STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 04/16/2008


Advocates for a Sustainable Future
Madeleine Skillen '09

Advocates for a Sustainable Future (ASF) was founded by Matt Schetne '08, Miles Kirby and Joanna Lippmann last spring in response to a number of students who felt passionate about environmental awareness and the desire to not only educate fellow students but to make a difference on campus. The purpose of ASF as stated in the bylaws includes promoting awareness of God's mandate for creation care and the importance of collective stewardship; to provide resources on sustainable living; to expose environmental degradation as a social justice issue; to work with area churches and the local community in creation care efforts; and to work to maintain a distinctly biblical stewardship ethic in future vision and development of Gordon College.

One improvement resulting from the hard work of last spring was replacing the paper-cup-only option in Lane Student Center to include plastic reusable cups. This not only saves paper but saves Dining Services money. We also started a composting program for the apartments on campus and are continuing that program this year.

ASF's big project this past summer was to start a community garden on campus. The garden is located behind Barrington and is six rows of various vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes, basil, carrots, lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions and strawberries. The garden was so successful we were able to sell the organic produce to students at a farmstand in front of Lane, raising money to improve the garden for next year as well as promote the importance and availability of local produce.

Projects for this year include a weekly environmentally minded column in the Tartan; working with Dining Services to offer more local or fairly traded products; sponsoring trips to participate in Massachusetts Audubon educational workshops; and sponsoring documentary/film showings that pertain to environmental and sustainable issues.

Read More... Sustainability at Gordon 

Madeleine Skillen is a history major from Newburyport, Massachusetts. She has also lived in Orvieto, Italy. Advocates for a Sustainable Future is a part of the GCSA (Gordon College Student Association). Its advisor is associate professor of biology Dorothy Boorse.

Three New Global Education Endeavors
By Mark Sargent

  • The new Gordon in South Africa program has seen strong applications for its first semester offerings for spring 2008. The program will be housed in the Woodstock area of Cape Town, and students will have opportunities to take some courses at the University of the Western Cape. Ivy George, professor of sociology, and Claire Collins, who will serve as program director on site, have laid a good foundation for the semester with their work over the last two summers.
  • The new Coffee International Seminar will take place in January 2008 under the direction of Daniel Johnson, associate professor of sociology, Margie DeWeese-Boyd, associate professor of social work, and Kirk McClelland, director of service learning and missions. Fourteen students will travel with the faculty to Guatemala to study the impact of global trade in coffee on some of the individuals and communities involved in the trade. 
  • Also in January, Grace Ju, adjunct professor of biology, will return from Morocco (see article, page 35) to teach the Sustainable Tropical Agriculture course. Ming Zheng, professor of biology, has taught the predeparture seminars and will accompany the group of 14 students to the ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) facility in Fort Myers, Florida, and then to Honduras for the field experience, where he will assist Grace.

Read More... Gordon in South Africa | Coffee International Seminar | ECHO

Summit at Gordon

In June more than 900 teachers, administrators, counselors, clergy, social workers and parents came together at Gordon for The Education Challenge: ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome, a conference cosponsored by Gordon and Summit Academy Schools. Summit Academies are a network of elementary and secondary therapeutic schools for children with Asperger's or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Summit presented their therapeutic education model to help students develop better coping skills, a sense of belonging and self-discipline in addressing their academic, social and emotional needs. Dr. Richard Lavoie, nationally recognized for his expertise in learning disabilities, was a conference presenter.

"We were thrilled to host this very important conference at Gordon, particularly since our graduate and undergraduate education majors continue to encounter children suffering from these syndromes in the classroom," said Janet Arndt, assistant professor of education at Gordon and conference presenter. Arndt, a former classroom teacher, counselor and principal, presented the workshop "Social Competence: The Forgotten Component of School Success." "So much of what we need to do in school has to do with belonging, being part of a group," Arndt said. "If students don't feel good about themselves--if they don't feel that they can do those kinds of things--what happens is that academics go by the wayside."

An important part of any professional conference is the opportunity to network, and parents of children with learning disabilities particularly appreciated being able to make connections. "There were lots of conversations going on where they were able to share experiences and stories," Arndt said. "I had parents say to me, 'This is a wonderful opportunity, apart from the presentations, just to make contact' with other parents who had the same needs."

Read More... Summit Academy

Gordon in Orvieto Relocates

Over the summer Gordon relocated the Gordon in Orvieto study-abroad program to the Convent of San Paolo, on the southern edge of the volcanic mesa that holds the ancient town of Orvieto, Italy. Several town and church officials of Orvieto attended the dedication, along with Gordon's Cliff Hersey, dean of global education; Bruce Herman, professor of art; and John Skillen, director of the Orvieto program. With this new, expanded space, Gordon has the opportunity for year-round programming. The spring 2008 semester will feature a history emphasis taught by three history faculty members--Tal and Agnes Howard and Jennifer Hevelone-Harper.

Gordon On iTunes U

Apple Inc. has selected the Gordon podcast site to be featured on Apple's public iTunes Music Store. As one of only a few dozen colleges and universities nationwide and one of only three colleges in Massachusetts currently selected for this distinction, Gordon will be featured alongside schools such as MIT, Stanford, Duke and Yale. Gordon's iTunes U podcast site allows users to virtually experience visiting lecturers, music concerts, student-produced video journals and sporting events coverage.

Explore Gordon on iTunes U


ASF organic garden
South Africa
Summit Academy