Monday, August 29, 2011

Leadership in the Community—Sigma Xi Chapter Moves to Gordon

The Scientific Research Society Sigma Xi is a worldwide network of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Schools like MIT, Harvard, Williams and Smith are just a few of our New England peer institutions whose faculty members participate in this international society for scholarship and research.

Two years ago Gordon College, working with Endicott College and Salem State University, created the North Shore Chapter of Sigma Xi to support the outstanding endeavors in science and engineering taking place on the North Shore. This summer Suzanne Phillips, professor of psychology, was elected president—an appointment she’ll carry for the next two years—making Gordon the new chapter’s central headquarters.


Friday, August 26, 2011

An Inner-City Summer: Interning at Mack Avenue Community Church in Downtown Detroit

Having grown up in the heart of New York City, Brandon Inkles ’13 has always had a passion to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ in an urban setting. That’s why spending a summer in the heart of inner-city Detroit, Michigan, was an opportunity he just couldn’t pass up.

A business administration and global Christianity double major with a nonprofit management minor, Brandon interned with Mack Avenue Community Church in the middle of east Detroit—a dangerous part of town. The church, run by three pastors—Eric Nielsen, Eric Russ and Leon Stevenson III—has a vision to transform the community both spiritually and physically with constant outreach to the surrounding community and a focus on discipleship. Brandon’s internship this summer also helped fulfill a requirement of the Elijah Project honors program he participates in.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Matriculation Chapel—The Gordon Community Returns for Worship

Though students and faculty have been steadily returning to campus for the past week, no single event captured the excitement and the profound meaning of this new year quite like today's Matriculation Chapel. Faculty dressed in full regalia processed through a packed chapel, taking their places on the stage along with Provost Mark Sargent, Dean of Chapel Greg Carmer, and President D. Michael Lindsay. President Lindsay began the worship service, welcoming the whole community and especially acknowledging our 525 new students—the largest freshman class in Gordon’s history.

Dr. Sargent led the congregation though the next portion of the service: the presentation of the scrolls.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Jenks Gets a New Look

Check out the renovated Jenks lobby! With new tables and leather chairs, along with flooring to match the recent work done in the Easton and Chapel dining areas, the changes add a touch of distinction to the campus landmark. There’s even a fireplace!

The remodeling effort, made possible by a generous contribution from Dale and Sarah Ann Fowler, extends beyond the lobby and out onto the building's front patio, where a broad awning now shades the entrance.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Growing Food and Growing Faith

While most students spend their summers working indoors making money to pay for college, Nina Voli ’13 has been interning at Shalom Farms, an initiative of the United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond, Virginia, that addresses the issue of food security in inner-city Richmond.

Shalom Farms grows organic produce that is shared among various partners in the city who are working to increase access to nutritious foods in low-income urban areas. They also work to educate youth, churches and communities about justice in the food system.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Values of Change

Faculty, staff, and student Orientation leaders came together bright and early this morning in the Chapel for the first worship service of the new school year. Greg Carmer, dean of chapel, welcomed his colleagues with a reiteration of the spiritual mission of the College. “We’re not here to sell degrees. We’re here to inform lives, to cultivate hearts that seek truth and goodness.”
Following these encouragements, Academic Dean Dan Russ delivered his reflection for the service, entitled “A Taste of New Wine.” Casual but full of insight, Russ spoke on the values and virtues of change—a message that cut to the heart of Gordon’s current circumstances: the largest incoming freshman class in College history,
tens of new faculty and staff members, and, lest we forget, a new president.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Summer Recording Music with Regenerate Music Co.—and Discerning God’s Call

Late one night Andrew Hansen ’13 was cruising through his Facebook newsfeed. His youth pastor had posted a song released by Regenerate Music Co. After Andrew heard the song, “Kingdom,” by Micah Massey (free album on, he contacted a member of Regenerate and asked if he could intern with them. After a long wait, Regenerate agreed to a summer internship and gave Andrew a couch to sleep on in the studio.

Andrew, a double major in youth ministry and biblical studies, is part of the Elijah Project—a one-year program at Gordon that encourages students to listen to God’s call, to explore meaningful work and to respond to the needs of the world. Andrew loves both of his majors, and also loves music, but doesn’t know which he should pursue for a future career. So when an opportunity to intern with Regenerate fell in his lap, he knew he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.


Monday, August 15, 2011

A Missionary Internship in France

Mary Cote ’12 has always been drawn to missions. After spending a summer in France interning as a missionary, she is even more convinced that serving God in missions is in her future.

An English major and biblical studies minor, and an Elijah Project student, Mary had to complete an internship this summer for her studies. She first met French missionary Thierry Mirone when she went with her youth group on a missions trip to France in 2008. She was also a counselor at the Christian camp Champfleuri in France for the past two summers during their two-week evangelistic camp.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CRASH Japan: How One Organization Is Working Hard to Bring Jesus to Japan

In this photo Rebekah (left) was doing survivor care—caring for this grandmother’s (right) heart post-earthquake. In the morning this Japanese grandmother didn’t have any hope left to live. By afternoon Rebekah and the other missionary pictured had helped this woman regain purpose in her life.

Rebekah Suzuki ’05 will never forget March 11, 2011—her contract at work had ended and this was her first day of unemployment. She had been praying that God would lead her to the right job where He could fully use her. And then the earthquake hit.

The 8.9 quake was one of the largest in recorded history, hitting off the northeast coast of Japan. And then the tsunami came—23-foot waves ravaged Japan’s coast, devastating towns and killing people, adding to the destruction of Rebekah’s small country.
Thankfully Rebekah was in Tokyo when the quake and tsunami hit, and because earthquakes are common in Japan, she wasn’t initially alarmed. But when a woman’s baby carriage fell over, people started rushing out of buildings, trains stopped running and the shaking wouldn’t stop, she knew this was different. And she felt all of this just under 200 miles away from the epicenter in Sendai, Japan.


Monday, August 8, 2011

A Summer Vacation Working on New Cancer Drugs

While some students are working summer jobs or going on family vacations, Ken Hallenbeck ’12 is interning at a bio-pharma startup company called Epizyme.

Epizyme works on discovering new drugs, using targeted epigenetics to focus on a few key blood cancers. The company leads in this market and was named the number one place worldwide for a scientist to work in industry. “As an intern in their Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology D group, I’ve been given my own project, which is highly relevant to Epizyme’s current drug discovery efforts,” explains Ken. “Both the skills I am learning and the connections I am making are phenomenal. Epizyme is an industry setting, with a high-paced, result-driven atmosphere, which I have quickly come to love and enjoy." 


Saturday, August 6, 2011

CONNECT: SoulFest Day 4

Well, SoulFest, it’s been great. I think it’s safe to say Gordon’s made its mark (which, if you were wondering, is the big CONNECT +”) on the festival this year. After four full days of music and games, big events and sporadic precipitation, this is my sign-off. I and the other Gordon staffers up here will be sleeping like rocks this evening.
Community Celebration
The Gordon College Community Celebration this afternoon was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the week.

For a few hours this afternoon, the Gordon presence which has been spread out over the whole mountain was concentrated into a single room full of alumni, faculty, staff, current and incoming students, and parents. It was my chance to catch up with my sister, Liz Moore ’05, and her husband, Ben ’05, who are up here with their youth group. I could also connect with a few other alumni, and, of course, some faculty and my fellow staffers. But aside from the Gordon fellowship (and some free food), the real draw of the event was for the community to come together and greet President Michael Lindsay and his wife, Rebecca, for their first public appearance representing Gordon. Dr. Lindsay took the opportunity to share with us a few words about why he was so drawn to the College. “Gordon,” he declared with pride, “is the flagship evangelical institution in the education capital of the world.”


A Tour of the Alumni Art Gallery

Musicians aren’t the only artists at SoulFest. One floor above the Deeper Well stage a little sign says “Art Gallery.” Follow it.

The whole room is filled with art by three Gordon alumni: clothing design by Grant Hanna ’06, paintings by Angela Witmore ’11, and environmental graphic design by Abby Ytzen ’10. Admissions counselor (and blue street team member) Andrew Wardwell curated the exhibit. He explains his selection: “I chose alumni artists who are all actively working in the art world.” That’s right—art majors can really get jobs in art, and here’s the proof.


Friday, August 5, 2011

CONNECT: SoulFest Day 3

Some people take a break as the weekend rolls around. Not up here; we're just getting started. And not even the occasional flash-downpour will stop us . . .
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Uke!
Sometimes the street team grows weary of simply giving these goodies away. Especially when we’ve got prime loot—like a ukulele (the real thing, not one of those cheap-o kid’s toys). Gordon’s green and blue SoulFest ambassadors decided there was a more fair way to decide who got our little Hawaiian treasure: They held a rock, paper, scissors tournament right here on the festival grounds. Here’s a shot of the championship match.


A Modern Day Abolitionist

As a recent alum, I am always curious to hear about what the younger Gordon graduates are up to; I like to hear about all the big things they’re working on (it seems like they’re always doing something cool). So I was excited to find out that Sarah Durfey ’09 was up here at the Not For Sale tent. Not For Sale is a modern day abolitionist movement that works to raise awareness about human trafficking, and empowers people from all arenas of society to do their part to end slavery worldwide. “I’m a tattoo artist,” she joked when I asked her what she had been doing since graduating. Sarah is the co-state director of the Massachusetts chapter of Not For Sale, and she’s been at SoulFest since Wednesday applying Not For Sale temporary tattoos and talking to festival goers about the cause.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

CONNECT: SoulFest Day 2

Well, the dust has finally started to settle up at Gunstock this evening. Today was packed full of events, lectures, music and prizes. Two days down, two to go! Here’s the update . . . La Vida Games
What do rubber animals, bandanas, and hula hoops have to do with Gordon College? La Vida adventure games.

The Gordon-based outdoor education group has been up at SoulFest for the last couple days, leading team-building activities for young adults eager for some festival fun. Since this was their last day on the mountain, they invited the street team to join the final round of games (involving some pretty unorthodox props). While I didn’t catch all the rules, I garnered this much from observation: Throw the fish as far as you can; don’t step on the frogs; and it helps coordinate your team to shout out arbitrary numbers.


Compelling Topics, Important Connections

I had the pleasure of hearing Ryan Groff speak yesterday. Ryan is the program coordinator for the Jerusalem and Athens Forum, and his talk, entitled “Accept or Attack?: Reflections on Teen Suicide and Faith Seeking Understanding,” took me by surprise. It’s not that his chosen topic was somehow out of place (addressing teen suicide is a crucial and ever-growing need, especially from within the church). What surprised me was that rather than trying to be a sociologist or a counselor, Ryan spoke from what he knew: he spoke from philosophy, and from church history—and made his compelling case on those terms.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CONNECT: SoulFest Day 1

What a day! Things don’t move slowly (or quietly) around here. Here are some of my festival first impressions . . . Street Team
The Gordon College street team came out in full force today just after the first chords of the day were struck. Decked out in bright blues and greens, touting megaphones and backpacks full of goodies, these Gordon staffers and recent alumni wander the festival grounds all day, offering their hair-dying expertise and handing out customized lollipops, as well as (word has it) some more extravagant prizes.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This Week at SoulFest

John Mirisola ’11 is a Gordon alum and writer for the College. He will be blogging at SoulFest all this week, keeping you in the loop on all things Gordon College around the festival.

I’ve connected Gordon with SoulFest for years now. The festival was the highlight of the youth group year for me in middle school and high school, and every youth pastor I ever had was a Gordon grad. Once up there, the Gordon presence became a staple. There were always kids walking around in Gordon apparel and shows featuring bands with alumni or current students.