Thursday, May 24, 2012

Women's Lacrosse at Coast Championship

On Saturday, May 5, the Gordon College women’s lacrosse team took on cross-town rival and six-time defending champion Endicott College for North Shore and conference bragging rights in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship. Women’s LAX was the only Fighting Scots team to reach conference finals during the 2011-2012 academic year, and enthusiasm for the game was high and far-reaching—members of Gordon’s newly reignited student fan club, The PIT, joined faculty, staff, and extended community rallying in support of the Scots’ pursuit of the championship hardware.

Droves of fans, including President Michael Lindsay, flooded Endicott stadium for the finals, easily outnumbering the fan base of the host Gulls. Though the Scots came up just short of the win, the team’s advance to the CCC championship game and the support showed by the Gordon community proved an emphatic step in the right direction for Gordon Athletics.

Photo: President Michael Lindsay cheers on the women's lacrosse team. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Senior Art Major Reflects in a Remarkable Way

In the final days before Commencement, most Gordon College seniors are completing a final paper or presenting a thesis project. For senior art majors, the task is different. They are asked to produce a conclusive work on something they’d like to investigate further, or depict a poignant experience through a creative process—a daunting task to most, but for Claire Bennett ’12, the subject of experience was clear at the start.

Bennett, a senior art major with a sculpture concentration, said her conclusive work stemmed from reflections on her time abroad in Italy with Gordon IN Orvieto. Now back at Gordon, she spent her entire spring semester crafting this two part piece. She created a life-size figure entitled “Sacra Conversazione,” meaning “sacred conversation.” This piece portrays the connection and transformation that comes through a relationship with the Holy Spirit. The second piece is a wooden sculpture of a sitting woman with her back turned to the viewer entitled “Infanzia Andato,”—“childhood lost.” 


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Undergraduate Research Symposium

It's a day our faculty look forward to all year: when students present on their work and research at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS). For most students, these presentations reflect months of work; for others a year; for a few, this research is the culmination of years of dedicated thought, research and time. It is the year's largest gathering of student researchers, with 187 authors represented, their wonderful and widely varied work on display for the whole campus last Wednesday.

"Student research efforts are a critical component of an academic program," said Dwight Tshudy, associate professor of chemistry, who has a long history with this annual event. Now in its ninth year in this format, the URS provides a platform for independent research—an important experience for students who may go on to further studies after Gordon. "In chemistry, for example, researching new areas is one of the primary ways that new knowledge is gained," said Tshudy, this year's chief URS organizer. "We would be remiss in not providing such opportunities for our students to present their work."

The event has evolved over the years, growing larger in scope and participation. New this year, the URS also included five research talks and even a few digital posters on the LCD displays in the Chairman's room in Ken Olsen Science Center. "This is the most exciting time for our students," said Tshudy. "Faculty, staff and students are asking questions, there is a buzz of excitement at every poster as visitors and the judges watch and listen to responses of the work presented."

Independent research projects were on display alongside class projects and faculty-student research partnerships, and topics ranged from habitat fragmentation in small mammal populations to "The Allure of Television."


Friday, May 11, 2012

Fashion Is Redemptive: A Senior Art Project Brings the Runway to Gordon

“I got the chance to see how fashion can be incredibly redemptive.” Senior art student Kristin Bollier smiled as she explained to a packed Ken Olsen Science Center lobby her experience as a summer intern at Donna Karan in New York City last summer. Bollier, an aspiring designer, showcased six original designs made from already created pieces last Friday at her Le Point ReFashion Show, sponsored by the Campus Events Council. Bollier thrifted, resewed and redesigned several pieces in one color palette. Gordon students modeled her looks on a figure eight runway in the KOSC lobby.

“Every time I went thrifting, I would look for pieces within my color palette, and from this group of clothing I fit pieces together that I felt best spoke to one another,” Bollier says. She has been working on this project for the entire academic year, even using time at home during breaks to search for textures, colors and patterns that fit her particular aesthetic. The finished collection fits seamlessly together and the looks—centered around current trends like polka dots and bright colors—were well received by the crowd of students.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Gordon Distinctives: Dr. Paul Brink Delivers the “Last Lecture”

Every year at Gordon College, a member of the community is selected by the graduating class to deliver the “last lecture” of that year’s convocation schedule. This year, Dr. Paul Brink, associate professor of political science, gave the talk in Ken Olsen Science Center's MacDonald Auditorium, sharing his reflections on what makes Gordon College unique.

Dr. Brink built his lecture around three distinctives of the Gordon experience and community: semper reformanda, faith preceding understanding, and educating for shalom. As he introduced each point, Dr. Brink reminded the audience that these are not new concepts, but ones that all Gordon students learn as they journey through four years in the community. “I want to crystallize these points, or offer a new approach,” he said, “but I don’t want to give you a whole lot of new information. These are things you’ve already learned and experienced.”

The first distinctive, semper reformanda, comes from the Latin for “always reforming,” a phrase from the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Dr. Brink offered his hope that Gordon students take their education and begin to ask questions about it—What is the right way to approach the problem of poverty? What if we had read that novel from an entirely different angle? Is our theory of business leadership on the right track, or does it need revision? However, “to be always reforming does not mean we don’t stand for anything,” Brink reminded those in attendance. “But it does mean we are open and engaged.”

Dr. Brink then told a story about his time as a graduate student in Canada, where he encountered a fellow student who had “converted” to postmodernism. This student, Bob, convinced Dr. Brink that “there is an element of faith at the heart of every theory.” In order to truly believe in postmodernism, and shape his thinking around it, Bob had to claim postmodernism in similar ways that people claim religious faith. The significance of this, Dr. Brink argued, is to remember that faith precedes understanding. As St. Anselm said, “I believe, in order that I may know.” In the same way, learning at Gordon begins with belief, that we might move into knowledge—the second distinctive of our experience here.

Finally, Dr. Brink introduced the idea of shalom. “It has to do with peace, full human flourishing, justice…” he said laughingly as he called on audience members to tell him what the word shalom meant. Gordon is distinct because it has a vision for full human flourishing, and teaches students to pursue that vision throughout their lives. For full human flourishing, Brink says, “we need beauty—we need artists, and writers and poets—everyone who hangs out in the Barrington Center for the Arts. We need business leaders, and engineers. We need all the disciplines, working together. That unity is what Gordon is all about.”

Story by Hilary Sheratt ’12, a Pike Scholar from Rowley, Massachusetts, and student writer for the Office of College Communications. Listen to Dr. Brink's lecture on the Gordon YouTube Channel.

Photo: Associate Professor of Political Science Paul Brink


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gordon’s Athletes in Action

In its very first year, Gordon College's Athletes in Action (AIA) group has held worship and devotional meetings, organized a kickball tournament and participated in a Relay for Life cancer walk with rival-school Endicott College. For their most recent project, they brought a group of middle-school boys from Lynn, MA, to campus for a day of food and fun with Gordon athletes.

“The ‘in action’ part of our name is to live out our faith,” said Katie Wholley, ’14, a social work major and co-leader of Gordon’s AIA group. “That means not just being with other athletes but also serving.”