Monday, February 28, 2011

Gordon Athlete Signs Professional Soccer Contract

Gordon College senior Matt Horth from Akron, Ohio, has recently contracted to play with the Atlanta Silverbacks, a professional soccer club in the North American Soccer League (NASL).


Signposts to the Kingdom

Eleven students and Laurie Truschel, director of student ministries, flew to Pittsburgh last week to attend the annual Jubilee Conference--a conference designed to introduce students to people who are seeking to live their lives as "signposts to the Kingdom."


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How Food Influences the World Around Us

Butternut squash soup; endive and blood orange salad with mint dressing; spiced wild rice and onion baked in acorn squash; fresh apple, pear, lemon, kale, beet, and carrot juices; and vegan carrot cake for dessert. This may sound like a description of the daily specials at our local organic cafe, but this culinary feast was hosted at Dexter House by the Advocates for a Sustainable Future (ASF). Twenty-five students shared a meal, and ideas about environmental sustainability and nutrition.

Part of ASF's mission is to promote awareness of God's mandate to be stewards of the earth. Hosting sustainability dinners enables the student body to discuss, over a nutritious meal, how daily choices influence the world. The ultimate goal of this event series is not to prescribe a solution, but rather promote dialogue.


"Under the Skin of Iranian Film"

Rini Cobbey, associate professor of communication arts, contributed a chapter to a new book entitled Film in the Middle East and North Africa: Creative Dissidence, published last month by the University of Texas Press. Cobbey's chapter analyzes the Iranian film Under the Skin of the City, detailing how its individuals and families struggle to negotiate their social and political contexts.
Read more here.


Gordon Men's Basketball Honored By TCCC

Gordon College student-athletes Greg Walker (Uxbridge, Mass.) and David Dempsey (Wallingford, Ct.) have been recognized by The Commonwealth Coast Conference as members of the 2011 All-Conference Team. The honors were the first for Walker and Dempsey, who earned Second Team and Third Team, respectively.

Walker, a senior-captain, was instrumental in leading the Scots’ charge this year, averaging 15.9 points per game during the regular season (with a team-leading .503 shooting percentage) en route to joining Gordon’s 1,000-point club in a 17-point effort versus Endicott College earlier this season. Additionally, Walker worked the boards to grab 7.4 rebounds per game for the Scots.

Dempsey, a sophomore, also established himself as a team statistical leader for the Scots by grabbing 7.7 rebounds per game while adding an impressive 14.8 points per game, second only to Walker. He also co-led the Scots in steals (34), led in blocks (22), and finished second in assists (64) during the regular season. His contributions were critical in carrying Gordon to a late season surge in which the Scots posted 5-2 month of February.

In addition to individual accolades, Gordon was also given the TCCC Team Sportsmanship Award, an honor they shared with Wentworth Institute of Technology.


Living a 3-D Life

The Reverend Virginia Ward, director of Black Campus Ministries New England, spoke in chapel this week about sprinting versus an endurance-pace in our spiritual journeys. Ward, who also preaches at the Abundant Life Church, continued this semester’s Chapel theme on spiritual disciplines and spoke to over 1,000 current and visiting students about living a 3D lifestyle--desire, discipline, and delight. Admitting how she once discovered the consequences of skipping laps in track practice, Ward reminded the audience that we’ll see rewards when we give God our all.

Just as we stay strong when running a “four-mile loop,” Ward urged students to skip the shortcuts, engage the spiritual disciplines, and challenge ourselves daily. She quoted 2 Peter 3:14: “So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace.”

“If you live a 3D life,” Ward said, “if you follow the path from desire, to discipline, to delight, then you will be found living a life that’s [at] its best."


Monday, February 21, 2011

The World School

Give a man fish, he eats for a night. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” This old proverb is the motto of the World School, a nonprofit school-to-school support program cofounded by Gordon student Jordan Frank. It began in March 2008, Jordan’s junior year at Lexington Christian Academy. His friend had gone on a mission trip to Chuburna, Mexico, and told Jordan about the poor conditions of a school he had seen there. Jordan and his friends, along with their teacher, got together to discuss what they could do to help. Little did they know that this idea to help one school would turn into an organization that would help multiple schools in need around the world.

That summer, after weeks of preparation and fundraising, Jordan, along with eight other students and two adults, made the trip to Chuburna. They were appalled at what they saw: The children were crammed into a hot, nearly suffocating classroom, having recess on a crumbling concrete courtyard, and drinking water out of rusty spigots. The group renovated the classroom, setting up bookshelves, installing air conditioning, and painting a mural on the wall. They also planted a garden, started a recycling program, and were able to donate two laptops for the teachers’ use. While the trip was a success, the school still had many needs.

Jordan and his friends felt compelled to do more. They decided the best way to help a country grow is through its education system. “Many of these kids have so much vision,” says Jordan. “They want to be business owners, teachers, get involved in government—but without education they don’t have these options.”


Can a Film Change Your View of the World?

What happens when a filmmaker, a provost, and over 50 volunteers reach out to supporters of the arts? You get the Salem Film Fest.

Filmmaker Paul VanNess '73, founded Salem Film Fest four years ago when he collaborated with a handful of other film lovers. The all-documentary festival brings filmmakers and audiences together over a week-long event and is quickly becoming one of the most popular all-documentary festivals in the country. "The festival is a real community-building event in two dimensions," said VanNess. "It brings together film lovers and enthusiasts in the North Shore area, and has created wonderful friendships and business partnerships among the organizers, volunteers and sponsors. But maybe more profoundly, it also has allowed us to build connections with the subjects and creators of films from around the world."


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Surrendering Status

Paul Borthwick teaches missions at Gordon College. After a trip to India, Borthwick wrote an article about a course he was teaching to a class of Nepali Christian leaders called Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity. The inspirational story, titled "Surrendering Status," is featured in the World Vision Spring 2011 magazine.  

Also the author of How to be a World-Class Christian, Six Dangerous Questions to Transform Your View of the World, and A Mind for Missions, Borthwick was the headlining speaker at the World Neighbor Conference. The conference brought 3,000 people together to discuss the theme "Being a Global Neighbor."


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

24-Hour Theatre Slam

Over the weekend Gordon hosted its first 24-hour theatre slam under the leadership of Cassie West, a senior theatre arts major.

Beginning Friday evening, West organized four teams, including non-theatre majors. Participants had 24 hours to write, act, stage and design a 10-minute play before a public performance on Saturday night with faculty judges including Toddy Burton, Graeme Bird and Dawn Sarrouf.

The actors were given a theme (rain), a prop (rope), a name (Alex Morrison) and one line ("You guys did a good job") to get them started. All four plays were performed in front of a full house in the Barrington Center for the Arts with awards for Best Use of Line; Best Ensemble; and Best Script.

"This kind of intense and varied work is not something you typically find in a small liberal arts college," said Jeff Miller, professor of theatre arts. "It speaks highly of our students' keen interest in learning and growing as well as taking leadership."

"At least half the audience were people I had never seen in the theatre previously, and many of the participants were students who had not been involved in theatre productions at Gordon before," said West. "It's such a great way to develop skills and build community."


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A New Generation of Creative Scientists

Faculty member lrv Levy often attributes the origin of green chemistry at Gordon to one of his former students. Long now graduated, Laura Hamel '05 Ouillette challenged him to think of green chemistry not just as a slogan but rather as an approach to solve important problems. Thereafter his courses and teaching have never been the same.

Today Levy is one of 1,000 delegates from around the world celebrating the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launch of the International Year of Chemistry. His perspective on the teaching of green chemistry was supported by the global dialogue last week where CEOs from forward-thinking companies, Nobel laureates, even the granddaughter of Madame Marie Curie (the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry back in 1911), gathered in Paris, France.


Monday, February 14, 2011

"Love Clicks"

Brian Glenney, associate professor of philosophy, shares some . . . well . . . philosophical thoughts for Valentine's Day:

"At a young age many of us inherited the idea that love is a commitment, not a feeling. The idea may have been beneficial in our youth, sobering our vigor and shaping our sense of character. But when I hear all this talk about the negative prospects of marriage and consider my own, I find the idea to be at best a noble lie. I'm now inclined to think that love has little to do with commitment or choice or anything that requires a dutiful decision on our part, and more to do with a feeling that sweeps us up with little warning or guidance."

Read the February 14, 2011 Salem News article here.


“How Sweet!”

Natalie Fitzpatrick, communications office intern for the Spring semester, will be blogging weekly about student life. Here is her take on Valentine's Day:

"Living in Bromley has been a great experience for me for one main reason: learning to cook and bake my own food without relying on my parents (except for cooking tips and recipes, of course). Banana bread, melt-in-your-mouth cranberry cake, broccoli cheddar soup, and my very own garlic mashed potatoes are just a few of my delicious homemade creations.

On Valentine's Day I wanted my boyfriend to create an edible Valentine gift for me. Thinking artistically, I suggested he make me pancakes from scratch, topped with candy (used regular M&M’s and peanut butter M&M’s, both coated with red, white, and pink colors), heart shaped if possible, and serve it for dinner. It was a messy process. To add to the meal, I made a milkshake – a healthy one I might add – with milk, raspberry cheesecake yogurt, cookie dough ice cream, frozen bananas, and strawberries."


Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Lens on Student Life

Natalie Fitzpatrick, a senior French major and Communications Arts minor, is interning this semester with Gordon's Office of College Communications and Marketing. She will be blogging regularly, taking photos of student life on and off campus, and will be learning web editing. She has already contributed photos to the Gordon website.

She writes:
"I grew up traveling my whole life, so taking pictures has been a favorite hobby. While I studied abroad in France last year, I also brought my small video camera and recorded every place I visited. Photography is a way for me to make memories of my endless journeys in life. Occasionally I find time to paint the same image as that from a photo. My eyes have changed after painting still-life photos and a self-portrait last semester. Now I’m learning how to make films with good quality video cameras. One of my goals is to discover new things right near my home town of Danvers and perceive things with new lenses – my eyes and a professional camera, that is!"


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snowshoe Day

La Vida Sherpa's unpacked 45 snowshoes for a Sunday afternoon in the woods recently. Red frames crunched through snowy trails and laughter could be heard throughout the forest. La Vida offered the afternoon free of charge, supplied equipment and provided guides for small groups. Thank you La Vida for the great tour and for giving 45 people a much needed day to enjoy the snow with their friends.

La Vida has another great event coming to campus in March. A private screening of the documentary "Play Again" will give parents, youth pastors and those who work with children a great insight into life behind screens. The film follows a group of teenagers who, like the "average American child," spend over fifteen hours a day behind screens. The teens unplug and go on their first wilderness adventure—no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality. If you'd like to attend this screening or want to learn more, click here.

Here are more photos of the recent snowshoeing event:


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Different Approach to Medicine: Reflections of a Physician

When Jonathan Lopez '03 goes to work, his job is far from predictable and normal. His work as a pediatric neurology resident physician allows him to care for children and teenagers with seizures, cerebral palsy, autism, brain cancer, and other debilitating health problems of the brain and nerves.

Though there is nothing more tragic than seeing a child suffer from a serious illness, Dr. Lopez finds his job at Stanford University Hospital in San Carlos, California incredibly rewarding. “Many of my patients are so full of joy despite the challenges that they must overcome. Their resilience and courage is humbling.”

During his years as a biology major at Gordon, Lopez says a “seed was planted” that would eventually grow into a controversial philosophy. During classes in the Health Professions Seminar his classmates and mentors challenged him to look at patients as fellow humans rather than as diseases, and to see himself as a fellow traveler in their journey.

This stood in direct contrast to the secular philosophy of medical school--to view the doctor-patient relationship on a strictly empathetic level. He was taught to acknowledge the patient’s pain, but maintain distance, detachment, and dominance. Lopez knew that his young patients would see right through this disingenuous approach. So instead, he makes it a point to employ sympathy rather than empathy, as this levels the playing field and opens doors in the therapeutic relationship.

Lopez says his career as a physician has humbled him and helped him understand the power of God over the human condition. He wants his patients and their families to experience God’s love through their suffering. No one can handle the emotional turmoil in caring for a sick child without the help and comfort of the Savior. “To take part in the suffering of a child is to take part in the suffering of Christ,” says Lopez. “To see a child healed is to catch a glimpse of the redemptive healing that is only possible through His selfless act upon the cross.”


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kenneth H. Olsen, Digital Computing Pioneer, Entrepreneur and Gordon Board Member, Remembered

Widely recognized as one of the 20th century’s leading computer industry pioneers, Mr. Kenneth H. Olsen, founder and former CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), long time trustee at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), died Sunday, February 6, 2011. He would have been 85 years old on February 20.

Read the full news release, view videos on Ken Olsen and leave comments in the online memory book here.


Volleyball Members Team With Push The Rock

Over the Christmas holiday, head women's volleyball coach, Ruth Rosentrater, together with team members Keri Hustus and Alex Nawoichik, and several members of Philadelphia Biblical University's volleyball team, traveled to Costa Rica with Push The Rock to compete in exhibition matches and partner with local service ministries.

Push The Rock, based out of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, is an organization dedicated to Christian ministry through the avenue of sport, offering numerous camp and missions programs to both domestic and international communities.

Beginning in the San Jose area, the team partnered with the Centro de Ensenanza y Discipulado (CED) church to hold volleyball clinics for local juvenile detention and foster home youth. "While many of these children and young adults have been disregarded by the world," said Rosentrater, "it was refreshing to communicate to them that they are a valuable part of God's creation.


Monday, February 7, 2011

SuperBowl Commercials: Familiar Gordon Faces

Though New England didn't make the Super Bowl this year, a few familiar faces made the spotlight in the commercials. Two Gordon College alums each had face time and one alum had a voice over, in spots that aired to over 100 million viewers last night. Justin Zimmerman, a 2006 English Languages and Literature graduate, even made the viewer's choice commercial titled House Sitting by Doritos.

This isn't the first time Gordon alumni have been a part of Super Bowl advertising. Last year the viewer choice commercial featured Gordon alum Pete Holmes from the class of 2001 as the voice of the E-Trade baby. A new version of the commercial also ran last night, bringing Gordon participation to three professionals in the entertainment industry.


Green Chemisty - Gordon Students Make an Impression at MIT

Recently MIT hosted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England Green Chemistry Networking Forum in Boston. It's no wonder Gordon College faculty, alumni and students were front and center at this important event. A video team interviewed various experts while focusing on a particular round table discussion Gordon students were having. Our students shared what they have been doing with their GOLum projects, outreach activities with Beyond Benign (a cosponsor of the event), and their green chemistry research. Curt Spalding, the EPA New England regional administrator, even mentioned Gordon by name in his introductory remarks of this important gathering of scientists.


From Gordon to Harvard

Gordon is proud of December ’10 graduate Soo Yeon Kwon, who has been accepted to Harvard Dental School. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Kwon studied for two years at a community college before transferring to Gordon, recommended to her by one of her close friends. Looking back, Kwon knows without a doubt that Gordon was God’s plan for her.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

12 Pounds of Crisco and a Day for Science

Usually when Friday rolls around, the campus feels a little more casual as faculty and students prepare for the weekend. But for faculty in the sciences, this weekend sets the stage for departments to prepare for a unique open house for visiting high school students.

This Monday is Science Experience Day in the Ken Olsen Science Center. It's a time for visiting students to meet current students as they work on science experiments together and meet our amazing professors. We asked a few of them how they prepare for their department open-house experiments. Here are some replies:

"I run to BJ's to pick up up 12 pounds of Crisco, one of the materials used to make our BGB-20 EcoSoap."
Irv Levy, professor of chemistry

"I wash black spandex outfits, attach taupe tape to reflective markers, and calibrate the cameras."
Jessica Ventura, assistant professor of kinesiology

"I'm reviving my pillbugs--they've been in the cold room since October. They are looking very happy."
Craig Story, professor of biology

Photo: Dr. Story analyzes his recent biology thaw-out.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Student Talk--A Place of Their Own

It's an exciting new semester for the Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science Departments at Gordon. Over Christmas break, these departments moved into a brand new wing on the second floor of the Ken Olsen Science Center. Students returned to their classes filled with excitement at the opportunities the new space provides.

"We’ve all been really excited for this wing to open up," says Stephen Collins, a sophomore physics major.

The second floor now includes a new physics lab, mathematics library, faculty offices, and computer lab. "The computers feel more modern and industry standard--more like we’re in real-world programming," says Mike Percuoco, a senior computer science major.

The students are also glad for the closer connection to other majors in science-related disciplines. "The difference is night and day--this new space is really first class," said Amy Hammond, a junior computer science major. It provides a very different feel for the overall course."

Maria Street, a junior from Washington, Maine, cofounded a new computer science club. "We recently held our first meeting in one of the new labs. It really defines our major and brings everyone together."

This Monday, February 7, 2011 Gordon College will host Science Experience Day, a science open house for visiting students and their families. The hands-on event allows our visitors to work together with current students on science experiments while meeting amazing professors. To register for Science Experience Day, click here. If you’re interested in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, kinesiology, physics, health professions (premed concentration) or 3-2 engineering, contact our admissions office for details.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Youth Pastor Speaks Candidly Online about Gordon

Armed with a video camera and the benefits of a quiet office, Ryan Ventura, a youth pastor in Bethel, Connecticut, publicly shared reflections on the La Vida program at Gordon College. Ventura is establishing new requirements for kids who will be going on missions trips through Walnut Hill Community Church, where he works. After his students had a particularly transforming experience this summer on a La Vida expedition, he decided that participating in La Vida would be a requirement. "Many of my students have never come face to face with who they are and where their relationship to God stands," said Ventura. "Before we take them on a missions trip, these students need better training so they can better serve others."

Watch his posted YouTube video here.

"La Vida has provided a revealing experience that prepares students for the mission field," said Ventura. "The lessons they learn while on La Vida help transform a teenager's mind to better understand who they are, who Christ is, and how to live their life as a servant leader for Him."