STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 05/06/2011

Institutional News

New VP for Marketing and Strategic Communications

Rick Sweeney ’85, who served as Gordon’s first director of communications, returned to the College in November as the new vice president for marketing and strategic communications. His primary role includes overseeing College-wide integrated brand marketing strategies for Gordon’s nationally recognized student programs, academic disciplines and institutional distinctions.

“Rick returns to Gordon College with a wealth of experience in both marketing and communications,” said President Carlberg. “With his academic and professional track record, Rick has the qualifications Gordon needs for this role. I’m looking forward to working with him this year as we prepare for the next phase in Gordon’s success.”

With more than 18 years experience managing award-winning marketing and communications programs in higher education, Sweeney brings creative vision and leadership to the new position. After serving as Gordon’s director of communications from 1995 to 2001, he worked at Cornell University as the director of marketing and communications for the Johnson Graduate School of Management. Most recently he was executive director of advancement communications and marketing at Boston College and worked as an independent marketing and communications consultant. Sweeney has led branding and strategic marketing initiatives in print, media and online; his video projects at Cornell earned a Gold Davey Award in 2007 and a Telly Award in 2004.

“There are few things in life that can feel as good as coming home, and this opportunity for me at Gordon is a great homecoming,” Sweeney said. “I’ll always be grateful for what Gordon College gave me as an undergraduate student. It is a sincere privilege for me to help communicate the many things that make Gordon a top Christian liberal arts college in New England and throughout the country.”

Sweeney holds a B.A. in English from Gordon and an M.S. in mass communication from Boston University.

For Their Dedication and Service . . .
The Provost’s Awards are given to two staff members who make substantial, consistent contributions to student learning, nominated by faculty, staff and students.

Carol Herrick, assistant dean and registrar
For nearly a decade and a half, Carol Herrick has helped establish policies, assessed curriculum, heard appeals, and weighed unique circumstances. Discerning and principled, she affirms and upholds vital standards, gently and firmly reminding us when we’ve lost focus, yet eager to find solutions marked by grace and good will. Although she has the task of holding the line, she cares deeply about students and strives to give them new opportunities to learn, to recover from mistakes, and to build on successes.

Colleague Susan Johnson remarks, “Everyone in our office has great respect for her balance between upholding regulations and treating students with understanding and empathy. Letters of suspension or probation sent in for her signature often come back with words of encouragement at the bottom.” Academic Dean Dan Russ adds, “In her role of holding Gordon students and faculty to highest standards, she never forgets that she and her staff serve people.”

Amber Primm ’04, manager, Barrington Center for the Arts
As manager of the Barrington Center for the Arts, Amber Primm cares for the building and ensures that all programs run smoothly. Even before an actor makes an appearance or the engineers dim the lights, your first visual encounter with the set often transports you to a new world. For nearly a decade Primm has designed sets for Gordon. In several of her projects she has worked closely with students to craft their own scripts, and developed visual settings to match their ideas and visions.

A talented artist in her own right, she is adept at painting, drawing and sculpting—as well as video and computer work. As Jeff Miller, director of Gordon’s Theatre Department, remarks, “She will always surprise you—you think she is a classically trained artist (and she is!), and then you find out she loves graffiti art; you ask her to help fix a computer problem, and she introduces you to shortcuts or inspiring websites; you consult her on PR, and she gives you a list of new ideas. She’s gold!”

Moving Day for the Sciences at Gordon: Phase II
Since 1980 Gordon’s Physics Department has delivered most of its programming in an all-purpose lab in MacDonald Hall, supported by a small optics lab and workshop on the first floor. It was a similar story for math and computer science faculty. Those days are now in the past. Physics, math and computer science students returned from Christmas break to new classrooms and labs on the second floor of the Ken Olsen Science Center.

Labs include a spacious physics introduction lab; and optics, electronics, advanced and smaller research labs for group projects. Math students will enjoy personalized environs in the Thomas Phillips Math Library, and computer science students will enjoy their new department lab with impressive equipment improvements from when they left for winter break.

C-SPAN Captures First of Gordon-Sponsored Old Town Hall Lecture Series

Celebrating the North Shore’s rich history, and under the leadership of Cliff Hersey, dean for global education, and David Goss, assistant professor of history, Gordon’s Institute for Public History launched a series of high-profile lectures in Salem, Massachusetts. A film crew from C-SPAN captured the first, which aired December 18 and 19.

The Old Town Hall Lectures began with Richard Francis, author of The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of a Conscience, discussing Judge Sewall’s public apology for his role in the trials. Francis taught American Studies at Manchester (England) University. Salem’s Mayor Kim Driscoll, Gordon’s Provost Mark Sargent and others were on hand to launch the series.  

Gordon Rated High on “Kiplinger’s 100” List
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine listed Gordon under “Best Values in Private Colleges” —which includes 100 of the country’s private liberal arts colleges that “deliver a high-quality education at an affordable price.”

Using data from over 600 private colleges, the magazine based its findings on quality measures like admissions, graduation rates, and test scores of first-year students. They added cost data—tuition, fees, room and board, and financial aid—before ranking the institutions. The combination of quality and affordability determined which schools deserved recognition and made “best value” for their top 100. Only a handful of ot