During Commencement, Provost Mark Sargent presented the Junior and Senior Distinguished Faculty Awards to Mark Stevick, assistant professor of English, and Bruce Webb, professor of economics and business, respectively. Nominations are received from faculty and graduating seniors and are based on performance, scholarly and professional excellence and service to the College and community.
Sargent said of Stevick, who received the Junior Award, “For a decade I have appreciated the surprising turns and careful precision of his poetry; impeccable timing in his delivery of comic lines; and the accuracy of historical recreation.” Stevick has performed on local stages and has appeared in films sponsored by the Discovery and History Channels. He has narrated radio spots for nonprofits and has led student trips to Great Britain. He launched a creative writing emphasis on campus in English and communication arts and is known locally as a playwright, especially as the author of Cry Innocent.
“At heart, though,” Sargent says, “he is a poet—one able to find the elegant modern idiom to fit traditional forms like a French villanelle. In the last decade he has won more than 20 awards for his poetry, including a nomination for a Pushcart Prize.”
Sargent said of Bruce Webb, recipient of the Senior Award, “For more than half a decade this professor has led the effort to reshape the Core Curriculum at Gordon,” a huge task that takes patience, persistence and high spirits. “To oversee the revision of the core takes the willingness to challenge colleagues to consider new approaches, listen to students’ experiences and views, and unveil proposal after proposal for public scrutiny. Through it all this professor has sought to hear the counsel of students and his peers and to hold to his vision that our core will be defined by themes vital for our students’ futures.”
As a teacher and writer,” Sargent continues, “he is appreciated for clarity of explanations and attention to the interface of theology, ethics and economics.” Every year he shapes his senior seminar around a current topic like the banking crisis or the economics of global warming, and next fall he will help launch the new Core Curriculum.