STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 12/14/2007

In Focus: Faculty

Department Chairs Gather
Gordon College and the CCCU (Council of Christian Colleges & Universities) hosted the Faith-Filled Department Chair Institute June 14-16, fulfilling a dream of Academic Dean Kina Mallard. "The department chairs," she says, "are the most important administrators on a college campus. They are in the trenches with faculty and students thinking daily about teaching and learning, the most important work of our campuses. At the same time, they are the transmitters of information from upper administration trying to strike a balance between the needs of the institution and the needs of their departments." Fifty-four administrators from 23 institutions participated including chairs, deans and one library director. The Institute offered sessions such as "What CAOs Want from a Department Chair," "Leading Your Department from Good to Great," "Workshops-to-Go," "Faculty Working Styles," "Managing Minutiae" and "Strategic Planning and Assessment."

Farewell to Four
Four retiring faculty who have collectively served at Gordon for 131 years were honored May 10 at a farewell ceremony honoring their contributions to the life of the College.

Roy Brunner, professor of music, was praised by colleague Thomas Brooks as a first-rate concert pianist, hymnologist and gracious and capable instructor. He noted Brunner's courage in overcoming the debilitating effects of a stroke and his patience in mentoring students who were struggling. President Carlberg reminded those gathered of how, on September 11, 2001, Brunner's organ playing "led us down the path of worship" on an extraordinarily difficult day.

Biology professor Russ Camp was honored by associate professor of biology Dorothy Boorse as a "lab guru," mentor for generations of Gordon premed students, promoter of biotech opportunities, and as one who "loves instrumentation." Boorse said, "Russ is known as a kingdom man--not just the Kingdom of Christ, but the biological kingdom--plant, animal and bacterial. He's got a swath of knowledge we are going to miss."

Economics professor John Mason was noted by colleague Stephen Smith for his commitment to social justice and to the whole gospel, and his writing that has influenced a generation of Christian scholars. "In another life John might have been a carpenter or an architect," Smith said. "He hasn't just made contributions to the department; he made the department. We are built according to his blueprint. We are the better for his winsome vision."

Philosophy professor Malcolm Reid's legacy was related by two of his colleagues, Mark Gedney and David Aiken. "Malcolm is devoted to the highest standards of what philosophy can be at a Christian college," Gedney said. Reid, recently ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church, has for years been actively involved in helping to build and promote Uganda Christian University in Kampala, Uganda. "In retirement he is only expanding the range of his ministry, not changing it," Aiken said.

Two Outstanding Part-Timers
Along with its annual Distinguished Faculty Awards to two full-time professors each year, the College also honors two part-time faculty who have made major contributions as teachers and mentors. The recipients of the 2007 Academic Service Awards are Stella Price '89, part-time instructor of English, and Dawn Jenks Sarrouf '92, technical director for the Department of Theatre Arts. Price, a writing teacher, has been a source of encouragement to many, especially ALANA (Asian, Latino, African and Native American) and international students. Sarrouf has capably managed schedules, handled purchases, maintained equipment, trained stage managers, and assisted with the international seminar in England.

The Story behind ECHO
ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) works to provide solutions to global hunger. Associate professor of biology Craig Story led Gordon students on spring-break missions trips to ECHO headquarters in Fort Myers, Florida. This year he assembled a team of art and communication arts students, along with Paul Rogati, educational technology specialist in multimedia at Gordon. The team filmed the Fort Myers demonstration farm and interviewed ECHO staff, producing an interactive DVD about ECHO's services.
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Distinguished Faculty Awards
At this year's Commencement, Provost Mark Sargent presented the Senior and Junior Distinguished Faculty Awards to professor of economics Stephen L. S. Smith, Ph.D., and to associate professor of history Jennifer Hevelone-Harper, Ph.D., respectively. These awards are based on nominations received from faculty and graduating seniors, considering teaching performance, scholarly and professional endeavors, and service to the College and community.

Smith, who holds degrees from Williams College and Stanford University, was praised by Sargent for his attention to the welfare of colleagues and for his dedication to scholarly endeavors, including authorship of many articles and conference presentations, and his coeditorship for 19 years of the scholarly journal Faith & Economics. "He has collaborated with colleagues from around the country on publications," Sargent said, "and has encouraged some of his peers to bring their own scholarly projects to fruition. In recent years one of his prime collaborations has been coediting the book Attacking Poverty in the Developing World."

Raised in Asia, Smith has a global focus. He served for several years as the associate director of Gordon's East-West Institute for International Studies and has long served as codirector of the College's major in international affairs.

As an undergraduate at Gordon, Hevelone-Harper was an A. J. Gordon Scholar who completed a year of study at the Gordon in Oxford program and went on to distinguished graduate work at the University of Chicago and Princeton University. Her dissertation on church history at Princeton developed into her first book, Disciples of the Desert--a study of monks and laity in Late Antiquity. Returning to Gordon as a faculty member, she quickly became a leader, chairing the History Department and speaking frequently in chapels, forums and convocations. In fall 2006 she was a panelist in Gordon's first trialogue, a conversation between Christian, Jewish and Islamic scholars. Sargent says of Hevelone-Harper, "She infuses her work with a joyful sense of discovery and a genuine love for God's people, both past and present."


Farewell to Four
Dr Harper
Dr. Stephen Smith