May Term has hardly started, though it is nearly June! So before the calendar flips another page here are some of the highlights of the last month or so, among them the faculty awards at Commencement and some top student work.
That work includes films on the big screen in Salem and the prize winners from the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Ken Olsen Science Center. Many thanks to the faculty—notably Suzanne Phillips, Dwight Tshudy, Mike Veatch and Jessica Ventura—who organized the symposium, as well as Kaye Cook, Greg Keller and Dwight Tshudy for advising the winning projects.
With Julie Ray's departure, Vice President Barry Loy has redistributed many of her duties among key members of the Center for Student Development: Terry Charek, Jan Holton, Chris Carlson, Josh Wymore, and Jennifer Brink. We've provided a brief summary here of the changes so you can be aware of the new alignment of responsibilities among the CSD staff.
And if you missed the Carlberg Home Companion, there are some new lyrics to sing on the way to the beach...
SENIOR DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARD
As always, the Distinguished Faculty Awards were presented at the end of Commencement. Based upon nominations from the faculty and the graduating class, these awards are given annually in recognition of excellence in teaching, substantive scholarly and professional activity, and notable service to the College.
This year's recipient of the Senior Distinguished Award was Ted Wood, professor of economics and business at Gordon, who is retiring after 30 years. Here's an excerpt from the award presentation: "Ted's specialty is accounting, and therefore he would insist that any report take honest stock of both losses and gains. We do recognize our loss here today, knowing that you are now leaving us to move to Minnesota, where you can enjoy more Vikings' losses to the Patriots. . . ." For the full text of the presentation, click the link below:
JUNIOR DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARD
Graeme Bird, associate professor of linguistics and classics, received the Junior Distinguished Faculty Award, given to an assistant or associate professor. An excerpt from the presentation: "This adventure will take us around the world, from the small gigs that he plays with his vocal band to the shores of the South Pacific. But as the plot proceeds we will discover that the case is solved not simply because of his intellectual scope but also because of his good nature." For full text, click below:
MARV WILSON AWARD FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE
Congratulations to assistant professor of Christian ministries Sharon Ketcham, who received the fourth annual Marv Wilson Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities during the final faculty meeting of the academic year. More information about the award and Sharon's work can be found on the Faculty Central website.
TERRY CHAREK TO HEAD UP EARLY RESPONSE AND RETENTION EFFORTS
Under the new arrangement of duties in the Center for Student Development, Terry Charek will now oversee retention efforts and implement a new early alert and response program. Just as in health care, research on students' adjustment to college shows that early diagnosis and intervention are vital to insuring academic success and personal well-being. Next fall we will be focusing on the first 6-8 weeks. Faculty of common Core classes will be implementing more early assessment exercises into their courses, and Terry will work with a network of faculty and staff to identify at-risk students and to intervene with appropriate forms of support.
Terry will also pick up responsibilities for guiding transitions to the sophomore year and chairing the CSD task force that is responsible for programming several of the fall Convocations. To allow Terry to absorb these duties, we will be hiring a new Director of Housing.
JAN HOLTON TO OVERSEE PROGRAMS ON WELLNESS, EMERGING ADULTHOOD, DIVERSITY
While continuing to serve as the director of the Counseling Center, Jan Holton will now assume more responsibility for working with students with disabilities, chairing the Diversity Task Force, and guiding programs on gender and sexuality themes. She will also oversee education on alcohol and substance abuse, prompt collaboration on overall wellness programs, and continue to do research and communicate with the community on the issues of emerging adulthood.
NEW DUTIES FOR CHRIS CARLSON, JOSH WYMORE AND JENNIFER BRINK
Along with his usual duties, Chris Carlson will now be the primary CSD staffer working with advising, and he will also give direction to Josh Wymore, who is stepping up to become the new director of Orientation. Jennifer Brink (right), who is our coordinator for academically based service learning, will assume leadership of the Provost's Commission on the First-Year Experience. This coming year will be a time for the Commission to guide the implementation of several initiatives launched last spring and to formulate a comprehensive plan for advising.
STUDENT FILM SHOWCASE AT CINEMA SALEM
Continuing its new focus on visual storytelling, the Communication Arts Department joined the Gordon Film Society to sponsor the College's second Student Film Showcase on Thursday, May 12, at CinemaSalem. The event drew more than 170 attendees, filling the theater to a standing-room capacity as students, faculty, staff, community members, and film casts and crews gathered to watch 20 short films. The screening celebrated the creativity and hard work of students in assistant professor Toddy Burton's Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Production courses. Assistant professor of Spanish Moisés Park had high praise for the showcase, noting that it was “very ambitious! I’ve been to student film screenings at USC, UC Davis, UCLA, and Berkeley and this was the best I’ve ever seen.”
To view two of the night's more memorable films, follow the links below:
Writer/director: Kyle Gordon ‘11
Producer: Jess Burton ‘11
Director of Photography: Grant Straton ‘11
Editor: Nick Smith ‘11
No Laughing Matter
Writer/director: Elan Sablich ‘11
JENNIFER MEMMEN CONCLUDES SERVICE AS ADVENTURE CAMP DIRECTOR
Jennifer Memmen, the director of Gordon's Adventure Day Camp, will be leaving her post after eight years in order to complete her M.S.W. at Boston College. Barry Loy comments that she has "taken a good day camp and made it excellent. Under Jenn's leadership the camp has received first place in the Reader's Choice Award and the designation of 'North of Boston's Favorite Summer Camp.' She has doubled the camp's enrollment (250 to 500), enhanced staff training, created an international experience for staff, developed the junior counselor program, reached out to high schoolers through the Adirondack leadership experience." Jenn will be replaced by Scott Barnett, who recently completed a Ph.D. in education from Trinity International University and who has led camps in Nairobi, Kenya and served as a wilderness education instructor at Wheaton's HoneyRock Camp.
HALL OF HONOR
The Athletic Department inducted three new members into its Hall of Honor at the end of April.
Bobby Brooks (left) was the starting goalkeeper for the men's soccer team from 1984-1988. Captain of the team during his junior and senior seasons, Brooks helped the Scots crack the NAIA top 20 and New England top 10 in Division III in 1986 and reach the NAIA District V West playoffs in 1987. He was named to the NAIA New England All-Star team in 1985.
Norma Bailey (center) was a tri-sport athlete for Gordon from 1958-1962. Bailey led the softball team to four consecutive undefeated seasons and the women's basketball to two undefeated seasons. She also captained the volleyball team for three years and, in her spare time, won the College's ping-pong tournament.
Jim Sziksai (right) was four-year basketball standout for Barrington College in the late 1960s. Working into a starting role in his freshman year, Sziksai went on to start in each subsequent season, captaining the Warriors to 12 wins in the last 15 games of his senior year.
SENIOR CLASS GIFT
At Commencement the senior class announced the gift of a mural, painted by graduating seniors Anna Taylor and Garrett Ames-Ledbetter. The mural, in panels, will be displayed in the long hall on the first floor of the Ken Olsen Science Center, and it will be an abstraction delving into theme of "Framework and Fluidity," exploring the scientist's desire to "construct systems of understanding as jumping off points for further exploration." "This pursuit of understanding honors God," Anna writes; "however, these frameworks are held with a certain amount of humility and the acknowledgement that they are ultimately approximations of the truth. The possibility of a newer and truer framework always looms."
As a symbol of the forthcoming painting and a farewell gift to the Carlbergs, Anna and Garrett painted an image of an alewife from the Gordon ponds, which was presented to Jud at Commencement. A detail of the painting is on the right.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES WINNER
For their research entitled Landscape composition effects on small mammal richness and abundance in northern Massachusetts, Eric Lindemann and Jonathan Harris studied the effects of fragmentation (due to residential and agricultural development) on the edge habitation of several small mammals in Southern New England forests. Over two trapping seasons, the researchers set 75 Sherman live traps at 12 different sites on the North Shore for four nights. Their findings indicated that white-footed mice and red-backed voles were more abundant at natural edge sites as opposed to human edge sites; deer mice appeared to show no preference between either natural and human edge sites and the interior forest, perhaps indicating that they are habitat generalists. Advisor: Greg Keller.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: PHYSICAL SCIENCES WINNER
Kristen Entwistle's project continued her work from the previous year, when she also won first prize in the physical sciences for research that "used the Iron-Tetraamido macrocyclic ligand system . . . to polymerize the model monomer of 4-ethylphenol." Entitled Structural Determination of a Synthetic Polymer by Gaussian Computational Modeling Software and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Kristen's most current investigation used experimental and computational findings to analyze and predict the structure of the polymer mentioned above. Advisor: Dwight Tshudy.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: SOCIAL SCIENCES WINNER
Laurieann Smith, Lauren Stone, and Matt Van Hamersveld won first prize in this category for their work entitled Do Christian College Undergraduates and Alumni Hold Onto Their Faith, or Do They View God as a Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist? The study investigated a set of hypotheses which predicted that, over time, Christian college graduates would gradually move away from the religious communities to which they belonged in college and would also move closer toward a theology of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD). However, based upon interviews with 60 Gordon undergraduates and 240 Gordon and Wheaton alums, the researchers found the opposite to be true: a high percentage of alums stayed within the same or similar denominations after college, and there was virtually no evidence of a shift toward MTD. Advisor: Kaye Cook.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT MENTORING
For the past two years, professor of psychology Bryan Auday has mentored a local high school student (Becca Murry) on science projects for her junior and senior year. This year, Bryan encouraged Becca to broaden her research (synesthesia-individuals who experience multiple perceptions to a stimuli; e.g., sees all letters as a specific color) and to use the College's EEG brain imaging lab on campus. As a result of her work on this topic, Becca recently placed second in the State Science Fair, winning an $8,000 college scholarship and a $500 prize.
AWARDS IN ATHLETICS
Two Gordon lacrosse players have received national recognition for their on-field performances following the conclusion of the spring sports season. Junior Jordan Alexander of the women's lacrosse team garnered Division III Third Team All-American honors from USA College Lacrosse for her work at the attack position. Senior Dan Utz, already recognized as the conference co-offensive player of the year for men's lacrosse, added an Honorable Mention All-American nod from the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association to his list of awards from an outstanding senior season at midfield.
Additionally, three Gordon athletic teams were honored by The Commonwealth Coast Conference this year for their sportsmanship: Men's and Women's Tennis and Men's Basketball.
CARLBERG HOME COMPANION
Garrison Keillor was there . . . at least in voice, reading Jo Kadlecek's and Martha Stout's script for News from Coy Pond. And Mark Stevick introduced Iconoclassics, with a new version of Disney's Aladdin in honor of the last 7,001 Nights of the Gordon presidency.
O he first came forth in the frozen North where
Lizzie Bordon gave 40 whacks;
And she hailed down south where her mama's mouth
suffered Norwegian talk attacks;
So they fled Midwest in their Sunday best
and discovered out under stage lights
how two actors weave "Some Enchanted Eve"
into hot Carlberg-i-an Nights.
For full script of Mark's lyrics as well as other parodies from Laurie Truschel and Martha Stout, click here.