STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 05/06/2011

Faculty News

The Hand-Painted Lab
by Cyndi McMahon

A room plastered with handprints marks the end of a longstanding tradition. For over a decade each graduating senior in the computer science major placed a painted handprint on the lab’s brightly colored walls, signifying many hours of study and research.

The lab housed in MacDonald Hall was home base to the computer science major for over 25 years. But over Christmas break the computer science major closed shop in MacDonald Hall and relocated to Gordon’s newest academic building—the Ken Olsen Science Center.

Steve Brinton and Russ Bjork, two of Gordon’s computer science faculty, reminisce over the years spent in their uniquely decorated lab. “It wasn’t unusual to find our students huddled in the corner of the MacDonald lab with the glow of computer screens lighting their faces,” says Brinton. “It was small, but it unified our students. The new space, though, will create a lot of opportunity.”

The move will centralize the computer science major, placing it in closer proximity to many other science disciplines such as physics, chemistry and engineering.

Bjork, one of the first computer science professors at Gordon 30 years ago, is excited for the new collaborative opportunities for his students. “Forging links between majors is of utmost importance,” said Bjork. “That same interdisciplinary collaboration will also show students outside our program the value of computer science today.”

“We’ll miss the handprints of our past students,” said Brinton. “But we’re trying to get an actual piece of the wall brought over to our new space. We’re also using an LCD screen that shows pictures of the handprints.”

The first handprints made their mark on the computer science lab nearly 14 years ago. The prints, under a sign for the Class of 1997, are centered on the back wall of the lab. Photo: Professor Bjork lays his hand amongst the prints of graduates from 1997.

Faculty Books

Lectures Blanchotiennes de Malraux et Camus
(Peter Lang, 2010), written by Emmanuelle Vanborre, assistant professor of French, offers a completely new reading of two of the most influential 20th-century French authors.

Tal Howard, associate professor of history and director of the Jerusalem and Athens Forum, recently published God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide (Oxford University Press, 2011), a study of transatlantic differences with respect to religious history.

In his recent book Verbal Aspect in the Book of Revelation (Brill, 2010), Dave Mathewson, associate professor of biblical studies, explores verb tenses in Revelation that have been subject to much debate. Dave argues that the verb usage was consistent with an “acceptable first-century Greek,” which implies that John’s Apocalypse was written for the full Greco-Roman world.

Elaine Phillips, professor of biblical studies, explicates the “Scroll (Megillah) of Esther” in her commentary on Esther, included in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Zondervan, 2010). Elaine explores its structure, literary genre, questions of authorship and contemporary implications, including the challenges of “living faithfully in systems that may be at odds with our faith traditions.”

Social Work Professor Featured on CBS Sunday Morning Show

James Trent
, professor of social work, offered his expertise on camera in a story for the CBS Sunday Morning show on November 28. The interview was shot last spring in Frost Hall after the producer sought Trent out because of his expertise on the history of institutional care for those with mental disabilities. The story is called “Where’s Molly?” and is about an Oregon man who “seeks answers about his mentally disabled sister, sent to an institution nearly five decades earlier.”