Friday, December 30, 2011

From Gordon to Harvard to MIT

After graduating from Gordon in 2003, Hiromu Nagahara didn’t go far—in fact, he went as far as Harvard (which is only about 30 miles away, give or take).

After studying history at Gordon, doing his senior thesis on “How nationalism informed the establishment of Western-style music education in late nineteenth century Japan,” he decided he wanted to get his masters and Ph.D. in Japanese history at Harvard. His dissertation was on popular culture and censorship in modern Japan.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From Biology Labs to Nigeria—A Journey of Vocation

Ever since she was a child, Damilola Junaid ’14 wanted to pursue a career in medicine. A biology major from Nigeria, she has spent the last few years at Gordon College cultivating her passion—research medicine. But when she began her sophomore year at Gordon, she came to classes with a new experience to share with her fellow pre-med students—an internship in Nigeria.

Last summer, Junaid asked her brother if she could start working in his Nigerian hospital to gain more hands-on experience in the field. He agreed and as a result, she shadowed her brother—a surgeon and physician—watching surgeries and working directly with patients, bringing her Gordon textbooks to life. “I really wanted to see how I’d react while observing surgery," she said. “It is one thing to observe a surgery on TV, and another to observe one in real life.”


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Geekiest Christmas Ornament

Each year when the Christmas season rolls around, amid all the decoration and festivities, the Physics and 3-2 Engineering department at Gordon is there to remind us that nothing says "holiday cheer" quite like Star Wars.

Students from Dr. Lee's Intro to Engineering class gathered in the engineering lab yesterday for this year's annual "Geekiest Christmas Ornament" contest. Contestants followed some simple guidelines, as described by Dr. Lee:

- The ornament proper must fit within a 6” x 6” x 6” box
- The ornament proper can weigh no more than 1 kg (about 2.2 lbs)
- It cannot be dangerous (projecting marshmallows is fine but projecting marbles is not, for example)
- It needs to do something
- The descriptor 'geeky' can be interpreted in a number of ways: Mechanisms and motors and lights cobbled together is 'geeky'; Star Wars (as a theme) is also 'geeky'; etc...


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Men’s Basketball: Dempsey Named CCC Player of the Week

Commissioner Gregg Kaye and the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) announced Gordon's David Dempsey (Jr./Wallingford, Conn.) has been named the Men's Basketball Player of the Week for his efforts in helping the Fighting Scots to a perfect 2-0 record last week.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gordon Students Host Successful Recreation Program for Local Homeschoolers

Thursdays in November are exciting for local homeschoolers and Gordon students alike—because of Homeschool Recreation Classes, a program offered on Gordon’s campus that includes games, exercise and lots of fun for 60 homeschoolers, from preschool through high school.

Peggy Hothem, professor of recreation and leisure studies, has organized this annual program with students in her Recreation Leadership class for over 15 years.

Not only has the program provided fun for local homeschoolers, it’s also helped prepare Gordon students for future careers in recreation.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Finish the Course—Tips for Finals Week

Finish the Course—Gordon's final examination support program for students—begins today. 

Now in it's 11th year, everyone at Gordon participates in the Finish the Course program—staff and faculty donate home baked snacks and refreshments to study halls, additional tutors are available, lounges become study halls and silent study areas occupy rooms within the library. This year, the Academic Support Center is adding final exam clinics during the lunch hour in Lane to gives students a place to stop by, ask questions, speak with academic support staff and learn additional study skills during this time of year. 

"In the Academic Support Center, we often say that studying is an act of the will," said Ann Seavey, director of academic support. "This implies that studying is not always something you will want to do or feel like doing, but something that you must do as it relates to the task you have been given at this moment in your life."

Last week faculty and staff were asked to share with students study techniques from their days in undergrad and graduate school programs. We share a few of them here:

"Your task is not to memorize. It is to care—about the aspect of God's creation you are studying, and about the persons (textbook writers, professors) who are guiding your efforts to study. Dialogue with God, his world, and your fellow-learners (including the ones called 'teachers'), and you will pass the only test that counts." 
-Bert Hodges, professor of psychology


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Seeking Intergenerational Justice

It was completely unplanned, but very appropriate: Onstage in Gordon’s chapel, Friday’s speaker, Gideon Strauss, stood above an orchestra pit as he announced, “Justice is symphonic.” The pit had been set up in anticipation of last weekend’s Christmas Gala concerts, and the flanking seats and music stands became a fitting object lesson for Strauss’ message of intergenerational harmony. “Orchestras are the very picture of justice,” said Strauss. “Each instrument, with its own distinct voice, comes together in beautiful harmony rather than discordant cacophony.”

Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Justice, Gideon Strauss began his talk by describing a potentially bleak future. If current spending trends persist, he noted, it is likely that within 20 years the federal government will be unable to afford more than to pay interest on its debts and support the commitments it has already made to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. This pits different generations against one another, vying for available resources, and, according to Strauss, it stands in opposition to the principles of scripture.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Tallamy Earns CCC Rookie Honors For Second Consecutive Week

As announced by Commissioner Gregg Kaye, freshman forward Leanna Tallamy (Wantage, N.J.) has been named the Women's Basketball Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive week.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is Free Enterprise Moral?

This was the question in last night’s Faith Seeking Understanding debate, which featured Jim Wallis of Sojourners Magazine and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute. Drawing a diverse crowd of students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as members of the local community, the debate was the opening event in FSU’s three-day series, “The State, Society and Marketplace.”

For all the hyperpolarized back-and-forth that has recently defined these types of conversations in American society, the discussion was remarkably civil, apolitical and constructive. Though the two men clearly represented very different responses to this question, the tone of the evening was marked by mutual respect and understanding. In the spirit of Saint Anselm’s definition of theology as “faith seeking understanding,” Brooks explained, “We are doing theology here—seeking God’s face in the everyday.”


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Sport in America: Courage, Integrity, Fair Play"

Thomas Lake '01 is the youngest senior writer at Sports Illustrated--A weekly magazine with a circulation of three million. Last week's issue of Sports Illustrated featured a series of writer reflections, showing the personal side of sport and how many SI writers came to love following the game. The reflections made last week's cover story, "Sport in America: Courage, Integrity, Fair Play. How We Define Ourselves in Our Games," in an article spotlight called "In My Tribe."

Lake, a Sports Illustrated senior writer for six years, begins with memories of his youth--evenings clinging to a small radio listening to broadcasts of the Atlanta Braves, and a very personal moment of his first college basketball tryout when he became a student at Gordon College.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Skateboarding, Re-imagined

“We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.”

When Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote these words in the 19th century, he could have no idea that they would be so aptly repurposed by a family of skateboarders 160 years later. But communication arts major Thomas Mull ’13, English major Steve Mull ’15, and their two brothers Charlie ’07 and Dave have adopted the quote as their boardsport motto. It’s a far cry from the “skate and destroy” culture popularized through the eighties and nineties—and that’s the point. Their Vermont-based skateboarding collective, The Worble, represents “rural skateboarding.” It’s about more than releasing pent-up aggression on a slab of concrete. They seek ways to return to nature, to respect and honor the terrain with their sport—much in the same way that surfing has done with the ocean.

The brothers will be premiering their latest skateboarding video, The Wander Years, tomorrow night at the Barrington Center for the Arts cinema. Spanning several years of filming and editing, the video was shot and produced mainly by Thomas, and features the brothers skating cities, skate parks, rural roads and even downed trees in their native Vermont and at spots across the Northeast.


Monday, November 21, 2011

A Successful Year for the Admissions Caravan

For the second year in a row, the Gordon College Admissions Caravan filled every seat on a coach bus with high school juniors and seniors on their way to a unique campus weekend. Thursday, November 10th, 47 prospective students were picked up from three locations: Wayne, Pennsylvania; Hawthorne, New Jersey; and Trumbull, Connecticut, before heading to Wenham.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Serving within the American Immersion Process

Beverly resident Hanjing Lai graduated last May with a degree in business administration but wasn’t necessarily looking to work for a nonprofit organization. When an opportunity with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc. (BCNC) came her way, though, she couldn’t turn it down.

For the past four months, Lai has worked as a Parent Leadership Specialist for BCNC, an organization that serves as a vital link for the Asian immigrant and Asian American community to navigate U.S. society by providing essential services while preserving their culture.

“As someone who was born in China, and lived in Hungary before coming to the United States as an international student, I understand the difficulties involved in the American immersion process,” said Lai. “I feel that I am well-equipped to serve the Asian community in my knowledge of different languages and cultures.”

One of BCNC’s main goals is to help every low-income Asian child receive a quality education. As a part of this effort, Lai was chosen as the representative for BCNC to participate in a public education discussion meeting with Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston this past August 31.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Reality of a Writer’s Life

Most young writers stare in awe when published authors visit their schools and local bookstores. But even deeper than the awe, there is also, I think, a strong connecting all writers to one another—a fundamental similarity. I look into their faces and I see a brightness, a curiosity, that I know well; there is a weariness that I understand. No matter that I’ve never published more than the occasional angsty poem. Peering into the faces of fellow writers, I can’t help but empathize.

So I sit in a college auditorium with a battered notebook, a cheap pen. At the front of the room, a man with tight graying curls and black-framed glasses bends over a creaking podium. Students shuffle in—the lit lovers, the ambitious, the dazed. We all clutch notebooks to our chests. We all perk up our ears. We all scramble for some scrap of success that may happen to flake off of the nobleman’s shoulders as he passes.

Sven Birkerts, celebrated author and editor of Boston University’s literary magazine, AGNI, spent an evening at Gordon College last Thursday to read selections from his various memoirs. All listened entranced, but particularly rapt were the English majors, myself included. I watched his posture, his gestures; I listened to his voice, the way he lifted his words up and down as he read them from the book in his hands. His book. Birkerts read his essays with smooth rapidity. I wrote this, I imagined him thinking as he turned the pages. But instead of arrogance, I sensed only a kind of weariness, a tired humility that years of success must bring. In my notebook I caught his most striking phrases. “Intense loaded echoes.” “Brittle fragility.” “Too redly.” “Levitating above the life of the street.” Birkerts painted the landscape of the writing life in all its gritty and colorful detail, all its annoyances and familiarities and loneliness.

Hearing the experiences of Birkerts’ life as a writer, who climbed rung by rung from the bottom of the food chain—that was encouraging, especially for a freshman English major. Birkerts did not smooth over his memories. Instead he dug into the overlooked details and raised them to humble poingnancy. We all knew what he meant to describe: the desperation of being a writer. It is something even we amateur writers at Gordon understand as we pore over texts and hand midnight poetry to our professors. We wrestle with words, both deciphering their meanings and forming them ourselves. Birkerts is a master of that wrestling match. Like us, though, he still fights to the death with every open page.

After the reading I asked him what in writing was still difficult for him. He laughed and said, “Writing.” Getting past the blockages, he said: soldiering on even when no words flow. The most curious students peppered Birkerts with questions, and he answered smiling, waving his hands excitedly. The weariness of reading his work to an audience was gone—he was a writer like us. “Read like crazy,” he said, “And discover what moves you.” He promised us that “breaking in” to the writing world is extremely difficult. But he told us to keep writing, to never stop.

At the podium, Sven Birkerts was an austere and brilliant author. Standing among students, he became, himself, a student of the written word. He filled our open hands with reality and hope. In his voice I could hear his love for students, and in his eyes I could see his love for writing. What a gift Gordon students received in having Sven Birkerts here, an example of what we can become.

[Photo: Rebekah Connell]

Story by Gordon student Rebekah Connell ’15, an English major from New York and student writer for the Office of College Communications.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

A New Year (and a New Face) for the Vox Populi

Susanna Young '12 is the editor-in-chief for the
Vox Populi, a publication of the Gordon College Student Association that shares essays, fiction and poetry from members of the Gordon community—mainly students, but also faculty, staff and alumni. She shares her thoughts on the latest issue of the Vox, and a new phase in the publication's presence on campus.

"When I was offered the position of editor for the Vox Populi, I had no idea what kind of an undertaking it was. One summer and half a semester later, we—my team and I—were in full swing and straining for a steep learning curve. Thanks to the previous editors before me, the Vox was an established and professional operation of which we were the willing benefactors. Because of this groundwork, the Vox's presence on campus has been (and hopefully will continue to be) an outlet for expressing opinions and perspectives on various relevant topics as well as a venue for the creative voices of our community.

The challenge then, besides learning how to manage a publication, was to push the identity of the Vox Populi forward, to contribute to its actualization and get people’s attention. Plenty of nights were spent attempting to meet these tasks head on. We encountered what felt like a maze of possibilities surrounding elements of design, how to feature writing with specific segments, and how to remain flexible and open to being surprised by pieces we could not have anticipated. In the midst of all this wading though, a beacon emerged: we knew we wanted the Vox Populi to publish individual issues that stood on their own while fitting into the overall framework of the publication. So, we decided to organize each issue around a one-word theme.

For our fall issue, we decided on the word 'Contact,' which we liked for its dual noun and verb usage, and for its broad interpretive possibilities. While the decision to use a thematic shape for the Vox was a narrowing one, we wanted to invite all the voices we hoped to publish to speak it into existence and show us what it is that we meant. We’re thrilled with our first issue of the Vox Populi and are now in the midst of producing our second.

This next theme is 'Room' and it’s given us a promising point of departure for the issue, with pieces that imbibe both physical space and the conceptual realm of ideas in dialogue with one another. Thank you to those of you who wrote for us and thanks for reading!"

For more information on the Vox Populi, feel free to contact the publication staff at


Friday, November 11, 2011

Nick Fitzgerald '11 to Serve Teenagers in Ipswich, Mass.

by Jane Dooley, Wicked Local: Ipswich

"Hanging out with friends instead of an annoying sibling or even worse—mom and dad—is a rite of passage for kids in their early and mid teens.

But finding a safe place in Ipswich to hang with those friends has proven tough. Needing some independence, but too young to drive or have a job, and too old for daycare programs, Ipswich kids in their early and mid teens have often been left to fend for themselves.

Until now.

Nick Fitzgerald '11, new teen director at the Ipswich YMCA, is meeting with local groups, parents and teenagers to get input on what types of activities they would like to see offered to support teens in Ipswich."

Read more at Wicked Local: Ipswich.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day of Prayer

"Thy Kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Heaven."  

This was the plea that underscored yesterday's Day of Prayer events. In various ways all over campus, students, faculty and staff took a break from the normal pace of academic life to refocus on God's Kingdom—His reign, as well as our responsibility to further it.

Dr. Greg Carmer, dean of chapel, commented on that duality at the start of the morning's worship service. "We are utterly dependent on God, and yet we must be attentive to our call to be wise stewards." The morning prayer service drew from a range of traditions and prayer styles
from liturgical to small groups to a performance by Gordon's Dance Ministry team.

Elsewhere around campus, other groups sponsored prayer opportunities, including prayer for the persecuted church, prayer through art and writing, and liturgical prayer. Out on the chapel lawn, Gordon College's Men's Ministry stoked a wood fire and led prayer through the Psalms, without ceasing, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. An additional worship service that afternoon was hosted by Gordon's multicultural club, ALANA (individuals of African-American, Latino, Asian, and Native American descent), and featured music, prayer and Bible readings in multiple languages.

Click here for more photos from the Day of Prayer.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Forging a Christian Conscience

Every year, the Jerusalem and Athens Forum assembles curious minds from across campus for a year-long honors program devoted to delving into the history of Christian thought and literature, seeking to better understand the relationship between faith and intellect. But the influence of JAF at Gordon extends beyond the twenty-some students enrolled in the program each year: through lectures, debates and open faculty/student discussions, the Jerusalem and Athens Forum has become a staple of the intellectual life of the College.

Oftentimes, these events will ask expert scholars a divisive or difficult question, such as the one posed at this past Monday's JAF event, "What is Conscience?"


Monday, November 7, 2011

The Lazarus at Your Gate

Scot McKnight, professor of religious studies at North Park University in Chicago and author of The Jesus Creed, spoke during this morning's convocation program as part of the Faith Seeking Understanding lecture series. An expert on the New Testament, early Christianity and the historical Jesus, Dr. McKnight focused his talk on the divergent perspectives on afterlife held by various Christians. His aim was to recast the debate, shifting its focus to the teachings of Jesus in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31).


Day of Prayer

One of the greatest gifts of the Christian life is the privilege of expressing our gratitude to God and making our needs known to Him. Gordon College was founded on prayer and has maintained a posture of gratitude to and dependance on God over its 122 year history. One expression of that commitment to prayer is the annual day of prayer. Tuesday, November 8, all classes will be cancelled while students, faculty and staff devote a full day to come together in various expressions of prayer.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Interfaith Relations: Remembering the Night of Broken Glass

This weekend, the Jewish Culture Club at Gordon College will host a program presented by Comfort My People (CMP), a North Shore group of Christians and Jews dedicated to improving interfaith relations and supporting the people of Israel.

CMP produces creative educational programs that draw lessons from the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Its goal is to raise global awareness on current and renewed signs of hatred, injustice and violence directed toward Israel.

This Sunday, November 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the A. J. Gordon Chapel, CMP will host a program recalling the anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass in Germany.


Women's Soccer: Scavo, Nedde and Coker Honored by CCC

As announced by Commissioner Gregg Kaye and the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), Karina Scavo '13 (Mount Sinai, N.Y.), Caitlin Nedde '13 (Colchester, Vt.), and Hala Coker '12 (East Falmouth, Mass.) have been named to All-CCC teams for their efforts during the 2011 season.

Earning a First Team All-Conference nod, Scavo (pictured) has been the director of Gordon's midfield all season long, tallying 17 points on seven goals, three assists as the Scots' second-leading scorer. The honor marks her third CCC All-Conference distinction, having been named to the First Team in 2010 and Honorable Mention in 2009.


Princemere Writers Series Sven Birkerts

This past Wednesday, Gordon's reading and writing community was privileged to welcome essayist, editor and critic Sven Birkerts to campus as part of the Princemere Writers Series. He read selected essays from his most recent collection, The Other Walk, which was released this past September. Mark Stevick, associate professor of English and director of Gordon's creative writing concentration, organized the event. "I've been wanting to bring Sven to Gordon for many years," he remarked in his introduction.

The editor of Boston University's AGNI and director or the creative writing MFA at Bennington College, as well as the award-wining author of nine books, Birkerts is a mainstay in the local and national literary community. His most widely read book - and the most influential among Gordon's scholars - is The Gutenberg Elegies, which explores the rise of computer technology as it supplants the dominance of physical books. Dr. John Skillen, professor of English and associate dean of European programs at Gordon, explains that the "spirit [of The Gutenberg Elegies] is implicit in the Gordon IN Orvieto program."

"His was one of the first books - at the beginning of that wild fifteen years that has brought us to the Kindle/iPad consumer wars - that looked closely at the differences between reading a digitalized book on a screen and holding a bound book in your hands," says Skillen. "For me, Birkerts was preaching to the choir. I, too (a literature professor in those days), feared the loss of bodily presence in the act of reading."

Birkerts' literary voice is unmistakable: colloquially elevated language, surefooted even as it is exploratory. The crowd gathered in Jenks 237 Wednesday evening listened as the author read several pieces from The Other Walk. His latest ruminations, which he referred to as "epiphanic pieces," chart resonances between the present and memory - "loaded echoes of past experience." Birkerts shared reflections ranging from dissolved friendships, to the drudgeries of speaking engagements, to a crippling fear of heights he unfortunately discovered at the top of the tallest ladder he had ever climbed. In each piece, his sharp insights found their light in the concrete details - a gust of wind up the shirt-sleeves, the blemish at the base of an orange cup, a handsome old man with fake teeth.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

48 Hour Creative Blitz

Over the weekend, a team from the Return Design Internship Program at Gordon College flew to Virginia for a 48-hour creative consult with Free for Life International.

Free for Life International requested the help of three organizations around the country to help with their marketing materials--including the help of Gordon's graphic design internship program--known for its branding and identity work with nonprofit and humanitarian organizations.

Free for Life is a not-for-profit that seeks to restore and rescue victims of sexual trafficking, the second most prevalent crime in the world.


Monday, October 31, 2011

New State-of-the-Art Production Equipment and Manager Change the Game for Gordon Communication Arts Program

Jeff Ryan '12  has always dreamed of becoming a filmmaker. Now, with the influx of new film production equipment at Gordon College, he has the means to pursue his goals.

The 2011–12 academic year has already proven to be a game changer for Gordon College’s Communication Arts program with new state-of-the-art film production equipment, including cameras, tripods, lights, lenses and a dolly. Along with the new equipment, which puts the Gordon Communication Arts Department on the same level as other Boston-area film programs, the program welcomes a new production facilities manager, Jean-Paul DiSciscio (pictured above) of Waltham, Massachusetts, who is an independent filmmaker and equipment expert.

“In my 10 years as part of the Communication Arts program, this is the most comprehensive upgrade and influx of new equipment we’ve had,” said Communication Arts Department chair and professor Rini Cobbey. “Most of the cameras we were using were 13 years old.”


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lights, Camera, Fundraiser: Gordon Student Raises Funds for Senior Thesis Film Project

As a kid growing up in Gillette, New Jersey, Jeff Ryan would practice Jim Carrey faces in the mirror for fun. Now, as a ’12 Gordon College Communication Arts major, he is taking his passion for film more seriously. In fact, he has taken the initiative to start a fundraising campaign in support of his senior thesis film project, a short film entitled Jerry.

“The premise of Jerry is rooted in my desire to showcase relational interactions, especially communication in romantic relationships,” said Ryan. “The short film tells the story of a man who goes to extreme measures to please his wife, and as a result, ends up in jail. While incorporating humor, the film retains a sense of drama and sincerity.”

Ryan has set up a campaign on in order to raise funds for his film’s production. His ultimate goal is to raise $800, and by October 22, he has raised $461.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gordon College Student-Athletes Named CCC Players of the Week

As announced by Commissioner Gregg Kaye and the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), Spencer Lord '12 (North Stonington, Conn.) and Andrew Vandervoort '14 (Memphis, Tenn.) have been honored as the Men's Soccer Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week, respectively, for their efforts in helping the Scots stay unbeaten in conference with a pair of shutout wins last week.


"The Gospel Jesus and the Apostles Preached"

Next week, November 3-4,  Gordon College will welcome Scot McKnight--a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. The Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, McKnight has given interviews on radio stations across the nation, has appeared on television and regularly speaks at local churches, conferences, colleges and seminaries in the U.S.A. and abroad.

"Scot McKnight is a true scholar and student of the Word. His take on theology is both insightful and refreshing," says Keith Krass, special projects coordinator in the Center for Christian Studies. "McKnight's work is simultaneously accessible yet challenging--thoughtful and gracious yet convicting. His new book One Life is simply a must-read."

This event is part of the Faith Seeking Understanding lecture series at Gordon College and is sponsored by the Center for Christian Studies and the Jerusalem and Athens Forum.


Monday, October 24, 2011

WILD Semester: Day 14

With nothing but loaded backpacks, 12 Gordon College students and staff set out this September on a 22-day expedition through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The expedition was part of the Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development semester (WILD semester), co-facilitated by Nate Hausman and the WILD program director, David Starbuck.

"I remember day 14, the day we ventured off trail to master map and compass navigation," said Starbuck. "We had just climbed a steep talus (boulder) field that was nearly vertical, and as we reached the peak we found a wide open field. We felt excited and awed by the sight--a meadow amidst otherwise rugged mountain terrain.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quad Break Service Projects in Adironack Park

This past weekend 32 students, staff and alumni representing The La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership ventured to the Adirondack Mountains in New York to partner with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service to participate in five different service projects throughout the Adirondack Park.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

J. C. Penney CEO Joins President Lindsay to Inaugurate New Series

Drawing upon an interview-style approach he honed while conducting the largest empirical study based on interviews with senior leaders, Dr. Michael Lindsay launched the first major event in a new series—Conversations with the President—by welcoming J. C. Penney Chairman and CEO (Mike) E. Ullman III as his first guest.

More than 250 guests joined Lindsay and Ullman on October 14, 2011, at 7:30 A.M. for breakfast and conversation at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts, including Boston business professionals, alumni and friends.

“It is my hope that these conversations will give professionals in the Greater Boston area the opportunity to be enriched by the perspective of top leaders in the country and world,” says Lindsay.

Click here to read on.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Lizzy, Darcy and Jane"--An American Premiere

This Friday the characters of Jane Austen's literary world interweave with historical and fictional characters of her personal life when the play "Lizzy, Darcy and Jane " opens on Gordon's campus for an American premiere.

The show's director, Jeff Miller, professor of theatre arts, first discovered the script four years ago while traveling in England. Since that day, the Gordon professor--who has directed over 100 plays--has dreamed of bringing the production to the stage for audiences in the States. From meetings in London with the play's author, Joanna Norland, to countless auditions and rehearsals, Miller's direction of the play will delight Pride and Prejudice fans of all ages.

The play uncovers the fiery side of author Jane Austen, exploring the interplay between Austen's personal life and literary work, by probing a crackling relationship with the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennett. Heady with her first taste of love, young Austen creates the feisty Elizabeth in an exuberant moment of inspiration. But when a real-life romance sours, Austen sentences her alter ego to marry the odious Mr. Collins, and sentences herself to a suitor no less ill-matched.

"This play reveals the dramatic traditions Austen is linked to despite the fact that she did not have the freedom to write for the stage," said Miller.

Lizzy, Darcy and Jane opens this Friday, October 21 in the Black Box Theatre of the Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College. Performances will run October 21-22 and 25-29. Show times are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. $10 regular admission, $8 for students, seniors, and Gordon faculty/staff. Tuesday through Thursday show times are at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 4:30 p.m.

Photo: Miller (left) speaks with the actors during a recent rehearsal. Read coverage of this performance on


Monday, October 17, 2011

YoungLife: Partnering Ministries

This week YoungLife, a national Christian ministry for teenagers, turns 70.  Over the decades, generations of Gordon College students have volunteered with this ministry impacting the lives of local high school kids through YoungLife North Shore.

The North Shore ministry started 34 years ago under the leadership of Ronald Huth and Dean Borgman in 1977. Borgman was a professor for the youth ministries program at Gordon-Conwell and Huth, who had just relocated from Cleveland, Ohio, became the YoungLife Area Director providing the field ministry experience for Borgman's seminary students. But Huth also had his foot quickly planted on Gordon's campus and working with President Dick Gross, he took a part-time role in Gordon's Admissions Office and created alternative chapel services for students interested in youth ministries and serving teens in the local community.


Gordon Women's Soccer and Cross-Country Honored by CCC

As announced by Commissioner Gregg Kaye and the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), women's soccer goalkeeper Kari Christensen (So./Standish, Maine) and cross-country runner Allison Lynch (Sr./Holliston, Massachusetts) have garnered CCC Athlete of the Week honors.

The CCC Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, Christensen played a crucial role in the net for the Fighting Scots last week, helping lift her team to a pair of shutout wins. After turning away seven shots in a 1-0 victory over non-conference opponent Plymouth State, she went on to record five saves in a 1-0 shutout against CCC rival Eastern Nazarene College, closing out the week with an impressive 0.00 goals against average.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gordon Women’s Tennis Honored By CCC

As announced by Commissioner Gregg Kaye and the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), Gordon senior Kallie Garrett (Bend, Ore.) has been named an All-CCC Women's Tennis Honorable Mention honoree for her efforts over the course of the Scots' 2011 season.

Additionally, the Fighting Scots garnered the CCC Team Sportsmanship Award, a distinction voted upon by all conference coaches on the basis of play and character in competition.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

W.I.L.D. Semester Gets Even Greener

The Gordon Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) Semester is an immersion semester in outdoor education that incorporates a 21-day wilderness expedition followed by an intentional living community off campus, teaching students a variety of leadership skills. From backcountry cooking to expedition psychology, the curriculum provides a unique study in group development.

This year students traveled to the mountain range of Sierra Nevada, and are now back in Massachusetts and settling into a house in the seaport town of Rockport, 14 miles from Gordon's campus. Here, the students will continue to live out their low-impact sustainable techniques back in a residential community with a focus on environmental ethics. “Environmental ethics is one of the unique parts of our curriculum," said Tricia Chan, resident director and assistant director of the W.I.L.D. program. "We use the 'leave no trace' practice in wilderness education. We talk about what environmental ethics means, why it is important for us as stewards living out creation care, and how we can incorporate that into our daily lives.”


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gordon College Student-Athlete Named Offensive Player of the Week

For the second time this season, Gordon College sophomore Andrew Vandervoort (Memphis, Tenn.) has been honored as the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week and Gordon's Athlete of the Week.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Future Farmers of America—Gordon chemistry student leads Massachusetts at National Convention

October in Indianapolis: the city morphs into a hub of agriculture for students across America. Convention halls, fair grounds and stadiums are prepared for one enormous gathering. The population of the city skyrockets in a matter of hours. Even street names are changed—you may find yourself driving not on your typical city street, but on “FFA Way."

For this, one of the largest conventions held in the United States, over 50,000 people involved with the Future Farmers of America assemble for the organization’s annual National Convention. Student representatives from their home states attend workshops, participate in competitions, join in service projects and discuss agricultural issues in delegated panels. Mollie Enright, a freshman chemistry major at Gordon, is the president of the Massachusetts chapter of FFA and will represent Massachusetts at this year's national convention.


Homecoming and Family Weekend

Wow! What a weekend we had for Homecoming and Family weekend.

Starting with Friday's Great Scots Reception when Carrie Tibbles '93 received the 2011 Alumna of the Year award; to Michael Lindsay's new Conversations with the President Homecoming Panel; to Sunday morning's worship service with Richard '58 and Carol (Edwards) '57 Visser, it is clear Gordon alumni are out in the world and doing amazing work for the Kingdom.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Framework and Fluidity

The first floor hallway in the Ken Olsen Science Center got some new wall candy this week, courtesy of the Class of 2011 and two of its alumni, Garrett Ames-Ledbetter and Anna Taylor. Last year's class gift pledged a series of paintings for KOSC designed around the disciplines of mathematics, physics, biology, kinesiology, chemistry and computer science.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Signs of a Deeper Story

Homecoming is a time for us to look back on the history of Gordon College and celebrate the ongoing, ever-broadening community of alumni going out into the world and doing remarkable things with their Gordon education. One of these alumni, communication arts graduate Thomas Lake ’01, arrived on campus a few days before this weekend’s festivities to speak in chapel Wednesday morning.

Thomas’ path from Gordon has taken him to impressive heights as a journalist, rising through the ranks from a freelance reporter making $40 per story for the local Salem paper to become a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. Along the way, his pieces of narrative journalism have won awards and national recognition. Such accolades are well-deserved: Lake cites inspirations as varied as John Steinbeck and the book of Ecclesiastes, and upon reading his work, one can immediately catch that conversational wisdom of the former and the lyrical ebb and flow of the latter.


Monday, October 3, 2011

50th Anniversary—Celebrating Science

Dale Pleticha, professor of physics, has been teaching at Gordon for 27 years. So when Notes Along the Way wanted to write a story on the 50th anniversary celebration of the Division of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, we knew great history and stories could be found on the second floor of the Ken Olsen Science Center where Professor Pleticha is usually found.

Though the official date of the anniversary is still an unfolding mystery, the first majors in biology, chemistry and physics were offered to students in 1961. Currently the second smallest division at Gordon, the Science Division includes biology, chemistry, kinesiology, mathematics, computer science, physics, and 3-2 engineering. “It’s not uncommon—especially when you think of our own beginnings as a missionary training school—for Christian colleges and universities to have small natural sciences divisions,” said Pleticha. “But Gordon’s programs have experienced remarkable growth over the last 50 years. It’s exciting to look back at our history and celebrate our future.” Pleticha continued to share stories of long-time faculty like Jack Haas, Dick Wright and Jerry McNatt, whose leadership (30+ years) provided great advancement in the sciences on our campus. Though now retired from teaching, Dick Wright still has one of the top textbooks in environmental science. The book, Environmental Science: Toward a Sustainable Future, is now co-authored with another Gordon scholar—Dorothy Boorse—and is in it’s 11th edition. Another book by Wright, Biology Through the Eyes of Faith, provides a comprehensive look at stewardship in the realm of biology for many Christian scientists today.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Starting a Conversation

In this era of heightened tension between communities of faith and communities of science, Gordon College seeks to foster a deeper appreciation for science as a way of exploring God’s glory through the study of His creation. This commitment has been born in a number of ways over the sciences’ 50-year history at Gordon, most recently through ongoing faculty research, courses that seek to educate students on the interplay of faith and science, and an array of conferences, lectures and symposia with similar focuses.

Yesterday the College invited to campus two esteemed science professionals who share Gordon’s passion for the Book of Nature—Ruth Bancewicz, the lead author of Test of Faith, a faith and science curriculum for churches and Christian schools developed by the Faraday Institute in England; and Dr. Randy Isaac, a North Shore native and the executive director of the American Scientific Affiliation. Among a gathering of students and faculty, Bancewicz discussed the goals of the Test of Faith materials, which have been used in Gordon’s core course The Scientific Enterprise for the last two years. “It’s not about trying to convert you to the view of certain scientists; it’s about starting a conversation.”


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Green Chemistry Ambassadors Receive Honors

Gordon College is on the forefront of green chemistry education. From Professor Irv Levy’s development of education resources in green chemistry to our role as a founding member of the Green Chemistry Education Network, it’s a program of national distinction.

To add to the program’s successes, the student chapter of the American Chemical Society at Gordon College recently received the Commendable Chapter Award and will be honored at the National American Chemical Society Meeting.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Research from the Sea Floor

How do you carry two biologists, seven students, clipboards full of data and equipment to create a floating lab over the Atlantic Ocean? Meet the Ixthus—Gordon’s very own biology boat.

Though he usually spends his time on large research ocean vessels, Gordon’s newest biology faculty member, Walter Cho, is a deep sea biologist with big plans for his students this year. Before coming to Gordon, Cho was a researcher studying the BP oil spill and the potential ecological damage it was responsible for in the Gulf of Mexico. Since coming to Gordon this fall, he’s been anticipating getting out on the water and introducing the labs of the Atlantic to his students at Gordon. Recently Cho took his Marine Science class out into the waters of Ipswich Bay to collect samples of the water column and sediment to study the physical and biological characteristics of this environment.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Three Philosophers: Engaged in the Academic World

Having a campus so close to the city of Boston is full of academic perks. After all, Greater Boston has more colleges and universities per capita than any other city in the world—and that brings together a very unique academic community. But the opportunity to join a professor for a conference in the city—not for a class assignment or for a course field trip, but solely for the shared interest in the vocation—makes Gordon’s proximity to Boston a unique asset.

When Dave Hicks ’14 and Christian Shahzade ’14 signed up for courses with Brian Glenney, assistant professor of philosophy, they knew the material would really take them places. But Glenney actually took them somewhere: The professor took his two students to Cambridge for an afternoon at the Progress in Philosophy conference, creating an especially memorable experience for the two young men.

The conference, sponsored by Harvard University and Australian National University, included speakers like David Chalmers, Philip Pettit and Peter Ludlow. “It was fun to share professional philosophy with Dave and Christian,” said Glenney. “There’s nothing like exposing my students to current ideas on a global platform. The philosophy program at Gordon is a place where professional scholars are being prepared for real success in the academy, and their reflections and comments through the conference really emphasized this.”


Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Idol of Paint

Gordon’s Faith Seeking Understanding lecture series is a staple of intellectual life on campus. Providing a venue for first-rate speakers to share their insights on Christian thought and culture, these events serve the very core purpose of the College’s liberal arts focus.

Last week’s Faith Seeking Understanding guest was Nigel Goodwin, executive director of the Genesis Arts Trust in London. “Nigel is a man who has spent his life stirring up Christian artists to think deeply and to work at a level of excellence that is worthy of our Creator. He has encouraged hundreds, maybe even thousands of Christians in the arts to engage culture seriously with their art—at conferences and large gatherings as well as in green rooms, studios and offices,” says Jeff Miller, professor of theatre arts at Gordon College. “If it’s true that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, Christian artists today certainly stand on shoulders of the likes of Nigel Goodwin who have invested their lives in bringing their faith to their art.”


Friday, September 23, 2011

Gordon Students Feud for Fun on TV Game Show, Family Feud

More than genetics link the contestants on next week’s Family Feud television show—four of the five members of the Coker/Tranchell family contestants are also Gordon College students and graduates.

Hannah Coker ’09, English; Hala Coker ’12, psychology; Hattie Coker ’13, psychology; and their cousins Alessio Tranchell ’14, music; and Amira Tranchell, a junior psychology major at Clark University (all of East Falmouth, Massachusetts) auditioned for the game show in Saugus on a whim last May. To their surprise, they were selected and flown to Georgia in July for a day of filming as contestants on Family Feud. Dressed in matching purple, the Coker/Tranchell family will compete in the ultimate TV family face-off beginning on September 26, at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.


One Last Celebration

Though the inaugural day festivities wrapped up on the 16th, the Gordon College community wasn’t ready to stop celebrating. Last Friday evening, hundreds of faculty, staff and students joined President Lindsay and his wife, Rebecca, in the Bennett Center for the Inaugural Ball, sponsored by Gordon’s student-run Campus Event Council.

The formal dance was preceded by a dessert reception and (to ensure there could be no good reason for ballroom hesitance) dance lessons with instructors Linda and Stephen White. Guests learned to salsa, waltz and swing, and then spent the rest of the evening showing off what they had learned.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Longest Walk Ever: Stories from the Appalachian Trail

Gordon alum Tim Helgesen ’11, an English major with a deep appreciation for nature, is walking the great Appalachian Trail and blogging along the way. Hiking a 2,179 mile route from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountian in Georgia, Helgesen began his journey on July 6 and hopes to finish by mid-November. From the peacefulness of the trail to the unexpected animals he meets along the way, you can follow his adventure on his blog, Longest Walk Ever.

Photo: A Gordon College luggage tag hangs on Tim’s backpack—a greeting to all he meets along the trail, and a reminder to himself of those praying for his journey.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Field Hockey's Neverett Earns Player of the Week

Senior captain Samantha Neverett (Athol, Massachusetts) has been honored as the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts over the week of September 12–18.