House Station, and a short walk from South Station off the MBTA Red Line.

Governor Speaks
Governor Deval Patrick will speak at the North Shore Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Wednesday, October 6, 7:30 a.m. Gordon College is an active member in the North Shore Chamber. To register, contact the Chamber directly at 978.744.8565.

Boston.com’s Fall Festival Guide
It's fall in New England—the season of festivals. And, whether you're interested in food, film or fun, there’s an event for you. Check out this sampling of the festivities happening in the Boston area this fall.

Vintage Boston: Exhibition
This exhibition, Hello Boston, provides an extraordinary and nostalgic window into the cultural, social and architectural history of early 20th-century Boston and its vibrant neighborhoods. It features select framed postcards from the Boston Public Library’s extensive postcard collection, which totals nearly 165,000 cards, and hundreds of photo-reproductions of Boston-area scenes, including main streets, civic halls, churches, businesses, schools, factories, parks, and transportation systems.



The Department of Sociology and Social Work is hosting a series of events coinciding with the launch of Gordon’s newest minor: Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies.

“At a time when religious conflict fills our airwaves and violence disrupts around the globe, Gordon College will strengthen its preparation of global leaders through this new minor,” said Judith Oleson, associate professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work. Students will hear from David Steele in chapel today as he discusses “Discipleship in an Insecure World.”

This afternoon a discussion on “Faith-Based Approaches to Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding” will take place in Jenks 406. Lastly, tonight students will have the opportunity to hear faculty describe the new minor, followed by Steele speaking on the vocation of peacemaking, both locally and globally.

The Peace and Conflict Transformation minor enables a student within any major to explore both the “scholarship and skills involved in understanding, preventing and intervening in conflict,” said Dr. Oleson. “The emphasis will be upon personal, social, institutional and community conflict, and the transformative process of rebuilding relationships, organizations, and communities when conflict is effectively processed.”
Photo: Dr. Oleson on the cover of the fall 2010 issue of Stillpoint magazine.


Aspirations: Post-Grad Work

The graduate and professional school fair, hosted by Career Services, brought in record numbers of attendees this year. From students and alumni interested in post-grad opportunities to faculty learning more about graduate and doctoral programs to help their role as student advisors, the fair generated excitement throughout the Ken Olsen Science Center loggia and chairman’s room.

Career Services distributed colorful sustainable shopping bags, and information sheets. One such sheet, Questions to Ask Any Graduate Program, was clenched tightly in the hands of attendees as they visited tables from schools like Tufts, Yale, Boston University, Emerson and others. Over 46 schools were represented at the fair as well as opportunities in the Peace Corps and Across the Pond, a student recruitment placement program for study at 12 university programs throughout the United Kingdom.
A national survey given to first-year students across the country during orientation s
hows Gordon students have high aspirations (85%) of post-graduate work when they first arrive on campus. The survey, Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP), at the Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA, is nationally viewed as one of the most valuable benchmarks. The freshman survey is administered to over 400,000 entering students in the United States. The first-year student data from this survey shows the masters and doctorate aspirations of Gordon students is higher than averages reported in two different survey groups, including other religious four-year colleges, highly selective, category.

“We were pleased to welcome both returning college and university representatives and a number of first-time attendees including Bentley College, Boston University School of Visual Arts, Tufts University of Graduate Studies, Tufts University Medical School and others,” said Rita Smith Dove, associate director of career services and fair coordinator.

Photos: Recent alum Sarah Grimes, a sociology graduate from the class of 2010, and Joel Nolette, a senior in biblical studies, discuss graduate opportunities in psychology and counseling with an admissions representative from Yale University.
To view more photos of this event, visit the Gordon College facebook page.


"Beyond Empires"

Filmmaker Chris GIlbert, who has taught Selected Topics in Urban Media in Gordon’s Boston program and courses in the Communication Arts Department, is one of our busiest adjunct faculty.

Gilbert, who is originally from Australia, was recently interviewed by The Times of India, the largest circulation English language newspaper in the world, for his new documentary film.

“We prize our adjunct faculty members who bring to our students professional experiences that widen and deepen their Gordon education,” says Dan Russ, academic dean. “Just as many of our full-time faculty leave the classroom and find time to research, make art, consult, write, and perform in Boston and beyond, so our adjunct faculty leave their corporate offices, labs, ministries, public school classrooms, law practices and art studios to bring their knowledge, skills, and wisdom to our students. The synergy is invaluable.”

Gilbert, Gordon alum Paul Van Ness ’73, filmmaker and president of Van Ness Creative Group, and another Gordon adjunct instructor, Jon Cairns, also of Van Ness Creative, recently traveled to India to work together on the documentary film Beyond Empires, assisted by a production crew from Chennai. Van Ness is the director of photography for the film, Cairns operated Camera A and is technical editor, and Gilbert is the producer and story editor. The film tells the story of 23-year-old Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg, the first ever Protestant missionary to India, in 1706. “It was remarkable to have alongside us Muslim and Hindu colleagues who’ve been on the journey with us for almost five years, as keen to tell Ziegenbalg’s story as we are,” said Gilbert.

No English speaking film, nor book for a general audience, has ever told the story of Batholomaus Ziegenbalg.

“A bright moment in India was to interview and involve students as interviewers of their peers for the film at a University and two colleges, which was actually inspired by my enjoyment and respect for the undergrads I’ve worked with in Wenham and Boston,” said Gilbert. “When my schedule frees me, I’ll look forward to bringing something of that kind of participation-in-the-process back to Gordon, and the opportunity for students to unearth some worthy untold stories.”

The film is now in post-production, scheduled for release in both short and long form in 2011, and aimed at public television internationally.

To read The Times of India article, click HERE.
Photo credit: The Times of India, September 13, 2010


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Alumna Kate Kirby '10

Recent graduate Kate Kirby’s academic career included a passion for writing and communications as well as work in sustainable outreach. From an invitation to the White House to participate in the Clean Energy Economy Forum for emerging leaders (one of only 100 college students across the nation invited), to her interview in Audubon Magazine (subscriber base of 2 million readers), to her work on the Gordon College News Service, she gave a tremendous amount of dedication to her vocation while at Gordon.

Kirby was a Spanish major with minors in biblical and theological studies, Latin American studies and environmental studies. Somehow she also found time to serve the Gordon community as president of a student club, Advocates for a Sustainable Future.

Recently The Salem News published a story by Kirby about her grandmother’s legacy, her new career, and the importance of living well. To read The Salem News, September 16, 2010, article, click here.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TIME highlights Gordon’s Golden Goose

A few years ago a performance during Golden Goose, an annual talent show incorporating video and stage performances at Gordon College, took the virtual scene by storm. Overnight, footage of a live reenactment of the game Super Mario Brothers, was all over the Web, radio, VH1, and even MTV’s Total Request Live. From the stage of the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel to the international spotlight, the video even made the “most downloaded” list on YouTube.

Well, it appears that Golden Goose clip has hit the Web again, as TIME picks the Gordon performance in their 25th Anniversary of TIME Newsfeed as one of their five all-time favorite Super Mario Brothers tributes.

Gordon alum Andrew Breton, a youth ministries major, cocreated and starred in the real-life production of the Nintendo video game, specifically Level 1-1. In the performance Breton, dressed as Mario, runs through scenes jumping on turtle shells, squashing goombas, throwing fire balls, jumping into green tunnels and even pausing halfway through the level.

To see the September 13th TIME article online, click HERE.


Welcoming Fall

Signs of the autumn season are dotting the campus this week. Tree tops are starting to turn, and splashes of red, orange and gold greet students as they look out their windows each morning.
This pine tree near Coy Pond is featured in Makoto Fujimura’s painting Golden Pines, which hangs in the Ken Olsen Science Center on Gordon’s campus. Fujimara is an internationally acclaimed artist with a strong connection to Gordon. His painting is a prime example of how art and science look out on the same world of wonders but produce complementary ways of interpreting and expressing it. The image is a response to the view on campus where two pine trees may be seen on the gentle slope downward toward Coy Pond, bathed in a golden light. Click here to see the full painting and its description.


Scavo Earns Player of the Week Nod

Gordon College sophomore Karina Scavo (from Mount Sinai, New York) was named the women’s soccer Offensive Player of the Week by The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) for her efforts in leading Gordon to a 2-0 week.

In a non-conference matchup with Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Scavo dished a pair of assists–one of which was on the game-winning goal in the 86th minute–to lift the Fighting Scots to a 2-1 victory over their host. Visiting Regis College in Gordon’s TCCC opener, Scavo tallied two goals and an assist en route to the Scots' commanding 5-0 win, giving her four goals and four assists on the season. With the wins, Gordon moves to a perfect 4-0 overall, 1-0 in the TCCC.


Using Their "Pipes" For Gordon Sports

Over the course of last week, several members of Gordon's student body gathered to exercise and showcase their pipes for the Gordon Fighting Scots.
No–not their arms–though given the context that would be a logical assumption. In this instance, it was their other pipes–their voices–on display.
Over a dozen students representing every class came to the Jenks Learning Resource Center or Phillips Music Center to audition their vocal stylings for performing the national anthem before home games on Gordon's campus. Arrangements spanned from solo a cappella acts to a four-man quartet, some from devout music majors and others from a more recreationally musical crowd.
“The idea came during last year's basketball season as the men’s team was progressing through the playoffs,” said Deborah Devenney, a junior communications major who organized the audition event. “I thought it would be great to have actual students performing live rather than just a recording. So the athletic director, Jon Tymann, and I discussed the idea and now we’re seeing it come together.”
When all was sung and done, four individuals and two groups were chosen to be the pre-game performers for the Fighting Scots, who recently kicked off their 2010 fall schedules. Devenney adds, “One of my goals was to get more people to the games and create more unity on campus. Hopefully this will help in some small way.”


Monday, September 13, 2010

Beyond Exit 17 - Events and Happenings Near Campus

Photo: Wingaersheek Beach, a local white sand beach in nearby Gloucester. This beautiful beach runs along the Annisquam River and Ipswich Bay, and is known for its long sandbar that forms at low tide.

Trails and Sails
The Essex National Heritage Area is hosting is annual double weekend Trails and Sails event starting Friday, September 17th. The annual event features two back to back weekends of walks and all things water. Events are free and include over 100 partner sites across the Essex National Heritage Area.
Festival dates run September 17-19 & 24-26.

Not For Sale
Not For Sale Massachusetts is having its first ever walk-a-thon on Saturday, September 18. There will be fair trade snacks, students from all over Boston, church folks, and a day to raise funds and awareness for those enslaved today. The walk starts at 10 a.m. at the Boston Common. If you want to be a tour guide, contact anita.coco@gordon.edu.

Rumble on the River
On September 19 Community Rowing hosts a free outdoor music and rowing festival at the Harry Parker Boathouse on the banks of the Charles River in Brighton. The inaugural all-day festival, Rumble on the River, features live music by local bands and rowing races between sets.

E Train to the MFA
On Thursday, September 23, the MFA is throwing a College Night for students across the city of Boston.The night includes music, free snacks, prizes, and lots and lots of art. To get to the MFA, jump on the Green Line's E train and get off at the MFA stop. All Gordon College undergraduate students recieve free admission to the MFA simply by showing your Gordon student ID card. This is a free year-round bennefit to students at Gordon College, thanks to connections within the Gordon Department of Art.

Grecian Festival

The three-day Greek Festival in Boston starts Friday, September 24, at Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. This authentic cultural event features live Greek music, craft bazaar, and homemade specialty gyros, souvlaki, and loukoumades.

Outdoor Art and Indie Design Market
The SoWa Open Market offers an ever-changing group of artisans, vendors and farmers in the South End's well-known artist's community. Over 100 artist stalls every Sunday through October 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 460 Harrison Avenue, Boston.

Swim with the Sharks
Submerge for a unique swim with a whale shark, a great white, and other species inhabiting the world's oceans.
Now through October 7 the Museum of Science 3-D Cinema will be showing The World of Sharks. Submerge in 3-D for a look at a whale shark, a great white, and other species inhabiting the worlds' oceans.


Coastal Sweep

Along the shores of one of New England's most beautiful beaches, volunteers were hard at work. Many of those volunteers were members of Gordon's biology club as they donated their time and energy to cleaning up Crane Beach in Ipswich during Coast Sweep. "We had a rare pickup truck ride on the beach," said Craig Story, professor of Biology. When we reached the end of the beach, we walked 2.5 miles back cataloging each piece of trash we encountered, which included over 50 balloons and 80 pieces of rope." Another Coast Sweep is planed for Saturday, September 18th, at Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester.
Photo: Some members of Gordon's biology club as they embark on a volunteering mission to clean Crane Beach.


Incarnational Ministry

There are lots of things you can count on in life at Gordon College. Some traditions draw a lot of attention - like Golden Goose or the Men's soccer game during Homecoming weekend. Other traditions move under the radar, and for the past 25 years faculty and students studying youth ministries have gathered every week for a meal together.

Youth Min Lunch, as its called, has been a special time of incarnational ministry over the years. So what is incarnational ministry? Bob Whittet, professor of Christian Ministries and Director of Church Relations, explains. "Jesus came God incarnate to be with us. Its the pattern of ministry Jesus modeled and the same one that we can model today. We walk with people where they are in life and bring Jesus with us as we minister in his name."

Youth Min Lunch meets on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in the Lion's Den of the Lane Student Center. "Every week our students can count on having lunch with faculty from our department," said Whittet. "It's a chance for students to get to know their peers out of the classroom setting and be a part of something larger when they gather with others in the major." The Youth Ministry major came to Gordon in 1985 with the Barrington College merger and the lunch was started. Last year the name of the major changed to Christian Ministries. "Given the history of this meal, we continue to call our Thursday gathering Youth Min lunch," said Whittet.

Gordon's Christian Ministries faculty, Mark Cannister, Sharon Ketcham, and Bob Whittet, really enjoy this time with students. "Its a chance to get to know students in an informal setting," said Whittet. "And our students get to see us in a different light as well." But this lunch also provides an opportunity for faculty to live out the incarnational ministry style they teach in their lectures and discussions. "In the classroom, we discuss the importance of learning from the example of Jesus who ministered by walking through life with the people.," said Whittet. "By sitting and having lunch with students on a weekly basis we are able to model that very point. We all look forward to it each week."

Though a tradition that spans more than two decades, Youth Min Lunch has become one of the relational touch-points for students in this major. "We sit and talk about a lot of varying topics, depending on what's on our student minds, be it serious or trivial" said Whittet. "This week we talked about an ethical question raised in the Leadership Theories and Practice class regarding the ethics of music and software ownership rights." The discussion? "Can you use pirated software to the glory of God?"

With hundreds of students benefiting from this weekly time of fellowship over the years, it's no wonder that youth pastors from the area often stop by this lunch to visit with students and talk about opportunities for ministry that exist in their churches. "When alumni return to campus for a visit, they will often choose Thursdays so they can come to this lunch. It brings back a lot of memories for us all. Local youth pastors all know, its Thursday, its Youth Min Lunch on the campus of Gordon College."

But this special group of servants, also open their table to perspective students - the next generation. "We work with Admissions to help promote our major and provide connections for visiting high school students with our current students," said Whittet. "It gives them a chance to get to know both faculty and students while they begin to imagine themselves fitting in as a Gordon student. Its fun to meet freshmen during orientation and have them say I remember you from the lunch I went to when I was looking at Gordon."
Photo: Students and faculty at this week's Youth Min Lunch in the Lion's Den.


Coastal Zone Management, Water Resources and Even the Study of Whales: Expanding Marine Science Education Opportunities for Students

Gordon College has long had a marine concentration in the biology major. Dr. Chuck Blend (who just left for Texas as a blissful newlywed) was particularly known for his research with students on marine parasites and is one of the few researchers on deep sea fish parasites in the world. But the program just got a little grander . . .
Recently, Gordon College joined a group called the Marine Studies Consortium, and its courses bring a new variety of opportunities to students. One such course, Biology of Fishes, takes place at the New England Aquarium and may be the only ichthyology course in the world where students use the resources of a major aquarium at every class meeting. Since some of the new program courses are not offered at the undergraduate level anywhere in the New England region, Gordon students will again be leading the way in the field of science education opportunities as they connect to the larger marine science community.

Gordon's current program has offered a variety of marine courses over the years. "Though our students seem to really enjoy Intro to Marine Science and the May Term's Marine Biology Institute course, this new membership will bring new opportunities for scholarship," says Dorothy Boorse, professor of biology. "We have never been able to offer such specialized undergraduate level courses in fields like water resources management, coastal zone management, marine mammals, or cetacean (whale) biology. The offering of such courses, coupled with our many regional resources is very exciting." Other colleges and universities in the consortium in addition to Gordon's Marine Biology program include Bentley, Lesley, Northeastern, Suffolk, Tufts, Wellesley, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, among others.

Photo: Dr. Boorse in one of the many outdoor marine life labs on Gordon's campus.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Gathering for Chapel. . .and a Time of Laughter

This week, students gathered for chapel found themselves in stitches at the hands of Tom Richter, a New York pastor from Queens with a gift of making people smile.

Richter, of New Hope Christian Church, fed the crowd with his incredibly energetic portrayal of Jesus’ glory amidst the jealousy and greed of doubting Pharisees. His witty remarks and creative characters left the student body rolling and applauding after bouts of comical character representation.

Although amusing and hilarious, the speaker’s lesson also carried important messages, and moments of more serious reflections. The lessons wonderfully captured this year's chapel theme of Everyday Holiness. As his time on stage closed, Richter left the chapel in silence after offering the following question: What does it look like to love God with ALL of your heart, ALL of your soul, and ALL of your mind?


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

Mud, grass, yellow tags--it must be REC-IM! This week marks the start of the flag football season at Gordon. These fun intramural games take place on the Ferrin Field and always attract a following. Leagues for both men and women often stir up resident hall pride as floors and friends compete in this Gordon tradition.
Maybe it's the cool early evening air, or maybe it's the thunderous sounds of cheering as the competition increases in intensity, but we think it's just part of our New England culture and our love of all things sport.


Gordon Welcomes New Track and Field Coach

Bringing over 10 years of coaching experience to Gordon, new track and field coach Peter Foster recognizes Gordon as a place of shared vision with his own life and coaching philosophy. Referencing the 1953 Gordon College publication A School for Christ, Foster said, of his decision to come to the College, "Gordon is Christ-centered in its mission and purpose in seeing others not just as assets to be managed but in offering a community where a sphere of influence is to guide and prepare for a role in the Kingdom. I train runners to be leaders, winners and people of excellence and influence to the extent of their potential." Foster comes to Gordon after a four-year tenure as a sprint and middle distance and cross country coach at Exeter High School in New Hampshire. He also started a track and field program at Epping High School to help bolster the sport in neighboring communities. In addition to his high school coaching experience, Foster is the founder and director of Peak Performance Runners, an organization designed to provide running and workout regimens to aspiring athletes of high school, college, and amateur status. At Gordon, however, he has found a venue to combine his ardor for running and faith: "It is a passion of mine to see track and field as an enterprise involving mind, body and spirit. Gordon College knows this and reflects this cosmic interplay uniquely. I am privileged to be here amongst my fellow staff and professors to join in this far-reaching task."


Shared Prayers for Local Students

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an authentic community that seeks to connect college students to Jesus, one another and the world has long had a presence on campuses across America. With five colleges and universities within 10 miles of Gordon College, our students are working hard to revive this tradition in the local region. Last night Gordon students offered support and training at the first InterVarsity Christian Fellowship on the North Shore in over 20 years.

"Students representing Gordon, Montserrat, Endicott, North Shore Community and Salem State University gathered together to worship Jesus, pray for their fellow students and professors, encourage one another, and dream about what God can do in college communities North of Boston," said Becky Lahna, a graduate student at a nearby college.

Becky met Gordon College senior Blaire Telford, a communication arts and youth ministries double major, last year and now the two are partnering together to bring a shared faith to others.

It was a moving event for many in attendance," said senior Telford. "Many college students don't have the freedom to share their faith in their classrooms. Publicly discussing how their faith connects to their studies and vocation, wouldn't be acceptable in that context." InterVarsity on the North Shore, hopes to give these students a place to recieve training, support and fellowship with other Christians. "Students shared their challenges of being a Christian on their campuses, in their places of work and in their families, " said Lahna. "Students also talked about challenges of feeling isolated and times they've experienced opposition to Christianity on their campus."

"Having a Christian community and faculty supporting my growth has made a big difference in my life, said Telford. "I'm so glad we can help other local college and university students through this group."


Gordon Students Bring Vibrancy to Area Churches

Gordon recently hosted its annual September Church Fair on the quad in front of the Lane Student Center. Under sunny skies, representatives from a host of North Shore and Boston churches lined the sidewalks with brochures and free snacks ready.

"The variety of churches and denominations was truly remarkable," said Bob Whittet, associate professor of Christian ministries. "From small church plants to larger churches, it's clear our Christian faith is vibrant here." Rev. Whittet serves as Director of Church Relations for Gordon in addition to his role in the classroom. "It was also evident that the North Shore is now home to a number of new church planting efforts, many of them pastored by Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary graduates. Walking around the loop, talking with representatives of all of the churches, I heard constant compliments about Gordon students."

There are intentionally no Sunday morning worship services held on the Gordon campus. Students are encouraged to be part of the broader community by attending area churches and getting involved as volunteers. "We often talk about the difference our students make through their interactions with the community," says Whittet. "But these recent sidewalk conversations with church leaders confirmed the vibrancy Gordon students bring to area congregations."


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Club Fair Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend

On Friday, rows and rows of campus clubs congregated to make known the many organizations and fun opportunities open to students at Gordon. About 30 campus groups constructed colorful, alluring booths and enticed students seeking to become part of a club. Represented at the fair were Campus Events Council (CEC), Gordon College Student Association (GCSA), Alana, Dance Team, Homeless Ministry, along with many others.

Hundreds of new and returning students poured into the lobby of the Ken Olsen Science Center looking for a group that interested them. Annie Battles of the Campus Events Council observed the club fair from behind their booth: “The clubs on campus unite small groups of students based on common interests, and the club fair is great because it brings together these smaller communities.”
Gordon encourages students to become part of a particular organization and further explore their interests. There is a lot happening on Gordon's North Shore, but there is also a lot happening on campus. As Annie neatly put it, “The club fair brings with it energy and anticipation for the coming year.”

Check out photos of this event here.